News Briefs: Melting Snow Is Polluting Milwaukee Waterways

Also in this week's sewer and water news, a bill in New Hampshire aims to abolish fluoridation in municipal drinking water systems

The leftover trash and road salt from Wisconsin’s winter are now polluting waterways in Milwaukee, according to WTMJ News.

Jake Fincher, stormwater program manager for Sweet Water, tells the news organization the dirt, salt and trash make their way into the Milwaukee River Basin. “It’s like a tidal wave of pollutants going into our rivers and lakes after these big thaw sessions.”

The road salt causes elevated chloride levels in the water.

“That is pollution,” Jennifer Bolger-Breceda, executive director of Milwaukee Riverkeeper, tells WTMJ News “Aquatic life, fish, little crawly critters in the river can't survive when chloride levels are high. They live in a non-saline ecosystem. That amount of road salt in our waterways can be very toxic to wildlife.”

New Hampshire Bill Could Abolish Drinking Water Fluoridation

Republicans in New Hampshire have proposed a bill to abolish fluoridation in municipal water systems. The House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee recently voted 16-3 to recommend its passage.

Since 2011, four bills banning fluoride in public water systems in cities and towns have been voted down in committees by unanimous votes.

“Fluoride is the only medicine we put in our water and people can get fluoride by other means,” Rep. Raymond tells “There’s definitely momentum behind this.”

Kansas City Residents Conserving Water to Help Treatment Plant Operators

Residents of Kansas City, Missouri, are being asked to conserve water to help KC Water deal with treating exceedingly turbid Missouri River water after recent floods.

Officials are hopeful that a reduced impact on the city’s water treatment plant would allow operators to meet treatment standards that have recently failed.

A mandatory alert was sent to residents warning that elderly people, infants and those with compromised immune systems were at risk of contracting disease from the water.

 “Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms,” wrote KC Water in a statement. “These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.”


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