U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — In a decisive effort to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our community, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. announced today that the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) is issuing a “no drinking or consumption” advisory for the potable water system on the island of St. Croix. This precautionary measure is in response to recent testing that identified elevated levels of copper and lead within certain areas of the potable water distribution system.
Governor Bryan underscored that this advisory has been issued out of an abundance of caution while WAPA and the Government of the Virgin Islands collaborate with its partners at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review, confirm, and validate the testing protocols to ensure the utmost accuracy and the safety of our residents.
On Saturday, October 14, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority notified the St. Croix community that potable water sampling revealed elevated levels of lead and copper in 35 of 66 samples collected.
While most of the community does not consume potable water, the four locations that had elevated levels following the sampling were Estates Diamond, Castle Burke, Colquhoun and Mon Bijou.
The health and safety of the Virgin Islands community is the Bryan-Roach Administration’s paramount concern, and the Governor has taken immediate action to ensure seamless coordination among responsible agencies. To this end, an incident command has been established to oversee the situation and ensure effective communication and action among all involved entities. The first order of business will be to validate the testing results and put in place measures to protect public health in the affected areas as necessary.
“We are fully dedicated to keeping our community informed and protected,” Governor Bryan said. “Regular updates will be shared with the media and the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands as we work together to resolve this issue.”
In the interim, WAPA has implemented a more rigorous flushing regimen to address the affected areas of the potable water distribution system. This proactive step is intended to rectify the problematic conditions and ensure that the water supply meets the highest safety standards.
The VI Department of Health is advising the St. Croix community of the following:
- Do not consume potable water: Until we can confirm that the water is safe, we strongly advise against drinking potable water or using it for cooking.
- Use alternative water sources: Please use bottled water or water from a known safe source for drinking and cooking.
The U.S. Virgin Islands community is encouraged to stay informed through official channels and to follow any guidance provided by local authorities to ensure their safety during this period.
The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure, and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit transparency.vi.gov