Wa­ter prob­lems need more than just fin­ger-point­ing

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS - L.A. Parker Columnist L.A. Parker is a Tren­to­nian columnist. Reach him at la­parker@tren­to­nian.com. Fol­low him on Twit­ter@ la­parker6.

Hamil­ton Town­ship Health Of­fi­cer Jeff Plun­kett de­liv­ered an ac­cept­able as­sess­ment of Tren­ton’s con­tin­ued prob­lems de­liv­er­ing qual­ity wa­ter to sub­ur­ban and city res­i­dents.

“There’s got to be a way to im­prove a sit­u­a­tion that con­tin­ues to fail, whether it’s fail­ing to a great de­gree or mi­nor is­sues. But when you’re deal­ing with a per­son’s drink­ing or a fam­ily’s drink­ing wa­ter or wa­ter mak­ing a baby’s for­mula, there’s sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns on all of our parts. And to con­tinue to do the same thing over and over just de­fies com­mon sense and logic,” Plun­kett told the Tren­to­nian.

First, let’s start with an ob­vi­ous ques­tion re­gard­ing Mercer County’s re­cent Wa­ter Sum­mit. Nah, that never hap­pened. Just a thought as we play this point-the-fin­ger pol­i­tics game with­out ac­cept­ing any blame by sub­ur­ban lead­ers.

No, Hamil­ton, Lawrence or other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties should have lead­ers who have Tren­ton Mayor Eric Jack­son’s phone num­ber on speed dial and not just for wa­ter is­sues.

Jack­son con­firmed that he has not met with any may­ors of lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties ser­viced by the city’s wa­ter sup­ply.

If Mercer County were a healthy area then co­op­er­a­tion in mat­ters re­gard­ing H2O, crime, busi­ness and shared ser­vices would come be­fore Plun­kett and others reached bitch mode.

Of course, this idea does not re­quire Hamil­ton Mayor Kelly Yaede, Jack­son and Lawrence Mayor David Maf­fei to break out three-part har­mony with Al Jar­reau’s “We’re In This Love To­gether” but con­cerns about wa­ter rate as le­git­i­mate and im­por­tant dis­cus­sions whether it’s Tren­ton wa­ter turn­ing pur­plish pink or a chem­i­cal used in waste­water treat­ment be­ing pumped into the Cross­wicks Creek of Hamil­ton Twp.

Min­i­mal re­port­ing oc­curred when Hamil­ton Twp. sewage work­ers caused dis­col­oration of Cross­wicks Creek when they pumped fer­ric chlo­ride into the wa­ter source.

The mishap oc­curred on Au­gust 28 and Hamil­ton Twp. of­fi­cials alerted the public on Sept. 1. Yaede’s of­fice posted a state­ment that “The treat­ment plant has not ex­ceeded any of its per­mit pa­ram­e­ters for rou­tine dis­charge dur­ing this past month (Au­gust).”

Case closed. Of course, Hamil­ton’s mis­take hardly com­pares to the his­tor­i­cal prob­lems Tren­ton has suf­fered through dur­ing the Mayor Tony Mack and Mayor Jack­son era.

City of­fi­cials noted a re­cent dis­col­oration problem oc­curred in South Tren­ton af­ter an ex­cess con­cen­tra­tion of potas­sium per­man­ganate pumped into the wa­ter sys­tem. The chem­i­cal is used in the stan­dard wa­ter treat­ment process.

Plun­kett said wa­ter “is­sues con­tinue to rear their ugly head with great fre­quency.”

“If that’s the state or if that’s a pri­vate con­trac­tor (tak­ing over), then so be it,” Plun­kett said. “We keep re­vis­it­ing the same mat­ter, only with a dif­fer­ent comma, and a dif­fer­ent ‘i’ and a dif­fer­ent ‘t.’ It’s crazy.”

Wa­ter re­mains the lifeblood of healthy com­mu­ni­ties, not just in sub­ur­ban house­holds. Wa­ter mat­ters in Flint, Michi­gan. Tren­ton, Hamil­ton, Lawrence, etc.

It’s time for con­ver­sa­tions about wa­ter, crime, drug ad­dic­tion and the fu­ture.

The suc­cess of Mercer County de­mands that may­ors, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and peo­ple speak, meet and work to­gether.

Tren­ton Dis­col­ored Wa­ter

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