82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, May 27, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesIT'S NOT A FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, IT'S SEWER WATER

IT'S NOT A FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, IT'S SEWER WATER

Dear Source:
I have discovered there are three things certain in life here on St. Croix, taxes, death and sewer. Attached are some photographs I took of the Estate Smithfield Sewer Pump Station on Dec. 9. This pump station is located at the north end of the West End Salt Pond, St. Croix. As one can see it is spewing sewer water into the air and supplying the pond with it. The majority of the Pond is also a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge.
The pond started to smell like sewer in early November. Approximately 4 dozen different species of birds – waders, pelicans, etc., would feed or congregate in the pond across from Harbor Beach Village. After the heavy rains in mid-November the smell became incredibly bad, and I noticed all the birds were gone. Not just some, but all, have vacated the pond across from my observation point.
Inspecting the close-up photograph, one with some basic mechanical abilities can see that the problem doesn't seem too complicated. It looks like a broken PVC fitting.
I worked at the department of Public Works from 1981 –– 1985; and recommended then that most services, particularly the sewer systems be contracted out (by competitive bid) to a private company, with Public Works acting as an owner / manger. An authority can do the same thing. However, an authority will only be as good as the people that make-up the board. Creating new boards seems popular with our elected officials these days. But beware, existing boards don't seem to be made up of qualified individuals and I doubt new boards will either. Until the centralized government is reorganized into local governments and the legislature reduced to seven or nine members representing seven or nine distinct districts, I do not foresee improvements occurring.
Sincerely,
Daniel F. Coughlin, P.E.
Civil Engineer
Member – American Society of Civil Engineers
St. Croix

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.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice… click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,726FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Dear Source:
I have discovered there are three things certain in life here on St. Croix, taxes, death and sewer. Attached are some photographs I took of the Estate Smithfield Sewer Pump Station on Dec. 9. This pump station is located at the north end of the West End Salt Pond, St. Croix. As one can see it is spewing sewer water into the air and supplying the pond with it. The majority of the Pond is also a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge.
The pond started to smell like sewer in early November. Approximately 4 dozen different species of birds - waders, pelicans, etc., would feed or congregate in the pond across from Harbor Beach Village. After the heavy rains in mid-November the smell became incredibly bad, and I noticed all the birds were gone. Not just some, but all, have vacated the pond across from my observation point.
Inspecting the close-up photograph, one with some basic mechanical abilities can see that the problem doesn't seem too complicated. It looks like a broken PVC fitting.
I worked at the department of Public Works from 1981 –– 1985; and recommended then that most services, particularly the sewer systems be contracted out (by competitive bid) to a private company, with Public Works acting as an owner / manger. An authority can do the same thing. However, an authority will only be as good as the people that make-up the board. Creating new boards seems popular with our elected officials these days. But beware, existing boards don't seem to be made up of qualified individuals and I doubt new boards will either. Until the centralized government is reorganized into local governments and the legislature reduced to seven or nine members representing seven or nine distinct districts, I do not foresee improvements occurring.
Sincerely,
Daniel F. Coughlin, P.E.
Civil Engineer
Member - American Society of Civil Engineers
St. Croix

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.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice... click here.