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Nov 6, 2019

Improved Water Quality in the New River

There is good news from the Department of Environment on the health of the New River. Today, Environmental Officer Aldo Cansino confirmed to News Five that the aerators that were installed at strategic locations across the river have been removed and that the condition of the river has improved. As you may recall, there was an increase in hydrogen sulfide in the river due to the eutrophication process that had been accelerated by pollution. It threatened fish life in the river and created a pungent smell that affected nearby schools. While the aerators and the recent rains have helped the situation, a New River Task Force has been established to look at a long term solution to the issue. Earlier today, News Five received an update from Cansino on the situation at the river.

 

Aldo Cansino

Aldo Cansino, Environmental Officer, D.O.E.

“The quality of the river has improved. As you recall, we installed aerators; actually at this point we have removed the aerators because the river is getting back to its normal state. We have been getting a lot of rains and that has helped the system a lot as well. So the work from that aspect; that is where we are. But that is only part of the work. What we are also doing, we are conducting inspections at several facilities in orange Walk and neighbouring communities to look at points of discharge. So in that regard, we are trying to identify point sources of pollution and trying to see what interventions can be made to reduce those loads, quantify the loads, etc.  Also we have been meeting; the New River Task Force has continuously been meeting and work on the big picture continues which is the development of the watershed management plan for the New River. That is necessary. From when we got involved, when we started working on this, this is one of the things that we emphasized; that there is a need for a long term strategy and that watershed management plan is that strategy. That strategy will allow us to understand the entire characteristics of the New River.”

 

The development of the Watershed Management Plan for the New River is being led by the Forest Department.


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