06 June, 2007

Hotel Water

Hotel Water. We have been considering the essentially unregulated state of Anguilla’s public water supply. We have looked at the fact that the water that is distributed by the Water Department is produced from sea water. As a result, it is unlikely to be polluted by Anguilla’s aquifer. The aquifer we believe is affected by heavy metals, toxic waste product of every kind, and toilet waste that leaches into it from various sources. The most important of these sources of polluted water is the Corito Dump. That is where old batteries, body parts, dead dogs, old refrigerators, oil waste, and garbage of every kind has been placed for many decades. Private water suppliers use water drawn from wells in the interior of the island. This water is likely to be affected by this toxic waste. Only testing the aquifer for toxic waste traces will prove otherwise. This private water and its source is not regularly tested. It is not subject to any kind of regulation or standards set by any water authority in Anguilla. The reason, we have seen, is that government has been reluctant to impose any regulation. Setting standards and regulation probably does not sit comfortably on Anguilla’s culture of being a frontier society.

What about the hotels, you ask? How do they get their water for their guests? They use a similar reverse osmosis to treat water they draw from wells. Their water is not regularly tested either. Are the guests in Anguilla’s hotels at the same risk as those of us private citizens who must occasionally purchase truck loads of water when our cisterns run dry? Enquiries reveal that the hotel guests are said to be safer than we are. Their water, like ours, is still not regulated by any state agency. There are no national water standards that private manufacturers must meet. However, hotel guests can afford to be more complacent than we, the general members of the public. The hotel wells are all close to the sea. Their water is not considered to be drawn from our aquifer. The experts consider it to be sea water. It has not been contaminated by all of our toilets and the Corito Dump.

Of course, that is just speculation. No one conducts regular tests to ensure that is true. No one has published test results for the chemical content of the sea water near to our hotels. So far as I have been able to determine, no one has ever tested for heavy metals and other poisonous chemical waste. Tests are apparently only conducted for e.coli and other bacterial pollutants.

If you know otherwise, please let us know. The tourists need total comfort and reassurance here!


  1. Two days ago we learned that because of poor maintenance "none of the hotels in Anguilla has a properly functioning toilet treatment system. Effluent is pumped into nearby ponds, or out to sea".

    This is the same seawater the hotels use in their reverse osmosis plants. An RO plant is a complex system requiring a lot more maintenance than a wastewater plant. If they are not maintaining simple things, I have little confidence about the maintance of these complex RO plants.

  2. RO plants work great when they work. When they're not maintained properly we're drinking somebody else's sewage.

    Our children are drinking sewage because the Minister of Sports doesnt want to make criminals out of those who are causing this problem? Do I have this right?


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