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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 14, 2024


The Figtree Pump Station, which has been spewing two million gallons a day of raw sewage into the sea for more than a month, is back on line, according to Wayne Callwood, acting commissioner of the Department of Public Works.
The pump station shut down on Aug. 29 due to electrical problems and has been discharging raw sewage into Cane Garden Bay. The discharge occurred when two of the station’s three required pumps were out of order or being repaired. When the electronic equipment failed, the station’s lone working pump shut down, causing the discharge. The last working pump still hasn’t been repaired because the needed part must be shipped from England.
While the station was working Friday, it is only a temporary fix. According to Callwood, a temporary connection was carried out by using one of the station’s pumps. The electrical work was done by Triumpho Electric, which is owed some $40,000 for work already performed for the government, according to an individual familiar with the discharge problem.
In the meantime, Public Works is waiting for another contractor to put in place a six-inch diesel auxiliary pump to move sewage past the disabled pump station on to St. Croix’s wastewater treatment plant. However, because of other unpaid bills, the department hasn’t been able to secure a contractor to excavate the sewer line outside the pump station in order to install the pump.
The auxiliary diesel pump would allow crews to completely shut down the pump station in order to make permanent repairs. While Callwood didn’t give a timeline for the completion of repairs at the station, he advised the public to avoid the Cane Garden Bay area until the Department of Planning and Natural Resources conducts water testing.

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