Sept. 2, 2009: Reservoir water not fit to drink
To The Editor:
I read Brian Sweeney’s article regarding spraying to kill weeds under the guardrails around the New York City reservoirs with dismay. New York City has spent millions building sewerage treatment plants, upgrading septic systems and acquiring land to prevent development. They have seized land and demanded that local residents forego economic development in order to protect the city’s drinking water.
All of the actions of the DEP seem consistent with an entity that is truly committed to safeguarding this precious and increasingly rare resource. But wait a second. This same entity talked about permitting gas drilling up to a mile from the reservoirs, is strangely silent regarding the construction of a golf course that must use fertilizers and toxic chemicals for its maintenance, located above a feeder stream of one of their largest reservoirs, and now they are spraying carcinogenic, toxic, water mobile chemicals under hundreds of miles of guardrails a few feet from the shorelines of the reservoirs!
Is it any wonder that the DEP has a credibility problem with local residents? Mayor Bloomberg seems like a smart guy. His company successfully sued to get information from the Fed. He has made great strides with the New York City schools. Let’s see if he gets to the bottom of the question of who was responsible for this disastrous blunder. If not, the residents of the watershed will be asked to continue to make sacrifices to protect water that is not safe for anyone to drink.