St. Thomas residents who use water from the Water and Power Authority have been told to boil water for the next 48 hours as a safety precaution.
WAPA issued the boil-water advisory Saturday morning.
Under the advisory, the utility recommends that water be boiled rapidly for at least one minute before being consumed to eliminate any possible bacteria that may be present. During the 48 hours of this advisory, water that has not been boiled should not be used for drinking, making infant formulas and juices, cooking, making ice, washing fruits and vegetables or brushing teeth.
The utility also urged customers to discard all ice made previously, and disinfect ice cube trays.
WAA added a reminder, that If there are children in the home, adults should place the pot on the back burner to avoid spills and scalds. Boil only as much water in a pot as you can comfortably lift without spilling, the warning added.
A common cause of bacteria in water occurs when there is a loss of pressure in a water distribution system, as occured on St. Thomas over the last several weeks. While loss of pressure does not necessarily mean that water has been contaminated, it does mean that potential impurities in contact with water supply plumbing may be able to enter into the system and be carried to consumers.
The Authority’s microbiology water quality teams are in the field monitoring the system for irregularities. The public will be updated, within 48 hours, regarding WAPA’s system monitoring evaluation, the statement concluded.