Epic predicts large scale fish deaths in coming days

POSTED: 01/8/12 4:45 PM

Great Salt Pond needs Long Term Solutions

St. Maarten – Environmental Protection in the Caribbean’s (Epic) local representative Rueben Thompson has predicted another round of large scale fish deaths in the Great Salt Pond within a few days because of decomposing algae. That decomposing algae is causing the foul stench now emanating from the A. Th. Illidge Road section of the Great Salt Pond.
“This bacteria in turn uses up large amounts of oxygen which in a few days will lead to another round of large scale fish deaths in the pond. The Hygiene department’s attempt to flush it (algae) away with water from the fresh pond likely made matters worse as algae thrive in fresh water. Short-term solutions would be to increase circulation, perhaps increase salinity by lowering the water level and increase aeration while a long-term solution would be to fix the sewage and run-off,” Thompson said.
The algal growth or algal bloom in the Great Salt Pond was a result of excessive amounts of nutrients in the water, primarily from land-based sources such as sewage and other run-off. The nutrients enable the algae to grow rapidly leading to the green carpet which now covers the water. St. Maarten Pride Foundation made several site visits to the channel to the Great Salt Pond at the A. Th. Illidge Road this past week and observed that untreated sewerage from the treatment plant entered the waterway. This combination of raw sewerage and the algal bloom created a foul odour affecting residents and businesses in the area.

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