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making wapa water drinkable  


Active Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 17
September 1, 2015 12:22 am  

Now that we are here on STX, several people have told us not to drink the WAPA water because of the age of the pipes through which it flows to our tap. I saw the article from a few years back about brown water in Contant. (!)

I am wondering if it is possible to make the WAPA water drinkable, and if so, how?

Ideally, I'd love a recent diagnosis of what the water contains (lead percentage, bacteria?, etc.) so that I would feel confident that whatever remedy is recommended, it would really be doing its job.

Is there a water-testing service at the University? In Colorado we could send water to a university extension office for testing for our individual homes' water supplies. I know that this is not CO; I'm just explaining the context for my thinking and questions.

Even if I boil the water, if there is lead in it, I shouldn't be giving that to my kids, right?

Thanks for the help and perspective!

Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 668
September 1, 2015 12:40 am  

st thomas water 2014

Other than gross inefficiency I have no idea why only the STT/STJ 2014 report is available. You can always go to WAPA and ask for the STX 2014 report

Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2138
September 1, 2015 1:14 am  

These guys do water testing:

St X
 St X
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 133
September 1, 2015 1:24 am  

There is a water testing facility on St Croix. I think it's $40 per sample or something like that. The office is located in a very un-officey looking white house on the north side of Northside rd across from the Lyme/old Nissan dealership (how's that for directions?)
They can test the water straight from your taps to see what you're dealing with.
We use a rain fed cistern with sediment filters, charcoal, and UV filtration to treat our cistern water. We have a WAPA water line that can fill the cistern (slooooowly) if needed.
If you don't have a cistern, maybe you could set up a filtration system under a sink so that you have good water for cooking and drinking.
You can also buy 5 gallon jugs at Kmart and fill them with "Rainmaker" water in front of most grocery stores for $3/5gal if you don't trust WAPA water.
Who knows? Maybe your pipes and water are fine just the way they are.

Advanced Member
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 49
September 1, 2015 2:59 am  

Re: "Even if I boil the water, if there is lead in it, I shouldn't be giving that to my kids, right?"

I wouldn't. It's often argued there is no safe level of lead in water. Boiling water doesn't remove compounds containing heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic or mercury. Distilling water is a different story but will also remove beneficial minerals.

$40 for water testing, as mentioned here, is money well spent. The human body is over 60% H2O for adults and over 70% H2O for infants.

Advanced Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 320
September 1, 2015 11:06 am  

The basic test offered by Ocean Systems Lab measures the turbidity and PH of the water and checks for the presence of coliform and E.coli bacteria in the sample. I believe that they can test for other things but they have to send the sample to a lab in the states with substantial additional costs involved.

Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2575
September 1, 2015 11:55 am  

The water is fine. No worse than any other jurisdiction in the US mainland.

Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 8792
September 1, 2015 12:31 pm  


we have never had the water tested. we drink it and we seem to be fine-so far

Active Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 17
September 1, 2015 6:20 pm  

Thanks for the information.

Test the water. Check.

Filter if need be. Check.

Good to hear about all the filtration methods: charcoal, uv, sediment filters. Check.

Onward and upward.

Thanks for helping us out, guys! The community here is wonderful.

Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 170
September 3, 2015 7:08 pm  

My Brita removes most of the brown that is suspected to be from galvanized pipes in a lot of the older condos, but I the creepier stuff probably that more than a simple filter. Post Brita I still generally prefer the taste of cistern water

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