83.2 F
Cruz Bay
Friday, October 7, 2022


As of Tuesday evening, the beleaguered LBJ sewage pumping station was again out of commission, forcing the Department of Public Works to bypass wastewater over Long Reef.
Acting Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood said that a blown mechanical joint forced the activation of an auxiliary pump that discharges sewage, treated with chlorine, out to sea. Callwood said repairs were expected to be completed by Tuesday evening.
The pump station, on the shore west of Christiansted in Orange Grove, was activated on Friday after being off-line since the middle of June. Public Works officials said people should avoid the water near LBJ to La Grande Princesse while the discharge pumping continues. In the meantime, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources will test the water quality in the area.
At a Senate Committee on Planning and Environmental Protection meeting on July 17, Adam Hoover, the director of Antilles Resort Management Inc., which operates Club St. Croix, Colony Cove and Mill Harbor resorts just up the shore from the pump station, said the sewage discharges had forced him to curtail business.
Because of the sewage being piped out just past nearby Long Reef, he said the company had to inform major tour operators on the mainland that the resorts will not accept guests.
Hoover said Antilles Resort Management had lost $100,000 over the last year and about $75,000 in gross revenues in the 30 days prior to the committee meeting.
When sewage is bypassed into the sea, DPNR is mandated to post warning signs along the shore while it tests the water. Since the pump has been off-line for almost two months, warning signs are constantly up. Hoover said that while the DPNR tests show that the water complies with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, beaches in the area remain closed as a precautionary measure. And that kills businesses that rely on beaches and water sports as attractions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.