The V.I. Waste Management Authority (VIWMA) reports that its wastewater treatment plants are being impacted by the illegal dumping of wastewater at manholes in the territory.
An influx of wastewater containing large quantities of cooking oil and grease has been reported by VIWMA’s staff at the Mangrove Lagoon Wastewater Treatment Plant on St. Thomas and at the Cruz Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant on St. John.
At the wastewater treatment plants, the oils are disrupting and slowing down the batch processing of wastewater. The Authority warns that cooking oil and grease in the lines may also result in sewage back-ups and overflow.
VIWMA is calling on residents to be its eyes in the community and to report individuals or companies — other than VIWMA — opening any manholes in the territory. Persons found illegally opening and/or discharging of wastewater through manholes will be subject to a penalty of not less than $5,000 per violation.
The Authority’s environmental enforcement officers will continue to patrol and investigate the source of the illegally disposed wastewater and cooking oil.
Anyone with information can call the Environmental Enforcement Office on St. Thomas at 715-9100, on St. Croix at 712-4962 or report online at www.viwma.org: Report a Problem Module. To report an incident, residents are asked to take tag or license plate numbers or to discretely snap a picture and forward information to VIWMA for investigation.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications Management at 715-9145 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.