Skip navigation.
The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Water Damage

Today, Massachusetts had a big setback in pollution prevention with the contamination of their water supply with corrosive lye. Yikes!

Even more troubling is that this is not the only water trouble Massachusetts has had; the other problem was with bottled water, according to, an environmental watch group:


One particularly troubling case of industrial-chemical contamination of bottled water arose in Massachusetts. Massachusetts Department of Public Health files reveal that the Ann & Hope commercial well in Millis, Massachusetts, for years supplied several bottlers, including Cumberland Farms, West Lynn Creamery, Garelick Farms, and Spring Hill Dairy with "spring water" sold under many brand names.

According to state officials and records, this well is located literally in a parking lot at an industrial warehouse facility and is sited near a state-designated hazardous-waste site. Several chemical contaminants were found in the water, including trichloroethylene (an EPA-designated probable human carcinogen). On at least four occasions these chemicals were found at levels above EPA and FDA standards in the well water. Dichloroethane, methylene chloride, and other synthetic organic chemicals (industrial chemicals) were also found, though the source of these contaminants reportedly was not identified.

Contamination was found in the water in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996, but according to a state memo written in 1996, "at no time did Ann & Hope [the well operating company] do anything to determine the source of the contamination nor treat the source. Rather, they continued to sell water laced with volatile organic compounds, some of which were reported in finished product." The contamination levels depended on pumping rates from the wells. After a state employee blew the whistle on the problem and demanded better protection of bottled water in the state, she was ordered not to speak to the media or bottlers and was reassigned by Massachusetts Department of Public Health supervisors to other duties, in what she alleges was a retaliatory action. State officials deny that her reassignment was due to retaliation. The well reportedly is no longer being used for bottled water after the controversy became public.

Yikes again.

While some Texas legislators are doing their best to pollute our water and air, there are some organizations that are taking a proactive role in keeping Texas and Texans healthy from contaminants by fighting to protect clean, unpolluted water sources. By joining together, they may become a force to be reckoned with.

One agency, Environment Texas, has joined with other national groups to form Campaign Action Team, not only to be watchdogs for our environment, but to provide jobs and training in this growing field. They have a wonderful program set up to train new college graduates in this ever-expanding environmental area of politics.

I hope everyone gets involved by contacting their representative to support environmentally proactive bills.

Contact your representative:

Environmental Bills to support:

HB 4
HB 375
HB 3347
HB 3229

SB 1762
SB 1906

Syndicate content