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The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded $2.8 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands to repair and harden the Lagoon Street Pump Station force main sewer line, the federal agency announced via release Friday.
FEMA said strong winds and torrential rain from hurricanes Irma and Maria damaged Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA) facilities throughout the territory. Rainwater and surface runoff surcharged the collection system causing excessive flows of wastewater through the Lagoon Street Pump Station force main sewer line.
According to the release, the additional pumping necessary to manage high levels of sewage and stormwater weakened and ruptured the force main, resulting in sewage spills affecting 1,224 customers and negatively impacting the surrounding environment.
Initial repairs to the system have been completed, which included replacing approximately 1,286 linear feet of damaged sewer pipe, FEMA said.
Additional work is scheduled to begin in early 2020 to reroute and reline sections of the pipe, improving the system’s structural integrity. Hardening the system will ensure that excess flow does not compromise the system during future events, enabling VIWMA to meet permit requirements and protect public health.
In total, FEMA has awarded nearly $15 million in funds to VIWMA to cover costs related to hurricanes Irma and Maria, the federal agency said.
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