Time to rethink water treatment
I – and thousands of others – would appreciate articles in our local paper, bringing awareness to the massive social issues of “what is happening with food production” and with the “preservation of clean water” in this country.
If we don’t start focusing in a big way on issues that truly matter to our quality of life – to the very sustainment of life – it really won’t matter what new development is going up or what local business is closing down.
For decades, White Rock residents have enjoyed pristine water from underground rock-filtered aquifers. Since the water utility was negligent in maintaining their storage containers, it has now been decreed that everyone gets to bathe in and drink chemically treated water – another chemical burden our bodies are expected to tolerate.
We are losing all the amazing aspects of the clean and natural world in which humans evolved, and being immersed in artificially and chemically manipulated ways of being. But if we just don our little pink ribbons and donate more money to “research,” all will be well because after all, that’s “progress.”
The reason for my letter is to urge you to bring more stories on the above-noted topics to the fore in the Peace Arch News. It seems that major newspapers in North America are highlighting this issue and I truly hope that you will consider the same.
Jenny Krizak, Surrey
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Re: Years without chlorination, Feb. 12 letters.
David Poole’s letter failed to provide valid information regarding the safety of White Rock’s drinking water.
Good information and not statements designed to instill fear are what White Rock residents deserve.
It is disingenuous to associate the tragedy that happened in Walkerton with White Rock’s water. The inquiry into the Walkerton tragedy was clear about the circumstances that led to the deaths and injuries to residents. The Walkerton water system was chlorinated.
One of the wells was considered to be the source of E. coli. This well was shallow, unlike White Rock’s wells, and was located in a field that had fresh animal manure spread on it weeks prior to the outbreak. The persons responsible for maintaining Walkerton’s water were not qualified and had not informed health authorities of the presence of dangerously high levels of coliform.
Is White Rock’s water safe? In August 2010, residents were shocked they had to boil their water due to a small presence of E. coli. It was found that “bird droppings” may have entered the Merklin reservoir through the roof. Epcor repaired what was apparently the entry point.
In 2011, Fraser Health conducted over 400 tests, including sites where the water was not chlorinated. In only one, a small amount of coliform, not E. coli, was found. The amount was less than a tenth the amount allowed by provincial regulations. You have more of a chance to be exposed to more coliform bathing at the beach than drinking White Rock’s water.
For three years now, Fraser Health has rated the risk to drinking White Rock’s water as low.
The water from the aquifer below the Peninsula here has been found for over 70 years to be free of coliform. Fraser Health has no problem with the source of White Rock’s water. It appears the reservoirs were/are the problem, not the water source nor the piping.
The letter writer suggests there is always a chance some mysterious microbial contamination may occur in the aquifer here. Residents have a greater chance of being hit by a meteorite fragment that exploded over Siberia than being exposed to far-fetched hypothetical issues.
A thorough maintenance program is essential for any safe drinking-water system. Sometimes the reliance on chlorine as a disinfectant in drinking water can relax one’s diligence in providing good stewardship.
The boil-water advisory in 2010 did cause the water-distribution provider to assess its system and conduct repairs.
The order by Fraser Health to disinfect all of the drinking water in White Rock by 2016 indicates there is no reason to panic. Therefore, prior to any government approval, there is time to conduct a more thorough examination of the contradictions between the order to treat with a disinfectant and the results Fraser Health has obtained about the safety of our water, as well as repairs performed by Epcor to prevent further harmful bacteria from entering our drinking water.
Phil Le Good, White Rock