Commissioner Jean-Pierre L. Oriol of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources-Division of Environmental Protection (DPNR-DEP) advises the public of the following important drinking water information:
1) Cisterns should be disinfected by adding six fluid ounces of liquid bleach containing 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite (i.e. Clorox) for every 1,000 gallons of water into the cistern. A period of at least six hours per 10,000 gallons should be allowed for the chlorine to react with the water before the water is consumed.
Smaller quantities of water may be utilized for drinking if boiled for at least four to six minutes or sterilized with eight to 10 drops of liquid chlorine, containing 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite per gallon of water.
2) Water collected in small quantities should be stored in a sterilized, sealed, preferably glass container, which has previously held only drinking water. This water may be utilized for drinking if:
A) it is boiled for at least four to six minutes. After boiling, pour immediately into a sterilized (clean) glass or plastic container and cover with a screw cap. Refrigerate if possible — after cooling.
B) eight to ten drops of liquid bleach containing 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite (i.e. Clorox) are added for each gallon of water. The bottle should be well mixed (shaken); allow thirty (30) minutes to elapse before consuming.
For additional information regarding water quality, call the Division of Environmental Protection at 773-1082 on St. Croix or 774-3320 on St. Thomas.