Comments: Sorting the Snail Mail

You know, I always wondered why that Georgia water had a "taste". We should all move to Iceland...now, that's water defined.

Anyway, I'm sure it's not the water that makes you glow...it's gotta be the shampoo.

Just kidding.

posted by Sam on December 1, 2004 03:18 PM

Eeeeek...how many fingers am I holding up.

Come to think of it...Georgia water does taste kind of funny...probably why we have one of those filter and reverse osmosis thingamabobs hooked up to the kitchen faucet.

At least it explains why the dog glows in the dark.

posted by Moogie on December 1, 2004 05:50 PM

If you're curious, both haloacetic acids and total trihalomethanes are byproducts of chlorinating water. Evidence has started to accumulate that they're mildly carcinogenic, so the EPA requires that their levels be kept below 80 parts per billion.

If it's any consolation, that small increased risk of cancer is a tradeoff for a vastly decreased risk of bacterial infection from the water supply. These aren't radioactive, so on the down side your chance of glowing is pretty low.

Why they took a year and a half to tell you, and why they didn't bother to explain what HAA5 and TTHMs were in the letter are questions I can't answer. At a guess, your water authority is like most local governmental bodies these days--ludicrously underfunded, and empolying a mix of the insanely dedicated (willing to work for a small fraction of what they'd make in the private sector) and the incompetent (glad to find work at any salary).

posted by The Polite Liberal on December 1, 2004 06:18 PM

Yeah, I did google the two terms. (I had to see WHAT I'd introduced into my system, right?)

But "glowing" is better for story-telling. ;D

(Although the 18 months is NO exaggeration.)

posted by Key on December 1, 2004 07:04 PM

On the plus side, they didn't even test for TTHMs until 1982, so we've all had a good decade or so of quaffing them. A few months probably won't do us much further damage =-)

Gotta love Google!

If your local water district is horribly understaffed, it's possible that it's taken them this long to notice that they weren't generating data from 2003. I always feel a bit sorry for local governmental bodies like water districts and city agencies--they're usually at the very end of the chain of buck-taking (the federal government imposes unfunded mandates on the states, which then turn around and underfund local governmental agencies to pay for the mandates, which then are forced to make insane budgetary decisions like "do we all really need chairs and phones?").

posted by The Polite Liberal on December 1, 2004 09:16 PM

I must ask you, my liberal blogson, if you GET the government's gross inefficiency of fund management (due to the trickle down through bureaucratic bullshit, etc, etc), why would you then think such an entity - in any way, shape or form - CAPABLE of providing nationwide health coverage?

Didn't I raise you better than that?

posted by Key on December 1, 2004 09:40 PM

I thought pretty southern girls like you drank bottled water. This is a big revelation, and I beg you to make the switch soon. My rec?
Aquafina.

posted by coldbeverage on December 1, 2004 11:23 PM

Basically because I've worked at private companies as well. They're also grossly inefficient. For a big enough company, you have a similarly ludicrous amount of bureaucratic bullshit. You also have random management whims, absurd management salaries, and a host of other problems. (Disney, for example, spent $140 million in its hiring then immediate firing of Michael Ovitz. That's about four times the budget of a small state university!)

Government can work, or not, depending on whether people are willing to get publicly involved and demand oversight. Private enterprise can work, or not, depending if there are either market forces or government regulation to quell abuses. I generally prefer government for basic services (ones that you oughtn't be able to lose even when you're going through hard times) and the free market for everything else. They work well together, actually (the Internet's a classic example of the way everything should work--developed by university scientists for the Defense Department (it was originally DARPAnet), then set loose to be used by commercial entities.

posted by The Polite Liberal on December 2, 2004 12:05 AM

Ah, Drinki-drinki brings an easy question to the table for mama's post-midnight brain to chew on.

Yes, honey, I DO prefer bottled water. But I don't always have it on hand, and I have a really nice ref (which chills and filters the water), so if I must drink the tap, it doesn't feel all THAT primitive.

It's okay honey. I lived. I'm fine. And with my new gills, I can hold my breath for like ten minutes under water!

(But don't test that theory, 'kay?)

posted by Key on December 2, 2004 12:43 AM

Don't feel bad...when I lived in Delaware, the municipal water system was soooooooo screwed up, Key. I'm talking "Sea Monkeys In Every Glass" screwed up. Once every other month I'd get a letter from my landlord advising me that on the city would be flushing the pipes on such-and-such day and not to use (let alone drink) the water between, say, 8:30 and 5. Of course, after 5 we needed to run the faucets for a few minutes to ensure we got fresh water.

There is nothing quite so discouraging as waking up late, forgetting about the letter, hopping in the shower and getting sprayed with brown water. Worse still...you can't even wash it off until the clean water comes back. Try calling your boss and explaining that. Blegh...that ensured such a miserable, wasted day off.

posted by zonker on December 2, 2004 01:21 AM

Eighteen months taken to notify you not withstanding, at least they're making efforts to meet health standards. The last city I lived in, for four years, has known the arsenic content in the water is unforgivably high, and have done nothing about it. It's the worst on the campus, where I spent most of my time. While most people laughed about it (it might be carcinogenic, but if anyone tries to slyly poison me, they won't have much luck with arsenic due to my new tolerance, thanks to the city), a little boy taking a tour of the campus last year actually developed accute poisoning.

I'm assuming he was really sensitive, or put his mouth on the fountain while drinking from it, and got just enough of the dried on minerals from it to cause poisoning or something. That didn't make it any less disturbing, however.

posted by Samira on December 3, 2004 05:52 PM

do garden/land snails drink water? i've got 3 and they r so cute! they r called peachy, creamy and custard! ive been lukin on loadsa websites but i cant find an answer! somone please tell me!

posted by me on May 21, 2005 10:11 AM
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