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Welcome to PIWater.org.

The simple goal of this website is to be a source of information about drinking water on Prudence Island. However, the underlying purpose is to make the Prudence Island Water District’s public drinking water adhere to the standards its customers want, at a price we are willing to pay.

Boil Water Advisory

We don’t like the Boil Water Orders (as seen above) due to coliform bacteria, but we want a cost-effective solution.

Bucket of water, from PI in the dead of summer 2017, before typical homeowner sediment filtering

We don’t like the iron (seen above) in the water, but we want to know how expensive it would be to remove it.

We actually know that the root cause of many of our problems is in the wells. The iron that pervades the system comes from the depths of Indian Spring Well #4, but in the summer, we have no other suitable source of water. Coliform can come from anywhere, including wells, leaks, and other possible vectors, but we have no system in place to kill it. While we don’t have simple answers to the deeper problems, we’re looking for them.

The PIWD is attempting to drill better holes in the island, as this will make the other challenges simpler, but many locations cannot be drilled due to DEM, conservation easements, nearby septic systems, or simple lack of fresh water at the bottom. This is still being figured out, but it is being worked on.

One of the first tasks the public should undertake is putting the right people on the Prudence Island Water District Board of Directors, a.k.a. the “water board”. The water board controls the water company and the budget. We need people who share the same forward-looking goals on that board. 2019 was an election year for two of the board seats, and election turnout was low (the one vacated seat was filled by a write-in candidate that racked up 4 votes). Attending one of the board meetings is probably the best way to learn about the talent and character of the members. Some work very hard. Some know a lot about water. Most live on Prudence and drink the water. It’s important to have people on the board who know what to do, but also how to get it done on Prudence Island.

One of the big issues is that the PIWD has a commitment to the state to implement a Cross Connection Control Plan. The required steps are detailed in a consent order signed with Rhode Island Department of Health. It’s extremely complex for such a small system, infeasible perhaps, but in all fairness to the water board, they don’t like it either. Perhaps it’s time for the public to help the water board take a more constructive path, or apply pressure to the government as necessary.

This website hosts a lot of verifiable source material, however it also mixes facts and opinions liberally. You owe it to yourself, as someone who depends on drinking water to live and thrive, to separate fact from fiction. Check our facts, ask us questions, and take your stand! If you want to know the truth about Prudence Island water, or at least learn where to find the truth, this web site is for you.