Jan. 28, 2004 – Testing of waters in the areas of the Frederiksted public beach and pier indicate that they are now "acceptable for recreational use," according to a Government House release issued on Tuesday.
Sampling of the water was conducted on Jan. 22 by the Planning and Natural Resources Department, Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood said.
Emergency repairs have been made at the Lagoon Street pump station by GEC, a Public Works contractor, and "this interim work has ceased the release of sewage into the surrounding water," Callwood said.
The pump station "ceased bypassing into the Frederiksted LaGrange Gut and the adjacent area" on Jan. 17, the release stated, and GEC and Public Works subsequently installed a T-connector and repaired associated lines in the area. Callwood said repairs will continue to be made at the station until three new pumps are installed to replace the existing ones. "Full operation of the Lagoon Street station is expected by April," he said.
Planning and Natural Resource advisories were issued on Dec. 8, on Jan. 5 and again on Jan. 9 saying the Lagoon Street pump station was not working and that, because of untreated sewage flowing into the water, the public should avoid the Frederiksted beach and pier and the Lagoon Street gut. (See "Pump station out; sewage still flowing".)
There were complaints in the Crucian Christmas Festival Village, Bradyville, of the pervasive smell of sewage emanating from an adjacent gut.
And on Jan. 14 it was announced that the Radisson Diamond, a cruise ship that had been expected to call at Frederiksted on Jan. 17 — in what would be the only visit to the island this season by a sizable ship — would not do so after all. It was widely believed that the last-minute change of itinerary was due to reports of untreated sewage in Frederiksted.
Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards said then that information she had indicated that a "technical problem" had turned the ship away. A Public Works spokeswoman said the information she had from Richards was that "the problems occurring in Frederiksted were due to a grease trap problem which was resolved between a private plumber and DPW."
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