| July 24, 2002 -- Volume 3, No. 30
This week's NEWS
Impact of state right-to-know laws on vulnerability assessments is evaluated. The Western arid states weigh in on EPA's arsenic implementation strategy. Outside of Detroit, alleged water illness may be related to the problem.......or the cure? E. coli on the land and in the air......plane! When it comes to Boil Water Advisories, better safe than sorry may not always be the right, or responsible, way. Utilities find that any unusual water quality condition can raise customer anxiety about security. Colorado "bottled-water only" advice is not about promoting sales.....no help needed there! Fluoridation decisions are apparently never final. And just what is Aquaphemera, anyway?
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Taste and Odor/Security
coliform sampling data from San Diego County
wholesaler results in precautions by retailers (San Diego Union Tribune, July 17) Follow-up
sampling confirms that no problem existed (North County Times, July 18) In
and health officials review actions taken (San Diego Union Tribune, July 21)
In these post 9/11 times, it requires not only
good technical acumen, but common sense and a
bit of courage for public drinking water
officials to not jump to the wrong conclusions
and take the safest way out when presented with
confounding water quality data. The cost of
inappropriate "alerts and boil water
advisories," in human and economic terms,
must be considered.
raises question about UV efficacy on E. coli (Applied and Environmental Microbiology, July
2002, abstract) Findings
may affect decisions by Canadian communities (Yahoo News, July 19)
lapse results in New York community boil water
advisory (The Journal News, July 17)
boil water advisory for part of Montreal because
of E. coli finding (Montreal Gazette, July 17) is
by an OK to drink the water (Montreal Gazette, July 20)
E. coli in the drinking water may not get the
Canadian Prime Minister a new airplane
(The Ottawa Citizen, July 22)
not yet cleared in E. coli 0157 cases at camp in
Washington's Spokane County
(Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 19)
Unusual Water Quality Problems
- The Colorado health department
has issued unusual "Don't boil the
water" bottled-water only advisories in the
severe drought-impacted mountain communities of Morrison
The Department has developed a thoughtful and
valuable guidance matrix: Drought Concerns
Impacting Water Quality and Treatment (PDF file, 5 pages)
The 94-98% flow reduction in the streams serving
these towns combined with the fact that the
streams are almost 100% effluent from upstream
communities makes the reasoning behind the
state's action very clear. The challenge to the
multi-barrier water treatment facilities (coag,
floc, sed, filtration, chlorination and UV)
would be significant. The concern about concentrating contaminants
by water boiling stems from
elevated nitrate levels in the raw water.
And there can be no room for any questions about
the ice used in Morrison's famous margaritas!
suburb faces tough, costly decisions on
water system upgrade (Detroit News, July 19) Meanwhile,
illnesses in New Haven customers may be from
main-breaks, and a boil-water advisory was issued. However, some
suspect the illnesses are related to the use of "swimming
pool" chlorine in a drinking-water well (Detroit News, July 21)
It appears that
"swimming pool" chlorine was used to
disinfect a local well before turning it on to augment
the normal purchased water supply because of local water
main breaks. Some swimming pool chemicals
may contain stabilizers such as "cyanurates"
which help with the disinfection of pool water
exposed to sunlight. No information on
dosages encountered or symptoms are given.
Health and city officials
issued a precautionary "boil water
advisory" because of the main breaks and
low pressures, not because of the chlorine.
Source Water Protection Issues
sommelier fad spreads to the west (Arizona Republic, July 19)
Quote: "There's probably some very fine
waters in the country that people don't
realize exist." Yes, ma'am! In
New York City, Des Moines, Louisville,
Seattle, LA, Rapid City, SD
town to bottle and sell their water (Sun Sentinel, July 20) (P.S. Did you know that "sommelier" means "pack-animal driver"? Hmmm?)
Los Angeles has the tastiest water.....because they
stole it! (Sacramento Bee, July 10)
reporter learns all about "water in
bottles" (The San Diego Tribune-Union, July 17)
After a tour of the breadth of the
bottled-water craze in California, the
author's own list of lessons learned says a
lot: (1) All
room-temperature water tastes crummy unless
you're stuck in the Sahara without a map; (2)
Tasting wine is a lot more fun than tasting
water, room temperature or otherwise; (3)
Municipal waters contain lots of stuff that
gives them more "flavor" than
purified waters or pure spring waters; (4)
The word "brilliant" belongs to
diamonds, not a glass of water.
you ever wanted to know about why water
sales are soaring (Sacramento Bee, July 17)
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