Contamination Studies Under Review At Big Pond Park
Nassau, The Bahamas – The results of a land contamination study on the development of Big Pond Park are presently being reviewed by The Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
The Big Pond Park is a component of the environmental mitigation plan for the New Providence Road Improvement and Infrastructure Project. Plans are in progress to restore and protect the park as an urban open space for public use through clearing of the park site and construction of trails, boardwalks, and children’s play/picnic area.
Big Pond site was used as a landfill up to 1977 when the Government relocated it to its present location on Harold Road.
Results of the study will determine if significant pollution linkages exist and assess the extent of any potential risks to human health and the environment. Based on the findings, recommendations for remediation will be provided.
Shenique Albury, environmental specialist assigned to the Project Execution Unit, said the Ministry also wants to determine the exact footprint of the landfill. Along with the contaminated land survey a boundary survey is also been conducted. The boundary survey will mark the extent of the park and will also help to gather information on major features, including Big Pond and nearby wetlands, Ms. Albury explained.
“The garbage in the landfill will continue to decompose. During decomposition gases are produced. These gases should be monitored,” she said.
Seven permanent monitoring wells have been installed throughout Big Pond Park to conduct groundwater studies. The monitoring wells provide information on groundwater flow and any changes in the water.
“We don’t see it but there is some movement or flow of water underground,” added Ms. Albury. “The monitoring wells will help us to determine over a period of time if the levels of contaminants are increasing or decreasing and if so exactly where.”
Earlier this year the Government signed a contract with C. H. Developers and Construction Ltd. to carry out the study. Current and former employees of the Department of Environmental Health Services were interviewed. They provided historical information of what was dumped in the landfill and other uses of the site such as the garage previously used for maintenance.
By Kathryn Campbell
Bahamas Information Services