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HomeNewsArchivesSEWAGE FLOWS INTO DOWNTOWN CRUZ BAY

SEWAGE FLOWS INTO DOWNTOWN CRUZ BAY

Nov. 23, 2001 – "Damn bad" was Selwyn Powell's assessment of the raw sewage running through the parking lot in front of the U.S. Customs building in Cruz Bay Friday and from there into the Creek, the innermost part of the Cruz Bay harbor.
"All down here is smelly," he said.
Powell, who was minding the fort at Patrick's West Indian Delight food stand, located in the parking lot, said the sewage had driven away business.
Raw sewage began spewing up through a manhole into the parking lot on Wednesday, according to Ira Wade, deputy Public Works commissioner for St. John. He said an ejector valve at the pumping station adjacent to the parking lot failed. The valve controls the air that pumps the sewage to the treatment plant at Enighed, he said.
"Hopefully, it will be fixed by the end of the day," Wade said early Thursday afternoon.
He said that amount of sewage coming out of the manhole by then was down to an "ooze." Public Works crews first tried to repair the ejector valve, he said, then tried to rebuild it. Neither attempt worked.
Wade said a repair crew was on its way from Puerto Rico to solve the problem.
The Planning and Natural Resources Department sent out a notice Friday alerting the public to the problem. The advisory stated that people should stay out of "guts, puddles and drainage basins" in the area and should not fish or swim in Cruz Bay. "Standing or running water in these areas may contain contaminants or pollutants harmful to human health," it said.
The pumping station has been plagued with myriad problems in the last year, some caused by grease dumped into the sewage system by Cruz Bay restaurants. Wade said the current problem appears to be strictly a mechanical failure and that his crews found no evidence of grease.
Wade said the pumping station is about 25 years old. "It may be equipment fatigue," he said. He added that grease is now a nuisance rather than a major problem, since his crews are aggressive about cleaning the lines.
No officials at Planning and Natural Resources could be reached for more information.

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Nov. 23, 2001 - "Damn bad" was Selwyn Powell's assessment of the raw sewage running through the parking lot in front of the U.S. Customs building in Cruz Bay Friday and from there into the Creek, the innermost part of the Cruz Bay harbor.
"All down here is smelly," he said.
Powell, who was minding the fort at Patrick's West Indian Delight food stand, located in the parking lot, said the sewage had driven away business.
Raw sewage began spewing up through a manhole into the parking lot on Wednesday, according to Ira Wade, deputy Public Works commissioner for St. John. He said an ejector valve at the pumping station adjacent to the parking lot failed. The valve controls the air that pumps the sewage to the treatment plant at Enighed, he said.
"Hopefully, it will be fixed by the end of the day," Wade said early Thursday afternoon.
He said that amount of sewage coming out of the manhole by then was down to an "ooze." Public Works crews first tried to repair the ejector valve, he said, then tried to rebuild it. Neither attempt worked.
Wade said a repair crew was on its way from Puerto Rico to solve the problem.
The Planning and Natural Resources Department sent out a notice Friday alerting the public to the problem. The advisory stated that people should stay out of "guts, puddles and drainage basins" in the area and should not fish or swim in Cruz Bay. "Standing or running water in these areas may contain contaminants or pollutants harmful to human health," it said.
The pumping station has been plagued with myriad problems in the last year, some caused by grease dumped into the sewage system by Cruz Bay restaurants. Wade said the current problem appears to be strictly a mechanical failure and that his crews found no evidence of grease.
Wade said the pumping station is about 25 years old. "It may be equipment fatigue," he said. He added that grease is now a nuisance rather than a major problem, since his crews are aggressive about cleaning the lines.
No officials at Planning and Natural Resources could be reached for more information.