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The Water We Drink

November 11, 2007

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
To the editor,

On Monday night, November 19, 2007, at 8:00 pm, at the Municipal Building in Croton, the Village Board will meet to decide whether or not Zinc Orthophosphate will be added to our drinking water. Please join us to share your thoughts and concerns about this important decision that will have a profound effect on the water that we drink every day.

We can all agree that we want clean, safe, drinking water! No one wants lead in our drinking water. The question is how to best achieve that end.

The Croton Water Report for 2006 indicated that the water in some of our homes, particularly older homes built before 1985, contains lead. The lead primarily comes from the lead solder used prior to 1985. No amount of lead is good for your health!

Although we are not nearly at EPA actionable lead levels, we would be wise to practice prevention. We should follow the EPA guidelines that recommend sending a letter to each village resident explaining that some of us have lead in our drinking water, and recommending ways that we can deal with the problem.

For example, after the water has not been used for hours: overnight or after returning from work, it is recommended that we run the water for about two minutes or until it runs cold, to remove most of the lead.

Additional information could also be included in the letter to residents to the effect that lead testing kits, similar to the model illustrated below, are available at local hardware stores.

WaterSafe Home Drinking Water Test for Lead

A list of NSF Certified Water Filters, similar to the model illustrated below, could also be included in the letter. NSF Certified Water Filters are inexpensive to use at home and they have been proven to remove most of the Lead, Chlorine, Pesticides and other harmful chemicals, from the filtered water. Water filters are much more cost effective and ecologically beneficial than bottled water which is expensive, of questionable quality, and an environmental nightmare.

Watts Premier Quick-Change Lead and Cyst Water Filter

Lead levels should also be checked in the water from the drinking fountains in our public schools. Filters to remove lead should be put in place immediately where needed.

Then, we would have time to do further research into the health effects of various corrosion control additives such as Zinc Orthophosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Soda Ash, Silicas, Phosphates etc. used by municipalities. If you use any corrosion control additive surely it should be the one least likely to cause harm.

Although both Zinc and Phosphoric Acid are safe—in limited amounts—there seems to be no data about the effects of the man-made compound Zinc Orthophosphate on the health of human beings who ingest it daily in their drinking water. Better safe than sorry!

— Dan and Bev Ferguson, Croton-on-Hudson


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