Letter to the editor 2, Nov. 16, 2017

Basic human right

Dear Editor,

Clean drinking water is a basic human right. In St. Lazare some residents’ drinking water is not always clean, sometimes cloudy, sometimes brown, and almost every week somewhere there is a public notice that “…water may be cloudy due to the pipes being flushed.” Have you ever wondered why flushing happens so frequently, as it raises the question, “what is wrong with our water?” According to Mayor Robert Grimaudo, “…a recent report shows our water is good” which is not reassuring. When election canvassing last week, I found many on town water and private wells with water problems. One homeowner who was connected to town water just last month has low pressure and cloudy water.

Even private wells in the western part of St. Lazare are becoming problematic, some having to go to 500 feet to get water, surface wells are running dry in the early summer and some people on the town water system are losing pressure. So, do we have a water problem?

A private company TechnoRem is mandated to produce reports to help St. Lazare manage the water supply. Maybe TechnoRem reports could answer why flushing of water pipes happens so frequently? Citizens cannot access any water-related reports because St. Lazare administration passed a resolution blocking ‘access to information requests’ concerning TechnoRem and all water reports. Taxpayers paid for the water wells, and for the reports, but taxpayers are not allowed to know the status of the water supply.

Is St. Lazare running out of water due to runaway development? Are the pipes too old and prone to leaks? Are there other water problems or issues being kept from St. Lazare residents? One blatant disregard of residents’ water issues is Saddlebrook where some people have had cloudy water for several years, as reported in Your Local Journal in April, 2017. When pushed to do something after many complaints/media reports, St. Lazare purchased an expensive filter system six months ago. However, this new filter system has not yet been connected to the town’s water system. When asked at the October council meeting when it would be connected, the Director General said “next month.” Why was the filter not connected six months ago?

It is not acceptable when taxpayers’ money is used to monitor such an important issue as water, and the results are kept hidden from them.

Maybe the new administration will be more transparent?

Alan Nicol

St. Lazare

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