What's in Charlotte's Water?

A few days ago I heard a disturbing report on the news as I was preparing dinner. In a nutshell, I recall the reporter saying that Charlotte was ranked third in a listing of cities with the most contaminated water in the nation. I didn't get to hear the entire piece, but went looking for it to bring it here and to find out what in the world was going on. I couldn't find it anywhere.

Now I know why.

The listing was in Men's Health magazine. The listing has now been thoroughly debunked in today's Charlotte Observer.

Charlotte has the third-dirtiest drinking water in the country, Men's Health magazine says.

"Pure hogwash," retorts Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities spokesman Vic Simpson. "Men's Health needs to stick to sit-ups and health shakes."

Dayum! Vic's got his snark on.

More below the fold...

What does Men's Health have to say?

"The water's absolutely safe," says Men's Health public relations person Megan Montenaro, adding that all 100 cities rated meet federal standards. "It's just that when you rank something, somebody has to come in last."

What exactly was it that put Charlotte on the list?

But the magazine flunked the city for fecal bacteria detections. The water department blamed that on an episode of contaminated sampling equipment, saying the public wasn't at risk.

Oh, OK. So, at least you people know what you're talking about, right? I mean....because....we wouldn't want to cause a public outcry over nothing, right? Riiiiiiight.

A bigger mystery: the magazine's claim that Charlotte racked up 3,941 Environmental Protection Agency violations in a decade. EPA's online database shows seven Charlotte violations since 1993......

EPA spokesman Dale Kemery says it's "highly unlikely" any water system could amass thousands of violations.


"They didn't know what they were looking at," Simpson says. "We're pretty outraged."

Hmmmm....3,941 vs. 7. OK. Wow. Somebody's in need of a refresher course in math.

Who else was on the list in NC? Greensboro ranked 8th, Raleigh 10th and Durham 34th. Not to worry. Remember, these folks didn't know how to read the reports properly. So, next time you're reading Men's Health remember to take it with a grain of salt...er...fecal matter.

As always....please go visit the Observer for the whole story.


Going to be busy today

but I'll be checking in.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I hate stories

like this. Mostly because they end up ignoring actual problems with the water in favor of bullshit "reporting".

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

One thing I learned

doing a dissertation ... if you're clever (or conniving) you can make your data say just about anything you want.Pup

Typical JLF survey

In a survey of 10 cities, 1 city was ranked first while 1 city was ranked bottom of the pile. 5 cities appeared in the top 5 while another 5 cities appeared in the bottom 5. 2 cities shared the middle ranking.

Cities were ranked in alphabetical order. Margin of error: +/- high school graduation rate.

he he he he

Umhuh.....sounds about right.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I guess my only question is....

If Charlotte only had 7 violations and the mag says they had almost 4000 - but those were supposedly b/c the mag grouped smaller communities in with Charlotte...........What the hell is wrong with the water in the surrounding communities?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I've been busy trying to pay my

wife's speeding ticket today (via certified/return receipt mail, don't want her dragged off to Gitmo in the middle of the night, as we have too many cats and I'd go bonkers without her). I'd like to weigh in on this, as I have a little experieince with the EPA.

First off, a notice of violation (NOV) can be in the form of a written or verbal warning. Second, NCDENR should be the primary regulator as NCDENR petitioned the EPA and was granted oversight of their public water supply (and wastewater treatment and hazardous waste management). And the EPA does show just five separate entries over at the EPA Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO). Each entry can have multiple violations, however over the last 14 years, Charlotte Mecklinburg Utility would have averaged 0.77 NOV's per day, and each water violation has a corresponding letter sent to the affected households, so that's a whole lot of 'splainin Lucy has to do.

As for the other cities on the list, if you live in Greensboro, you're probably used to having "water alerts" in that the city water folks put the word out to boil your water before you drink it. I'm not sure, but that may have something to do with the fact that Greensboro is ringed by closed landfills that will continue to leach some nasty shit for years to come. And they want to build super landfills in the eastern part of the state?