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Fund city's worn-out water system

I’d like to thank the West Linn Tidings for its recent feature article and editorial on the importance of replacing West Linn’s aging water pipes and Bolton Reservoir. I joined West Linn’s water task force earlier this year because I, too, believe that it is important to support the health and availability of this very basic utility. Having lived previously on a small farm, I knew what it was like to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring a water supply for my household. When we dug our well, would we reach a good water source? Would the lab analysis reveal some toxic condition? Would nearby development affect the water table? Would local agricultural activity contaminate our supply? All I do now is turn on my tap. It’s someone else’s responsibility to treat it, to test it, to maintain it, to plan for emergencies and to replace it when it wears out. Let me correct that last part — it’s all of our responsibilities, collectively, to see that West Linn has the funds to accomplish those tasks for us, so that we can enjoy healthy water, worry-free.

West Linn’s pipes are wearing out. Like the roofs, furnaces and appliances in our homes, things reach the end of their useful life and need to be replaced. According to an Aug. 16 opinion piece in the New York Times and an Aug. 17 report on NPR’s “Science Friday,” many cities across the nation are finding themselves in the same boat. Their water systems are old and leaking, and their budgets were set up for maintaining existing infrastructure — not replacing it. Just as we occasionally have to make necessary improvements to our homes, we need to support necessary improvements to our water infrastructure. I urge everyone to get involved, talk to their neighbors and support the city’s efforts and future ballot measures to fund needed improvements to our worn-out water system.

Christine Steel

West Linn



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