Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 4:37 am | Mostly Cloudy 51º


Letter to the Editor: Injecting Wastewater into Drinking Water Supply

Brought to you by bureaucrats and politicians, not scientists or public health specialists, the leaders from the City of Santa Barbara may be thinking:----"let's overdraft our ground water basin and then refill it with wastewater, this will keep the seawater out also."

Are they really that foolish, after-all they are our politicians and bureaucrats, we elected them or allowed their placement. So, what training do they have that we should trust to protect our health? Answer, in this area, very little training is required----if any. So, what's up?

Want to discuss?

What is wrong with flushing medications down the toilet?

When medications are flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain, most of these chemicals pass through treatment plants or septic systems ending up in our water resources and can harm aquatic wildlife, including fish and amphibians.  We have more than 1,400 wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. and Canada that discharge 4.8 billion gallons of treated effluent into the Great Lakes Basin every day.  Only about half of the prescription drugs and other newly emerging contaminants are removed by treatment plants, the rest end up in our waters.  These systems are not designed to remove the active drug compounds and most of these chemicals end up accumulating in our groundwater, rivers, lakes, and aquatic organisms.

Can drugs actually be harmful to fish and other aquatic life?

Yes. Some of these chemicals interfere with or mimic natural hormones and disrupt reproduction, development, and behavior of fish and other organisms. For example, certain drugs can cause male fish to develop female characteristics. These "intersex fish" have been found in some rivers throughout the county, particularly downstream of wastewater treatment plants serving large municipal areas. These fish often do not reproduce.

Armed with that kind of info, the City of Santa Barbara will be manipulating drinking water.

Dr. Edo McGowan

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