Over the past few months we have learned a lot about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and I must say that I am appalled by the failure of their local government to do what’s right for the people of Flint. The reason we have laws is to reinforce the Ten Commandments. Now is not the time to react in Ohio by passing laws that focus solely on lead concerns considering the many lingering dangers on Ohio’s drinking water sources.
For decades communities have failed to upgrade their public water and waste water infrastructure and now many small towns and cities are trying to carve a new path forward to safe water systems. Other municipalities are celebrating their good fortunes and efforts to provide citizens high quality H2O. For those municipalities who have not had the dedication of Bobby Boucher from the 1998 Adam Sandler Film “Waterboy,” we should work with them to correct the wrong doing.
For all those Bobby Boucher’s who have taken the right steps, we should remember to pat them on the back and put them in the game to help their neighbors who have struggled.
In western Ohio, we must recognize the efforts by cities such as Celina where harmful toxins are sometimes present in the drinking water source, but is always removed from the water as it is purified and made safe for drinking.
In another Ohio city, decisions have been made in the past that put its citizens and surrounding areas at risk because of their inability to purify the water and upgrade their community’s infrastructure.
Maintaining the capital resources necessary to clean waste water and provide clean drinking water are costly, but should be a priority for every local government. We cannot allow the crisis in Flint to misdirect our efforts solely to lead contamination concerns. We must continue to promote communities who take care of their water systems and provide a nudge to those who need to take the right steps to improve their aging systems.
To solve these drinking water problems we need to return to the basics, follow the Ten Commandments, and expect those entrusted with caring for their community to do the job correctly.
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The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.