September 16, 2013
A multi-agency team has responded to the reports of a strong odour across the Corporate Area. The team conducted investigations spanning from Yallahs to Hunts Bay including all communities from which complaints arose. Possible sources such as industrial installations and major sewage treatment plants along the Kingston Harbour were visited by the team drawn from the National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Water Commission (NWC).
The investigators found that the Yallahs Pond is presently emanating a strong stench which could be the likely source of the pervading odour as the natural exchange between the sea and the ponds appears to be disrupted due to blockage by sand and debris. Research has identified historical reports which indicate that a similar stench from the Yallahs Pond occurred in 1903 as reported in the Gleaner and the Daily Telegraph at the time.
Contact was made with the National Works Agency (NWA) this afternoon and a request made for works to be carried out to release the natural berm on the Yallahs Pond to allow sea currents to circulate and cause mixing of the pond water.
The investigative team will assess the impact of the opening to be done by the NWA to make a final determination on the odour situation.