Kim Swan: ‘Need To Move Quickly & Proactively’

April 21, 2014

“In addition to the public relations crisis, Bermuda needs to move quickly and proactively to assure the world that we will take steps to discontinue pumping raw sewage to sea,” former Opposition Leader Kim Swan said.

The issue has been in the headlines recently following the U.S. Consulate issuing a “Security Message” entitled “Contaminated Beaches,” citing the “ongoing dumping of raw sewage off Bermuda’s south coast.”

Two weeks after that message was issued, ”greaseballs” washed up on the South Shore, with small unpleasant smelling grayish lumps scattered over beaches including Grape Bay.

Minister of Health & Environment Trevor Moniz said that “the presence of greaseballs does not necessarily mean the water is contaminated,” and released water sampling results saying that they “were all of a good quality.”

Speaking on measures to deal with the situation, the Minister said in the short-term, the Corporation of Hamilton is “investigating the introduction of an enhanced primary treatment facility which will remove solids, fats, oils and grease from the waste stream…”

The Minister added, “Longer term options for physically extending the outfall, which has been in existence for almost 100 years, are being explored.

“This combination of enhanced primary treatment and extension of the outfall should provide even greater assurances for our water quality. The introduction of the sewage treatment system at King Edward will serve to enhance these improvements.”

Lumps, which the Government said were “greaseballs”, found on Grape Bay beach last week:

greaseballs on Bermuda beach Apr 2014 (6)

Mr. Swan said, “Notwithstanding the public relations nightmare confronting our Tourism Authority – the dumping of raw sewage to sea which now presents a problem confronting to Bermuda was avoidable, and the blame must be placed at the feet of the Corporation of Hamilton who are on record ridiculing my suggestions more than a decade ago for them to invest in an affluent plant which would have used raw sewage as a resource by converting it into reusable water for flushing and/or irrigation.

“This issue was first brought to my attention by east end fishermen who witnessed firsthand when a similar issue frequently impacted the St. George community, during the time when cruise ships were berthed in the town.

“Well known fisherman and former PLP candidate Danny Faries also was very vocal on this issue back in the 90′s when the UBP was in government. Ironically, the responsibility for this long neglected problem now falls on the shoulders on a Cabinet Minister who was a Member of Parliament in the 1990′s when this problem was often highlighted.

“Today, in addition to the public relations crisis, Bermuda needs to move quickly and proactively to assure the world that we will take steps to discontinue pumping raw sewage to sea – that is totally unacceptable with the technology available today. We need to lead by example when it comes to sustainable development and this is one area where we need to make an immediate shift.”

Mr. Swan said that examples of large establishments that practice conservation are the Fairmont Southampton Golf Club which for decades has used the large pond to treatment facility, and also added that Wedco Chairman Ray Chalton came on talk radio to extol the virtues of its sewage treatment plant that converts waste to potable water which is used for flushing at the Westgate Correctional Facility.

“Future considerations for the Town of St. George to have a golf course, hotel and a boutique cruise ships must have provisions made now for sewage treatment for reuse for irrigation for the golf course,” added Mr. Swan.

“This infrastructure must form part of the forward thinking as we look to the future. These considerations formed part of plans for a hotel in the past, and must be front and centre with present day consideration.

“Bermuda needs to be apologizing for pumping raw sewage into the ocean, and committing to the immediate installation of an affluent plant for Hamilton and guaranteeing that all future plans for the Town of St. George are environmentally acceptable.”

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Comments (20)

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  1. Yahoo says:


    • LMAO East West says:

      Mr. Swan those in St. George West must be kicking themselves for not voting for you. You obviously care about the entire country – God help us. They do need a swift kick in the backside for wasting their votes on inexperienced ghetto type behavior unintelligent, just down right good for noting much surrogate between her and Kiprock, God help us all.

  2. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Were’s the money Kim?

    • swing voter says:

      that’s not the point. if we must address the situation immediately, move the money from ‘handout’ programs and fix the treatment plant. Hold city restaurants accountable for grease disposal. last time I checked, human feces was not made up of 100% grease

  3. nuffin but the truth says:

    Finally someone talking sense and not talking shite!

  4. LOL (original TM*) says:

    Question how long has this been going on? Is this a Grand Atlantic present? If other sites do this why and how is it only coming up now? I only bring up Grand Atlantic cause it the same contractor that built Laughlands which has smell badly ever since it went in is the sewage tank not big enough for that complex? We talk about reviving tourism but who wants to smell that place let alone drive by it.

    LOL just sayin

  5. Coffee says:

    the responsibility for this long neglected problem now falls on the shoulders on a Cabinet Minister who was a Member of Parliament in the 1990′s when this problem was often highlighted ! Proves that it’s impossible to run from problems . This one has come back to bite the OBA/UBP in the a** . Should have dealt with it two decades ago .

    • Mike Hind says:

      You really are pathetic, aren’t you?

      It was a problem 20 years ago, so it’s ALL on the OBA…

      But let’s all ignore the 14 years when your lot was in, right?

      Come on, “Coffee”.

      Try having just a little bit of integrity and honesty.

      This constant trolling and smear campaigning isn’t helping ANYONE and it’s just making you look ridiculous.

      • Coffee says:

        You voted for change . Take it . Do better . Fix it . Stop looking in the rear view mirror , put some scuba gear on and fix it , if you don’t Bermuda fails , if Bermuda fails we all fail . Got it ?

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          There is change. They are doing better, including taking steps to fix this. Unlike the previous government.

        • Mike Hind says:

          Again, completely ignoring the 14 years you were in. I love how you guys hate your hypocrisy being pointed out that you just ignore it and lash out with more lies and smear.

          In case you missed it, they ARE doing something about it. I know it kills you to see that, but it’s true.

          I especially loved the ridiculous “stop looking in the rear view mirror” line… From someone so desperate to bring up the past he calls them ‘OBA/UBP’

          Do you not see the hypocrisy in that? I mean… You either do and don’t care or you’re not smart enough to see it. Which is it, spineless?

          • Coffee says:

            Any idea of when it will be fixed?

            • Mike Hind says:

              Nope. Ask them.
              I know you can’t seem to comprehend this, but I’m not a member of the OBA.

  6. jahB says:

    Affluent or effluent?

  7. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    stop pointing fingers and calling names or blaming political parties…they are not the cause of this problem each and every one of YOU are responsible for this problem…change your diet and eat what man is meant to eat and we wont have a toxic problem… research is illuminating. There is something about humanity that is always looking for a treatment for a symptom… rather than eliminating the problem hence, no symptom. If you were on a whole organic vegan diet you could spread your bowel waste as fertilizer in your gardens or yards….

  8. So Sad says:

    It is very sad.

    THIS IS WRONG ? WHY do so many countries and people think the ocean is a toilet bowl ?

  10. just wondering says:

    Isnt there a perfectly good sewage treatment plant up in Dockyard? cant we run a pipe to that?