De Weever tours SLS’ environmental lab

POSTED: 06/5/12 12:06 PM

From left to right Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Affairs Cornelius de Weever, Director H. Booi- and Raymond Peterson of St.Maarten Laboratory Services on a guided tour of the lab located in Betty’s Estate.

St. Maarten – The Inspectorate of Public Health, Social Development & Labour now has an established environmental lab at St. Maarten Laboratory Services (SLS) to carry out all necessary testing of surface water and sewage treatment plants. The establishment of an environmental laboratory at SLS provides government with the most important tool in monitoring the quality of surface water and sewage treatment plants, which include inland pond, and surrounding seawater.
“Now we have the means of testing sewage water to confirm rather than assume. Secondly, any sewage system being used can now be tested to see whether or not they are complying with the standards, which also includes the sewage treatment plant. We have a responsibility to protect our environment as much as we can and ensure that sewage water does not become a public health risk,” Minister of Public Health Social Development & Labor, Cornelius de Weever said.
The Environmental Hygiene Department has prepared a complete monitoring program. The program will also be executed on a quarterly basis unless there are situations, which require further testing. With regards to surface water and treated sewage water, microbial contamination, biological oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand nitrates and phosphate are most important parameters. Based on the results the inspectorate will be better able to provide advice when and where necessary.
With regards to sewage treatment plants, SLS can provide analysis of the effluent. These results will better allow operators to control the treatment of sewage water to ensure that the end product meets the requirements as stated in the Hindrance permit.
The inspectorate will also be conducting independent audits of all sewage water treatment plants and will advise the owner or operators as to the quality of their operation and when necessary, what corrective actions to take and the timeframe in which to remedy the situation.

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