Daily Archives: November 12, 2011

Spreading the wealth around for infrastructure

Drinking water infrastructure needs will always be with us…..pipes wear out, equipment must be replaced, and so forth. Articles like this which draw attention to infrastructure replacement costs in New York are not uncommon…….click here.

And to cope with this situation advocates of big government typically argue for more federal funding (e.g. revolving loan funds) or grants (free money, borrowed from China or someone else). The net effect of this is to push the cost of drinking water further away from those who will end up using the water and on to the taxpayer.

In the 1990s we heard the argument of “no unfunded federal mandates”…..meaning that the federal government should pay for mandates they impose on the state and local governments…this sounds good, but what if a federal government agency goes rogue….unchecked at imposing mandates because they think the federal agency is responsible and must impose their control, rather than recognizing the responsibility of citizens, towns, cities, and states. (Any federal government agency will gladly run your life and tell you what to do….)

In the end, the “no unfunded federal mandates” mantra does not solve the real problem…..because providing federal funds (which do not exist and must be borrowed) to meet federal agency imposed mandates does not address the fundamental question of whether the particular federal mandate is needed at all. And here is where we are today…..mandates galore, with no real check on whether many of them are even necessary…..

Infrastructure wears out and we know it must be eventually replaced. Perhaps it is time for real government reform and elimination of unnecessary federal mandates and agencies so that more funds can be devoted to infrastructure needs. Big government advocates, GOP elite and democrat alike, and their policies have taken the US to where it is today with regard to the growth of government, economic decline, and infrastructure deterioration.  

Change is good. So let’s thank the establishment republicans for their service and vote them and the democrats out in 2012. Do the math folks. The current path (e.g., supercommittee, deficit increases, debt limit increases, etc) simply will not result in infrastructure sustainability…..but will only continue the slow US decline (with rising costs)…..to eventually reach third world status. Spreading the wealth around for infrastructure has not helped….except to grow government dependency….


Newburgh, New York to become regional water supplier

$26 million will be spent to expand Newburgh’s filtration plant, to reduce dependency of Orange County Water Authority on New York aqueducts. Click here for more…

Press Spin: You can’t trust drinking water suppliers

Lists of drinking water enforcement actions and violations released by USEPA are now circulating and more news articles like this one….click here….should be expected. USEPA simply cannot make drinking water clean…..and the vast majority of regulators have no clue how to operate a water treatment plant. 

This article begins, “We trust that the water we drink is safe.” but we soon find out that the article claims the water is not safe and the water supplier cannot be trusted. I am not excusing the violation of drinking water standards…..I only ask the obvious question….which is this….

If there is a violation, is the standard required justified? Is the regulation justified by the cost paid by the consumer? Consumers pay water rates…and so it is the consumer’s drinking water, not the federal, state,or local government’s water.  I recall a day many, many years ago when organizations like AWWA would stand up for the consumer and the local water supplier, rather than push for bigger government.

Today, the press wants readers to trust government (USEPA)…not those who actually supply the water….

Fordahl et al 2011: Waterborne manganese exposure alters plasma, brain, and liver metabolites accompanied by changes in stereotypical behaviors

This paper has a very misleading title. First, the study used rats, not humans. The title implies that these effects will occur in humans at any concentration of Mn. However, the drinking water Mn was 1,000 mg/L, which is astronomically high. The recommended limit in drinking water is o.05 mg/L…The broad implication of this study to humans suggested in the title is not justified.
S. Fordahl, P. Cooney, Y. Qiu, G. Xie, W. Jia, and K.M. Erikson. Waterborne manganese exposure alters plasma, brain, and liver metabolites accompanied by changes in stereotypic behaviors. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2011 Oct. 21.

Overexposure to waterborne manganese (Mn) is linked with cognitive impairment in children and neurochemical abnormalities in other experimental models. In order to characterize the threshold between Mn-exposure and altered neurochemistry, it is important to identify biomarkers that positively correspond with brain Mn-accumulation. The objective of this study was to identify Mn-induced alterations in plasma, liver, and brain metabolites using liquid/gas chromatography-time of flight-mass spectrometry metabolomic analyses; and to monitor corresponding Mn-induced behavior changes. Weanling Sprague-Dawley rats had access to deionized drinking water either Mn-free or containing 1g Mn/L for 6weeks. Behaviors were monitored during the sixth week for a continuous 24h period while in a home cage environment using video surveillance. Mn-exposure significantly increased liver, plasma, and brain Mn concentrations compared to control, specifically targeting the globus pallidus (GP). Mn significantly altered 98 metabolites in the brain, liver, and plasma; notably shifting cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism in the brain (increased oleic and palmitic acid; 12.57 and 15.48 fold change (FC), respectively), and liver (increased oleic acid, 14.51 FC; decreased hydroxybutyric acid, -14.29 FC). Additionally, Mn-altered plasma metabolites homogentisic acid, chenodeoxycholic acid, and aspartic acid correlated significantly with GP and striatal Mn. Total distance traveled was significantly increased and positively correlated with Mn-exposure, while nocturnal stereotypic and exploratory behaviors were reduced with Mn-exposure and performed largely during the light cycle compared to unexposed rats. These data provide putative biomarkers for Mn-neurotoxicity and suggest that Mn disrupts the circadian cycle in rats.

Click here to obtain a copy of the study (fee).