To the Editor:

During Killeen’s boiling water notice, citizens complained because they do not have an inkling of what other countries are regularly like; nor have we been told that the water is undrinkable.

When I visited remote areas in the southern regions of Africa, I (along with many others) lined up at hand pump stations that were 2-5 miles away and filled containers of every kind to bring back to a dwelling or encampment (UNHCR) to later boil and let cool to drink. And, there was no refrigeration. It was not an option.

In central Italy, where I travel to visit relatives almost yearly, the situation of undrinkable tap water is unfortunately normal.

They still boil water and let it cool in order to cook and drink; they use bottled water for everything else, so it is considered a part of life.

Killeen and its environs continue to grow, and sometimes this can be rather painful.

But boiling water is nothing compared to the winter power outage where 208-210 people lost their lives in Texas —a fact covered by this newspaper, but not treated at all by national media (my house was with no power for 10 days with indoor temperatures lowering to 49 degrees.

I am writing this to advise our citizens to gain some perspective by way of comparison.

So the public works department and water and sewer department became the brunt of frustrated customers, who go on the news and compare this issue to other water problems in bigger cities that were solved rather quickly.

In Killeen, the street fee went from a nominal $1.70 monthly to $11 — an over 900% increase that passed with neither fanfare nor any kind of public outcry as we now hear regarding water. But, this can work to the city’s advantage by an (IFT) —intrafund transfer.

Financially, the city now has the capacity to improve and store more potable water once the new water tower is built, and the appropriate chemical balance is attained.

Chemistry is not my competency. But, I have enough patience and confidence in our water and sewer department to understand the complexity of flushing out such a vast system and bringing it back to standard.

At most, this boil water notice and its ongoing repairs has been a mild, but temporary inconvenience.

Paul Passamonti

retired U.S. Army major

Killeen

(2) comments

Alvin

@ Paul Passamoti: But we live in the United States of America, bot some of the foreign lands you mention. We have evolved beyond the stone age, and for that reason we should not be forced to return.

Copy: 'So the public works department and water and sewer department became the brunt of frustrated customers, who go on the news and compare this issue to other water problems in bigger cities that were solved rather quickly'. End of copy.

When you were in the Army, what did you do to a soldier for dereliction of duty, for that in essence is what that is. Did you slough it off and say, 'Well don't do it again', no you reprimanded by some sort of punishment and well you should.

Copy: 'Chemistry is not my competency. But, I have enough patience and confidence in our water and sewer department to understand the complexity of flushing out such a vast system and bringing it back to standard'. End of copy.

This is a city of 153,000 citizens who have to pay to drink this water and we can expect that our water is kept up to the standard that the state of Texas places before us, not some substandard as some far away people live,

Copy: 'In Killeen, the street fee went from a nominal $1.70 monthly to $11 — an over 900% increase that passed with neither fanfare nor any kind of public outcry as we now hear regarding water. But, this can work to the city’s advantage by an (IFT) —intrafund transfer'. End of copy.

Yes it's true that our street maintenance fee went from $1.70 to $10.00 dollars, but you seem to be missing the point, it's because our city council, that is autocratic in nature, do not recognize the simple fact that 'We pay taxes to this city for the purpose of the running of our city, that we pay these taxes for the maintenance of our roadways, and yes, we pay those taxes for the maintenance of our water and sewer systems, and not for some bureaucrat to sit in judgment of how we as citizens should be honoring their code of how this city should be ran'. But this seems to be a thing of the past as we now have a city council that is autocratic in nature, that seems to be of the opinion that 'they can by rule of the city charter, which was written to say that 'all men are created equal, except for our city council as they, when elected, are given the unequal rights as they can, and do, possess the ability as granted by the city charter to spend the monies of the citizens of this city in the most ludicrous fashion. This is our current city council, and this is our water department who seems to think that whatever is done, it's OK for them to be lax in the operation of a simple task of delivering up samples of water for testing, and low and behold our city council seems content to slough it off and want to say that 'it was the suppliers who was at fault, not the city of Killeen'. This I find absurd.

Why in the world would a country, like the United States who used to be one of the greatest Nations that this world has ever seen, be reduced to the point that a simple task like the pulling of samples to be tested, can s*rew up this operation. Furthermore, the routine job of pulling samples did not just occur spontaneously as it must have occurred over many days that the testing of water samples would be a gradual occurrence of a downward trend and not occur immediately.

This is the city of Killeen, Texas and not some other region and we can safely say that 'we expect more from the citizens of this country than from some far off land.

This is what made our country great and we expect more from our citizens.

You speak of an 'intrafund transfer'', is this what is normally referred to as 'The General Fund'? If it is then that's what has been the problem as there is too much transference that can't be tracked going on behind the backs of our citizens now, they just don't want to let us 'view the books for fear of what we will find out'. So what's your next gambit?

Rkidwell

Absolutely agree! That’s not to say we don’t need to investigate the cause(s) of the problem, but in the grand scheme of life, this is but a bump in the road. I do agree that potable water trumps bumpy roads. I don’t believe WCID-1 caused the problem. [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

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