A “no drinking” advisory has been issued for the entire potable water system in St. Croix, USVI, advising residents to refrain from drinking tap water until it is confirmed as safe to consume.

The advisory was issued by USVI Governor Albert Bryan Jr., following recent water quality concerns in the region.

Just last week, tests conducted by agencies in the USVI, including WAPA, the Department of Natural Resources, and the University of the Virgin Islands, revealed that the “brown” pipe-borne water in St Croix contained elevated levels of copper and lead. This revelation prompted an initial advisory from WAPA, which included urging residents to let water run for a few minutes to flush out chemicals that might stem from stagnation, and the use of filters.

Residents were also cautioned against boiling the tap water, as this would not only be ineffective in removing the dangerous chemicals but also dissolve the compounds in the water more quickly.

The Governor’s advisory bolstered this warning and expanded precaution beyond the list of communities initially identified by WAPA.

Residents have been urged to use bottled water for all cooking and drinking purposes until further notice.

The “no drinking” advisory coincided with World Food Day 2023, which was observed under the theme “Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind”, aiming to bring attention to water’s role in sustaining life and the pressing issue of securing food sources.