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News Brief: Week-Long Downpours Challenge Waste Systems

Oct. 13, 2005 — The nearly relentless rains of the last week have challenged the territory's waste management systems.
Sewer backups, garbage piling up at bin sites and overflowing manholes have been the result of the weather that has been slow to move away from the V.I.
But the newly formed Waste Management Agency is trying to keep up.
A release from May Adams-Cornwall, VIWMA executive director, said, "Our daily evaluation of the systems has determined that the wastewater flows are being managed with the normal pumping systems."
On St. Croix, the authority has added auxiliary diesel pumps to the existing house pumps at he LBJ and Figtree Pump stations to manage the increased flow of water into the sewers. The Lagoon Street station in Frederiksted handled the flow without additional pumps being activated.
On St. Thomas, the sewer collection system continues to manage the flow through the stations with minimal negative impact, the release said.
The St. John system continues to functional normally.
All islands are experiencing occasional overflows of manholes with the over-saturation of the soil and rapid runoff of storm water. Residents are asked to call the VIWMA to report any problems with manholes and the sewer system in their area.
Solid waste management is a little more challenging. Damage to roads leading to the landfills is making it difficult for haulers to manage the solid waste, causing garbage to build up at the bin sites.
The Anguilla Landfill on St. Croix has experienced the greatest impact. The entrance road is eroded and muddy, making it difficult for heavy equipment to maneuver safely. Residents are asked to avoid going to the Anguilla Landfill, and solid waste haulers are asked to reduce their speed when entering the landfills and to heed the landfill staff's directions. The entrance road to the Bovoni Landfill on St. Thomas has experienced mild erosion, causing deterioration of the entrance road.
On St. John, the Susannaberg Transfer Station continues to operate normally with minimal weather-related problems.
For more information, contact VIWMA Division at 773-4489 on St. Croix and 776-4844 on St. Thomas.

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