LETTERS: Bad taste left over decision

Editor:

Re: Chloramine picked for city water, Dec. 16.

Editor:

Re: Chloramine picked for city water, Dec. 16.

I read with shock and dismay that ammonia will be added to our water in order for us to clean our sinks and toilets less often.

Is this a joke? Why is it safe for humans even though it “poses risks to wildlife” and must be “neutralized” before being released into the environment?

Statements quoting Greg St. Louis, director of engineering, are annoyingly vague: He says: “They (Metro Vancouver) don’t have the same issues as we do,” and that their water comes from surface water, with no explanation as to why this would be safer.

The bird droppings which apparently contaminated our water did not come from our underground water, but from external deficiencies in the structure of the water tower (Upgrades on way for Merklin reservoir, Sept. 1, 2010).

I would like to know if he or anyone at Fraser Health has done any research on the health effects of ammonia being added to chlorine.

Why do we need to drink ammonia when other municipalities use chlorine alone? The argument about keeping our plumbing looking nice is the most ridiculous type of thinking I have ever heard.

Beverley Cunningham, White Rock

• • •

Your article states that the City of White Rock’s director of municipal operations “pointed out that while chloramine – as well as chlorine – poses risks to aquatic life, he said the city has ‘operational procedures’ in place to neutralize the chemicals before they are released into the environment.”

If they feel that they have to neutralize the chemicals before they are released into the environment, as it poses a health risk to aquatic life, then what does that say about human consumption? Where’s the health risk to us humans?

City council should do more research before implementing this and other chemicals like soda ash to increase the PH levels into our water supply.

Robert Barnes, White Rock

• • •

I am concerned to hear that the city is considering the use of chloramine as an alternative to chlorine in our water system.

Chlorine is already a dangerous additive, but chloramine is likely even more harmful and resistant to removal. It is also probably not suited to a small system like ours.

I urge the city to do more research on this issue. White Rock used to be the envy of other municipalities for its pure water. Let’s not now rush into adopting a treatment banned by many cities in North America.

Leona Gom, White Rock

• • •

I am becoming more and more afraid to open the Peace Arch News.

It seems that every week, Mayor Wayne Baldwin and his toadies on council are finding new ways to take White Rock in the wrong direction.

Let’s for the moment forget the ‘Hump’-defoliation issue; let’s forget the fencing off of the beach; let’s ignore the radical departure from the OCP to vote for highrise towers for no apparent good reason.

Militarization of the council chambers; removal of the question period in council; the secret-price purchase of the water utility; and many other issues where Baldwin and the toadies’ record is appalling, and in my opinion 180 degrees away from what the citizens of White Rock expect and deserve from an elected official.

I am going to jump to the next looming bad decision… to put chloramine in the drinking water. We won’t have to wait for a train derailment to create an environmental disaster on our waterfront; we will only have to wait for the city to flush a hydrant or a broken water main. And I hope there is no one in White Rock on a kidney-dialysis machine, as water with chloramine can’t be used for dialysis as it causes hemolytic anemia.

Who at city hall has a PhD in chemistry and is qualified to make a recommendation in such things?

In any case, the rush to add chloramine to the city drinking water poses many, many serious questions.

If council is simply rubber stamping a recommendation from someone at city hall, that is not responsible governance.

What’s the city’s reasoning for adding chloramine to its drinking water? And why the rush to implement it next month?

Scott Keddy, White Rock

 

 

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