Antigua is located at 17° 10‟ N and 61° 55‟W with a total land area of 270Km2. Approximately 40Km to the north is the island of Barbuda which is located at 17° 35‟N and 61° 48‟W with a land area of 155 Km2. The islands are part of the Leeward Islands which are in the north-eastern section of the Caribbean archipelago. The twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda sit on an extensive underwater platform known as the Barbuda Bank which has a total area of 3,500 Km2 and is within the EEZ estimated at 110,071 Km2.
The geology of Antigua consists of a hilly limestone zone to the east, a central plain of marl and clay overlying volcanic material, and volcanic mountains in the southwest rising to 410 m above sea level at Mount Obama (formerly called Boggy Peak). The topography is mainly gently undulating with slopes of 11 - 20 degrees. Shallow soils overlay volcanic material and the limestone, over most of the island.
The climate is tropical-maritime, with a mean annual temperature of 26°C, varying from 16.7 to 28.3°C. Average annual precipitation is 1100 mm, but variable throughout the year. The islands are susceptible to severe droughts (as well as earthquakes and hurricanes). The main rainy season is from October to November.
The capital is St. John’s and the population of Antigua and Barbuda is 91,000 (2014, World Bank). The main direct and indirect contributor to GDP is tourism which is the most significant economic driver for the economy. Other major industries are construction, light manufacturing and the offshore financial sector.
For more information see: http://www.ab.gov.ag/
Current Issues and Challenges in Wastewater Management
(Source: “Regional Sectoral Overview of Wastewater Management in the Wider Caribbean Region. Situational Analysis” prepared by UNEP-CEP/RCU in 2010.)
- Ineffective and inefficient sewage disposal systems and methods used on the island are major contributors to marine pollution and pose a great risk to human health. Coupled with the growing standard of living and increased industrialization, including tourism, which has resulted in increased wastewater generation, the matter of wastewater management is of key environmental and developmental concern.
- The country has no national sanitation policy and there is a lack of policies governing wastewater discharge and no proper enforcement system for ensuring compliance with any standards (UNEP-CEP, 2009).
- Lack of adequate domestic handling and holding facilities within the St. John town ship; lack of treatment facilities prior to discharge; and inappropriate waste disposal mechanisms for septic tank sludge (CEP, 1998).
- Lack of a central sewer system, although several types of individual systems are used – the bucket system (night soil system); pit privy; septic tank and soak-a-way; sewerage packaging plants (CEP, 1998).
- Wastewater is mainly generated from septic tanks systems, sewage plants and to a lesser extent some small industries such as paint production, distilleries and breweries. Water quality test results, on samples taken mainly from recreational beaches, indicate that the main source of pollution tends to be livestock or poultry (CEP, 1998).