Letters to the Editor

Consider issues around water when you vote

Thank you for increasing discussion on water. Protecting our water and managing it well is vital. Critical to good management is responsibility with money.

I support “tiered pricing” — those who use water efficiently pay less and those who don’t pay more. Money coming in to WD19 stays the same. Money in the bank for repair and upgrades safeguards our water supply. I also support new alternative supply methods that could be gained at no additional cost through educating customers or with grants.

Understanding contaminants is important for our health and that of the environment. Examples of contaminants are arsenic in water deep in the ground and “total coliforms” (like human and animal fecal matter, soil) in the water we gather from the surface. There are common practices that also need to be understood. All our water presently contains a degree of different contaminants. This is considered normal. All Vashon’s seven district’s samples have exceeded public contaminant standards at different times. A water company’s job is to measure the amount of contaminants and bring the levels down to agreed standards — and we can choose to pay more for higher standards.

If we pull too much water from the earth, contaminant levels rise and there is less water for other living things. I would like “extra” water to come from places other than our streams or the aquifer. The other candidate for this job supports WD19s current plan for “extra water” by boosting the speed that water is pulled out of the large storage tanks — this increases the draw from the aquifer. An example of good “extra water” is via conservation, which frees up high quality water without pulling any additional water from the aquifer.

Vote for the candidate you think best to protect the environment, responsibly.

— Jenny Bell

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