VI. MONITORING AND ENFORCEMENT
E. Enforcement in waste and pollution management
1. Water pollution
Most of the water pollution which occurs in Fiji is from urban activities: raw and treated sewage and storm drain run-off, and run-off and seepage from solid waste disposal of industrial effluents. In certain areas, water pollution is caused by agricultural activities (sugar cane farming and ginger growing) in the form of soil and fertilizer run-off and leaching.
The surveillance of water quality is undertaken by the Ministry of Health. The pathology laboratory of the Ministry carries out regular bacteriological monitoring of drinking water supplies. Chemical monitoring is carried out by the National Water Quality Laboratory of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities. An assessment of water pollution monitoring by Irvine (1992) indicated that the relatively little environmental monitoring being carried out was directed toward specific pollution sources. There was virtually no general monitoring of the kind that should be the focus of a national monitoring programme.
The quality of pumped drinking water in Fiji is regarded as good. The Public Works Department (PWD) undertakes monitoring related to its statutory functions of water supply and wastewater treatment. That includes regular monitoring of effluent quality from all of its sewage treatment plants. The programme is undertaken by staff of the National Water Quality Laboratory and is a continuation of an environmental monitoring programme originally established in the early 1980s through Australian aid. With some interruptions the programme has been operating since 1981 and represents by far the most complete set of environmental monitoring data in the country. The government is in the process of privatizing the water supply functions of PWD, with the latter retaining a quality monitoring and regulatory function.
PWD also carries out some environmental monitoring of Laucala Bay near Suva and adjacent sections of the lower Rewa River. However, there have been no comprehensive audits undertaken since 1984 and there is no apparent follow-up from the monitoring. It is known that the levels of sewage bacteria in parts of Laucala Bay are considerably in excess of standards for bathing water. Laucala Bay is also the subject of sand mining for the cement factory. The PWD laboratory is not known to have any formal quality assurance programme for sampling and analysis.
Some monitoring of the water in the Suva harbour area (including Laucala Bay) has also been carried out by the Institute of Natural Resources (INR), of the University of the South Pacific. Those data show some relatively high levels of heavy metals in the water, as well as high levels of sewage bacteria, including bathing beaches, and high nutrients. INR is also involved in other environmental monitoring programmes on a consultancy basis, including monitoring the effluent and water quality in the vicinity of the pine wood processing facility in western Viti Levu, and for some of the larger tourist resorts. The INR laboratory is the only one which regularly includes some quality assurance procedures in its analytical programme. As far as is known it is the only laboratory to take part in regional or international inter-laboratory calibration programmes.