Virgin Islands
Important Notice, September 2017: Hurricanes Irma and Maria have caused widespread damage in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We look forward to welcoming you back to our islands as soon as we can. Please follow the islands’ rebuilding and recovery on our VInow.com Recovery Blog.
VInow Logo
The Virgin Islands Best On-line Guide
Cruise Ship Schedule Ferry Schedule Forum

Katrice

Registered
02/18/2014

Posts
10

Drinking Water

February 20, 2014 04:56PM

We're renting a villa in Coral Bay this summer, and we were wondering whether the tap water in most villas is drinkable, or do most people buy bottled water to drink? Does the tap water come from cisterns, and if so, do the villas usually filter this water?

STT Resident

Registered
09/19/2005

Posts
3,293

Re: Drinking Water

February 20, 2014 05:44PM

Quote
Katrice
We're renting a villa in Coral Bay this summer, and we were wondering (1) whether the tap water in most villas is drinkable, (2) or do most people buy bottled water to drink? (3) Does the tap water come from cisterns, and if so, (4) do the villas usually filter this water?

1. Yes.
2. Some do.
3. Yes.
4. Some do, some don't.

That said, I've lived here for 30 years and have always drunk cistern water (unfiltered) except in one place where the water was potable (regularly tested by a lab) but I just didn't care for the taste so drank bottled water. Never heard of anyone getting sick from the water here but you can always check with the villa owner if you have any concerns.

exitninetyone

Registered
01/28/2014

Posts
19

Re: Drinking Water

March 08, 2014 08:40AM

You can drink the water, however, we buy gallons in STT at Food Center for like $1.39/gallon (this was last May). I just think it tastes better and it's nice to have cold gallons after a day of beaches & swimming.

lydiaH

Registered
06/09/2006

Posts
40

Re: Drinking Water

March 08, 2014 03:54PM

Water supplied by STT contains rust. It is supposed to be safe but the taste is terrible. We always buy bottled water. Cistern water is supposed to be rainwater and have no idea if safe or otherwise.

beachboy

Registered
06/01/2007

Posts
98

Re: Drinking Water

March 08, 2014 04:26PM

Lydia

Where in the world did you get rusty water in STT? That is a new one on me and I have been visiting for years and years.

STT Resident

Registered
09/19/2005

Posts
3,293

Re: Drinking Water

March 08, 2014 04:58PM

Quote
lydiaH
Water supplied by STT contains rust. It is supposed to be safe but the taste is terrible. We always buy bottled water. Cistern water is supposed to be rainwater and have no idea if safe or otherwise.

lydia, I've no idea from where you're getting your information but you really need to do some more basic research! As mentioned in an earlier post, I've lived in only one place here (and in 30 years I've moved around the island quite a bit) where the water just didn't taste good - and was once served tap water at a (very high end) restaurant which was unpalatable. I've never either seen or tasted rust in any water here. Cistern water is rainwater and (as touched upon earlier also) I've never either been personally sick or heard of anyone getting sick from it.

Federally mandated by the EPA under the Safe Water Act, all "public drinking facilities" (resorts, condo complexes, restaurants, schools, hospitals, etc. and even the waters which surround the islands) are tested monthly by a certified water testing lab ...

Maybe where you're staying, either the plumbing itself has rusted or you're supplied with desal water trucked in (the taste of which is "different" and one I don't care for) but it's fair to generalize that the water here is fresh, pure, clean, palatable and very safe to drink.

Alana33

Registered
07/01/2012

Posts
791

Re: Drinking Water

March 08, 2014 05:42PM

Most homes these days, especially vacation rentals, usually have water filtration systems.
Or you can buy bottled. Your choice.

lydiaH

Registered
06/09/2006

Posts
40

Re: Drinking Water

March 08, 2014 10:34PM

Quote
STT Resident
Quote
lydiaH
Water supplied by STT contains rust. It is supposed to be safe but the taste is terrible. We always buy bottled water. Cistern water is supposed to be rainwater and have no idea if safe or otherwise.

lydia, I've no idea from where you're getting your information but you really need to do some more basic research! As mentioned in an earlier post, I've lived in only one place here (and in 30 years I've moved around the island quite a bit) where the water just didn't taste good - and was once served tap water at a (very high end) restaurant which was unpalatable. I've never either seen or tasted rust in any water here. Cistern water is rainwater and (as touched upon earlier also) I've never either been personally sick or heard of anyone getting sick from it.

Federally mandated by the EPA under the Safe Water Act, all "public drinking facilities" (resorts, condo complexes, restaurants, schools, hospitals, etc. and even the waters which surround the islands) are tested monthly by a certified water testing lab ...

Maybe where you're staying, either the plumbing itself has rusted or you're supplied with desal water trucked in (the taste of which is "different" and one I don't care for) but it's fair to generalize that the water here is fresh, pure, clean, palatable and very safe to drink.

I stay at Bluebeards Castle and the "welcome" packet has a sheet advising the linens are clean even though they don't look it. Also stated that it is island wide that the water has rust. The entire complex was renovated over 3 years ago and ALL the pipes throughout the entire complex were replaced with the plastic piping. I called the general manager about it and he told me that it is island wide. No we do not have water trucked in, it comes from the water department or whatever you call it.

As far as water testing, water CAN have some rust and still be acceptable.

Edited to add:

Q. Are there standards which govern the allowable levels of iron in drinking water and is it a health concern?
A. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the federal government agency responsible for setting drinking water standards, which are enforced through the State Department of Environmental Protection. There are two categories of drinking water standards, primary and secondary. The primary standards protect drinking water by limiting levels of specific contaminants that can adversely affect public health. Secondary drinking water standards are guidelines regarding contaminants that may cause cosmetic (skin or tooth discoloration) or aesthetic (taste, odor color) effects. The EPA, through the Safe Drinking Water Act, has established a level of 0.3 milligrams per liter of iron as a secondary drinking water standard. At this level, a discoloration of the water will occur but the impact will be an aesthetic one, not a health threat.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/08/2014 10:47PM by lydiaH.

lydiaH

Registered
06/09/2006

Posts
40

Re: Drinking Water

March 08, 2014 11:19PM

I am NOT trying to cause any controversy on this topic. If you hold a white washcloth under a direct stream of cold water for maybe 10 minutes and it is still as white as the rest of the cloth then I guess you don't have rust. But do read the following link.

The following was published in the Virgin Island Daily News on October 11, 2013.

[m.virginislandsdailynews.com]
/brown-water-flows-from-tap-in-contant-n
eighborhood-homes-1.1566915

STT Resident

Registered
09/19/2005

Posts
3,293

Re: Drinking Water

March 09, 2014 07:39AM

The Contant area is in town and one which is supplied with piped water from WAPA, as is Bluebeard's. I vaguely remember the article you've mentioned (the link doesn't work) but this was an isolated incident.

Yes, I'm on cistern water as I've always been (and most are) and my washcloths remain white under running water directly from the faucet. It's just where you're staying, not an island-wide generality.


Join the discussion. Click the button below to Login or Register now!

Click here to login / Register

Stay up to date with news from VInow.
Sign up to receive Virgin Islands articles, updates and offers.


Advertise with Us

Join VInow.com Today!

Connect with travelers that are planning vacations right here, right now. More

Virgin Islands Moving Guides

Updated information dedicated to Moving and Living in the USVI.

VI Moving Center

Living in de V.I. DVD

Virgin Islands Shopping

The largest section of Virgin Islands Books & Souvenirs. Start planning today!

VITraders.com

Official Sponsor
Team Virgin Islands
X