Wareham Water Department must take action against corporate polluters

Sep 26, 2017

To the Editor:

The letter to the editor from the Wareham Water District Superintendent asking readers to imagine “a day without water” was compelling.

Even more reason the Wareham Water District must reinstitute its prior monitoring for agricultural herbicides, pesticides and fungicides in the Wareham Water District wells.

Despite Wareham voters directing the district to study further the previously documented contamination of our wells, no tests for these dangerous agricultural chemicals have been conducted in almost three years. This failure is stunning given that two of the agricultural contaminants previously found in our drinking wells have apparently been banned from use in 29 countries.

Without current and sophisticated testing of the wells the district does not know if the legacy contamination has resolved, if the problem remains, or worse yet, if the problem has materially worsened. No news is rarely good news when it comes to protecting public health.

And why hasn’t the district taken steps to pump more water from the “cleaner” wells as opposed to the wells that have highest levels of agricultural contamination?  While such an obvious and elegant option needs Department of Environmental Protection approval, that agency insists it has not been contacted by the district regarding this topic.

Instead of asking customers to imagine a day without water, the district should be taking all necessary steps to assure Wareham residents that the water we drink is free from agricultural pollutants, and that ratepayers aren’t footing the bill for the contamination of corporate polluters.

Barry C. Cosgrove