WAPA Removes Waterline Components on St. Croix for Lead Testing and Replacement

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – As part of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority’s (“WAPA” or “Authority”) commitment to addressing the presence of high lead levels in specific areas on St. Croix, yesterday, WAPA in collaboration with VI Paving completed exploratory digging in the Strawberry Hill area.  

During this process, several components of the existing water pipeline were safely removed and have been set aside for lead testing.  In addition, a new service line with all lead-free components was installed.  Following these new replacements, the Authority will undertake additional testing to identify whether lead levels have returned to below action level or undetectable.  This new pilot program, which began in Estate Strawberry Hill, is part of the Authority’s aggressive plan to prioritize the replacement of aging water service lines in areas with high levels of concerns.  The Authority plans to extend this program to all neighborhoods that have exhibited high lead presence in their water supply.

To further expedite the replacement of these key water infrastructure components, WAPA is partnering with additional contractors and working closely with various agencies and the Office of the Governor to ensure that impacted areas are promptly addressed.

The Authority will continue to ensure residents are informed and involved every step of the way providing regular updates as data collection, testing, and replacements continue.  We want to assure the community that the Authority and its local and federal partners are dedicated to ensuring the safety and quality of water across the territory.

There are two Department of Health hotlines available for residents to call from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with health concerns related to lead in potable water. Individuals may call 340-712-6299 or 340-776-1519. The Department of Planning and Natural Resources also operates a hotline number related to concerns on sampling, 340-514-3666, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Department of Health also advises the community that testing for lead exposure is available at the Clinical Laboratory Inc. at Sunny Isle Medical Center on St. Croix and the St. Thomas East End Medical Center at Tutu Park Mall on St.

For more information please visit, www.viwapa.vi/stxwater.