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HomeNewsArchivesBrief: Broken Water Main Spews Mud into Charlotte Amalie Harbor

Brief: Broken Water Main Spews Mud into Charlotte Amalie Harbor

Sept. 11, 2007 — A ring of muddy water surrounded part of Charlotte Amalie harbor Tuesday morning as a broken water main littered the bay with fill eroded from underneath the waterfront apron and ruptured sections of the dock.
The water main pipe, which transmits water to sections of Charlotte Amalie and the surrounding area, had deteriorated because of environmental conditions, mainly the prevalence of salt in the air and the pipe's close proximity to the ocean, according to Michael Quetel, the V.I. Water and Power Authority's superintendent of water distribution.
The apron was built decades ago with spoils dredged from the Charlotte Amalie harbor, Quetel explained. Once the main burst, the fill eroded, dumping the earth back into the bay, he said.
Though the conditions are not ideal for marine life, there is no immediate danger to residents, Quetel said.
WAPA water-maintenance crews were still repairing the 24-inch main water line late Tuesday afternoon, according to a WAPA news release. Repairs were expected to be completed late Tuesday.
"Water technicians have set up a bypass system, so water customers in the immediate area will likely not experience service interruption," the release said. "Customers at higher elevations — particularly those located at the eastern part of downtown Charlotte Amalie — may experience variable pressure while repairs are underway."
Water service for WAPA customers on St. Thomas’ East End was expected to be interrupted until after repairs were complete, because the bypass pump station serving the East End was affected by the repairs being made downtown.
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