Government of the Virgin Islands Completes Resampling of Concern Areas in St. Croix Water Distribution System

Sample results expected by the end of the week

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS— The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Joint Information Center is providing a critical update to the residents of the Virgin Islands community regarding the ongoing water quality situation in St. Croix.

Over the past week, the Virgin Islands Government has been working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to investigate the source of the contamination affecting our water supply.

We understand the profound concern this issue has raised among our residents, and other public officials and we want to assure the community that the health and safety of Virgin Islands residents remain our top priority.

Based on the extensive work carried out in collaboration with the EPA, it is our preliminary assessment that the lead and copper contamination source is unlikely to originate from the Water and Power Authority’s (WAPA)

water source. Instead, initial findings suggest that the problem is within the distribution system, specifically in the areas of concern identified last week. These areas remain Estates Castle Burke, Colquhoun, Diamond, and Mon bijou.

The administration has taken decisive action to address this situation with utmost urgency. During this past weekend, 74 samples were collected from the identified areas of concern.

In addition to the 10 samples collected last week, these samples have been promptly transported off-island by WAPA personnel to specialized laboratories in Puerto Rico and Florida. We anticipate receiving the results from the first batch of samples by the end of this week.

These test results are paramount, as they will enable us to assess the extent of the issue and determine the appropriate course of action. The findings will also guide us in determining whether the threshold for declaring a state of emergency has been met.The Virgin Islands Government is treating this matter as the emergency it is.

Three dedicated teams have been formed, meeting daily to address this situation comprehensively, consisting of a Technical Team, Public Information Team, and Joint Command Interagency Team led by the Commissioners of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) and the Department of Health.