Has our drinking water quality really improved?

Eastport’s tap water last summer took on a greenish color and a definite off-taste. It got to the point that we started running everything we’d be drinking or using for cooking through an activated charcoal filter.

The explanation was that the supply came from a large but shallow lake a dozen miles away and that every summer the algae bloomed. The private company that provides water to the city then had to heighten its use of chemicals for treatment, resulting in the offensive character.

Water to the Sipayik reservation also came from the same source but was delivered via a different pipeline and was, by reports, much more troubling.

In its attempts to redress the issue, the company announced it would be using an alternative to treat the water, and I have to say we haven’t noticed the off-taste or discoloration this year. We haven’t yet seen a chemical analysis yet, however, or heard about the current situation on the reservation.

Still, public water quality is something most Americans take for granted.

Funny how often we overlook a problem, even when it has, as I hope, been clearing up.


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