Runoff Backup from VIWMA Treatment Plant Continues To Plague Roadway

Drainage backup at the Cruz Bay waste water treatment facility creates a mess near the entrance to The Marketplace.

In the wake of recent heavy rainfalls which drenched St. John, one high-traffic area of South Shore Road has yet to completely drain.

The drainage channel in front of the entrance to The Marketplace has been flooded for more than two weeks with brown, muddy water, deep potholes and high traffic making the area a mess for drivers and pedestrians alike.

While the water comes from the gut above The Marketplace, it is the backup at V.I. Waste Management Authority’s Cruz Bay waste water treatment plant that is causing the flooding on the road, according to a former Federal Highway Administration engineer.

“The drainage backup through the waste water plant site is causing the flooding in front of The Marketplace,” said Jerry Runyon. “I was under the impression that this gut outlet improvement was supposed to be done with the construction of the sewage treatment plant, but I guess was never included in their work.”

“This outlet is important to be kept clean and open as it is the upland area’s drainage basin main outlet,” said Runyon. “Blockage here affects both pedestrian and vehicle traffic causing hazardous conditions.”

Improvement to the gut has apparently been on the drawing board for years, but now is the perfect time to get the project completed, Runyon added.

“This is a long over-due project, which should have been made a part of the present stimulus project on Route 104,” said the former FHA engineer. “And, if not, it should be included with the ongoing project. With the ARRA stimulus package presently being administered though the Department of Public Works for the improvement of Route 104, this would be a good time to address this problem with two agencies — DPW and VIWMA — working together.”

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