‘De-mucking’ operation at Saltwater Pond

| 01/08/2014

(CNS): A “de-mucking” process at one of the wetland areas on Cayman Brac started last week to try to deal with the bad smell emanating from Saltwater Pond. However, although this was one of the main complaints of the owners of the adjacent Alexander Hotel, which closed itsdoors on 15 June, a spokesperson for the District Administration Ministry said that the owners have not indicated that this process will result in the re-opening of the hotel. While the Department of Environment was not apparently consulted, the ministry said that the de-mucking has been previously conducted on two separate occasions about 15 years ago with positive results in terms of reducing the stench emanating from the western end of the pond.

The Ministry of District Administration, Tourism and Transport authorized the Public Works Department to go through the de-mucking process “in an effort to bring some relief to the uncomfortable and obnoxious odor emanating from the sediment at the western end of the pond”, the spokesperson said.

The process requires some filling in of the pond to build a ramp at road level so that a back-hoe has access to scoop out the muck, and a truck can carry it away. Once the process is complete the fill will be removed, Environment Minister Wayne Panton told CNS. He said this was a short-term solution but they also needed to look at what steps can be taken for a more long term solution to the pond smell.

The DA Ministry spokesperson said, “The build-up of muck/sediment and the resulting odor has been a concern for some time. Consequently the decision was taken, in consultation with District Administration, to commence the de-mucking exercise. Multiple complaints have been received from neighbouring property owners and other residents, who have asked that something be done to address the problem.”

The de-mucking exercise is being funded by the government through District Administration, and is expected to be completed in approximately 3-4 weeks.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Brac can use 2 small marinas, one on north side and one on south side-have boat slips rented/owned by people living on the Brac and not have boats moored up on the reefs pulling out moorings, damaging reefs when rough seas hit. Also marinas invite shops, eateries, and boat repair services etc. Have slips available for over-nighters to rent. Then lets look into a golf course on top the bluff. I would love to stop over on the Brac and play a round if I had somewhere safe to park and sleep in my sailboat while visiting the island.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Put some them young people over in Brac to de-muck, then give them their social services check????

    We the working class supporting the lazy …………………60-80 millon a year on social services….ridiculous!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is there sewage from Alexander Hotel leaking into the Pond?

    • Diogenes says:

      The seawage from this whole affair is leaking into the whole issue of government governance and corruption.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Simply put, the Brac is boring for active people.  Yes you can SCUBA, and the road system supports great bicycle riding, but what else is there to do?  No squash, golf or tennis, snorkling options are limited / non-existant, beaches, where?, kakak or paddleboarding too rough.  Enough said? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, the hotel (Brac Reef) has a tennis court. And seemed quite busy when I was there earleir in the year. I think the Brac works as a tourist bussiness, if you know how to work for your product. (Brac reef has something almost every night to keep their guests in-house and buying sodas at the bar for the kids.)

    • Gut Check says:

      Squash?   Is that what you travel to participate in?   Snorkeling on the Brac (and L.C.) is stellar.   There are several easy-in sites.    If my dear ol' Mom can happily snorkel on the Brac, then almost anyone can.    Fish and sea life aplenty.   Hiking via many diverse trails is certainly a wonderful nature experience on the Brac.   Fishing.   Hey, how about just walking without being worried about being mugged?   Think that might be a draw for those who are sick of  the rat race?   

      "snorkeling options are limited/non-existant"……….  baloney.    Plenty of marked (red-painted rocks with the name of the sites) places.    Sure, the Brac only has one public beach with sand, but there are also sandy beaches further west along the hotels — from the Captain's Table all the way to the end of the island at Brac Reef.   All sand.    

      Kayaking "too rough" if a person is used to kayaking in a pool.    As with ALL places, there are times when the sea is rough and only suitable for experienced travellers.   Most of the time, one side or the other of the island are relatively calm, depending upon wind direction.    Of course, one can always kayak or paddleboard or even just float on the current behind the reef from Coral Isle to Brac Reef, as anyone who LIVES THERE WOULD KNOW.   

  5. Anonymous says:

    Incredibally funny how the same people that are against the marina idea are even again the de-mucking of the pond. I guess Brac'rs really like to like in thier own stink..

    I and by the way, no fish will live in stagnet Salt Water pond. Fresh or salt water fish even crabs would die within a few days do to a lack of  oxegen

  6. Anonymous says:

    I visited the Brac last year, and was amazed at so few tourist.

    The Brac needs a jump start, and a marina behind the Alexander Hotel would be be the way to do it.

    Marina's attract money people. I see lots of income for the Brac on this project.

    All over the world thishas been done, and proving to be very successful.

    But without the chum you get no fish.

    • The Thinker says:

      My response to Anonymous 18:19.

      I was on the Brac last year too, but I thought there were quite a number of tourists, and there are even more this year.

      The Brac is O.K. like it is.  It doesn't need a jump start.

      Marinas in popular resorts do attract the high-rollers, but the Brac is too far off the beaten path to get many boats.

      I don't have any information as to marinas being built all over the world and just how successful they are, but I have doubts about this statement.

      Lastly, we already have enough "fish"!

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you paying for it?   Are you doing the environmental income assessment for it? If not then shut up and stay out of it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shocking that the Department of Environment was not consulted and that funds generated by the hard workers of Grand Cayman are being wasted on this sort of thing while Brackers have the benefit of many favourable duty arrangements.

    • Anonymous says:

      But the Brac exists in its own bubble and does what it wants, except when it comes from pigging out on money generated by the Grand Cayman economy.

  8. Anon says:

    Let's get real. The smell was not the cause of the hotel closure.  The hotel closed because there is simply no tourism demand for the brac.

    The only way to revive the brac in my opinion is to create an industry.  Ie.  open a casino.

    The reason the tourism is not in demand is because:

    1) diving not as spectacular as little cayman and arguably grand cayman

    2) beaches not as good as other two islands

    3) the caves…let's just say that no tourist would fly to the brac to visit them.  

    4) rock climbing – the bluf is only 150 ft tall.  That won't attract anyone especially when Utah has more rock than the Rolling Stones.

    we need to be realistic! 


    • anonymous says:

      Maybe the Brac could capitalize on the niche market that San Francisco has found.

      All Inclusive leisure facilities for professional men with saunas and conference areas for work purposes.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a crap desitination.  There, the truth is out.  But that is well known, because no-one goes there.  But that does not stop Moses wasting millions on aircraft and airport upgrades, so that there is a better infrastructure for no-one to use.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Brac tourism developments should be funded exclusively from revenues paid by the Brac. 

      • Dread on Dread says:

        You ate not correct sah, the other hotel on the IslNd is usually packed with Divers. So Alexanderhotel was batting zero from the get go, no access to the beCh, a stinking pond and non Caymanian support. Please  stop talk fart ya hear. What is needed is at least two more waterfront properties 70 to 80 beds each with 4-5 star class, then there will be sustainability for the Brac.

  9. Anonymousand says:

    Just wait til EY demuck Glass House

    • Anonymous says:

      They may recommend it, 21:48, but Government will never allow it, otherwise it would have been done long ago when it was repeatedly recommended by other reports by consultants-eg Radio Cayman, DVES, GIS

  10. Anonymous says:

    People that have visited the site, claim that the stream which appears  in the photo above, as a line from the right side of the photo most of the way to the left side,  has  far  more pungent smell
    than anyhing else around it.    It would seem that he source of that stream should be determiined and eliminaed if possible, as that seems to be the maijn cause of the unbearable odor in that area.

    Those who have visited the site agree that the odor from that stream,  is far more offensive than
    what comes from anywhere else around he pond.  It is said to smell like sewage.



    • Anonymous says:

      Wonder if DoE has been out to see that stream?  Maybe one of the causes of the stench has been uncovered —– it's sewage from the Alexander Hotel !?!

      • Anonymous says:

        Wonder if  DOE has been out to. You have some valid points in your comment .Maybe it should be looked into to see what kind of sewage treatment plant that is for a hotel that size . Maybe  this might the problem ,it could be.

        • Anonymous says:

          Funny how on one hand poeple are saying hey the pond has been that long before the hotel and always smelled bad. Yet now they are trying to blame it on the hotel. People sure can distort the truth for thier own benefit.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Cayman Islands are the tops of extinct volcanoes. And as every schoolboy chemist should be able to tell you, sulphur and sulphurous gases are produced from deep within the earth and exhausted at the surface, either dissolved and released from water courses or vented through the rock strata.

      This isn't a problem than can be cleaned up, it is almost certainly geological in origin, as are the sulphurous underwater vents at Barefoot Beach on GCM. 

      Lesson one, don't mess with nature by building hotels on stinking marsh land.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are no known volcanic near-surface vents or volcanic activity on any of the three islands.  

        The Cayman Islands are part of a long submarine mountain range created 30 million years ago – the product of mechanical uplift of fault blocks at the Orient transom fault and the mid-Cayman rise of the Cayman Ridge – the result of frictional forces on the North American/Caribbean tectonic plate margin.  During the subsequent millenia, the sea level has been both hundreds of feet higher and lower, depositing corals and organisms which became Cayman's unique Carbonite rocks.  

        If you want hydrothermal venting, you will need a submarine or ROV to explore the black smokers which do exist around the fault horizon at the bottom of the Cayman Trench as Nautilus and their crew did last year.  5000m (3.1 miles) down at 500ATM of pressure and nowhere near the Alexander Hotel or Barefoot Beach.

    • Gut Check says:

      When the original mini-mall was built, it was deemed that a deep well should be constructed for sewage.   Insane.    A concrete septic tank was installed with a leech field going west of the the pond.    I could be wrong, but I was told that the sewage from the adjacent Alexander Hotel went into a deep well, which is pretty much a direct conduit into the pond.    

      Ironic, huh?  

    • Brax Rep says:

      I've lived on the Brac for the better part of my life and I don't recall ANY streams here.  I wonder if this stream is a figment of someone's imagination, as well as "those that have visited the site".  

  11. Autry Foster says:

    As the pond is known as Saltwater Pond I have always been under the impression that the water is salty and not fresh. If that is the case there could have been an inlet from the sea, and perhaps that has been clogged and salt water cannot flow in, causing the water to stagnate resulting in the bad odour.

    I wonder if  the technocrats have ever thought of that?

    • Anonymous says:

      If anything that is why it's so stink now.  Cleveland was pumping salt water into the pond.  I don't understand the pond has been there for ages.  

      • Anonymous says:


        So was all the mangroves, sea grapetrees, cocoplum,  they were here forever, but we destroyed some to make way for progress, the same money that fed you and your children.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is sea water from storm inundation.

  12. Anonymous says:

    He built the hotel with the smell, I hope he's footing the bill for this ridiculous cleanup?

    • Anonymous says:

      Literacy is apparently not your strong suit, eh? The article clearly states that the hotel owners are  not the only ones complaining about the obnoxious odour from the pond, other property owners in the area apparently have also complained. Next time read the article, Bobo, before you spew your ill-informed tripe.


      • Anonymous says:

        And common sense not yours, eh?

        Next time bobo have some first hand knowledge of the pond in question. Everyone knows that Salt Water pond is a stinking mess when the water level is low, it always has been, and always will be.

        If [the owner] decided to build a hotel on an existent stink hole, or if people bought properties next to it without doing their homework, then they should pay for any cosmetic clean up.

        Ask yourself, why would anyone build a hotel or any residential property on the edge of a stinking marsh. Could it be that he was promised a marina in return for development, why didn't he buy Divi Tiara and develop its beautiful, reef protected beach instead. Who allowed him to build a hotel next to an obvious health hazard and what was their motivation?

        You see bobo, we're not as stupid or illiterate as you think. This hotel was a deliberate attempt at manipulating the system and getting a marina by proxy, everyone knew it. Or are you asking us to believe that someone really thought that building a tourist hotel next to the largest stink hole on the island was going to offer a wholesome tourist experience and be a roaring business success. No, this was a gamble that failed and cost him dearly. 

        You see, some of us travel to the Brac, and have done for many years. We don't sit back here and make ill-informed judgements based upon benign online articles, we actually know a little about how shit works around here.

        Furthermore, I'd be interested to hear your business proposal for a new tourist hotel on top of Mount Trashmore. As you are obviously so convinced of the veracity of the Brac project it must surely be a winner. I'm sure your literacy would be able to work out the big words like, health hazard, strong sulphurous and methane odours, insect haven, environmental concerns etc…..

        And I'm spewing tripe, really.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you think that the pond should only be cleaned for the hotel? what an ignorant person you are!!


    • Anonymous says:

      He was willing to foot the bill for the Marina, but this demucking is a waste of time and he wasn't willing throw his money out of the window..

  13. Anonymous says:

    Awesome to see government focusing on the real issue we have.  The de-mucking worked years ago and is a great start to solving the odor issue.

    We really need the stench to be addressed; we don't need to use the stench to build a case for the Alexander developer to make money selling fill while destroying our environment.

    Hats off to the Brac DA Ministry and the DoE, you've come through for us!

  14. B. Hurlstone says:

    So can the Ministry of District administration take it on themselves to fund this project? The pond has been like this for many years, so why spend the people's money on it now? How much is it going to cost? And by the way, the pond over on Little Cayman smells worse than the one on the Brac.  Will that be funded too?  Something else also smells!

    • Anonymous says:

      Leave The Booby Pond Alone. (I assume you were being facetious but I'm not taking chances someone might take you serious.) At least thats still an Animal Sanctuary.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Action trumps talk. Thank you District Admin!

  16. Anonymous says:

    So we the people are paying for the government to de-muk a pond to support a closed hotel even though everyone knows the de-mucking will have no long-term positive effect. But they didn't learn last time. – I'd ask if they had the relevant permissions but, hey, its the Brac. District Admin don't need no steenkin permissions.

    Or an animal Sanctuary either thank you very much. We just want nature tourists, not nature.

  17. anonymous says:

    I personally feel gratified that, after all the horrible ordeal that Cleveland Dilbert has gone through about this pond, the government now has to foot the bill to fix a problem that he was willing to fix.  Cayman Brac needs this hotel.  Cayman Brac needs local businessmen to invest in our island as Mr. Dilbert has done.  He needs to be supported; not condemned for purchasing land on this pond.  He was assured by the previous administration that he could put in a marina when he decided to built there.  It is time to stop bashing him and give him some help as he has tried to give something to the Brac to increase tourism and business there.  I have spoken to him and, while his dream was to have a marina, I think he will be satisfied to have a nice, clean, beautiful pond at his back door.  Cayman Brac needs this polluting pond to be fixed.  It is and has been a dangerous, toxic sore on the face of the island so hotel or no hotel it needs fixing for this reason alone.  Dredging is only the beginning of fixing it.  It then needs to have a huge culvert put under the road from sea to pond to refresh the water constantly and then I think it will be good forever.  One thing I have noticed myself and have been told many times by Brackers is that there is this unlying jealousy when somebody has an idea and acts on it.  It seems that far too often people try to ruin the actions of another when they are doing something constructive, especially in business.  If Cayman Brac is ever going to be the island that it was made to be, it would be helpful if everybody could be happy for whatever and whoever does to improve it.  Just saying…

    • Anonymous says:

       I personally do not feel gratified .  After reading your comment , you have to remember that who promissed Dilbert he could build a marina is not a scientis he is a politian. XXXX My dear you & Dilbert & the politian & all of the people of the Brac need to stop and look at what would be the consoquince of cutting the Island almost in half when that next hurricane hits . The demucking  that goverment is doing is not to the pond , it is demucking your heads . People please dont let the goverment cut that chanel to the pond, because you would have 2 Bracks or none next hurricane . I want to help Dilbert put his money along with the goverment money and clean out just the muck , it would make good feritilizer for the farmers of the Brack  .

      • Anonymous says:


        Sounds like you need your headde-mucking.

        Where does it states that this cut will extend half way into the island? look, if you dont have the brain to understand what progress this development will profit the Brac, , just keep your ignorant comments to yourself.

        The decision made by Cabinet was not made on any Scientific or any past Data experience. For you to achive any type of Data for such an undertaking, one would have to carry out the same type of development.

        This was never done. It's all  nonsence what you all are  assuming.

        This leads me to conclude, that the  objections of this project are  based soley on assumptions and  emotions,  by people who are jealous of Dilbert's  achievement,  or just sheer narrow minded ignorant people.

        • Anonymous says:

          This sounds like you need your brain de-mucked   8:24 did not say half way , it said almost half way . The point is that the decission that was made by cabinet  is not a scientific decission,  and that is what you need to do when you mess around with mother nature.  Alot of much smarter people with good common sence have said that cutting chanel would be a desaster to the Island next hurricane . This is why i say that you need to have an  independent study done  scientificly not by Dilbert or the cabinet .  Yes i love the Brac and all the people and dont want them  washed away next hurricane . God bless you .

          • Anonymous says:

            What do you consider much smarter people.

            Again you prove my point! (I love the brac and all the people and dont want to see them washed away next hurricane!) Your  emotions are very high on this issue of hurricane.

            Let me say this, for whats its worth. If your, much smarter people, had the common sense that you so claim, they should  have the experience and knowledge  that hurricanes do not travel down cuts or canals cut into the coast line.

            Experience trump common sense.

            Let me give you some data on Ivan, the facts documented.  Ivan came ashore on the south coast of Grand Cayman, with a surge  18 feet high ( a surge is when the whole body of water rises above normal sea level) this body of water traveled inland  as far as Smith Road.

            Now pay close attention to this, there are no cuts or canal on the South Coast of Grand Cayman. did you learn something??

            What you and the rest of prophets are saying are pure  rubbish, you need to stop it. You dont know what you are talking about.

            • Anonymous says:

              03/08/2014 – 22.08  This sounds like the time you born.     I consider smarter than you .        Yes my emotions are high about this issue of hurricane  because that would be what will demolish the hotel and the Island if the cannal is cut .                hurricane do not travel down cuts, it is the water that is forced by the hurricane that travels down /up cuts.  Cuts inland make it easer for the water to travel .        Experience/ common sense you were not arround when that was  share out to everyone else .       You must be Dilberts advisor , go and tell the backhoe  opperator that is de-mucking salt pond that your head is next to be de-mucked .   Out of time with you and God bless you ..

        • Anonymous says:

          It's not nonsence what they are assuming it's just Caymanian

      • Anonymous says:

        I assume you also want him to give it to the farmers for free after paying to have it removed. And how in the world would this channel be cutting the island in half. Exaggeration and lying to make your point is another Caymanian custom along with hating thy neighbour. 

      • Anonymous says:



        You just cant help your selfisness and envy for this family!

        Nothing you says make sense. it is obvious you dont want to see the Dilbert's install this marina

        For your own hate and miserable, stupidity reason, or  someone else interest you are trying to protect.

        Why do you think cutting a channel into the shoreline 300 feet lone is considered cutting the Island almost in half. Gosh, what fairy tales one can yarn when they want to express hate for other people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hatin' isn't just a Cayman Brac thing it's a Caymanian thing. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    Cannot find the "plummeting" reviews that Mr Dilbert said caused his hotel to close…. it is mentioned in a very few of the reviews (I have not read all 166), but can hardly be said to have been the only comments…most of the reviewers give excellent ratings and only a couple mention the smell…a couple of recent examples: (excepts only)

    "I am astounded by the sheer cleanliness, order and simplicity of this property. I am writing this review as I sit waiting for our cab ride to the airport. I will definitely come back" (no mention of the smell…this is the most recent review)


    "…..The hotel is very modern, bright and airy with big well-appointed rooms, a smallish swimming pool which nicely focuses the courtyard area nestled between the hotel and the welcoming bar. Adjoining the hotel is a lagoon/swamp which has aroused recent political debate – let's say is an acquired aroma – that said, like hot sulphur springs in NZ, it is not without its interest…."


    "We just returned from a two night stay at the Alexander Hotel in Cayman Brac. The hotel itself is great-clean and comfortable and had everything you could want. The staff were fantastic and the food was great. The only downside, and it's a big one, was the horrendous smell emanating from the swamp behind the hotel. It stank all weekend and made it unpleasant to sit outside by the pool. I really don't know why they built the hotel in this location. Apart from that, everything was great but I could not recommend the hotel to anyone because the smell is so bad. It's a real shame." (This is the worst review I found mentioning the pond (agin not many mention it) this year, this is about the only one that makes such a big deal of the smell)




  19. Anonymous says:

    I don't understand why District Administration had to pay for de-mucking. 

    All they had to do was say that they had reliable information that all of the booze recently stolen had been thrown in the pond, and it would have been de-mucked for free in a very short space of time.

  20. Anyone for Wensleydale says:

    So wait, DoE said not without a survey, XXXX and now they are doing it anyway? No wait they are not building a marina, just 'demucking'… Yeah that's different, I'm we'll end up with the same thing.

  21. Anonymous says:

    In the rest of the world, those who attended high school biology class would immediately install a readily-available Solar Pond Aerator to create oxygenated convection and a sustainable solution to a common problem.  Whereas in Cayman, the biological process of methane production and water stagnation is met with backhoes, dredging, and quarrying with no EIA sought or DoE input, and I would not be surprised if this effort costs the public purse >$250,000.  

  22. Knot S Smart says:

    So did they do an environmental impact study like they are requiring Mr Cleveland to do?

    And what about the environmental-wild-life-fanatics – is it better to destroy the habitat like this, or to build a marina where the wildlife will thrive?…


    • Anonymous says:

      Nobody consulted – not even the DoE!

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Carving a channel through the reef to the sea would have a significant and permanent environmental impact that clearly warrants a study.  Removing accumulated muck is not anywhere near the same scale and has been done twice before, so we already know the impact, wouldn't you agree?  And are you suggesting that a marina offers a better environment for wildlife to thrive in than a natural pond?  Hmmm, that seems no so smart indeed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, I am gonna say just that. Being an experienced diver and fisherman, I can absolutely say that the protective inlet jetty and adjacent warers, and the rock rip-rap dam will be far more biodiverse than the stark bottom and the mucky smelly pond currently existing.  I guess you have a hard time seeing it but maybe I am just smarter than you.

        • Anon says:

          And what do you think would happen to a boulder lined channel when a hurricane such as Ivan strikes? Do you think we should consider that the channel through the hurricane rampart might worsen storm flooding and that the channel boulders might become  weapons that demolish the shoreward buildings? Should we get expert advice (EIA), or should we just be thankful that you are so smart and hope for the bestl?

    • Anonymous says:

      The objection to this Marina was not about the Environment. 

      It is all about the ignorant people prophesying doom, who dont have a clue what they are saying. There are no past project carried out in these Islands to compare the claim of destrction these prophets are proclaiming.

      The other side of the coin is, this development would give the Oligarch of the Brac, a long run for their money.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the same pond (the pond Mr Dilbert was seeking asisstance with). Please read all the articles regarding this pond so you could be informed before posting such a comment.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Wayne, Look into posssibly puttign soem types of fishes and animals in there to get rid of muck etc?

    • Anonymous says:

      I can think of a few bottom feeders I'd like to chuck in there!!

    • Anonymous says:

      and enzymes…

    • Anonymous says:

      Good idea…there are some strange creatures in the MLA who need to be in a new home…put them there…or in a padded cell…