Re: Reclaimed water raises questions, letter, Feb. 8
Reclaimed water carries no risks
Reclaimed water is a safe, sustainable water supply that has been used in Florida for more than 40 years with an unblemished record of safety.
Approximately 663-million gallons per day of reclaimed water is used in Florida for a range of beneficial purposes. In 2006 there were 216,250 residential lawns, 470 golf courses, 680 parks and 270 schools being irrigated with reclaimed water.
Florida's Legislature has established the encouragement and promotion of water reuse as a formal state objective. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida's five water management districts and other agencies, including the Florida Department of Health, have implemented a comprehensive program to meet this objective, which includes a detailed set of regulations governing reuse.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District strongly promotes the use of reclaimed water and is heavily involved in the latest research through its professional affiliations with the WateReuse Foundation's Research Advisory Committee, the Florida Water Environmental Association Reuse Committee, the WateReuse Florida Board, and the Florida Reuse Coordinating Committee.
According to the latest national study on the irrigation of parks, playgrounds and schoolyards with reclaimed water, there were "no incidences of illness or disease from either microbial pathogens or chemicals" in the 1,600 sites tested.
Research into reclaimed water is ongoing but there are no indications of any major health concerns. Reclaimed water in Florida currently meets more than 95 percent of drinking water standards and is one of the cleanest water sources available.
Anthony Andrade, senior water conservation analyst, Southwest Florida Water Management District
Zoning change was ill-advised
The Safety Harbor City Commission recently voted to change the zoning on the southeast corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Philippe Parkway (Mullet Creek) from residential to general office against the unanimous advice of the Planning and Zoning Board.
Mayor Andy Steingold, and Commissioners Nadine Nickeson, Joe Ayoub and Keith Zayac voted in favor of the change, with Vice Mayor Kathleen Earle opposing. Now, anything can be built on that corner, i.e., office building, gas station, etc. What are the environmental effects going to be to Mullet Creek?
At the commission meeting on Feb. 4, one of the agenda items was to appoint an alternate to the Planning and Zoning Board. Several residents had submitted applications but it seemed that only one was considered: a general contractor. Mayor Steingold and Vice Mayor Mary Lynda Williams expressed their concern that this would be a conflict of interest. Commissioner Ayoub made the motion to accept the general contractor as an alternate board member. Commissioners Nickeson, Ayoub and Nina Bandoni voted in favor, with Mayor Steingold and Vice Mayor Williams voting no.
Can a general contractor be unbiased when voting on development that could benefit him financially? Will he recuse himself from voting when he could benefit financially? I guess time will tell.
The school district would like to build a north county school bus compound at the intersection of McMullen-Booth Road and State Road 580. This terminal would greatly add to the traffic in this area. If you are opposed to this action or need more information call (727) 588-3000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you care about your city, I encourage you to get involved. Attend the commission meetings. At the beginning of each meeting is "Audience to be heard." You can express your opinion on any subject not on the agenda. Then watch to see if the commission that you voted into office truly cares what the citizens want.
If you can't attend the meeting, you can watch it from the city's Web site at cityofsafetyharbor.com on video streaming. You can also e-mail the commission to express your wishes or concerns. Get involved!
Malisa Jernigan, Safety Harbor