Letters to the Editor, October 27, 2016


Republican voting for Clinton


To the editor;
I am among those Republicans who have re-registered as Unaffiliated.
I was a life-long Republican. I have never voted for a Democrat since first voting in 1972.. This year I will be voting for the Democratic candidates for President, the US Senate, and the US House of Representatives. The Republican nominee for President does not represent conservative, Republican values and is unfit to be President. Yet he has not been repudiated by either the national Republican party nor by most Republican candidates.


Unknown chemicals may pose water supply risk

  • Published in Local

As it turns out, the old adage may be right – what you don’t know can harm you.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates 83 contaminants as part of its primary standard on drinking water.

These contaminants include lead, trihalomethanes, asbestos, bacteria and viruses, which if above a certain level, are a risk to human health.

But the EPA also has another list of 30 contaminants that agency monitors but does not regulate.

For many of these contaminants the science is unclear whether they are a health risk to people, while others clearly pose a risk to people.

“The only concern is something we don’t already know, that just started coming up in the newspaper and we don’t know how to test for it or something some people may say it’s bad, but we don’t know whether it’s really bad,” said Jin Shin a water quality manager at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), the primary water utility for people in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties.


"Safe To Drink"

  • Published in Local

"Water Supply Challenges" Part Five of Five: Well water in area has issues but tests confirm few dangerous contaminants

Faucet Running Water

Hard water is enough of an issue for area homes that receive their drinking water from wells that even the Poolesville town manager has a water softener installed at his home.

Water tests conducted by National Testing Laboratories for The Sentinel Newspapers showed the level of hardness at one sample site in Poolesville reached 210 milligrams per liter, 21 times the minimum detection level and twice the guideline set by the Water Quality Association and used by National Testing Laboratories.

Water hardness is not enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency like lead or other dangerous contaminants.

So while the water in Poolesville is still safe to drink, National Testing Laboratories director of business development Marianne Metzger said homeowners with hard water may want to consider treating it in order to prolong the life of their washing machines and sinks.

“It’s absolutely safe to drink. It’s totally an aesthetic issue,” said Metzger. “Knowing that you have hard water, you know it’s going to be harder on your appliances… It’s a choice that people have to make.”


Bottled water may not be best bet

  • Published in Local



Whether it’s for a preferred taste, accessibility or comfort in its quality, bottled water sales have skyrocketed in the United States in the last few decades.

According to a study by Beverage Marketing Corporation, bottled water is expected to overtake soft drinks as America’s largest beverage category by 2017.

Yet while many consumers worry about chemicals and contaminants in their tap water, bottled water is not free from concern either.

The Sentinel Newspapers conducted an independent investigation, testing the quality of water tap water at private residences and public buildings as well as lakes, rivers and streams in Montgomery and Prince George’s County.


Letters to the Editor, October 20, 2016



Casting his vote for Van Hollen

To the editor;
In what has been a heated and often shocking election season, one thing remains true: we need to elect leaders who get things done. We need to elect people who not only fight for our values, but are willing to compromise when it is in the best interest of Maryland, as well. Chris Van Hollen is the pragmatic leader we need. At the end of the day, he gets it done.
For years, Republicans have tried to stop any and all efforts at progress or compromise. They orchestrated the government shutdown, and even now refuse to grant President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court a hearing, to say nothing about their flagrant refusal to fill the vacancy. In the face of it all, Chris Van Hollen has continued to reach across the aisle to be an effective legislator in Washington.


"Disaster Waiting To Happen"

  • Published in Local

"Water Supply Challenges" Part Four of Five: Water infrastructure challenged by lack of spending and low utility rates

Faucet Running Water

More than 1,800 water mains throughout the Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission system are breaking annually, according to WSSC spokesperson Jerry Irvine.

Meanwhile, a six-month investigation by The Sentinel Newspapers revealed a number of containments in city water, well water and surface water at 50 sites throughout Montgomery County and Prince George’s counties.


“Something we battle”

  • Published in Local

"Water Supply Challenges" Part Three of Five: Local streams, lakes and rivers contain dangerous levels of contaminants

Faucet Running Water

ROCKVILLE – Though government officials warn people about the dangers of drinking untreated water, an investigation by The Sentinel Newspapers shows just how toxic the water is in local lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.

Scientists say contaminants in the surface water include possible cancer-causing agents, which ultimately affect the quality of the water in the Chesapeake Bay.

A series of independent tests conducted by National Testing Laboratories for The Sentinel Newspaper found as many as 18 contaminants in a body of water.


Okay it really isn't that sexy

Faucet Running Water

Mayor Bridget Newton of Rockville nailed it.

Infrastructure “isn’t sexy.”

It’s one of those issues that attracts about as much attention as a quiet yawn in Church.

You know it’s there, but you pretend it isn’t – that is until it fails.

The residents of the Washington D.C. Metro area are only too familiar what happens then.

Our subway cars burst into flames. Our exploding water mains create previously unknown and definitely unwanted white-water rafting rides on local city streets.

The power goes out and on occasion homes explode or burst into flames.

Of all the natural resources at man’s disposal, however, it is how we treat our water supply that should be of most concern.


Water quality may have adverse effect on your pets

  • Published in Local

SEABROOK – County residents may want to think twice before giving Fido a bowl of water or filling Swimmy’s tank in Prince George’s County.

Over the past few months The Sentinel Newspapers has conducted a series of water tests throughout the county. The tests samples were pulled from city water, provided through the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), while local rivers and lakes and were analyzed by National Testing Laboratories Ltd. in Ypsilanti, Mich.

While the water sampling did not yield any serious red flags in water quality, as most contaminates fell below Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, The Sentinel found numerous traces of metals, moderate to high levels of chlorine and variances in water hardness.


Urban runoff affects water quality and threatens wildlife

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – Urban runoff is a major problem that affects water quality across Montgomery and Prince George's County.

Impervious surfaces cause sediment, bacteria, and pesticides to wash into the natural and urban water systems.

What constitutes urban runoff ranges from natural ambient soils to concrete, rubber crumbs, and metal chips; all of which come from a variety of urban and man-made sources.

The impact varies greatly and depending on the quantity, the effects can be ecologically destructive and affect regional water quality.

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