“Saint John Councillors were in a celebratory mood on Monday night at a ceremony to mark the signing of a $216-million contract that will see the design, construction and operation of the city’s new water treatment system turned over to a public-private partnership”.
That was the headline Feb 9th 2016. Is that the end of the story? I’m no expert when it comes to clean safe drinking water however there was a few thoughts that washed through my mind. According to Water Commissioner. Bill Edwards who told council that under 1% of the city’s fluoridated water is being consumed by residents. Should that be the case why are we spending $216 million to treat water when we consume only 1% of the water treated?
Once the water is treated then we send it down a aging water system made up mostly of cast iron and some(believe it or not) wooden pipes, in a system that was developed in 1837.
The following article may be of interest to those that believe all is well once the water is treated and is flowing through the pipes.
WATERBORNE DISEASE OUTBREAKS
It would seem that these nasty little critters called pathogens, up to 100 different pathogens, love to hide in pits and pockets that are found in aging water systems. The question becomes how sure am I that by the time the water arrives at my tap it’s ok?
The last question I have is how many houses in Saint John still have lead pipes that go from the the water system to the house and is that a problem?
“Toronto Public Health encourages residents in older homes with lead pipes to replace their pipes as the best way to reduce their exposure to lead in drinking water and to protect their family’s health”.
So faced with these unanswered questions what is a person to do? With or without a fancy $216 million dollar water system I will do what I have been doing for the past 10 plus years, filter the water “at the tap” and be 100% I am not drinking more than I bargained for.