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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Sept. 5, 2001 – Tests performed on water samples taken Tuesday from the John Brewers Bay area indicate that the water has not been contaminated by sewage from the waste treatment plant near the Cyril E. King Airport, Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett said.
The test results showed the water "virtually clean and free of coliform bacteria contamination," Plasked said in a release distributed Wednesday.
Although "the discharge of solid sewage materials from the main outfall south of the Cyril E. King Airport continues," he said in the release, "a water-quality analysis survey performed yesterday at a number of locations indicates that there is no immediate health concern in the surrounding surface waters associated with the malfunctioning treatment plant."
Nonetheless, Plaskett recommended that adults with "compromised immune systems" and all children stay out of the water at Brewers Bay and other beaches west of the airport until problems at the treatment plant are resolved. Further, "because of the increased potential presence of untreated sewage in the near shore waters," he said, all persons should "exercise caution when using the waters in the area south of the airport and John Brewers Bay and beaches to the west until the problem is corrected and the public health concern has been completely alleviated."
The beach at Brewers Bay was closed over the weekend after it was discovered that untreated sewage was being discharged into the water, and a V.I. Carnival Committee beach jam that had been planned there for Labor Day was canceled. Officials said later that turbulent weather associated with Tropical Storm Dean late last month had damaged a partition in the treatment plant that serves to prevent heavy sewage sludge from being discharged into the ocean along with cleaner water.
Although damage to the partition is not as extensive as originally feared, officials said, it has not yet been repaired. Until it is fixed, the possibility remains of the sludge being discharged into the water.
DPNR officials said earlier this week that they were working with Public Works Department personnel to come up with a repair plan, but that the repairs might not be completed for another week.

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