Dear Editor: The residents of Micoud are consumers who drink and cook with WASCO water. Among us are vulnerable groups such as babies, the pregnant, elderly and the sick. School students tend to drink directly from the tap.
For the second time in two weeks Micoud residents have been very concerned about the safety of drinking water extracted by the Micoud Treatment Plant. Investigations have been launched and the report in the first instance does not name the cause but includes a warning about poisonous substances used to harvest fish and crayfish. (https://www.stlucianewsonline.com/water-supply-restored-in-micoud/)
This time around we ask for a more comprehensive report about the risks to our health. We deserve better communication about our risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals. So, when you do have results from joint investigation and consultation, please answer these questions:
1. Were there contaminants detected? What were they? What were their concentration/s?
2. What is the estimated time of death of the fish? Is it possible that we already drank some of this water? How can we know that water in our recently filled home water storage (which we are using now) is safe?
3. How frequently is the water in the intake assessed? Is there upstream monitoring as well? Are the dead fish the indicator species? Which level of pollution do they indicate?
4. Which biological/ chemical tests are conducted? Do the lower limit of detection of these tests comply with current ISO/IUPAC standards?
5. Have other tests been carried to rule out concurring causes e.g. thermal pollution?
6. What measures are taken to flush equipment and remove contaminated water from storage tanks and reservoir?
7. What is the area of distribution/supply of the Micoud Treatment Plant?
8. What measures are being taken to limit the re-occurrence? Have interviews/inspections been conducted with persons with activities (livestock and produce farmers, etc.) along the river?
9. What precautions should we take when the water supply is restored?
10. Are there plans to truck potable waters to communities if such an event recurs?
This risk communication and assurance is necessary, not only for the residents of Micoud, but the entire population. We look forward to a press release/conference which provides the details needed. This is the responsible and correct thing to do.
Concerned Micoud resident