Water Security


 

Providing clean water to the people of Madison is a priority of my campaign. Our city’s four lakes are one of the many things that make Madison one of the greatest cities on Earth, and protecting them from contamination is very important. It is equally important to protect the aquifer underneath the city so that clean drinking water is insured for all of our citizens. 

 

 

Recently our community has been engaged in a discussion about PFSA contaminants in our water. PFAS stands for per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances and are chemicals found in products that resist heat, oil, stains, and water. These chemicals have been around for a long time, but the scientific community is now beginning to agree that they have some adverse effects on humans. PFAS do not break down naturally and can stay in the environment for a long time unless they are removed. There is strong evidence that some PFAS chemicals can cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological defects in humans and animals. The CDC recognizes that all these conditions can be potentially spawned from PFAS contamination of the human body. As such, monitoring these chemicals and their levels of contamination in our water is very important for our health. Recently, possibly dangerous levels of PFAS have been detected in some of Madison’s wells, and Well 15 on East Washington was shut down because of PFAS contamination. Madison’s Wells provide water for the entire city so keeping them clean is very important. The main cause of this contamination has been identified as the fire suppressant foam used at Truax field. 

   How can we fix this issue?

  • Eliminating the use of fire suppressant foam that contains PFAS
    • Currently, the foam is being used by the Wisconsin Air National Guard at Truax field because certain military standards require the use of specific products. I plan to advocate on behalf of the city; to the state, for the waving of these regulations at Truax field. In protecting our community, the Guard must use a fire suppressant that is safer for our environment and our citizens. Such foam does exist and is currently utilized by the Madison Fire Department.
  • Increased monitoring of PFSAs in our water
  • Investigating other sources of water contamination in our city
  • Prioritizing open and involved communication between Madison’s water utility and the citizens to keep people informed about what contaminants are in their water and the possible sources
  • Ensuring the city is openly transparent about what is being done to address water contamination issues

Water quality is a public health issue, and the public deserves to be kept informed on all issues affecting their health and well-being.

Now, none of these proposals are in their final stage. Our campaign is based on the principle of listening first; we acknowledge that on our own we do not have all the answers. Without community collaboration, there is no way that there can be effective and lasting change, and that’s why, in the beginning, stages of this run, our biggest priority is talking to as many people as possible to identify and prioritize the needs of the district that we may not recognize. 

So, if you’re interested in any of these ideas, or if you want to help us get to the finish line, reach out to me at reez@reezformadison.com.