Water Quality: An Ongoing Concern Locally

5099477424_7c2cbd3d4e_b“Too many pipes in Indiana are at or near the end of their useful life”. That was a conclusion by the Indiana Finance Authority in their November 2016 report.
Water quality is on the minds of Hoosiers in Monroe County. The water that streams into every one of our residential or public buildings has a direct correlation to our health, and the water in our county is valuable for recreation. When I go out, a question I now ask is “What local environmental issues concerns you the most?” Time and time again I hear that water quality is a top concern.
Local water quality issues gives credence to this anecdotal evidence. Beginning in January 2016, increased testing began for Disinfectant Biproducts (DBPs). I’ll let you investigate the level of depth you want to learn about DPBs, but for those that want to track this issue the Herald Times’ GovTracker blog reports on water quality trends, and the City of Bloomington regularly publishes DPB and other water quality data at data.bloomington.in.gov/group/utilities. The bottom line is that water quality was enough of a concern that local leaders took action.
Additionally, the Indiana Finance Authority published a report detailing the problem of aging water pipes. The report was based on a survey conducted with every water utility across the state. Cost and infrastructure problems were reported regionally (see p. 21 of the report) and statewide as the report concluded that, “Too many pipes in Indiana are nearing or at the end of their useful life.”
It is important to protect our water quality, and Monroe County Government plays a large role in this protection. Monroe County Stormwater Quality staff work to control stormwater which can otherwise threaten public health and aquatic life, negatively affect recreational activities, increase costs of water treatment, contribute to flooding events and cause erosion of valuable land. The Monroe County Soil and Water staff work to provide leadership and education in the conservation of Monroe County’s natural resources: soil, water, air, wildlife, forests and lakes. The Monroe County Environmental Quality and Sustainability Commission advises the County Commissioners and educates the public on local environmental issues.
The above report and recent water quality issues highlights the necessary work of local and state government and its leaders to invest in infrastructure. It also suggests the need for greater regional collaboration to preserve shared resources for all residents.

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