Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010 - (Page 22)

RECENT Drinking Claims to have one of the safest public drinking water supplies in the world. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the two main sources of waterborne disease data, have nothing in their databases like the claim by the Times. But, again, we are not even provided the source of the very concerning claim. The article makes the common mistake of many journalists looking to sensationalize this issue – it conflates a violation of a federal drinking water regulation with a public health risk or contamination. Most federal violations don’t indicate that anyone is drinking dangerous water. Violations can be administrative errors, failures to understand complex regulatory schedules, errors in EPA’s database, or based on technology and indicators, not safety. In fact, the state of Kentucky was compelled to issue a letter to residents, who were provided an alarming notice that their drinking water was in violation of federal standards, with the following disclaimer, “Drinking water notices not reason for consumer concern. If you received a notice from your water company about ‘disinfectant byproducts’ in your drinking water, you’re not alone. Thousands of Kentuckians are receiving the notices, which were required under standards set by the U.S. EPA causing confusion among some consumers.” Is this an acceptable governmental program for the protection of our drinking water, where the federal government scares consumers to the point that the state regulators have to refute the federal government with accurate information? This situation is common, and these paperwork exercises (the socalled EPA Public Notice requirements) costs consumers millions of dollars each year. In Colorado, consumers were told THE NEW YORK TIMES published a series of articles examining the nation’s water safety and quality programs, the most recent on December 8, 2009, which alarmingly claimed that, “millions in U.S. drink dirty water.” Fortunately for all Americans, many of the claims in the article are misleading and are based on flawed logic and supposition. The author claims that, “studies indicate that drinking water contaminants are linked to millions of instances of illness within the U.S. each year.” This is simply inconceivable for public drinking water supplies (which are the focus of the article) – and no studies are cited by author. EPA’s compliance data, which is the main foundation of the articles, contains no such conclusion. How can such an alarming statement not be sourced in a news article? The U.S. is known 22 • First Quarter 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010
Table of Contents
From the President
H2O-XPO to Waterpro
The Utility Perspective
The State Rural Water Association Perspective
The Washington DC Perspective
Recent Drinking Water Quality Claims Unfounded
Telling Our Story: The City of Risk
Finding Art in Unexpected Places
Regulatory Update
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010