St. Maarten Nature Foundation Carries Out Water Quality Tests in Emilio Wilson Park


Shows Concerning Levels of Pollution

The St. Maarten Nature Foundation carried out a series of tests of the stream which runs through the Emilio Wilson Estate. This was conducted for various reasons, the main one being the detection of the levels of pollutants of one of the most continuously running streams on the island. Although St. Maarten knows no actual rivers or streams in the true sense of the word, the stream which flows through the Emilio Wilson Estate is considered spring fed and runs more or less continuously throughout the year.


The location where the Emilio Wilson Park lies is surrounded both by numerous freshwater springs of significant cultural, environmental and historic importance, but is also surrounded by the significant urban areas of Betty’s Estate, Saunders, St. Johns, St. Peters, Mary’s Fancy, Ebenezer and South Reward. All of the aforementioned districts channel some of their run-off water into the stream that runs through the park.

The Nature Foundation was approached by concerned citizens who make use of the park and complained about the ‘bad smell’ of the stream which runs through the estate. Some residents who let their dogs walk through the stream complained that their animals received skin infections. The Foundation carried out water quality tests over a period of three days in order to get reputable results of the water quality and the possible levels of pollutants.

Unfortunately the results show that the water quality is poor. This can be the result of various factors; contamination of the springs which feed the stream, run-off from the surrounding districts that have a high level of pollution and a single or multiple point source or sources of pollution upstream.

The Nature Foundation considered it also important to test the water quality of that location due to the environmental and cultural importance of the park, one that has to remain free of all environmental pollutants affecting both flora and fauna and the ecology of one of the last remaining green areas. It was also important that the quality be tested because of the fact that water which is passed through the park eventually makes it unto the bathing beaches of Great Bay, possibly resulting in contaminants on beaches were people swim.

The results that show high levels of phosphates, nitrates and bacteria are of particular concern. The Nature Foundation has communicated these findings to the authorities and sister foundations and is researching solutions which can be applied to the site in the short term in order to reduce the contaminants found in the stream.

The Nature Foundation will continue to test the quality of the water for the next coming weeks and will send out frequent alerts as to the quality of the water.