WAPA Clarifies Misinformation Regarding Potable Water Lead Levels on St. Croix

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (“WAPA” or “Authority”) would like to address recent misinformation circulating about current lead levels in St. Croix’s potable water system. As much as we work closely with the media, it is important to ensure that information received and shared has been verified and from a credible source. We are encouraging all residents to verify the source and spread the facts.

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) conducted comprehensive sampling on October 20 and 21, 2023 and results demonstrated that water quality at Alfredo Andrews Elementary School, John Woodson Junior High School, Educational Complex High School, Mt. Pleasant Housing Community, and WAPA’s Entry Point Standpipe, were well below the lead action level, and in some cases undetectable.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) guidance indicates residents can continue to use potable water for bathing, flushing, laundering clothes, and cleaning without any danger of adverse effects. Residents, however, are asked not to consume or ingest the water, such as drinking or cooking.  For more information on EPA water use guidelines, we encourage the public to visit: https://www.epa.gov/groundwater-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water.

To ensure the information you are receiving is accurate, please visit the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority’s website at: https://www.viwapa.vi/stxwater.  Additional information can also be found at the Department of Health’s (DOH) website at: https://doh.vi.gov and the Joint Information Center (JIC) at: https://www.vi.gov/jic/.

In addition to the websites listed above, 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. Thomas.