October 03, 2007

You Are What You Drink?

If you recall, I posted a few months ago, how in the height of the drought, the Mayor of West Palm Beach, decided to have the water folks dump recycled treated waste water into the water the well fields.

I thought there was a big ‘ick’ factor to that. I know, we went through this, it is all mental. But… ick. I thought it was even ‘ickier’ that they weren’t honest about it until mid July.

But, I’ll have you know, that the last six days (and just released, for another 72 hours), the City of West Palm Beach has been on a boil water alert due too… fecal something or other. Some sort of fecal contamination. I didn’t bother with the second word because… fecal and drinking water raises that ‘ick’ factor to the nth degree.

Good Lord. Ick.

These two incidents are not related, but it just confirms to me that we all made the right choice when our neighborhood voted on whether or not to stick with well water or to go to city water.

This household voted no. First, I have a kick ass water system. Second, I have a kick ass water system guy who I trust and really like. Third, the city of WPB water has a funky smell and has always tasted like dirt.

That third one was big. You cannot drink their water in the restaurants. You have to ask for bottled water. It just tastes… TOO damn nasty to drink.

And now they are on boil water alert, and this is not the first time, and it’s not even due to a hurricane.

They just can’t get their water act together.

I don’t get it. How can a huge city like NYC bring decent water to their citizens and a medium sized city like West Palm continually… sucks at it. I mean, their water is putrid and that was before the boil water. And to keep it closer, in case someone says, “OH, but northern water is different than city water”, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville… they all have drinkable water and not near the issues they have in West Palm.

I’m so glad we voted no. Blech. Just say no to poopy water

Posted by Boudicca at October 3, 2007 06:45 PM | TrackBack

ICK is an understatement.

Posted by: Lukie at October 3, 2007 07:14 PM

You cannot begin to imagine what the citizens of NYC went through before they finally got drinkable water, back in 1842, with the installment of the Croton Reservoir, which was a huge Mayan-styled holding tank on the corner of 42nd Street and 5th Avenue, where the New York Public Library and Bryant Park are today. You should Google it.

In any event, the Croton Holding Reservoir received fresh water from Upper Hudson County [way outside of the city], via a series of aqueducts and whatever purification tools they used back then [I'm not an engineer, so the water lingo is lost on me] to streamline the water into this one location, which was then doled out to the citizens of NYC...initially, if I recall, to the aristocracy, of course.

Before that? Ugggggh. Or, as you would say, Ick! The entire island of Manhattan smelled like an Atom Bomb of Sh*t exploded in Midtown. People would carry their buckets of waste and either dump them in the various wells dotting the island, which were originally intended for drinking [Uh, sorry...not anymore, heh...], or, they would just empty their waste into the East or Hudson rivers. The cholera and other doodie-related diseases were rampant all over the island and resulted in the deaths of thousands.

An excellent book on the subject is called "Water For Gotham," by Gerard T. Koeppell. Trust me, over the years, New York has worked very hard for its drinking water, which is still the best I've ever tasted, of all the places I've ever been to, and this is not to disrespect Florida, which has wonderful beaches, and other nice things, but I could gag that stuff down if you dumped 20 packets of Crystal Light in a single 8 ounce glass to disguise the flavor.

Posted by: Erica at October 3, 2007 10:09 PM

What I meant to say, in the last paragraph, was, "...but I couldn't gag that stuff down..."


Posted by: Erica at October 3, 2007 10:12 PM

I was stationed at the Navy base in Orlando for about a year in the mid 80's. My most vivid memory was how, when they turned the sprinklers on, the air just reeked of sulfur, and that's what the water tasted like, too.

Posted by: Harvey at October 4, 2007 05:12 AM

I live here... 'nough said

Posted by: vw bug at October 4, 2007 05:23 AM

We get our drinking water via the Detroit River and many pumping/santiation stations.

It wasn't to bad until Mr Weenie installed a whole house filtration system.

I can tell when the filter are old because the water tastes nasty now. blech.

I am pretty sure it was on vacation out west (Grand Canyon, Bryce, etc) that the water so nasty that we had to drink pop the entire trip or buy bottled water. We even brushed our teeth with bottled water because the water was that nasty.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at October 4, 2007 08:17 AM

The problem is priorities. The mayor and city council are all excited about fixing up the downtown area, new money-pit convention center, new high-rises, new shopping center, etc.

BUT they ignore basic, non-glamorous stuff like maintaining the water system and crime prevention both downtown and in public housing (a bunch of thugs recently gang raped a mom and made her and her son have sex).

Posted by: george at October 4, 2007 08:48 AM

Based on the title the THIS post, combined with the post just above it......

Let's just say MY test results were a bit off. I should be sailin' the seven seas - cause if I am what I drink that would make me a Captain! ;-)

Either that or some bottle with a worm in it (and we won't even go there....)

Posted by: Tammi at October 4, 2007 01:13 PM

More on this later but..

Erica, love, this is not 1842!!!! This is 2007! Drinking water is kind of a known science now. Or you'd think. They just extended the boil water indefinitely... what a disaster. What a mess... they're seeking disaster help from the state and county now. How pathetic...

And George- you are right.

Posted by: Bou at October 4, 2007 05:46 PM