Back To School With Nothing To Drink

In Detroit, MI, students were welcomed back to school but they were unable to drink from the water fountains!

Detroit Public Schools Community District shut off drinking water at all of the schools after testing revealed that 16 schools had elevated levels of lead and/or copper.  Superintendent Nikolai Vitti ordered testing of all schools this spring, after tests in 2016 found elevated levels of the metals. Initial results for 24 schools returned last week found 16 had levels higher than acceptable, he said in the emailed letter. All water sources, including drinking fountains and sinks, were tested. Water is still available for hand washing and toilet flushing.  I guess it’s a good idea to wash your hands in “lead and/or copper.”

Before we delve into Detroit, we wanted to take a look at the history of the drinking fountain.  Here is an article from the Washington Post (July 2015):

The modern era’s first free public water fountain was unveiled in London in 1859. Thousands gathered to watch officials turn on the tap. At its peak, about 7,000 people used the fountain each day. At that time, the rich were buying water brought in from the country. The poor were drinking water bottled from the sewage-infested Thames. Water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid were rampant.

One’s wealth or status should have nothing to do with their availability to safe drinking water.  This is particularly true when we talk about those who are most vulnerable, our young children, who drink out of trust.

Those of us who went to school in the 1960s and 1970s, remember drinking from a fountain without a thought that what we might be drinking was harmful.  Today, we cannot give those same assurances to students.  In Boston, there was a scandal related to high levels of lead and copper found in public drinking water supplies.  Now Detroit …  this is truly unacceptable.   Water, clean water,  is a required staple for a good education and our public water systems have failed us in this area.

Let us celebrate the return of kids to school by sending them off with  safe water that nourishes both their mind and body.  We should not assume that the bubblers in the school halls are sufficient when we have data that says that it may not even be safe in our own homes.

What Are You Drinking? We Need To Know

Each day we search for good news … news that nourishes our minds as much as our bodies.  With that said, we also have to tell you the reality of today … people have the capacity to lie!

People know the potential dangers of treated water (what are they putting in our drinking water), so they assume that what is coming from the well has to be safe.  Think again!

In Kansas, the state allowed residents in two Wichita-area neighborhoods to drink contaminated water for years without telling them, despite warning signs of contamination close to water wells used for drinking, washing and bathing.  What?

During a study for a real estate project, the state actually found dry cleaning chemicals (perchloroethylene) had leached into the ground water but said nothing about it to people who were getting their water from wells.  They did not notify the surrounding areas to allow people to test the water themselves.  But did they have an obligation to tell those citizens who were off the water grid to check their own water sources?  We say YES!  However, residents found out 7 years after those tests that their water was polluted.  7 years!!!  7 days would have been an outrage

So what is the priority, the safety of the people or the businesses who dumped the chemicals?  According to the Wichita Eagle:

“The Kansas Drycleaner Environmental Response Act was passed at the request of the dry cleaning industry to protect the small businesses from the potentially crippling cost of federal involvement. The Environmental Protection Agency, through its Superfund program, can pay to clean up water pollution and then bill any and all companies ever associated with the property to recover its money. Cleaning up pollution can easily cost millions of dollars; state law limits the liability of a dry cleaning shop to $5,000.”

We are not looking for government solutions but instead are looking for government honesty.  We know that there are challenges to providing clean water with a growing population … what we call “prosperity.”  We get it!   But we do not deserve to be lied to, particularly by public officials.  We deserve information to make our choices and when we are deceived we make poor decisions … we act blindly.
We at Boston Clear read about these situations and want to react.  We aspire to provide clean water to our residents not only to help them, but to assure them that someone is looking out for them.  Our customers have grown to rely on us for delivering water that makes us all better.  We plan on delivering on that promise for years to come.
The earth has given this beautiful spring to us and we return it to you.  Whether you are on well water or city water, come to our spring and taste, experience, the difference in what water can make in your life.
We have a truck ready to roll!  So many places, so many needs.

 

Holding Public Officials Accountable For Clean Water

If the water crisis in Flint, Michigan taught us one thing, it was that we simply do no know what we are drinking out of the faucet.  But when the water has contaminates in it, who should be held responsible and how to they go about cleaning it up?

In Flint, the courts are getting involved and prosecutors are bringing cases against public officials for their role in supplying dirty water to residents.  As with many cases of corruption, it is not going to be about the people who contaminated the water, that occurred over a long period of neglect, it is going to be about the person who found out about it and covered it up.  In Michigan, public officials are concerned that they could be held accountable by our judicial system for their neglect.  It would send a strong message.

According to a report in the USA Today, an outbreak of Legionnaires in disease in Michigan killed 12 people as a result of contamination in the water supply:

Legionella bacteria can emerge through misting and cooling systems, triggering a severe form of pneumonia, especially in people with weakened immune systems. The state says there were 90 cases reported to Genesee County Health Department in 2014-15, including 12 deaths. More than half of the people had a common thread: They spent time at McLaren Hospital, which was on the Flint water system.

Our guess is that you have no idea who is in charge of the water supply that feeds your city water supply, their credentials, the treatment facility protocol, the chemical process they use to treat the water and the condition of the pipes that deliver the water to your tap.  It makes you want to go grab a bottled water, but hold on!

Things that we take for granted in life are some of the things that we need to question most.  According to American Prospect, 2015 study by the American Water Works Association found that if federal recommendations on water monitoring were actually followed, as many as 70 percent of water systems relying on lead service lines could be found to be unsafe … In some cases, utilities have failed to keep records of where lead service lines are even located.

Your water supply is important and the more you know about your water, the more you can make decisions about how it interacts with your family’s life.  We should all demand more from our officials, first by having them tell us what is in the water that we are drinking, then asking what actions are taking place to improve it.

The way that we hold people accountable in service to the public is to first find out what they are doing.  Sadly, that is where many citizens fall short.  However, it is easily remedied with a few properly placed questions.

What’s in your water?  Check out Environmental Working Group, a non-profit group whose mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. We have no affiliation with the group but we have found their information very valuable, particularly their blogs on water.  EWG has done extensive analysis on water throughout the country and can provide an independent report on water in your area.  Check it out.

Get information about your water source …. then come to our spring and be confident that our water is the best you can get.