Water problems need more than just finger-pointing
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