NWC Insists it Didn’t Contaminate Rio Cobre with Bauxite Waste Water

The National Water Commission, NWC, is seeking to assure its customers in sections of St. Catherine, that it did not release any water contaminated by bauxite waste over the weekend.

Bauxite company, Windalco, said it experienced an effluent overflow at its Ewarton Works Plant in St Catherine which affected several waterways in the parish as it ended up in the Rio Cobre.

Windalco says the overflow occurred via the emergency spillway of the Effluent Holding Pond at the Ewarton Works Plant leading to the Old John Gully.

Acting President of the NWC, Garth Jackson, says the water company was able to detect the contamination breach and respond immediately.

He however, couldn’t say what time the NWC shut down its system to avoid releasing contaminated water to thousands of residents.

Mr. Jackson was speaking last evening on Nationwide @ 5 with Cliff Hughes and Tyrone Reid.

The acting NWC boss says residents affected by the forced water lock-off should have had the precious commodity in their taps by last evening.

In the meantime, Senior Environmental Officer at the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, Shanti Persaud, says it took Windalco some time to respond to the effluent overflow, once it was detected.

She says the emergency spillway mechanism is only used during times of heavy rainfall.

Ms. Persaud listed the elements contained in the contaminated water that made its way into the Rio Cobre via the bauxite company’s emergency spillway mechanism.


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