St. Croix Tap Water Remains Unsafe To Drink As US Virgin Islands Seek Fix

"SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — With no date in sight for when it will be safe to drink tap water again on the island of St. Croix, officials in the U.S. Virgin Islands announced Wednesday night that they would distribute water filters and provide free lead and copper testing as they work on long-term solutions.

The newest measures were unveiled at a virtual town hall held months after people in St. Croix complained about red and brown water coming out of their taps. The complaints led to the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands to declare a state of emergency in November after an investigation found high levels of lead and copper. U.S. President Joe Biden also declared an emergency later that month.

Subsequent studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found lead levels at people’s homes were significantly lower than those reported previously at distribution meters. The agency said that of the 119 samples collected at nearly a dozen homes in St. Croix, only three samples showed levels higher than those recommended by the EPA, according to a report released in late December."

Dánica Coto reports for the Associated Press January 18, 2024.

Source: AP, 01/19/2024