The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) last night certified that water emanating from the Caroni Water Treatment Plant was safe to drink.The EMA made the statement in a press release after its investigators conducted tests on the water supply from the plant around 6.30 pm.
"The EMA in collaboration with WASA conducted tests at the well that the water is being pulled from for public use and the reading as at 6.30pm on February 25, 2015, was at 0 milligrams per litre (mg/L) for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons," the release said. It also said further tests will be conducted over the next few days to ensure the water supply is not recontaminated.
"Our Emergency Response and Investigations (ERI) team is scouring areas upriver of the Plant to ascertain the possible source/s of the substance while simultaneously conducting tests on the water leaving the Plant to ascertain the presence of hydrocarbon," the release said.
The authority said it first learnt of the contamination at the Caroni River, which supplies the plant, around 10 pm on Tuesday. Since then it has received reports of further contaminations in Carapo and Manuel Congo, San Raphael, which were being investigated up to late yesterday.
Earlier, EMA chairman Dr Allan Bachan said three teams were dispatched after remnants of hydrocarbons were seen upstream along the Caroni River."The teams have been out very early looking to see what is the source of this leak. We are liaising with WASA to ascertain the extent of the impact," Bachan said.Saying the issue of dumping was of utmost importance, Bachan renewed his call for more resources for the EMA.
"This kind of problem shows the potential impact people's actions can have on the national community," Bachan said.Calling for the issue of dumping to be dealt with seriously, Bachan noted: "At the end of the day, pollution has long-term consequences for the society."He also said EMA teams also have been monitoring the hydrocarbon levels at the plant. He said initial investigations could not determine who was responsible for the pollution or what it was.
"We have picked up remnants of hydrocarbons further upstream so we believe that it is an upstream spill and we are doing investigations to determine who is the potential culprit," he said.