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Mendon’s water OK for culinary use now

September 21st, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Kade Delis

MENDON — City administrators have let citizens know that they can rest assured and know that their culinary water is now safe again. It was posted on a note outside of Mendon City Station.

Citizens were warned about the culinary water supply carrying dangerous levels of nitrate, a byproduct of fertilizer, around the middle of August.

Jon Hardman, councilman in charge of culinary water and Mendon secondary water system liaison, said at a council meeting that there would be a water conservation incentive program with rewards for responsible water use. He said they hoped to check water meters quarterly and compare them.

The administrators have also shut down a main well. According to Mayor Mike Morgan, the well had once supplied Mendon with over 50 percent of the drinking water. Now, to supply the citizens, the water will come from a spring where no fertilization takes place and is too high for contamination.

“It drug on for a week before we got onto it,” said Jason Wooden, council member in charge of planning and zoning. “It’s safe now because the well is shut down.”

The ones nitrate affects the most are children with symptoms including shortness of breath and blueness of skin resulting in illness and sometimes death, according to an article published by the EPA.

Outside the window of the Mendon City Station the note reads: “As of Sept. 1, Mendon City has the full flow from Deep Canyon Spring to cover our culinary water needs. This is a gift from Mendon North Irrigation Company that has turned their water over to us one month early… With the additional flow, we are going to try and relax some of our watering restrictions. We are going to allow watering of young trees, shrubs, and other critical landscape elements that would not survive without it.”

Wooden also said that one step taken is the farmers living on the north side stopped watering their crops. For now 80-90 percent of Mendon residents have clean drinking water.

“We couldn’t have done it without them.” Wooden said.

The temporary restrictions the citizens were asked included the stop of watering lawns with culinary water; only small trees shrubs and gardens should be watered. To balance system demand, even numbered houses will be watered on even days and odd numbers on odd days.

“Most residents were not happy about that but are complying with it,” says Wooden. “It’s nobody’s fault.”

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