In Rutland voters said no to a $5.5 million activated carbon water filtration system to help the city meet EPA drinking water standards. City residents were closely divided on the issue because the less costly alternative meant adding chloramine to their water which some worry poses health risks.
Rutland Mayor Chris Louras says the good news is that the city may not have to make any changes to its water system because levels of haloacetic acids in the water are dropping. Haloacetic acids are potentially hazardous chemicals formed when organic matter in water- like leaves and twigs – reacts with chlorine and other disinfectants. Louras says the level of haloacetic acids in Rutland’s water has been declining, and now falls well within EPA levels.
“We made some changes this year to their water filtration plant,” says Louras. “That potentially coupled with the scouring of the brooks that give us our surface water,because of Irene, may have cleaned out all of the organic matter in the streams.” But Louras says, “right now the bottom line is we are meeting the EPA standard. It’s still trending down. We check every three months to see what it is and as long as we maintain that standard I’m not going to go with chloramination.” Louras says, “there’s no reason to change what we’re doing.”
The item was in front of voters says the Mayor because had the city’s water quality not met EPA standards, they had to have a plan in place to address that and voter input was required.
Meanwhile, Republicans in the state house gained two more seats in Rutland City. Long time Democrat Peg Andrews lost her seat to Republican challenger Larry Cupoli. And Republican Douglas Gage won the Rutland City seat left by Democrat Gale Courcelle who did not run for reelection. Democrat Herb Russel, was reelected.