New River facing problems again


Residents in Orange Walk Town are complaining that the New River has once again begun to emit a foul odor.
The situation a result of eutrophication, which is the process by which decomposing material settles at the bottom of the river emitting noxious gases including methane.
In 2019 the situation became so grave that the Department of the Environment was forced into action, where they placed aerators to introduce oxygen into the river, to minimize a fish kill which accompanied the eutrophication.
The New River is affected by this phenomenon on a yearly basis, because of its topography during the dry season when the river becomes a catchment basin and does not flush out to the sea.
The Department of the Environment issued a release last week in which it states that despite Covid-19 restrictions, their work to improve the conditions at the river have not abated. They continue water monitoring exercises, and have been able to secure funding for this to take place for two years. They add that 40 of 79 light industries in Orange Walk have improved their wastewater and greywater discharge from their facilities. Additionally, the department explains that they have ensured that ASR/BSI do their part by improving their wastewater treatment system and constructing cooling towers.