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Boil orders everywhere


Dear editor,     Nothing has so preoccupied mankind as the issue of a safe drinking and general-use water supply. No creature on this earth exists without that essential compound of H2O, whether it be from a pure spring, chlorinated town water supply or a large coffee at a local coffee shop.

In fact, water is so important that Genesis Chapter I:2 refers to “the spirit God moved upon the face of the waters,” suggesting that water existed before Yahweh, or that it is a subsection of the earth and heavens created on Day One. Maybe. Maybe not. Such moot distinctions are for theological or linguistic discussions. What is important is that water was in existence for all living creatures from then onward.

Water not only sustained life, but it also played a major role in mankind 's favorite sport – war. For example, when Jerusalem was threatened by the combative Syria (not much has changed it seems), King Hezekiah of the Kingdom of Judah ensured that his troops would not be forced to surrender for lack of water by ordering his workers to drill a tunnel through 1,700 feet of solid rock from the Spring of Gihon outside the city wall of Jerusalem to the Pool of Siloam within the city.

All of which brings me to my main point — the quality of the Newfoundland and Labrador’s water supplies in 2013.

If you go to the Newfoundland and Labrador government site entitled Boil Water Advisories For Public Water Supplies, you will be absolutely shocked not only at the number of communities on the boil advisory list, but the length of time communities have been on such a list.

As of May 15, 2013, about 84 water supplies are under a boil advisory. Many such orders go back to the 1990s, and the boil order for Portugal Cove South/Wrights Brook was issued on January 1, 1984 .

Imagine 1984! One has to ask what, if any, benefit has accrued from the late Minister Eric Gullage's municipal amalgamation program when our water supplies are so atrocious and dangerous.

Obviously, this is not the fault of one partisan and neglectful government, but a guilt to be shared by all those past MHAs who did nothing to fix the problems.

Yet a still greater guilt falls on those MHAs in power in 2013, because obviously they too are still failing to take any definitive action to solve the tainted water supply problems.

Aubrey Smith

Grand Falls-Windsor

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