Commission Responds to Water Concerns

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After months of criticizing city officials about the city’s water quality and a lack of response, commissioners officially addressed Boyd Corbin by placing the issue on the April 24 agenda.

Before the item was discussed, Corbin again criticized city officials about the water quality, including the alleged presence of a dangerous amount of chemical compounds. Commissioner Tom Green also criticized Corbin’s previous statements. “Sometimes, it really pushes my patience.”

According to a water test that Corbin paid a private lab to prepare, the city’s water, which comes from the Fiveash Regional Water Treatment Plant in Fort Lauderdale, has five times more Chloroform than the EPA allows, double the maximum contaminant level for Dichloroacetic Acid, and other high levels of substances, including Dichloroacedic Acid and Trichloroacedic Acid.

In an email from the Florida Department of Health, Corbin was informed that his water test was not acceptable because it did not have a valid chain of custody.

At the April 24 meeting, Corbin again criticized city officials.

“You shake it real good,” he said to Commissioner Scott Newton, referring to an earlier meeting where Newton held up a glass of water while stating no one on the commission was hiding anything. Newton responded: “No one on this commission has ever heard that we have bad water. Ever. If I knew there was bad water in this city, I’m telling you right now, everyone on this commission would be screaming and yelling.”

Also on April 24, David Archacki, director of Emergency Management and the Utilities departments, and City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson talked about the current testing and chlorination issues.

According to Archacki, water from 19 different locations is tested. Henderson said it is tested by certified labs in four categories:

Microbiological, disinfectants, lead and copper, and organics. Archacki said that the number of weeks needed to put chlorine into the water system was extended from two to five so that the chlorine could be given “more time to filter into the system.” Otherwise, said Archacki, a lot more water would have to be wasted because a shorter chlorination time means hydrants have to be flushed. The subsequent flooding of water has also resulted in some damage to residential lawns which had to be compensated for with tax dollars.

“We take it very seriously,” said Mayor Gary Resnick about water quality.

Officials did acknowledge the color of the water, which is green in some homes. “The color is not wonderful. But it’s not harmful,” said Green.


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