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Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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Home Owner Has His Own Wet Lands Treatment System

Dear Source,
The St. Croix group fighting for alternative wetlands based sewage treatment is right on track but as usual the "system" with the real problems is our centralized and insensitive St. Thomas-based government. I tried to get some innovative treatment added to our St John wastewater plant back before it was built but to no avail. The idea of throwing 200,000 gallons of imperfectly treated water into an expensive pipe to the sea was to me appalling at a time when we so desperately need water for agriculture or highway landscaping. Our Cruz Bay plant went in as planned and our wastewater now goes out to sea.
The "system" won. I hope the St Croix group is more successful than I was.
I decided to focus my personal efforts toward a system I had control of. My home treatment system involves a pair of conventional septic tanks with their effluent piped not to a leach pit but rather to a constructed wet lands area. No water leaves my system except that lost by evaporation. My bog and pond attract wild critters like tortoises, frogs and all manner of birds. I have seen herons, oni, doves, pigeons and many more. My pond water gets re- circulated back into the bog continuously and its water supports a healthy fish population and other marine life. Excess water is pumped to my drip irrigation system and reused for landscaping. Nothing goes down my hill to neighbors or the bay. The natural system is not without problems or work to maintain but it is well worth it. Good luck to those thinking people on St. Croix.
Sincerely,
Terry Conklin
Coral Bay St. John

Editors note:We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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