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#467000 - 06/21/13 11:04 AM Dangriga: Donít Drink The Water
Marty Offline
The after effects of Tropical Depression 2 are still being felt in Southern Belize Ė mainly in Dangriga, Sarawee and Hope Creek where the water systems were contaminated. The Ministry of Health reports that there is contamination to the well and breaks in its distribution lines.

BWSL in Dangriga has treated the water and brought back up the system Ė but tonightís health advisory is that these areas which are still flooded can be re-contaminated through leaks in submerged pipes.

Water samples are being collected and tested and until the results are in, the public is urged to treat pipe water by: Adding 1 tablespoon of Clorox to five gallons of water, mix and leave to stand for 30 minutes before using. You can also Boil the water at a rolling boil for one minute. Or you can Add water purification tablets.

Persons in rural areas whose wells were flooded are warned that water that is dark, has an odor, or has floating pieces SHOULD NOT be used.

Channel 7


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#467001 - 06/21/13 11:08 AM Re: Dangriga: Donít Drink The Water [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Residents In Southern Belize Advised On Contaminated Water

The Ministry of Health today issued a notice on drinking water to the general public.  The release informs that after the passage of Tropical Depression Two, the Dangriga Water system was affected causing contamination to well and breaks in the distribution lines.  The Belize Water Services Limited in Dangriga however has treated the water being distributed, put the system back on line and repaired broken pipes.  There are still some areas in Dangriga However that remain with flood water and the Ministry says recontamination of the water system is possible where minor leaks exist and goes undetected.  The Ministry therefore advises that the public find healthy means of drinking water.  As a result Love News spoke with Water Analyst at the National Water Quality Laboratory of the Ministry of Health, Anthony Flowers who told us why water becomes contaminated especially in the time of floods.

ANTHONY FLOWERS, Water Analyst, NWQL, MOH

“During the flooding we would have a situation where all that flood water coming down contains different types of substances and the ones we are concerned about are the disease causing bacteria or microorganisms.  If people would consume it, the possibility is there that they could come down with different water borne diseases.”

Flowers says contaminated water does not only mean water coming from the rivers.

ANTHONY FLOWERS, Water Analyst, NWQL, MOH

“Depending on the situation that is occurring the contaminates, the bacterial contaminants can be coming from different sources, so when you have a flooding situation, you have that water getting mixed up with waste that is being overflowing from sewer, septic tanks and different other sources; all that stuff gets into the water and hence the water becomes contaminated with different bacteria that can cause water borne diseases.”

And pipe water is also susceptible to contamination.

ANTHONY FLOWERS, Water Analyst, NWQL, MOH

“Pipe water can become contaminated like the situation we have in Dangriga where the Clear Well which is used to store the treated water after it has gone through the process of the treatment plant, the Clear Well which is like an underground storage for BWS before they send it to the reservoir within the town, that area was completely flooded with about two feet of water and so you have the situation where the flood water could have compromised the quality of the water in that Clear Well and hence BWS had to take the decision to shut down the system, super chlorinate the Clear Well and then started to fill it up back before they could have distributed to the public in Dangriga.”

When there is threat of contaminated water, Flowers says the Ministry of Health mobilizes itself to take on the situation

ANTHONY FLOWERS, Water Analyst, NWQL, MOH

“During these times the Ministry of Health would normally be concerned about the health of the population with regards to them having access to safe water and so we would normally put out advisories like the one that was being put out today, here in Dangriga where there was a situation with the water system, there was a risk of a threat to the quality of the water coming from that system and so the Ministry would send teams out to assess the situation and also we would advise people how to treat their water to make it safe.”

Flowers explained that it is not advisable to bathe with contaminated water either, as it may cause disease too.

ANTHONY FLOWERS, Water Analyst, NWQL, MOH

“Bathing in contaminated water, you have the risk of getting fungus or sometimes people come down with rashes on their skin; so, there is also a threat when you bathe with water that is contaminated with bacteria and that you can get some effects from that as well.  It’s not only with drinking but also looking at the other uses that you are utilizing that water for.”

 

But it’s not only the Ministry of Health’s responsibility that we ingest healthy water.  In fact there are simple ways in which we can make water healthy to drink.

ANTHONY FLOWERS, Water Analyst, NWQL, MOH

“You have various ways through which you can make drinking water safe, one way which is an old method is boiling; you will need to hold the water to a broiling point for one minute; after that you allow the water to cool, you can transfer it from one clean container to a next to help improve on its taste but then the water is safe because during the boiling process, all the different microorganisms that could be present in the water were killed.  Secondly, we have another method which the Ministry normally issues out a lot and that has to do with the addition of the regular bleach that you can buy at the store.  With that, you add half teaspoon of Clorox to 5 gallons of water; after you have added the Clorox, you allow it to stand for 30 minutes before it is safe for use, whether for drinking, cooking or bathing.   Also, we have the water purification/chlorine tablets that we would issue out to people within areas that have been affected by flooding or after a disaster.  Those tablets come with specific instructions but normally, the ones that we issue, you would one tablet to five gallons of water, wait thirty minutes and after that the water is safe for you.”

Getting water from the river and boiling it following the instruction that Flowers just mentioned is healthy, he told us.  The water systems for Sarawee, Hope Creek and other low lying areas were also affected by the floods.  The public is advised to report any leaks in pipe lines to BWS and that water that is dark, has an odor or has floating pieces should not be used and should be disinfected.

LOVEFM


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