Is our drinking water safe? Please assure us (letter)

19
Is our drinking water safe? Please assure us (letter)

Drinking-WaterDear 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

(13)(0)

No posts to display

19 COMMENTS

  1. Well articulated letter. The people of Micoud have the right to get answers to these questions. A complete chemical analysis should have been done on the water after the first incident. Tissue samples from the dead fish carcasses should have also been sent for analysis. If this was done the people of Micoud should know the results.

    (1)(0)

    • I agree. Tissue sampling is a must. We expect it.

      This is a very serious matter. When WASCO shuts down the water (as they ought to) people have to stand to wash in the same river water that is harmful to aquatic life.

      What if... these are persistent organic pollutants that will not go away in days?

      What if... the second set of deaths are related to the very first introduction of pollutant to the water? After all, it takes time for toxic substances to bio-accumulate to a critical mass in the newly introduced fish. I hope that this was considered in the protocol for restoring water.

      What if... in 9 months Micoud mothers give birth to babies with mental retardation, deformed limbs, etc. (Remember Minimata Bay and Minimata Disease) ?

      We do not know. We could have an environmental disaster looming on our hands. Or it could be two isolated and recoverable incidents. That is why we need information.

      (1)(0)

  2. At this stage we need more than just chlorination of our water from the catchment areas. This is a very serious and costly business. But the attention paid is at the very same level of seriousness as primary health care. It saves more expensive and the prevention of fatalities later.

    We are dying in this country from a lot and just too much political ignorance of blathering unsophisticated nincompoops called politicians. We need an entirely new crop with very few exceptions.

    Instead of building a short-term larger car parking space with the expansion of the Gros Islet Highway today to bolster SLP's re-election chances, they might see the light with expenditure on a healthier water supply. Otherwise, soon visitors to our shores may well demand that hotels provide Deer Park, Fiji and other imported brands of water, or serve distilled or tonic water as drinking water. Chances are, cruise line alerts are already going out to those coming onshore to carry their own bottled water supplies, or to avoid everything else.

    Some residuals, once they lodge into the body in places like the liver, it can take several years to completely reverse the damage, even when the supply of the toxin is cut off or no longer ingested. Boiling our water alone before drinking, while this may be necessary, it is not sufficient. A word to the wise.

    We need a study of incidence of cause of death from various diseases like kidney failure not directly caused by diabetes, and liver disease and the like to identify suspect catchment areas. Anxiety about water or food in tourism destination can be indeed very damaging negative publicity.

    (6)(0)

  3. GHETTO ROYAL: Great questions, Micoud Concerned Resident. My follow-up question is this: Is there a responsible, educated, in-the-know, eco-concerned, patriotic, philanthropic and truthful managerial WASCO representative who will tell Saint Lucia the truth concerning those thoughtful questions that you raised? Stand up like a man, WASCO! Saint Lucia deserves to know the truth here! Or will WASCO just cowardly keep silent (under the guise of "we are investigating the matter") while waiting for time to flow over this issue until other distractions steal our attention, for example, crime or dengue, er, scratch the latter--the dengue mosquitoes may not stand a chance in WASCO's poison-laden water supply. In the meantime though, we need to know what to do with the damn water in our storage tanks at home! At least give us some live fish (if you can find any in our streams) to throw into our tanks so we can start your investigation for you as we watch to see if those fish will live or die in our tanks! Shame on WASCO if you fail to address the questions raised by Micoud Concerned Resident!

    (3)(0)

  4. Great questions, Micoud Concerned Resident. My follow-up question is this: Is there a responsible, educated, in-the-know, eco-concerned, patriotic, philanthropic and truthful managerial WASCO representative who will tell Saint Lucia the truth concerning those thoughtful questions that you raised? Stand up like a man, WASCO! Saint Lucia deserves to know the truth! Or will WASCO just cowardly keep silent and wait for time to flow over this issue until other distractions steal our attention, for example, crime or dengue, er, scratch the latter--the dengue mosquitoes may not stand a chance in WASCO's poison-laden water supply. In the meantime though, we need to know what to do with the damn water in our storage tanks at home! At least give us some live fish (if you can find any in our streams) to throw into our tanks so we can start your investigation for you as we watch to see if those fish will live or die in our tanks! Shame on WASCO if you fail to address the questions raised by Micoud Concerned Resident!

    (2)(0)

  5. This is why reverse osmosis is helpful in drinking water. Because it can remove 99% of biological contaminants in water.

    (1)(0)

  6. Water isn't consider potable until it goes through the proper filtration process like, Reverse osmosis, and pre filters such as media filter and GACF, granular activated carbon filters. So do not let Wasco fool you when they call the water potable. It is water that is being disinfect by chlorine only. So therefore it should be call disinfected non potable water. If the water turns muddy wen it rains, that means there is no carbon filters added to the system, this is what helps remove colour in the water.

    (3)(0)

  7. so if you put poison in - we have to take poison out, remember we did not put it in someone around Micoud put it in the system and only becomes evident in the fish environment.

    (4)(3)

  8. if the people of Micoud want to be sure that the water is safe then they should look at the people in their community who are causing these poisonings/contaminations in their supply.. someone knows what causing it - if it aint shrimp poisoning then its other crap being poured into your drinking water so do something and become more vigilant and stop dumping shit everywhere that will end up in your water someday - do you drink from your toilet bowl? no I didn't think so - so don't crap in your well. have common sense simpletons.

    (4)(2)

  9. For some time now, I have had very grave concerns about run-off from the use of pesticides and the residues LEFT in our drinking water. The environmental journals warn that one person in Saint Lucia dies from these residuals. (Look how soon they remove this from there. But these articles are in libraries overseas. I read that with my own two eyes!) If Sarah were Prime Minister or Health Minister, by now something could have happened.

    Our Airport PM is always going to, is at, or coming from an airport. Last time he was in Monaco in PANDA costume they tell me, to drum up some funny money business.

    SLP therefore has time to run the country, but only into the ground . SLP has no time for what really matters. So, shooting their customary shate, they return to the country and run their backward mouths instead.

    (7)(1)

  10. It just make no sense paying for water that can possibly make people sick come on WASCO if u'll not sure if some people used d contaminated water already please have a doctor treat any persons who have any health problems related to water contamination in d community for free, an when u'll sure d water is safe only then u'll deserve 2b payed for water.

    (3)(0)

  11. This has always been a great concern to me!! I also want to know why is the water muddy whenever it rains? Minutes after it starts to rain the water immediately turns muddy and sometimes even has a stench. Wasco please answer these questions ASAP

    (4)(1)

  12. I share your concerns. For something as serious as this they are very vague in they communication. Whats the point of carrying out an investigation but not publishing the results. This is our lives. We deserve to know.

    (11)(0)

    • Wasco's statements seem to confirm my suspicions. The dead fish is the indicator of a chemical contamination.

      (5)(1)

Comments are closed.