Barbados Water Authority

The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is a Statutory Body established by an act of Legislature on 8th October, 1980 to replace the Waterworks Department of Government. It commenced operations on April 1, 1981. It is the entity in Barbados charged with supplying the island with potable water as well as the provision of wastewater treatment and disposal services to the sewered areas of Bridgetown and the south coast.


The Authority is also responsible for the monitoring, assessment, control and protection of the water resources in the public's interest. 


Wells:- The network also comprises 22 well sources (17 sheet & 5 stream water wells) and 7 boreholes, all ranging in depth from 119.5 to 322 feet.         


Desalination:- Water produced at the Desalination Plant using the reverse osmosis process is mixed with the groundwater from wells to complement BWA’s general supply.           


Distribution  - Mains:- - The water network across the island is connected by over 2 000 miles of transmission and distribution mains.     


Reservoirs:- The water reaches customers via distribution mains connected to 22 Pumping Stations, 14 Re-pumping Station and 27 Reservoirs.



There are currently two Sewage Treatment Plants on the island of Barbados - Bridgetown & South Coast.


Connection:- Owners/occupants of properties connected to the public sewers are required to pay to the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) a 'lump sum' sewer connection fee and recurrent/monthly fee for the collection, treatment and disposal of their wastewater.  These charges may be attached to your water account billings.


Treatment:- The Bridgetown Plant employs Secondary Treatment of waste, removing all suspended and dissolved solids by combining them with activated sludge. The South Coast Plant, however, only treats waste to a Primary stage.


Lift Stations - In the Bridgetown system, there are 4 Lift Stations and 1 Seawater Pump Station, all in St. Michael, while the South Coast system includes 5 Lift Stations - 2 in St. Michael and 3 in Christ Church.


Discharge - Both Treatment Plants discharge the effluent water out to sea but the sludge generated from the Bridgetown Plant is disposed of on land. The waste from the South Coast (rags etc. captured in the system) is collected in a ‘skip’ and disposed of in the island's landfill.


Water Quality

The geology of Barbados is mostly composed of Karst limestone which acts as a filter medium within the underground aquifers and this results in a water source of a naturally high quality. Nevertheless the BWA treats the municipal potable water supply with chlorine to comply with World Health Organisation Standards.


In 2000, Barbados potable water supply was suplemented by a desalination plant and water is conveyed by pumps at the individual sources to elevated reservoirs for storage before distribution to consumers by gravity.


Water however is threatened by disasters and our own activities that may send oil, pesticides, fertilizers and other contaminants into our water. Illegal dumping and squatting in zone one and two areas in Barbados also threatens our water quality and this problem has once again raised its ugly head.


Water utilities are mandated to provide potable water as defined by the local national regulating body or, where such body is absent the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Potable water is generally described as a product that is free of any harmful substances or organisms and is safe for all domestic purposes including drinking. This is achieved by using chemical and physical processes to remove or neutralize such harmful substances or organisms.


The maintenance of acceptable bacteriological quality is the first priority in water quality protection as these organisms can usually result in acute illnesses which may cause death. Attention to chemical water quality, on the other hand is more focused on the protection against substances capable of causing chronic illnesses.

The above information on the Barbados Water Authority was sourced from their website.


2019 BPG SunAds bit
2019 BPG SunAds imart