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Saint Lucia on the road to developing a national water quality standard

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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Tuesday, July 7, 2009 –  Government is moving to develop a national standard for recreational water quality to ensure that fresh and coastal water are safe for public use now, and for generations to come.


The development of the recreational water quality standards is also in keeping with a January 2008 agreement, where government acceded to the land base sources of marine pollution protocol, which is aimed at ensuring the health and integrity of the Caribbean Sea.


Sustainable Development and Environment Officer with particular responsibility for the development of recreational water quality standards LaVern Walker, says government decided to develop the water quality standards as a matter of priority.


“Our waters are important for recreation and to our economy because we dive and fish and as a result the government felt it was necessary to regulate the quality of the country's waters so that they can continue to be safe for all citizens and visitors to use.”


With assistance from the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards and the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI), officials have developed proposed protocols and standards for the sustainable use of coastal and fresh waters.


Ms Walker says the recreational water quality standards look at a wide range of issue relating to water quality and will also encompass the monitoring of physical and other attributes of coastal waters and fresh watersheds.


“We are also looking at microbial attributes.  If things like viruses and bacteria that can cause disease, are present in the water, we need to ensure that they are present in a concentration that is not going to have a negative impact on human health.”


Officials held four consultations and interviewed one hundred and fifty people and fifty businesses in developing the proposed protocols and standards for water quality.


A public education campaign will be held to better inform citizens about the proposed water quality standards.

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