Troy leaders make bold, positive

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 12, 1999

move to fix wastewater problem

Though Troy’s drinking water is safe, the Alabama State Attorney General’s office has decided that wastewater being dumped into Walnut Creek carries a risk of disrupting the balance of nature.

This is no real surprise in the wake of increased government regulations concerning the minimum water quality that must be maintained after municipalities have treated their wastewater.

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Evidence shows that cities with higher industrial bases are at the greatest risk to failing the state’s "water flea" test, and that is something that Troy has plenty of considering such corporations as Ansell, Sikorsky, Hudson Industries, K&W Plastics, just to name a few.

What it boils down to is that the city will have to clean up what it’s dumping into Walnut Creek one way or another. Whether the feat occurs as a result of asking consumers and corporations to monitor what they put into the water supply or whether it’s a matter of developing processes that will purify the water a little more, Troy must do something.

City leaders have shown a refreshing awareness of and frankness about this situation. Early this week, the city held a press conference where it announced the suit that has been filed in Pike County Circuit Court. Mayor Jimmy C. Lunsford talked matter-of-factly about the situation saying that the city would work with the AG’s office and with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to get the problem fixed.

It is important for residents to remember a couple of things regarding this situation. The first is that nothing has been found wrong with the city’s water supply – the water you drink and shower in. The problem is with the discharge of that water after it enters the sewage system and is sent down Walnut Creek.

There are fish swimming abundantly in the clear water where the wastewater treatment facility empties into Walnut Creek. The water there is clear and seems to be non-threatening to the wildlife in the area, so at worst, the risk to the environment is minimal.

Still, over time, as more and more cities dump their wastewater into the same area, the risks could increase and could threaten to disrupt the purity of the water table or could harm species of animals and micro-organisms causing a threat to the food chain.

We can’t afford for this to happen, and fortunately, our local officials seem to be in consensus.

By working with ADEM and the state AG, the city of Troy is confronting its problem in the best way it can – head on with no political agenda in sight. We appreciate their position on this. Though we know that the rules are changing and the water is likely safe enough to be discharged into the environment, we agree with ADEM that any risk is too much risk when it comes to the planet our children and their children will lead one day.

The city understands this and is working hard to clean up its dirty water. Though it poses no immediate threat to man or beast, it could carry long-term repercussions if it is not dealt with soon.

Again, thanks to our city leaders for keeping us informed on this issue and we look forward to helping in any way we can to help Troy have full compliance with ADEM issues.