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Due to the high volume of rainfall experienced in the U.S. Virgin Islands this week, as well as expected rainfall over the coming weekend, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources said on Friday that it anticipates negative environmental impacts will be caused by storm-water runoff, high surf zones and possible sewer system overflows.
Therefore, D.P.N.R. is advising the public to refrain from using any of the coastal waters throughout the territory until further notification after beach testing resumes next week. The department is also advising parents to instruct their children to keep away from storm water-impacted beaches as well as areas with manholes and storm water flooding. There may be an elevated health risk to anyone swimming in storm water-impacted areas as a result of increased concentrations of bacteria.
All persons should also be aware that storm water runoff may also contain contaminants or pollutants harmful to human health and therefore all persons should avoid areas of storm water runoff (i.e. guts, puddles, and drainage basins), D.P.N.R. said.
The department said it 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 or 774-3320 in St. Thomas.
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