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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

 5:40 PM 

Assembly passes bill ending requirement to disinfect municipal water

The Assembly has passed AB 23, which would, unless mandated by federal law, end a DNR requirement that municipal water systems be continuously disinfected.

The bill passed 58-35. Lawmakers backed an amendment by bill author Eric Severson, R-Star Prairie, before turning away 21 Dem amendments.

Dems charged that the law meant the state was walking away from its commitment to provide clean drinking water to the public, listing a wide range of potential water-borne illnesses they said could result from reducing water standards.

"We put this new standard in place to protect Wisconsin citizens," said Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine. "We're now rolling back those standards to go down to the lowest common denominator."

Republicans countered that the DNR requirements are an unnecessary burden on communities with already strong water standards.

"Why don't you want these communities to make their own choice on this?" asked Severson.

Comments: 21

At May 10, 2011 at 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are Republicans going out of their minds?!!!! This is totally outrageous!!!

At May 10, 2011 at 11:34 PM, Blogger fox said...


At May 10, 2011 at 11:52 PM, Blogger phrannie said...

oh yeah, because republicans think that people want to CHOOSE to drink contaminated water instead? i mean, those ARE the choices!!!! @^#$%!$@&@!!!

At May 11, 2011 at 12:47 AM, Blogger Grant said...

While we're at it, treating municipal sewage is a burden too. Let's be consistent and roll that back too. Septic tanks or, better yet, open trenches are just fine, thank you very much. Just stay upwind and get your city water upstream. And watch the rats, they sometimes carry plague. Stoplights? I can see why some municipalities might prefer to save electricity. Oh, and how about that ban on lead paint -- a needless burden on God-fearing lead paint manufacturers and job creators. Seatbelts and airbags -- bah! Give consumers choices! Building codes are a burden on honest, salt-of-the-earth homebuilders too, so let's ditch wiring and plumbing standards. Say, are we back to the #$@#$$ Middle Ages yet?

At May 11, 2011 at 4:42 AM, Blogger Mary said...

Do Koch brothers sell bottled water? Or another major campaign donor?

At May 11, 2011 at 7:30 AM, Blogger Barbara said...

I think you said it best Grant. Since Walker took office, we keep rolling back instead of moving forward!

At May 11, 2011 at 8:48 AM, Blogger Renee Anne said...

Wait.......so I am now going to have to worry when I shower, wash my hands, cook my food, and feed my baby that my water may be contaminated with something like, but not limited to, botulism, cholera, hepatitis, hookworm, malaria, e-coli, dysentery, and SARS.

Seriously? WTF is wrong with these people?!

At May 11, 2011 at 10:23 AM, Blogger Sweet Georgia Peach said...

So...is this "savings" and "freedom of choice" worth the $96.2 million that the first Cryptosporidium outbreak cost?

Of course, that is outrageous. It wouldn't cost $96mil. today...according to inflation calculators, it would be closer to $150 million.

At May 11, 2011 at 10:50 AM, Blogger Mert said...


At May 11, 2011 at 12:01 PM, Blogger Horatio said...

How do I know what communities have which water standards when I am on a camping or fishing trip? Why can I not choose to avoid communities that do not disinfect drinking water, and dine at restaurants in towns that do? Severnson says why should not the communities choose....hell, where is my choice severnson? where is my informed consent?

there is one choice...

go fishing in Michigan or Minnesota and avoid wisconsin

like the plauge

At May 11, 2011 at 1:27 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

how about everybody moves. I think I'm seriously considering it. It's literally not safe to drink the water anymore.

At May 11, 2011 at 3:10 PM, Blogger Martha said...

This legislation is based on who already has the highest standards, not whose needs are greatest. Crazy (continued) abdication of the responsibility of those elected to protect us all.

At May 11, 2011 at 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I'll have to go out and buy a fancy new water filter from Menard's or Home Depot (Walker campaign contributors). Oh wait, I'm a state employee and can't afford one. Guess I'll have to go with Plan B then: Get sick and die along with the rest of the middle and lower class.

At May 11, 2011 at 9:06 PM, Blogger Louis said...

The comments here show a complete misunderstanding of this law. This repeals the new law passed last year which would have required all communities to "disinfect" their water (i.e. add chlorine continuously). In my community, we love our pure, safe groundwater and are firmly opposed to the state requiring us to add chlorine to it. All the democrats and liberals I have talked to locally agree with the GOP on this one! The drinking water is already tested and chlorine can be added when necessary.

This leaves the drinking water standards where they currently are. I feel safe drinking the tap water daily and will no longer drink it as often if it is contaminated by unnatural chemicals (chlorine). Why do you people want unnecessary chemicals in the water?

At May 11, 2011 at 9:29 PM, Blogger Louis said...

Stress this again: if you currently drink tap water, nothing will change. This leaves the CURRENT standards in place. The comments about needing to buy a water filter are false.

Do you understand that northern Wisconsin has high-quality well water? We don't pull our drinking water from polluted water bodies. Why would anybody oppose pure, natural water?

There will be some democratic support when it comes up in the senate.

At May 11, 2011 at 9:48 PM, Blogger nicholas said...

Why would we want "unnatural chemicals" in the water? Simple, to kill all the unnaturally found pathogens, germs and bacteria in the water supply that is proven to have KILLED people!!! By the way, your tap water already IS unnatural, it has extra minerals in it that are added in the purification process at water treatment centers all over the state. Don't you ever remember hearing about having the amount of FLUORIDE in our tap water reduced? THAT my friend has been in your tap water since the 1950's, and is just as "unnatural" as chlorine, yet you NEED it. So if you're perfectly ok with not having disinfecting processes used in YOUR water Louis, that's fine, go down to the stream and drink some "real, natural water" and get E-coli, (Newsflash, it's no "cleaner" than Milwaukee tap water, actually it's LESS pure, since it didn't go through a "water purification process". huh, imagine that.) I'll keep my chlorinated, fluoride-added mineral heavy, Milwaukee tap water thank you very much, so don't mess with it!

At May 11, 2011 at 10:20 PM, Blogger Louis said...

Nicholas, your water is not changing because of this law. Again, this bill leaves the existing regulations in place, and removes a new requirement that was scheduled to be put in place two years from now. I believe the existing regulations are sufficient to protect our drinking water, and this law maintains the status-quo instead of putting the one-size-fits-all disinfection requirement in place. The water my community uses is ground-water, identical to what people get from a private well. It is not from surface water. There's a big difference. Do you want to mandate that people add chlorine to private wells also?

Milwaukee happens to get its drinking water from the same place it dumps its sewage. Yuck. Of course Milwaukee should (and does, and always will) chlorinate. Pure ground water, as long as it's tested, is not a public health problem. This law does not remove the existing water-quality requirements. I'm drinking a refreshing glass of non-disinfected tap water right now. Quality water should not be a partisan issue. I consider water with unnecessary chemicals to be poor quality.

At May 11, 2011 at 10:58 PM, Blogger Phil King said...

Rich people don't drink tap water. It's that simple. Why would they care if drinking water for the rest of us is clean?

At May 23, 2011 at 5:56 PM, Blogger Wanda said...

If this is not a partisan issue, why was it only proposed by Republican Representatives and Senators? There was a reason that the DNR was given the jurisdiction over making this decision, starting in 2013. Some areas, have very contaminated water, even in the northern part of the state. Some due to pollutants from farming. I can think of towns that have up signs stating that you can't drink the water, due to a chemical that was used on the surrounding potato farms. This now makes them revert back to only those federal guidelines dealing with drinking water, which are not as strict. I would also say that if your water is already good, then the law they are trying to reverse, wouldn't affect you either. This was put in place to make sure that communities that don't have good drinking water, take the steps that ensure that the proper treatment is given. I was at a county fair a few years ago and people got sick from drinking the water at the fairgrounds. Obviously, if they had properly tested and treated this water, that wouldn't of happened. If the water is good, they will not add more chemicals to it. If it is contaminated, then it needs to be treated for the safety of the community.

At May 24, 2011 at 5:27 PM, Blogger Kiko said...

Rich people may not be drinking tap water but they are bathing with it. Watch out for the first infection caused by non-disinfected systems (including school showers, etc.) and see if community standards don't change.

At March 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM, Blogger mariat said...

People working there drink and use the same water. Do you think they WANT contaminated water? People are not stupid, no one wants bad. They will do better job of improving the water quality on their own terms. No regulation needed, which usually forces just to check the box and kills any new creative ways of improvement.


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