GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Public Health Department (PHD), and the Collective Prevention Services (CPS), both departments within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, are strongly advising against any swimming in Great Bay on Friday morning.
This advisory is in relation to water that is being pumped into Great Bay from the Great Salt Pond. This water can be contaminated, from amongst others, rainwater runoff into the ponds which is then pumped into Great Bay in order to lower the water levels and prevent flooding in the Philipsburg area.
PHD/CPS advisory is a precautionary measure to prevent swimmers from coming into contact with any contaminated water that could pose a health risk if ingested or by skin contact, thereby making the person vulnerable to recreational water illnesses.
Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) on Thursday evening started to control (lower) the water levels in the ponds in connection with inclement weather that the country started to experience from Thursday morning.
This measure taken by Ministry VROMI on Thursday is of a precautionary nature in the event there is additional heavy rainfall throughout Thursday night, the ponds will be able to handle the runoff therefore preventing any flooding in low lying areas.