No matter what is said at tonight’s so-called “information meeting,” one fact should remain paramount:
REPEAT: There is no lead in Croton’s water.
Not when it pools in the sands deep beneath the Croton River.
Not when pumps draw it to the surface and it is stored in reservoirs,
Not when it courses through Croton’s large-diameter cast-iron water mains to Croton’s homes.
It is only when water enters Croton’s homes is there a chance to pick up lead.
If your home has lead piping leading from the water main under the street to your home, water can pick up lead.
If your home has thin-walled copper piping with joints soldered together years ago, water can pick up lead.
But if your copper plumbing was installed more recently or if it is plastic, it will pick up no lead.
Other facts to keep in mind:
Lead is one of the easier substances to remove from water by simple filtration. Zinc orthophosphate is not.
Inexpensive filters to remove lead can be installed under sinks from which drinking water is most likely to be taken.
Whatever lead is present in water used for bathing, showering, toilet flushing, laundry, dish washing, gardening, car washing presents no cause for worry.
No comprehensive attempt has been made by local government to determine the incidence of lead in Croton. Water samples are taken in a small number of homes every three years to determine the amount of lead in their water.
How these homes were or are chosen has never been disclosed. If homes in older parts of the Village where lead is likely to be present are chosen results will be tilted.
There has been a tremendous leap in the amounts of lead found in products in everyday use: particularly paint on children’s toys and in jewelry, and in other products likely to be mouthed by children. An article on the dangers of lead to children (it can lead to mental and physical developmental problems) has been published in the latest issue of Consumer Reports. It should be noted that the word “water” appears only once in this article in a sidebar at the very end titled, “What You Can Do.” Here’s what it says: “Reduce lead exposure in your home. Evaluate lead risks in your home if you live in pre-1978 housing, whether or not you have children. The main concerns are deteriorating paint, dust, soil and water.”
Beware of any attempt to use this article as a red herring in tonight’s discussion of zinc orthophosphate. There is absolutely nothing in it that applies to the proposed addition of this potentially dangerous substance to Croton’s water.
The main fact to remember is that there is no lead in Croton’s water. Forcing every man woman and child in Croton to ingest a foreign substance like zinc orthophosphate would be like using an elephant gun to kill a fly. Individual households in which lead is present in the water can be induced to correct the situation by making changes in their plumbing or by adding water filters, perhaps with financial assistance from local government.
If the voice of the people is heard and listened to, we will be able to say, “There is no lead in Croton’s water. And neither is there any zinc orthophosphate.”