Oct. 24, 2008 – The Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) announces that the Division of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been testing the coastal waters surrounding the territory since Hurricane Omar to determine compliance with the Virgin Islands Water Quality Standards.
This testing is conducted to evaluate the potential impact on water quality from sewage leaks, spills or bypasses in the municipal sewage system or conventional home septic systems as a result of the hurricane and to identify areas that meet the water quality standards for water recreational purposes.
Areas that have been tested and meet V.I. water quality standards are as follows:
Pelican Cove (Comorant)
New Fort (Ft. Louise Augusta)
Great Cruz Bay
Areas that have been tested and do not meet V.I. water quality standards:
Princess (Condo Row)
There may be an increased health risk to anyone swimming in these areas as a result of an increased concentration of bacteria. DPNR is advising the public to refrain from using the waters that do not meet the V.I. Water Quality Standards until the problem is corrected and the public health concern has been alleviated. This includes activities such as fishing and bathing. DPNR is also advising parents to please instruct their children to keep away from the above-mentioned area and its impacted beaches.
All persons should also be aware that storm water runoff may also contain contaminants or pollutants harmful to human health and therefore all persons should avoid areas of storm water runoff (ie: guts, puddles and drainage basins).
DPNR will continue to monitor the coastal waters of the Territory and continue to inform the public of water quality. Areas that have not been specifically mentioned either have not been tested or have test results pending. For additional information please call DPNR-DEP at 773-1082.