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HomeNewsArchivesALTERNATIVE 'SEWAGE-PROCESSING PLANTS'

ALTERNATIVE 'SEWAGE-PROCESSING PLANTS'

Nov. 5, 2001 – Water-loving plants of the botanical sort are about to be put to work in a demonstration project for an alternative sewage-disposal system that yields water suitable for irrigation instead of the polluting effluent being discharged by the septic system commonly in use locally.
If you want to see how the alternative "on-site" disposal system works, all you need to do in about a month is visit the Coral World Marine Park and Underwater Observatory. There's where the demonstration project is being set up by park staff and University of the Virgin Islands researchers.
Another system of its type was recently constructed for the bath house at Magens Bay beach.
Environmental studies for various V.I. government branches have concluded that "the standard septic system design currently used in the territory is not effective in cleaning sewage effluent," a release states. "The result is a high level of pollution being discharged into the soil and eventually making its way to the ocean. This has an adverse effect on the surrounding reefs and other marine life."
The Coral World project demonstrates an alternative to this standard "septic tank-leach field or soak away" that was recently approved by the Planning and Natural Resources Department. It combines a standard septic tank with a system of open concrete tanks or trenches planted with locally available water-loving plants. "The plants and the microbes that live on the plant roots clean the septic water in an odorless process, and the excess water that leaves the trenches can be use for irrigation," the release states.
Henry Smith, director of UVI's Water Resources Research Institute, obtained a federal grant to set up the demonstration project. Designed by BGM Engineers and Surveyors and constructed by R&R Caribbean, the system is designed to treat 600 gallons of waste daily — about the volume produced by two large households. Coral World is in the process of installing plants in the trenches, and the system is expected to be operational within a month.
Once it's up and running, signs at the site will describe the system's design and operation. Research institute personnel will test the outflow water periodically to determine the rate of cleansing as the sewage flows through the system.

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Nov. 5, 2001 - Water-loving plants of the botanical sort are about to be put to work in a demonstration project for an alternative sewage-disposal system that yields water suitable for irrigation instead of the polluting effluent being discharged by the septic system commonly in use locally.
If you want to see how the alternative "on-site" disposal system works, all you need to do in about a month is visit the Coral World Marine Park and Underwater Observatory. There's where the demonstration project is being set up by park staff and University of the Virgin Islands researchers.
Another system of its type was recently constructed for the bath house at Magens Bay beach.
Environmental studies for various V.I. government branches have concluded that "the standard septic system design currently used in the territory is not effective in cleaning sewage effluent," a release states. "The result is a high level of pollution being discharged into the soil and eventually making its way to the ocean. This has an adverse effect on the surrounding reefs and other marine life."
The Coral World project demonstrates an alternative to this standard "septic tank-leach field or soak away" that was recently approved by the Planning and Natural Resources Department. It combines a standard septic tank with a system of open concrete tanks or trenches planted with locally available water-loving plants. "The plants and the microbes that live on the plant roots clean the septic water in an odorless process, and the excess water that leaves the trenches can be use for irrigation," the release states.
Henry Smith, director of UVI's Water Resources Research Institute, obtained a federal grant to set up the demonstration project. Designed by BGM Engineers and Surveyors and constructed by R&R Caribbean, the system is designed to treat 600 gallons of waste daily -- about the volume produced by two large households. Coral World is in the process of installing plants in the trenches, and the system is expected to be operational within a month.
Once it's up and running, signs at the site will describe the system's design and operation. Research institute personnel will test the outflow water periodically to determine the rate of cleansing as the sewage flows through the system.