The people wanting Durango to get rid of fluoride seem deeply concerned about chemicals added to our drinking water. If they are so worried, why don’t they eliminate chlorine, which is also a toxic substance? Or for that matter, why not simply vote out water treatment altogether?
– Sign us, E. Coli and G. Ardia
Action Line can’t tell if you’re serious or sarcastic.
These days, it’s hard to tell the difference, especially with all the “alternative facts” and fake news.
Not that Action Line is opposed to either.
Alternative facts and fake news are Action Line’s stock-in-trade.
They are indispensable tools for the Award Winning Investigative Journalism you’ve come to expect every Monday morning.
In any case, the Internet is filled with people who staunchly support eliminating fluoride AND chlorine.
Official-looking websites have dire warnings about chlorine causing cancer along with “scientific studies” proving it.
But no one is asking Durango to vote out chlorine in the water.
Certainly not the organization behind the fulsome fluoride fulminations.
Jim Forleo, the leader of the local ban-fluoride plebiscite, pointed out that chlorine “is an additive to treat water and disinfect it. You can easily filter it out.”
Fluoride, he maintains, “is an additive that treats people and not water. It’s a drug not monitored by a physician and it can’t be totally filtered out.”
Rest assured, chlorine will continue to be added to Durango’s water.
Not that we have a choice.
The state of Colorado requires chlorine to be added to potable water.
And just for the record, “potable” water in Colorado does not have any pot in it.
Meanwhile, back at the water-treatment ranch, local chlorine levels were reported as between 0.04 and 0.81 parts per million, enough to kill any nasty microbes, according to the city’s latest “Drinking Water Consumer Confidence Report”.
No doubt there are some hippy-dippy chlorine foes who want Durango’s water to be “chemical free.”
Imagine the horror when they realize water itself is a chemical.
Its scientific name is “hydrogen oxide. It’s classified as a “solvent.”
You wouldn’t put a solvent in your body. Especially an “oxide.”
All of which is ridiculous, which pretty much describes Durango’s history with water treatment.
Did you know that Durango didn’t treat its water until the 1950s? That was when the state rated our drinking water to be “unsafe.”
Durango Herald publishers Arthur and Morley Ballantine had just moved to town. When Morley turned on the water in her kitchen, a tadpole came out of the faucet.
The Ballantines were appalled that town’s water came directly from the Florida River.
The publishers then started a spirited initiative to build a filtration plant and covered reservoir.
How did Durango citizens react? Not very well.
Taxpayers were outraged. Some claimed the government was overstepping its authority. More than a few viewed it as a Communist plot. Sound familiar?
The newspaper lost an estimated $10,000 in ad revenue, a small fortune back then. But the water system was improved despite the hullabaloo.
So on this upcoming election, Durango will have another opportunity to weigh in on water treatment.
A vote of “no” will mean you want to keep fluoride in the water. A vote of “yes” is a vote to remove it.
As some Durangoans seem bent on “voting out” harmful city services, we really ought to put DGOV-TV on the ballot.
Everyone knows that watching TV lowers your IQ, just like drinking fluoridated water.
If we really want to improve water quality, we should vote out Silverton. After all, we must reduce toxins in the Animas River.
Once we get that done, it’s time to revisit the plastic bag ban.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can ask for anonymity if your water is free-range, holistic, artisanal, certified organic and triple-washed for freshness.