We are passionate about water, its safety, and how it’s managed both privately and publically. However, I struggle when I encounter a person who is given the responsibility to deliver the safest and best quality water, yet doesn’t set those things as a priority in his or her work.
Here’s a recent case in point. Blue Earth Products is engaged with utilities all over North America and the UK, and we are contacted when these companies realize they have a serious issue that puts them near or in violation of a state or federal regulation. For example, we were recently in communications with a utility that has not cleaned its filters in 8 years. As a result, their source water has high levels of manganese clogging the filters, which is reducing water quality significantly. The turbidity levels, a measurement of cloudiness that indicates water safety, have exceeded regulations more often than not. The cost to replace these filters is three times the cost to remediate them (over $600,000) and would force the utility to largely shut down its water production while the filters are being replaced. The frustration to me is that these companies use excuses such as “replacing filters is too expensive” or “we do not have a budget for that.” Seriously? For 8 years in a row? If it’s not an issue why even bother? In the long run the costs are even more detrimental. Eventually the filters will be too dirty to clean and the replacement costs will be three times the cost to clean them. In addition to the health issues mentioned, further economic damage will be encountered including federal or state fines and the expense to supply bottled water to the affected population.
When it comes to the safety of your water, utilities often compare the price of things that work to the cost of things that do not work. Yet even worse, they simply ignore the repairs by thinking they have “saved” the expense. If you do not demand that they maintain a clean water system, the person that really pays is you. Get involved. Make sure they know you are informed and watching. Why? It is your health they are putting at risk.