Florida Mayor Wanted To Muzzle Miami Waterkeeper About Water Contamination
A non-profit organization was to report directly to the city regarding its recreational water quality. The mayor scolded them after they issued a PSA.
After previous sewage spills last year, the city of Fort Lauderdale contracted Miami Waterkeeper. The city, apparently, only wanted Miami Waterkeeper to report directly to them in the event of contamination’s and other issues regarding sewage and pipelines.
However, since the matter was important to residents who utilize the water for various purposes — Miami Waterkeeper delivered an announcement via Twitter warning that [recreational] water quality was poor.
Fort Lauderdale, Mayor Dean Trantalis, didn’t take too kindly to the announcement.
In a commission meeting last Thursday, Trantalis reprimanded Miami Waterkeeper citing the issue as an “election issue”. He also said,
“While they may have tweeted where we have high levels of bacteria and they noted in particular, the Himmarshee Canal, the Tarpon River, the Coontie Hatchee Park and the Sweeting Park. They never announced where the good water was,” Trantalis said. “It was only the bad.”
The specifics of the contract highlights corruption with politicians reminiscent to Flint, Michigan
Trantalis is openly admitting to his constituents that elections are more important to him than the safety of the general public.
40% of the sites tested on Jan. 12 and Jan. 19 in Fort Lauderdale failed on safety. The city’s agreement with Waterkeeper was that the results would be published only through their app.
But therein lies the problem: the general public wouldn’t know to follow a very specific app and the issue in general has largely gone unnoticed since the City of Fort Lauderdale never produced the results via its official social media. No local news other than Local 10 reported on it.
Its highly probable Trantalis would’ve attempted to misrepresent the results and it would’ve been a non-issue.
Flint, Michigan’s water problem was 1000 times worse, of course; tap water in many areas (and still in a few parts now) were contaminated with high-levels of lead.
Despite Flint’s water being clean, Michigan politicians sewed mistrust especially after the disastrous efforts of Mayor Dayne Walling. He pulled a stunt who was captured on video raising a glass and said genially, “Here’s to Flint!” The water was still toxic at that point. So it’s understandable residents still don’t trust the water now.
While Fort Lauderdale won’t ever reach such a critical level since the water isn’t tap water; there’s still concern with how this situation has been handled. Miami Waterkeeper tests for Enterococcal Infections. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the most common recreational water illnesses cause ear pain, diarrhea, cough or congestion, skin rashes and eye pain. While not on par with lead, it should still cause concern.