Daily Archives: March 5, 2010

Barbados Long Beach Development: Sewage treatment ponds called “creation of wetlands” !!!

No wonder the developers haven’t put the environmental reports on the internet!

Friends, I am no environmental expert but I suspect that many of our readers have professional knowledge in this area and I would appreciate their input.

I’ve just started reading portions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report – Non-Technical Summary for the proposed commercial and hotel development at Long Beach – courtesy of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary that posted some of the reports online.

Aside from the issue of why these critical reports were NOT posted online by either the Government of Barbados or the developers, I have come across something in my first ten minutes that mek de hairs on my neck stand on end!

Throughout the beginning of the report the developers use language designed to cater to the environmentally conscious. They use terms and phrases like…

– Environmental Estate
– eco friendly
– integrated resort community
– in harmony with the rich ecological setting
– enhancing the environmental and visual amenities of the area
– nurturing and protecting
– creating… new wetlands
– environmentally sensitive
– enhance and maintain the existing natural physical environs

Like saying the environmentally-in-fashion words is the same as making it happen.

Not to mention that this development will offer “Improved security should lead to significant reduction in crime on the site”

(Talk about riding on the back of murdered tourist…)

AND they make a BIG DEAL that they will be expanding the “wetlands” so that the birds and animals can thrive. It all sounds so good and clean and WHOLESOME!!!

But when you read a little further and really think about what the developers have said, it boils down to this…

The Long Beach developers propose building ponds to treat the raw sewage from the commercial, hotel and residential project. They portray these sewage treatment ponds as “creating new wetlands” for the birds and wildlife.


There is no sewage system in this area, so any large development has to build and maintain its own sewage treatment plant and facilities. In order to sanitize this fact, the developers are describing sewage ponds as “wetlands” and wildlife habitats.

Developers will fill in existing wetlands

As I understand page 9 of the Non-Technical Summary, the developers propose to fill in (they say “reclaim” like they had it in the first place and it was taken away) 2.5 ha – 6.2 acres of existing wetland habitat.

In return, they will create 4 hectares of “wetland (“lake area”).

What is this “wetland lake area” the developers propose?

A sewage treatment pond…

“To compensate for the 2.5 ha of wetland loss, approximately 4 ha of wetland (“lake area”) would be constructed. The constructed wetland would:

i) Store water during periods of heavy precipitation, thereby reducing flooding.
ii) Further treat effluent from the wastewater treatment plant.
iii) Provide open water areas for resident and migratory wetland birds.”

If you read the report the liquid in this lake is such that they promise to keep human beings away from it.


How Much Poop? !!!

How much “solid waste” (that’s “poop” for the uninitiated) will be created by the development?

Almost four million kilos per year!

How do the developers propose to dispose of this waste?

According to what I’ve read so far, the developers will build a sewage treatment plant with various aerated tanks, and then route the effluent (read “remaining liquid poop”) to these “wetland lakes” they are creating that are otherwise known as “settling ponds”.

According to the report the development intends to “dilute” the remaining liquid shit poop to “acceptable” levels before it is released into the environment…

“The advanced treatment plant should consistently treat wastewater to high nutrient removal standards. The further dilution of treated effluent with captured storm water in the lake should reduce nutrient concentrations to levels acceptable for disposal to the wetland area and ultimately the marine environment.”

Let me put it in a really short form that you can understand:

Take raw liquid and solid shit poop from the project. Let it settle. Truck away what solids are possible. Dilute the rest of the raw liquid sewage with rain water. Put it into the “wetlands”. Let it seep through the “wetlands” into the water table and the ocean.

Four million “solid” kilos per year – assuming the developers aren’t deliberately understating this figure. And the quality of the “diluted” output is entirely dependent upon the developers continuing to spend the money to meet the standards they have promised in the report. There is a whole testing and disposal regime that they PROMISE to adhere to. Really. Honest.

Will the developers or future owners take a little chance once in a while and vent the whole shitty mess to the sea at night when there is a storm and nobody will go to the beach? Do you trust them? Do you trust them in ten years? Do you trust the government to effectively monitor the operation?

And according to the report they are going to look after the nesting turtles at Long Beach too!

Okay folks, that’s my first impression. I’ve only read a few pages.

Tell me I shouldn’t be concerned…

An darlin’? Mek me an tonic an gin. Double if you please. Cud dear… Ah need it after reading dis report!

Further Reading

Public Service Announcement: Portions of Environmental Impact Assessment Posted

[Bridgetown, BARBADOS]  As a public service and for reference, the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary has temporarily posted several portions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA) for the proposed Long Beach development within the Long Beach wetland in Barbados.

Attempts are being made to obtain the remainder of the EIA document.

Sanctuary officials have been interested in the outcome at Long Beach, as both Graeme Hall and Long Beach are traditional wetland conservation areas on the South Coast.




No color map images from the Report are currently available to the Sanctuary.


Filed under Barbados, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Real Estate, Wildlife