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Letter to the Editor

 

Burton Fox, Owosso City Council member

4:03 pm

Independent Editor,

Upon reading the article on the front page of the Argus-Press, dated May 22, 2018, I feel it is important to further inform the citizens of Owosso about the quality of the water in the Owosso water system. There has been much discussion on social media about the lead content in the city of Owosso water, while there is zero lead content in the water in the city of Corunna. I find it almost impossible to believe the difference in the water in the two municipalities in as much as the water comes from the same wells and is processed at the same water plant, by the same employees that resulted in the city of Owosso being honored for their water results.

Might I take this opportunity to attempt clarifying the process of water reaching each home or business. First, the water is pumped from the wells, fed by huge water mains to the Owosso city water plant on Allendale Street. Once it reaches the plant, it goes through a definitive process to remove unwanted chemicals that result in the water meeting the requirements of the federal government. It is then distributed to the residents and businesses in the cities of Owosso and Corunna, and Owosso and Caledonia townships. So how does lead content show up in some homes?

The properties that have shown any lead content when tested, in most cases, are in older homes that most likely have service lines that run from the water main to the home or businesses that are either galvanized or lead pipes. This type of service line can and may result in these properties showing an abnormal lead content. Whose responsibility is it to take action to eliminate the lead content in properties? It is the responsibility of the property owner to replace the galvanized and lead pipes between the city water main and the structure. This can be very expensive and many property owners are restricted in the amount of money they have available to accomplish this replacement.

We on the city council recognize this problem, and the city has applied for a grant to assist in helping property owners in this replacement. Originally it was thought the city of Owosso would receive a grant of $1 million for this purpose. Unfortunately, many communities applied for the available grant funding and the city of Owosso has been notified we will receive considerably less than the amount applied for. At the present time, the city is developing a plan that will be of the best benefit to our citizens. A study is underway seeking to help those most in need, and hopefully this project of replacing the service line can begin in the near future. It is my desire to consider the financial ability of the property owners, the ability to stretch the available funding in a manner as to help the most people and hopefully more money will become available to replace more service lines.

What can a property owner who has a lead content in their water do to help alleviate the problem until the water service line is replaced? First, when drawing water from the faucet, let the water run for approximately 30 seconds, which allows any water standing in the service line and indoor piping to be flushed from the water. Most people are unaware of the fact that many faucets and fixtures contain lead in the material with which they are made. Replacing these fixtures with modern day fixtures is a great step to take to help eliminate a lead content problem.

Hopefully, I have been able to clear up some of the incorrect statements that have been made by misinformed individuals. I was elected to represent the citizens of the city of Owosso. I sincerely hope I have been of assistance to some of the citizens.

Burton Fox,

Owosso City Council member

Burton Fox, Owosso City Council member was last modified: May 29th, 2018 by Karen Elford