(One inaccuracy: pulling water from the Floridan aquifer and putting it into the Everglades. Water in the Everglades has ph characteristics and chemical properties that are significantly different from deep aquifer water quality. You cannot put Floridan aquifer water into the Everglades without massive, expensive treatment.)
This point-- about water QUALITY -- points to the fatal weakness of the WLRN report: issues relating to testing and toxicity of drinking water in South Florida.
The listening public deserves a correction: a follow up program to investigate all the issues related to regulation and testing. We know, for example, that widely used pesticides like atrazine have enormous impacts on biology and the integrity of creation. Public databases like those used by the Environmental Working Group to analyze drinking water supplies in the United States are incomplete.
A cursory google check turns up a NY Times report on Miami-Dade water quality and a link to an EPA website: "NOTICE: EPA is aware of inaccuracies and underreporting of some data in the Safe Drinking Water Information System. We are working with the states to improve the quality of the data."
In other words: BULLSHIT. Let WLRN investigative reporters go back to the Keys water supply wells and offer the public an insight to exactly how often and through what protocols, water from the treatment plant is tested for toxics is tested before being sent to the Florida Keys. (And the same, by the way, for water being sent to 2.1 million people drinking Miami-Dade water, too.)
At minute 32.50, the WLRN program moves to issues related to the Florida Keys that derives more than half of its drinking water through wells in Homestead, ringed by the most intensive industrial agriculture in South Florida. This segment covers only one subject: supply and quantity.
No discussion -- a glaring omission-- of quality and in particular quality related to toxics.
As an editorial aside -- Miami Dade Water and Sewer claims that drinking water meets all federal drinking water standards. But the testing requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act are not protective, thanks to the far right's pressure on Congress and the US EPA. This is where the WLRN do-over should start, not finish.
"Water is the source of life" says one Miami-Dade engineer as if to frame WLRN's good intentions. Then what about toxics in the water supply that deform the source of life? Not a word. The reporter/s wax poetic about the engineering feats delivering everything from sandals to marguerita mix to the Florida Keys. Not a word about toxics or the gaping holes in the EPA regulation of water quality affecting public health. That's just plain wrong.
I hear our readers asking the question: do you drink water from the tap. The answer is, yes, but not exclusively. Do I trust Miami-Dade County, the state of Florida, and the US EPA to protect my health through drinking water standards, testing, and compliance monitoring? No. Do I have evidence that toxics are in our drinking water supply?
The record of malfeasance by the US EPA and Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida in protecting drinking water supplies is clear. We know that coastal marine life turns up a record of deformities caused by toxics. We know that EPA drinking water tests poorly account for the extent of toxics in the environment and, moreover, that its budgets and staff capable of enforcement have been severely curtailed by a right-wing Congress. We also know that EPA itself acknowledges errors and omissions in Miami-Dade County: "system failed to complete all samples or sample in a timely manner, or had another non-health violation" and "EPA has no record of monitoring or other violations reported by the state for this water system". Confident now?
If WLRN were honest, it would go back and do it all over.