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I KNOW This ain't Mexico, but...

Posts: 41
Eminent Member
Topic starter

Did anyone have trouble adjusting to the food and water when coming to STX (stomach issues).......just wondering, and again NO DISRESPECT! *-)

Posted : March 24, 2010 11:28 pm
Posts: 396
Reputable Member

Well, sort of. I have a famously tender stomach but I've NEVER had a serious problem with local food, even at the Ag fair or LaReine Chicken shack. (pleasantly surprised!) But the mold that grows in A/Cs and in tightly sealed and/or damp buildings will put me out of commission for several days. My wife and I slipped up with ice in our drinks in Caracas several years ago and experienced the stomach blues so we know it when it strikes.

Posted : March 25, 2010 12:24 am
Posts: 2138
Noble Member

WAPA water is supposed to be safe to drink. Cistern water is safe if treated properly, but ask at each house you visit. They won't be offended. When in doubt, go with bottled.

Posted : March 25, 2010 12:47 am
Posts: 17
Active Member

do alot of people use brita/pur/zero water filters or filter picthers down there, or even reverse osmosis systems to purify the water? I went to college in central illinois and we used well water for drinking water and had to use brita/pur filters for drinking water otherwise we would get stomach issues drinking unfiltered tap water...

Posted : March 25, 2010 12:58 am
Posts: 2138
Noble Member

I think Brita assumes your water is already safe to drink. They just make it taste better.

I've heard of R/O filters at some of the larger institutions on island, but I don't think it's common at individual residences.

Our well water is brackish (in Salt River, so why not?) and has nasty Pseudomonas bacteria http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudomonas, so we only use it for irrigation. Other well water elsewhere on STX may be better.

We have cistern water with 2 sediment filters and a UV purifier. It works well. We have the water tested regularly.

Posted : March 25, 2010 1:25 am
Posts: 988
Prominent Member

We're about to install a Reverse Osmosis system under the sink in Carambola, StX
Many people here have them. Not expensive. About $300.
Brita filters didn't do a good enough job.
RO will pay for itself over time, compared to Brita filters or buying bottled water.

Posted : March 25, 2010 1:33 am
Posts: 704
Honorable Member

I've been using a British Berkefeld water filter for the past 7 years in Eastern Europe. As in VI, water quality varies by location.

They are issued to all Peace Corps Volunteers here. There has never been a problem reported with water-borne infections when the filter is used.

Lowest price is just over $200. Stainless, produces 24 gallons per day.


Posted : March 25, 2010 3:08 am
Posts: 2104
Noble Member

Stick with the bottled or purified water. When I go out to eat, although it drives my SO nuts, I first check the restroom for cleanliness, soap and hot water. If it's gross, I pass and move one. Auto-immune condition.

Posted : March 25, 2010 11:09 am
Posts: 539
Honorable Member

imij, when I first moved here 5 years ago I had terrible stomach problems. I wasn't drinking the water but was eating out. I started eating Imodium AD like candy which helps. If we had visitors from the states come down I would ask them to bring me Imodium. LOL!
It has gotten better, not sure if your system gets use to it or what. I think eating yogurt helps. I still drink bottled water wherever I go and at home, I just don't chance it.

Posted : March 25, 2010 1:24 pm
Posts: 531
Honorable Member

We use a filter pitcher that we store in the fridge. Then, I fill my reusable Nalgene bottle before leaving for work, beach, running errands. The plastic bottles of water are evil for the landfills.

I think WAPA water is fine, haven't drank too much cistern water.

Posted : March 25, 2010 2:10 pm
Posts: 421
Reputable Member

I've looked at the cistern - even after it had been cleaned and resurfaced. It's a huge cellar. It scares me.
I see the birds in and around the gutters. ICK.
I wouldn't drink cistern water, OR bathe in it (not that we have a tub anyways)

If we had an RO I would feel comfortable drinking from the faucet again. WOW, that would be something !

Posted : March 25, 2010 9:08 pm
Posts: 2473
Noble Member

Our cistern water goes through a 20 micron particle filter, then a 5 micron particle filter, then a charcoal filter, then a UV filter, then to the house supply.

Posted : March 25, 2010 9:19 pm
Posts: 277
Reputable Member

It really depends on a place. Our cistern water goes through nothing. Then we use a pitcher-style filter on it. It's been 6 months and so far my family is ok - no stomach issues. I suppose it may be dumb luck, or may be those brita filters actually do what they advertise.

The worst problem is algae that can grow in cistern water even after it is filtered, if you leave it to stand for a while (not entirely surprising as it is not chlorinated).

Posted : March 26, 2010 12:28 am
Posts: 3919
Famed Member

Drinking cistern water is a hot button issue around here. We've been here 6 years and use our cistern water for everything without problems. But I also have friends who bring their own water when they visit and will not drink ours. No worries, it's all good.

Posted : March 26, 2010 11:06 am
Posts: 396
Reputable Member

You should have your drinking water checked regularly, whether it comes from the cistern or not. Some of the lowest quality water on the island comes from the bottled water distributors. Also, I meant to amend my comment above to say that water in soda fountains has been known to be tainted.

A friend used to conduct spot checks on restaurants and water distributors and the results were sickening, literally. Do not assume that water in bottles or jugs is better or cleaner than cistern water.

Posted : March 26, 2010 5:29 pm
Posts: 3111
Famed Member

Are you talking about locally bottled water or any bottled water? What about brands like Niagra or Zepherhills?

Posted : March 26, 2010 6:30 pm
Posts: 396
Reputable Member

Hi Juanita,

I meant the locally bottled water, but it might be wise to check on some of the bottled waters that one buys by the case. I've bought a few cases of the cheaper stuff that has tasted suspicious...I opted to water plants with it rather than give it to the kids. (nb: plants didn't die, fwiw)

Posted : March 26, 2010 8:13 pm
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