Outram River in St. Mary to be flushed to make it safe for use

The St. Mary Municipal Corporation is to begin slowly flushing the Outram River that runs through Port Maria as it seeks to make the water safe for public use.
In a release Monday afternoon, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) confirmed that the 'reddish-pink' discolouration of the river is due to the overgrowth of algae resulting in the phenomenon known as Red Tide.  
It said the overgrowth of algae is attributed to changes in environmental conditions as well as the low flows of the river, as a result of the drought being experienced. 
Anthony McKenzie, Director of Environmental Management and Conservation at NEPA, said a blockage at the mouth of the river is to be gradually removed to fix the problem.
He said rather than total removal of the material, channels should be created through the blockage to manage the flow and prevent issues such as a fish kill.
NEPA said it has been in dialogue with the St. Mary Municipal Corporation which has indicated it will start the process over the coming days.
NEPA has warned that the water is not safe for drinking or household use.
It said residents should stay away from the river until the corrective actions have been taken.

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