The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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May 24, 2013

Local water decisions were foolish

Mankato is dealing with the drought. That’s a start. However selling phosphorous credits is shirking responsibilities.

We have drained a majority of groundwater-recharging wetlands. We drain and accelerate the removal of water we find inconvenient. We are now tapping fossil aquifers 8,000 years old because we intentionally contaminate shallower sources.

We use water treated to meet drinking water standards to flush toilets, water lawns and wash dishes, clothes and cars; 50-70 percent of home water is used for watering lawns and gardens, nearly 14 percent of the water a typical homeowner pays for is never even used — it leaks down the drain, according to: www.epa.gov/safewater.

St. Peter approved municipal reverse osmosis before well completion and testing. The city continued construction although no contaminants exceeded primary or secondary standards, ignoring the 16-30 percent increase in withdrawal of source water that would be contaminated by the process.

Craun and Calderon (AWWA Journal, Vol. 93, 2001) find 30.3 percent of waterborne health problems attributable to contamination of the distribution system after centralized treatment despite municipal treatment of our water with chlorine, once used as a weapon, or chloramine, a blend of chlorine and ammonia.

A study conducted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggests some chemicals used to purify tap water may play a role in the development of food allergies. Processing Magazine’s May 7 edition offers the average reverse osmosis facility uses 15,000 kilowatt-hours to meet daily requirements similar to St. Peter.

Prior to St. Peter’s facility construction, factual information was assembled and distributed to elected and appointed officials at every level.

Checks and balances failed, significant waste and resulting expense was passed on to the ratepayers and the next generation.

Paul “Gus” Davis

St. Peter

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