Drilling finds more murky groundwater in Grand Bahama


Shuffel Hepburn holds water samples taken from a drilling exercise in Grand Bahama. Photo: Denise Maycock/Tribune Staff


Tribune Freeport Reporter


MURKY groundwater samples were obtained on Wednesday during another drilling exercise at Pinder's Point, Grand Bahama - an area residents believe is affected by industrial pollution.

The exercise was undertaken by the Grand Bahama Environmental Association, which believes the groundwater is contaminated in that settlement.

After nearly an hour of drilling down some 14ft in the ground, no clear water emerged. The GBEA said it contacted the Department of Environmental Health Services to be present at the drilling but no one attended because a week's notice was needed as the inspector is based in Nassau.

Shuffel Hepburn, GBEA executive, collected the samples which the organisation intends to send the US for testing. It is the third drilling exercise conducted in the Pinder's Point community on property owned by the late Sherwin Cooper.

The first was conducted at Rev Michael Pinder's yard where black water samples were allegedly obtained, and the second was at Lowell Pinder's yard where orange-cloudy water samples were reportedly obtained.

"We are trying to see to what extent is the oil underground in this area," Mr Hepburn said, noting that none of the water samples obtained during the exercises were clear.

"No water was clear, it was very smelly, and that's how it is today. We could smell the hydrocarbons, the oil in the water; we had drilled at 14ft when we started to get that," he told reporters.

Mr Hepburn said the group contacted DEHS, but was informed they needed to give advance notice.

"They said they need to give him advance notice when we do this exercise," he said.

GBEA will continue to conduct other drilling exercises, which cost the organisation anywhere from $600 to $700, as well as additional funds to send the samples abroad for testing.

"We will continue with this process… investigating the effects that these industrial companies have had in these communities," pledged Mr Hepburn.

Residents of Pinder's Point/Lewis Yard and other nearby communities surrounding the industrial plants have complained of chemical emissions and water contamination for the past 30 years. They have also complained of health issues.


birdiestrachan 5 years, 8 months ago

Mr: Hepburn did you not say the FNM Government would fix all this. What happened??


vlmarshall 5 years, 8 months ago

This is where I would use that hand over the face emoji.


DWW 5 years, 8 months ago

such poor reporting. the first thing to do is send it for testing. at least buy a cheap simple home test. https://www.amazon.com/Watersafe-WS42...">https://www.amazon.com/Watersafe-WS42...

show me the lab results with a proper chain of custody to prove the water sample was from the well it is claimed to be from. cloudiness in a well is normal. every new well will always be cloudy from the drilling activity.

if you don't have any parts per million lab test results, don't waste time reporting on unsubstantiated propaganda.


pablojay 5 years, 8 months ago

I agree with DWW. Mr. Hepburn is a businessman,who owns and operate the Subway franchise. He can do much better than that. If he was told that a week was needed for an inspector's presence, all he had to do was wait for him to come and witness the operation and inspect the drilling equipment and sample bottles ,etc prior to commencement of drilling and ensure proper sealing of the bottles. Just another useless photo op.


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