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Saturday, December 14, 2013

more background on the water questions

Diane, thanks for your input.   The details behind the story started with a call to the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County concerning this very disturbing situation with the black ring in my toilet.  We have lived in this house for 13 years and never had this problem until the water came from Johnstown.  When I explained the problem to the M.A.W.C. employee he advised that I needed to use Clorox.  I have used Clorox, Oxyclean, Limesol and whatever else I thought might help and nothing worked.  He told me he would check with his supervisor and get back to me.  He called me back and stated that I needed to use Clorox but let it set (like overnight?). It does not work.  I thanked him for his help but more importantly I wanted to know what it was or what caused this.  Without hesitation he stated “It’s just mold”!!!  At this point I stated as a doctor I did not think that mold was healthy---are we drinking “mold” or are we bathing in “mold” or cooking with “mold”?  I told him I would go to other resources for answers. 
I called the Department of Health and explained my situation to an employee.  Her annoyed response was “We just track disease!” (Oh, you are not concerned with PREVENTION of disease?!!!)  She did give me a resource which is for Penn State water and soil analysis.  On that site I found some interesting and disturbing information.  High level of manganese will cause a black ring and metallic taste to the water.  That information lead to many articles about the health issues related to high level of manganese----Parkinson like symptoms, memory loss, learning disabilities, developmental delay to name a few.  If this is indeed the cause, I have concerns for the residents of this borough in particular the children of the borough.
The other information that I came across is that water high in manganese will cause plant leaves to “yellow” or have “pox marks”.  Guess what---I have that with some of my plants!
I called M.A.W.C. again and spoke with a different employee this time.  He told me that he has the problem and the only thing he found that “gets rid” of the stain is to use ‘STEEL WOOL” (what does this do to the porcelain?!!)
Finally, after exhausting all his explanations, he asked me if I wanted “them” to come and take a water sample. I refused because I lost their trust.  I would have thought that their initial step should have been to send an employee to examine my situation and take a water sample at that time not a last resort. 
Diane this is not a subject that you discuss in your social circle but once you start talking to people you realize that many people have similar stories.  I am now buying bottled water, watering plants with bottled water, cooking with bottled water!  We had good water!!!  Don’t even get me started on the use of chlorine and fluoride in our water and the health effect to our bodies!   Thanks for listening and spreading the word.
Evelyn P. Lemmon, D.C.