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Sep 9, 2019

DOE conducts trials to introduce oxygen into the New River

The Department of the Environment and other agencies are working around the clock to improve the condition of the New River. A number of measures are being taken, this morning aerators were installed as a first step. Notwithstanding, the condition of the river is not expected to improve overnight. Dalila Ical reports.


Dalila Ical, Reporting

Today personnel from the department of the environment installed aerators in the New River at Maracas Bar and Grill.


These are part of a trial, using aerators that have been provided by a shrimp farm, where these systems are used in the ponds.


Edgar Ek, Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, DOE

Edgar Ek

“This is basically to introduce oxygen into the water because right now it is almost depleted if not depleted. So what that will do is help in changing the situation. It will help in the smell we are having right now, the release of other toxic substances like H2S and also change the condition, prevent the condition from being anaerobic.”


The systems will be gradually introduced along several points in the affected area of the river.


Edgar Ek

“We are going to measure water quality prior to the installation of this, continue to measure during the process. Along with it we are going to measure possible impacts, H2S, particularly H2S releases.”


But this measure and others that will be implemented and are not expected to produce immediate change.


Edgar Ek

“It doesn’t have to be the aerators; it could be other methodologies that we might introduce. There will be a phase where the situation will deteriorate. That is supposed to be short lived. We are not expecting that it is going to expend for a long period, and after that, if things work out as we expect then it should turn out to be normal.”


The department is also installing sensors provided by Belize Natural Energy, BNE to monitor Hydrogen sulphide.


Edgar Ek

“At very low levels you will start to smell it. Less than one part per million you will start to smell that rotten egg smell. Once you reach around up to, I think, less than a hundred parts per million you will have some minor effects on humans like irritation to the throat, nausea, irritation to the eyes, things like that.”


The department is also working with other stakeholders to prepare a water shed management plan.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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