It’s Groundhog Day. Bill Murray’s Not So Funny Water Message

The other day I had yet another of what has become a continuing and frustrating conversation about water. Bill Murray’s frustration in the movie Groundhog day is nothing compared to the ongoing frustration I face every day with my own “Ned Ryerson”. The collective vision our leaders have about water is so narrow, uninformed, and lacking in forward thinking that it crosses the lines of hard-headed-ness and stupidity, an ventures into a danger zone that jeopardizes the future of our drinking water. Maddeningly, it seems that no matter how many times I have this conversation, and no matter which one of our leaders I have it with, the result is identical to Murray’s movie character.

It is normal that as population increases the poisons man puts into the environment will likewise increase. There is no danger or red flag here, this is simple logic. Think of a party at our own home. 20 people are going to make more of a mess than 10. As long as we are prepared with enough food, beverage, space and clean up support, all is well. So too, it is with our water.

I ask everyone reading to take heed. The major of  today’s municipal water treatment systems lack the filtration/purification technology that will be required to provide us with safe drinking water in the future. We already have proof positive that the contamination levels in our water sources are rising. The good news is that the core filtration technologies currently used by water plants, for the most part keep us safe. But remember, the EPA has documented more than 1,400 municipal water systems that have failed drinking water in some fashion or other.


So here is the source of my own Groundhog Day experience. An engineer friend of mine was the latest to tell me that “we can just ad a little more precipitation chemicals, or use carbon to take out increasing oil and grease as the water gets more contaminated.

But you see, it doesn’t work that way. Precipitation works great for reducing concentration of harmless metals like iron, However, concentration levels that are safe for simple contaminants, can be toxic for metals like chromium and germanium. As those types of contaminants continue to work their way into our source water, our existing treatment plants will begin to fail and removing them.

Once the contamination threshold for trace/toxic contaminants is exceeded it will be too late for us and our health will have been compromised. The time for building new water infrastructure is now.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.