DPNR: Cabrita condos not responsible for pond's pink hue
Published: October 31, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - The Department of Planning and Natural Resources on Tuesday investigated further into the East End's pink salt pond and found that the Cabrita Point condominiums does not own the irrigation system that is responsible for the water's unusual tint.
The pond is next to the condominiums, but the condo association is not responsible for the pink color.
Cabrita Services was hired by the Marriott Vacation Club to operate a reverse osmosis plant and a sewage treatment plant on a vacant lot next to the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas.
Cabrita Services provides water and sewage treatment to the Cabrita Condo Association for a monthly fee.
The reverse osmosis plant discharges high salinity water into the salt pond.
The sewage treatment plant has a grey water system, which is supposed to be used for irrigation, but the grey water has been running into the pond, Cabrita Condo Association manager Peter McCharles said.
Monday, DPNR Division of Environmental Protection Director David Simon said the unusual color is the result of an algae bloom - caused by the grey water runoff - coupled with the pond water's high salinity.
Monday, Simon said he believed the condo association was responsible for the pink water by moving the irrigation system without telling DPNR.
"After our due diligence, we found the real owners of the facility," DPNR spokesman Jamal Nielsen said Tuesday.
Simon said Tuesday that he is trying to contact Cabrita Services.
No citations or notice of violations have been issued yet, Simon said.
McCharles said the pond has never turned pink before.
Of the 32 units, about half overlook the pond, he said.
"We used to have ducks floating around on the pond, and now they're gone," McCharles said.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.