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drinking water

Kalispell
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408 posts
23 reviews
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drinking water

Are there any concerns involving drinking water quality on St. John? I haven't read any posts indicating that you shouldn't drink the water.

Holland, MI
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1,224 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: drinking water

The drinking water in town is fine to drink but most villas have only cistern water and that's not something that should be considered potable IMHO. Some of the high end villas have there own processing system that purifies the water and then you've fine with tap water. If you villa doesn't have such a system buy bottled water.

North Georgia
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70 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: drinking water

Regarding drinking water, how expensive is bottled water on St. John and how readily available is it?

I'll be staying in a villa for my honeymoon (don't think it had a water purification system -- will sure check), and we'll want to have ready access to lots of drinking water.

Thanks!

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas
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3,212 posts
180 reviews
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3. Re: drinking water

Perhaps posters don't talk about the drinking water quality because they are not water supply and sanitation specialists...it's easy to give advice about where to stay and where to snorkel, but if you don't know the facts about the water, you really can't say...

First of all the Virgins are US territories and as such pretty much meet the standards we have here for ws&s. Although nearby Puerto Rico gets a lot of rain (due to higher elevations/rainforest areas) and has many rivers that supply water for drinking purposes, this is not the case with the Virgins. There are no rivers or lakes in the Virgins and the highest elevation is about 1,500 feet, making for occasional and sometimes serious draughts. Water is precious in the Virgins, so visitors ought to keep that in mind when visiting the islands.

About 65% of the fresh water supply in the Virgins is provided by energy-consumptive desalinated seawater, making it the most expensive publicly supplied water in the United States. And all the fossil fuel used for the desalination of seawater has to be imported. Some water is also supplied by rooftop catchments, similar to those used in Bermuda. In some cases in the past ground water wells provided some of the drinking water, but the major well in the Tutu area of St. Thomas was found to contain contaminants years ago from petrochemicals and other chemicals. The well was closed down, but people who had been exposed to it are at a risk of developing disease. This is a situation that pertains almost exclusively to residents on the island. Exposure would not be significant unless it occurred regularly over many years -- in this case it was thought to be about 20 years.

In any case, one of the ways in which this was remedied was to supply clean drinking water (trucked in from water supply/filtering systems and stored in cisterns).

You should have no problem drinking the water in St. John. However, if you buy bottled water that has been imported, then you help save the local water for the local people who may not be able to afford bottled water. This is the only reason to avoid drinking the water.

Also, consider the scarcity of the water when taking showers, etc. Some folks complain on this forum that they can't get a good shower because the water flow is so weak at some hotels or they complain that the electricity goes off intermittently. It is important to

remember that these are more precious commodities in the islands, although we take such conveniences for granted.

I've been going to St. John for 25 years, drinking the water, and enjoying every single minute I spend on that island. Have fun!

North Georgia
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70 posts
4 reviews
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4. Re: drinking water

Thanks for the in-depth reply -- much appreciated. Having an answer from an informed source is invaluable.

Thanks again!

5. Re: drinking water

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