Sewer-Main Collapse Creates Health Hazard, Traffic Delays

Feb. 24, 2009 — A failed main poses a health hazard and has forced the V.I. Waste Management Authority to take the LBJ Pump Station off line, according to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.
The failed section of the force main is located in the middle of the eastbound lane at the traffic light at the Golden Rock shopping center. The aged ductile iron pipeline collapsed Sunday afternoon, according to VIWMA. At 3:30 p.m. the agency diverted the wastewater flow to sea over Long Reef to reduce the impact to the adjacent neighborhood and to prevent sewer overflows in Christiansted town and surrounding areas.
The lift station was taken offline to stop sewage from flowing into the adjacent JFK Housing Community and as a means to reduce the sewage flow in the line.
Currently, no sewage is in the affected area.
Replacement of 260 feet of sewer pipe began Tuesday. During the construction, the turning lane at the Golden Rock intersection adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Housing Community was closed. Motorists are asked to slow speed, use caution, and adhere to the traffic safety directions.
DPNR is advising the general public to avoid the areas around the affected force main and at Long Reef, where the pipeline exits. Children and adults with compromised immune systems should avoid those areas and impacted beaches, DPNR advised.
Standing or running water in these areas might contain contaminants or pollutants harmful to human health. DPNR will continue to monitor the impacted area. Signs will be posted on the beach reminding people to avoid the Long Reef and adjacent beach areas until the force main is back in service.
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