The City of White Rock’s recently purchased water utility leaves residents with more questions than answers.

LETTERS: Speaking out over safer water

The City of White Rock’s recently purchased water utility leaves letter writers with more questions than answers.

Editor:

White Rock citizens have reacted to the helicopters and plaque removal with a vengeance.

While I applaud their advocacy, I am perplexed at the lack of concern for our water crisis. The city admits that the level of arsenic and manganese has been a concern for years. The facts are that White Rock’s water supply is showing higher-than-acceptable levels of arsenic and manganese at some of the city’s six wells.

One has to ask why the city even bought this aging infrastructure, when we had the option to hook up to GVRD. Now they have put our health at risk even more by postponing the upgrades to the water system until 2019, in favour of plazas, parking lots and memorials.

The level of arsenic in White Rock’s drinking water is often near or above the maximum allowable concentrations allowed by Health Canada of 0.010. Above this level, you are at risk for: cancer and vascular and neurological effects. Studies have also found that low levels of arsenic exposure are associated with diabetes.

With some wells being close to or at maximum levels, should we be having to have our own water tested at labs to make sure our levels are not above 0.010?

Water filters and boiling water does not eliminate the arsenic or manganese. Only bottled water or expensive reverse-osmosis systems will.

Some will argue the risk is small, but do you or your loved ones want to be one of unlucky citizens? Are plazas, parking lots and monuments more important than lives?

More lives could be put at risk if we were to have a fire in a highrise or more than one fire at a time. We sadly discovered during the Five Corners fire that our system is not capable of handling more than a small fire without the help of our neighbours to the north.

Peace Arch Hospital ran short of water and most of us – Mayor Wayne Baldwin being the exception – had to boil our water or purchase bottled water.

I urge the citizens of White Rock to contact the city and the province and let them know we want safe drinking water and to feel secure in our homes – whether it is a small cabin or a large highrise – now, not in 2019.

Vickie Darts, White Rock

• • •

Re: Reasons to sound off?, Aug. 12 letters.

I take exception to the letter writer who believes that bringing up the issue of a contaminated water supply constitutes whining. Our health and the costs associated with the purchase of water or water systems due to this are very legitimate concerns.

What I would like is for the provincial government (Fraser Health) or the City of White Rock to address the following: does a municipality have the obligation to require water analysis from the private water supplier/provider to its city, and second, is the municipality obligated to inform the public of any concerns with water quality and therefore proceed to act immediately on rectifying the problem?

I have not been able to get a straight answer.

If the manganese and arsenic levels were consistently increasing – especially those of the Merklin reservoir – over the Epcor years, why has there been such a delay in dealing with the issue?

The answer that it was all Epcor’s fault does not fly. If any jurisdiction avails itself of a product or service and these are deemed substandard, doesn’t the jurisdiction have the legal and moral obligation to deal with it without delay?

Lynda Hornby, White Rock

 

 

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