The voters receiving this flyer from Dillon Moran can be pardoned for believing it is a memorandum from the New York State Department of Health citing the city for a water quality issue. The word “Violation” appears to be stamped on it.
In fact this is a fake document created by Mr. Moran’s campaign. The city was not cited with a violation and this document did not originate with the New York State Health Department.
The purpose of this document is to make people fearful about their drinking water and to make people believe that Commissioner Skip Scirocco has failed in his responsibilities to protect the public.
The reader will note that the document which is unsigned is dated September, 2017. What is most disturbing is that the chart that appears to be part of this memo was actually from a document issued by the Department of Public Works in May of 2018.
I have written to Mr. Moran asking where I can find the document he has put on his campaign mailer but so far he has not responded.
A little history and a little science is required.
The chemical Trihalomethanes (TTHM)is a byproduct of Chlorination as is indicated on the chart on the Moran flier. The chemical is formed when Chlorinated water sits for a sustained period while in contact with organic matter.
The incident Mr. Moran is highlighting occurred in 2017 when this chemical was detected in water on the Skidmore Campus. Apparently, when the water in some storage facilities there sat idle during the summer, TTHM was produced. In a notice to students on December 20, 2017, Skidmore official Michael D. West advised students that water samples taken in August of that year tested positive for the chemical. In his notice he wrote:
“Skidmore administrators are working closely with officials from the City of Saratoga Springs water department and the New York State Department of Health to learn more about plans to minimize formation of the byproduct when water use is low.”
No further incidents have occurred.
The reader will note at the bottom of the flyer with a bold red background, there is a quote from Mr. Moran that states:
“Over use of a known carcinogen because it is cheap, to treat our water is reckless.”
As the reader can see, the city is not treating its water with TTHM. I think the term reckless might be better used in characterizing this flyer with its inflammatory allegations and its deceptive depiction of a document as though it were issued by the New York State Health Department.