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HomeNewsArchivesPUBLIC WORKS' SEWAGE WOES NOW AT FIGTREE

PUBLIC WORKS' SEWAGE WOES NOW AT FIGTREE

The Department of Public Works is dealing with two separate sewage discharges on St. Croix, one at the LBJ pumping station and one at the Figtree station.
According to Dean Plaskett, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the agency’s Department of Environmental Protection received a report on Tuesday that one of the pumps at the Figtree station was out and releasing sewage into a nearby gut, which flows into Cane Garden Bay. In Plaskett’s release, however, he said the bypass began three days earlier, on Saturday, July 24.
Plaskett said the sewage may impact Cane Garden Bay and the adjacent University of the Virgin Islands wetlands. The Figtree pump station, Cane Garden Bay and the wetlands are located just east of HOVENSA property on St. Croix’s southeast shore.
"DPNR-DEP is performing a compliance inspection of the lift station area," Plaskett said in his release on Wednesday."Until the problem is corrected and the public health concern has been removed, DPNR is advising parents to please instruct their children to keep away from the impacted beachfront."
The Figtree station was placed back in operation on June 30 after a month of being out of commission, according to Paige Rothenberger of UVI’s Eastern Caribbean Center.
During that time, hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage were discharged into the sea. Figtree gut runs next to UVI’s Billy French Ponds, home to a variety of birds and other animal life. In the past, discharges of sewage into the gut have seeped through earthen berms and into the salt ponds, causing fish kills.
Adding to DPW’s problems is the LBJ pump station. As of Tuesday evening, the beleaguered station was again out of commission, forcing DPW to bypass wastewater over Long Reef.
The pump station, located 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 DPNR will test the water quality in the area.
The LBJ station pumps sewage from the Christiansted area up and over the hilly mid-island area to the Figtree station just east of HOVENSA. From the Figtree station, the sewage is pumped to DPW’s wastewater treatment plant near the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.
The sewage is treated at the plant and then piped approximately a mile out to sea, where it is released.

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The Department of Public Works is dealing with two separate sewage discharges on St. Croix, one at the LBJ pumping station and one at the Figtree station.
According to Dean Plaskett, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the agency’s Department of Environmental Protection received a report on Tuesday that one of the pumps at the Figtree station was out and releasing sewage into a nearby gut, which flows into Cane Garden Bay. In Plaskett’s release, however, he said the bypass began three days earlier, on Saturday, July 24.
Plaskett said the sewage may impact Cane Garden Bay and the adjacent University of the Virgin Islands wetlands. The Figtree pump station, Cane Garden Bay and the wetlands are located just east of HOVENSA property on St. Croix’s southeast shore.
"DPNR-DEP is performing a compliance inspection of the lift station area," Plaskett said in his release on Wednesday."Until the problem is corrected and the public health concern has been removed, DPNR is advising parents to please instruct their children to keep away from the impacted beachfront."
The Figtree station was placed back in operation on June 30 after a month of being out of commission, according to Paige Rothenberger of UVI’s Eastern Caribbean Center.
During that time, hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage were discharged into the sea. Figtree gut runs next to UVI’s Billy French Ponds, home to a variety of birds and other animal life. In the past, discharges of sewage into the gut have seeped through earthen berms and into the salt ponds, causing fish kills.
Adding to DPW’s problems is the LBJ pump station. As of Tuesday evening, the beleaguered station was again out of commission, forcing DPW to bypass wastewater over Long Reef.
The pump station, located 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 DPNR will test the water quality in the area.
The LBJ station pumps sewage from the Christiansted area up and over the hilly mid-island area to the Figtree station just east of HOVENSA. From the Figtree station, the sewage is pumped to DPW’s wastewater treatment plant near the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.
The sewage is treated at the plant and then piped approximately a mile out to sea, where it is released.