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Los Alamos has at least one set of conflicting goals: water conservation and reducing the level of dissolved metals in the water its denizens consume. Many of the town’s aging water pipes are lined with lead and other metals, which may leach into the water. We are told by very reputable sources to run the water for three to five minutes in the morning, to allow the lead and dissolved metals to wash out of the pipes, before drinking the water.
And, we want to drink the water. Bottled water means we are adding to an ever-growing pollution problem of plastic refuse, which will not go away for generations. It is ruining the fish in the oceans, and, we are told, it contains hormones that may eventually give us cancer.
On the other hand, it is no secret that New Mexico is not a water-rich state, nor that Los Alamos is spending millions of dollars to tap into an additional water supply for the future.
So, why not offer private individuals and companies tax incentives for replacing aged water pipes to make it unnecessary to waste water in order to drink it safely? Or, why not have the county take responsibility for replacing water pipes.
This is a matter of public health. We will lose productivity if we allow our citizens to drink unhealthy water. We will waste valuable water if they must flush out the pipes every morning (and evening, if the water has not been running during the day), in order to have a clean drink of water.