As many of you know, our water had a very powerful chlorine smell last month caused by the yearly chlorine burn they do to keep the pipes clean. This issue was discussed at a town hall meeting by Erin Brockovich and water expert, Robert Bowcock, on April 5, 2018. Hundreds of concerned residents attended the meeting, none of them being Plano City Council officials.
I was able to listen to their discussion online and want to mention a few things that were said. (You can watch the whole meeting on the Safer Water, North TX Facebook page.)
1. Robert Bowcock stressed the importance of maintaining the water distribution center properly.
2. He also said that the NTMWD used the highest levels of chlorine he had ever seen and such high levels are not necessary.
3. The chlorine burns are used to clean the water by ridding the pipes of biofilm.
4. Two reasons our water and pipes get so dirty are Texas’ warm temperatures and low water usage. Apparently, saving water is not good for us.
5. The town can put in biological filters now, to help clean the water, but they are waiting until 2021. Plano made over $38 million dollars in water usage fees last year. That profit could go to buy the biofilters. (The city buys the water from NTWMD at wholesale prices and, sells it to us at retail.)
6. A doctor has made a correlation between the yearly chlorine burn and an increase in skin problems. Every March, Dr. Lauren Stewart, a dermatologist, has more people visiting her office with skin rashes and eczema.
7. Erin has a website called, " www.communityhealthbook.com " where people can report any illness they think is connected to the water supply.
8. Towns can implement higher water standards.
9. We don't test for Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs).
10. A highly toxic water pollutant, known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), is a problem throughout the world. Last year, it caused a number of U.S. communities to close their drinking water supplies. PFOA has been found to cause increased cholesterol levels and is related to low infant birth weights,
effects on the immune system, cancer (for PFOA), and thyroid hormone disruption (for PFOS). We don't know if PFOA is in our own water. To find out more about PFOAs, you can go to https://www.epa.gov/pfas
11. NTMWD has bought up domain names that are similar to Safer Water North TX.
12. Safer Water North TX has asked the NTMWD for documents. They got some, however, NTMWD is asking the TX Attorney General to keep some flies secret due to attorney-client privilege. The NTMWD got this attorney recently. Our Attorney General is from Collin County. His family still lives here. His wife, Angela, is running for TX State Senate. Contact him to let him know that the public should have all the documents.
What I took away from the town hall is, The NTMWD maintains its water and meets all EPA standards. If this is true... Why does our water suck? If this water was being sold in the free market, no one would buy it. We are the customer, the city is the seller. Even though the city of Plano and the residents can't return the NTMWD's water, Plano can demand a better product or make the product better. But... That will only happen if the residents demand it.
This is Plano's Political Pit Bull signing off