SooToday.com received the following letter from loyal reader Deanna Dalla-Vicenza regarding the water quality in Sault Ste. Marie.
Mayor Amoroso, Members of Council, Public Utilities Management and Commission, and media;
I am writing to express my displeasure, nay my horror at the latest fiasco which has befallen the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie and especially those of us who reside in the east end of the city.
When my husband and I retired to the Soo from Regina, we did so with the knowledge that we were coming home to one of the best places in the world; a place that we always bragged had also the best drinking water in the world.
While one may have been expected to accept the explanation of the Public Utilities Commission with regards to the water quality since the changes to our water treatment, it is now time they face the facts of their error in judgement and moved back to the old system which worked well in my 70 years experience with the city.
Regardless of costs they must admit that when a boil water advisory comes into play something must be done.
We have endured brown water and poor taste, and have been forced to swallow ever-increasing rates without any real response from our City Fathers and the Commission who they have determined have the authority to do as they will.
As a tax payer, I demand some real response without the rhetoric and lack of accountability of recent times.
On July 14, 2014, I returned home to find my sister complaining of a swollen mouth.
You see, she had not been told of the water boil advisory, nor had my 94-year-old aunt and uncle, nor had my sister who resides on Dacey Road.
It was further alarming to hear of people who have sores in their mouths and those people who had been advised by the Algoma Health Unit not to bathe their young children in the water and a cousin who has a disabled daughter with a GI tube, clearly a concern for bathing a vulnerable person.
A CTV interview on July 15 with the Health Unit minimized any risk.
This seems counter to their warnings.
I have also been told that the east end will see property values decline, because who wants a home in an area when you are concerned with the safety of the water.
Any situation which affects such a large number of people which could have dire consequences requires more than a media release because clearly not everyone listens to the radio or gets their news from Sootoday.
The Commission's answer to the broken water mains has been the difficult winter we have recently experienced.
In a news release the PUC admitted that flushing also puts pressure on the mains and results in their breakage.
It is my understanding that legislation which will come into effect January 2015 will make municipalities - including members of council - liable for safe drinking water.
Immediate action should be taken to make those in management accountable and begin to remediate this situation.
Current responses and actions are just not good enough, we deserve better from our city and I demand some resolutions to this untenable situation.
Frustrated, alarmed and angry, I await your response.