The Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ Division of Environmental Protection tests water quality weekly at 43 popular swimming beaches throughout the territory under the Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program.
On St. John Cruz Bay has failed to meet quality standards for swimming or fishing for two weeks in a row, on July 17 and July 24. Persistent rain over the past few weeks might be responsible for the water quality, and DPNR officials are also looking at nearby construction sites, explained the department’s spokesperson Jamal Nielsen.
“There has been a lot of rain so it seems the problem could be from runoff,” said Nielsen. “We’re going to go out to construction sites in the area to make sure they all using best management practices to protect the bay. We’re going to take a further look at the construction sites out there.”
During the testing for the week of July 20 through 24, the beaches which met water quality standards and are safe for swimming or fishing on St. John are: Oppenhiemer; Chocolate Hole; Klain Bay; Hart Bay; Frank Bay; Great Cruz Bay; and Johnson’s Bay.
Beaches throughout the territory which also failed water quality tests last week were Coki Point on St. Thomas and Rainbow on St. Croix.
DPNR will continue to monitor the impacted areas and waters. For additional information regarding water quality call the Division of Environmental Protection at 773-1082 in St. Croix.