Dumping Of Boiling Caused April's Fish Kill In The New River

In the month of April the Department of the Environment responded to reports of sightings of dead fish floating in the New River, here in Orange Walk Town. As a result, the DOE launched an investigation in which the water quality of the river was tested from approximately 1 mile upstream from the Toll Bridge to around Trial Farm Village. The good news is that the fish kill was not as a result of chemicals dumped in the river as was originally believed but rather the tests revealed that the river, had at a particular area, elevated readings for temperature and low dissolve oxygen which means low oxygen level in water.

The elevated temperature in the water comes as a result of dumping boiling water into the river which consumes the oxygen the fish need to survive and leads them to distress and eventually to death. One of four companies that operate along the river bank is known to discharge boiling water into the river; however, the Department of the Environment has stated that they are getting the full support of the four companies to resolve the issue and prevent future occurrence.

Of note is that dumping of boiling water into the river happens throughout the year but the situation gets worst during the dry season.