2008-05-08 / Letters to the Editor

National Drinking Water Week prompts reminder

On behalf of water works professionals throughout Rhode Island, I would like to remind the public during National Drinking Water Week (May 4 to 10) about the many vital, but often overlooked, benefits that only tap water delivers.

Each year, more than 3 million people worldwide die from preventable waterborne disease. But, consumers in this country can safely drink from virtually any public water tap because all public water supplies are regularly monitored and tested for more than 100 potential contaminants, and are subject to rigorous federal and state public health standards.

In terms of fire protection and suppression, a wellmaintained public water system that provides reliable water supplies and sufficient water pressure can mean the difference between a small fire and an urban inferno. Ample water for fire protection can also influence decisions about new-home construction, location of businesses and industries, and insurance rates.

A safe, sustainable water supply is fundamental to economic growth and prosperity, which, in turn, creates new jobs and an expanding local tax base. In terms of existing businesses, tap water is often critical to day-to-day operations and production. Water is also the primary ingredient in thousands of everyday products: soup, soda, and toothpaste, to name a few.

Safe, reliable water supply and service support our country's high standard of living and unprecedented quality of life. From brewing coffee to operating a washing machine, water is essential to so many modern conveniences that we often take for granted.

To continue benefiting from the tremendous value of safe, reliable tap water and service, I urge consumers to support your local utility in gaining financial support from the federal, state, and local governments to help fund much needed infrastructure improvements and enhancements, which will ensure the water keeps flow- ing for generations to come.

For further information, please contact your local water utility or visit www.newwa.org. Kenneth Booth, Rhode Island State Director New England Water Works Association

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