Los Angeles Daily News Scares Water Consumers

Welcome to my first blog. I hope to continue with this water/science/environment blog as a vehicle to examine such issues critically – not in the manner that it is — unfortunately — so typical of ill-informed journalists and so-called “environmentalists.”

The two most significant items to address in the headline story of today’s Los Angeles Daily News article are:

  1. Both MWD and LADWP – in over 12,000 analyses each – had ONE actual violation in the past five monitoring years. Not a bad average. The article goes on in the table to contrast this with the “Average” of 0.5 violations per an “Average” of 420 analyses. If you do the math – and you have to, since the article does not – the “Average” violation would be around 15 per 12,000 analyses. So, even using the questionable data supplied, MWD and LADWP have exemplary records, with violations of only around 6% of the national “average.”
  2. The representative from the Environmental Working Group recommends that people install home “filters” to make their water safe. What kind of filter? What filter would remove these nasty “contaminants” from the water? Dissolved contaminants – such as the arsenic and perchlorate mentioned in the article – will pass right through essentially all home filters, just like the “salt” in sea water would. (You couldn’t use these devices for desalting – if you could, we wouldn’t have front page articles about the drought, what with the largest body of water in the known Universe sitting off the California coastline.) In fact, if the most common home filters – activated carbon filters – are not thrown out and replaced every six months, they will DEGRADE water quality by adding huge numbers of bacteria to the water (Bacteria live and thrive in these types of filters.)

One last thing: how many deaths and/or illnesses have been attributed to drinking this supposedly tainted water? Don’t look to the Daily News article for the answer, because ZERO doesn’t get to the front page. In fact, in reporting water quality, the number zero is not allowed on a public water quality report. The EPA requires that, if a water agency finds absolutely nothing in the water, they must publish the result as “

Go ahead and drink the water — I do!

Steve McLean

3 Responses to Los Angeles Daily News Scares Water Consumers

  1. avatar dustinalleman says:

    I want to meet the marketing genius that got everyone so scared of drinking water that isn't in a bottle.

  2. avatar Kass says:

    Go get 'em Steve 🙂

  3. avatar Bob Ostrove says:

    Like most science-based stories reported in newspapers, the Daily News article is sensationalist blather.

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