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David Fedeles Winter Newsletter
Calabash Boom Proves More of a Fizzle
Developer, Local Activists Spar Over Vessup, Muller Bay Plans
St. John Properties
Court Authorized Sale of Certain Assets of the Pond Bay Club, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
US Virgin Island Real Estate Looking To Bounce Back From 2008 Crash
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April 02, 2007

Relocating to the U.S. Virgin Islands: Services - Water, Garbage, Power and Gas

Household water is generally provided by rainfall collected in cisterns. Each house has a cistern built into the basement level of the house. Water is collected on the roof, fed into the cistern and pumped into the house. For drinking water, many people purchase bottled water or install a water filtration device on their sink and/or between the cistern and their water pump. During dry spells it may be necessary to purchase additional water. A large full truck of water is just over 5,000 gallons and costs about $285. The only exceptions to this method are in downtown locations that are connected to public water (WAPA).

There is no household garbage pickup in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each household is responsible for taking their garbage to public dumpsters located in most neighborhoods throughout the islands. Public Works empties each dumpster regularly. Recycling is possible but not prevalent on the islands - private companies offer drop spots for recyclable waste.

Electricity is provided by the U.S.V.I. Water and Power Authority (WAPA). Electricity is 110/120 volts, so no conversion is needed for plugs of standard U.S. appliances. Power occasionally and unexpectedly goes out in the U.S.V.I. (usually only briefly, but sometimes for an entire evening), so flashlights, candles and a gas stove or grill are always good to have on hand during those times. Itís also advisable to use surge protectors on all electronic equipment.

Although there are no natural gas pipelines, gas appliances use bottled propane gas, which is available from private suppliers (at approximately $60. a tank).

In general, water and power are two things you can count on paying much more for in the Virgin Islands than in the U.S. However, you will never have a winter heating bill, and if you live on a hillside, you may also never need air conditioning or to buy water. If you are very energy conscious and/or on a budget, seek a location for your home or apartment that is known to have good rainfall and is as high up a hillside as possible (there two things usually go hand in hand - the rise in elevation means cooler aire, which also leads to condensation and more rain - of course you may then have mold problems...).


Coldwell Banker, Stout Realty, St. Thomas


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