Your front-page article for May 4 to 10, “Township considers filters for radiological chemicals in water,” shows that our water crisis is rapidly becoming a crisis of leadership.
Township manager Scott Carew, engineer L. Russell Trice and Mayor Phil Garwood are now reconfiguring the “interim solution” they put forward in early March.
The original plan called for the deployment of a Calgon Carbon Corp. filtration system designed to remove these two industrial solvents Trichloropropane (TCP 1,2,3) and Trichloroethylene (TCE) from our drinking water. That’s not good enough now.
The new plan requires additional equipment from Water Resources Technology Inc., which will filter out radionuclides like “radium, gross alpha and other contaminants.”
According to the Sun, the changes were “in response to citizen concern,” but most of the heat was applied by the Moorestown Water Group. In April, MWG posted a detailed, “Fact Sheet” on their Facebook page arguing that the township’s interim plan would not remove dangerous radioactive chemicals.
The township leaders knew the water group was right, and they acknowledged as much by changing their interim plan. The worst part is that the township leaders have the same information MWG has, but they didn’t include the radioactive contaminants in their “interim solution” until they had to. When the people lead, the leaders will follow.
Since October of 2014, when the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection recommended that both Church Street wells be closed due to contamination, township leaders have repeatedly said our water was always safe, that it is safe now, and it will be even safer in the future.
We can’t rely on such vague assurances any longer. We have to act like adults, for our children’s sake. This is the water they bathe in, the water they drink.
We have no reason to believe in the “interim solution” or in the $20 million dollar “permanent solution.”
Instead, we have to keep our township wells closed, because the water they draw from is contaminated with industrial solvents and radiological chemicals that can never be thoroughly eliminated.
We can’t risk our children’s future on a huge double-down bet by the township’s leaders. The money we can raise through taxes or bonds could set up a trust fund to buy clean water from New Jersey American Water, nearby towns or other sources for a very long time.