Water Spurts

A just-published report by the folks at Food & Water Watch found in a survey of water rates of the 500 largest community water systems that “large for-profit, privately-owned systems charged 58 percent more than large publicly owned systems.”

But there are exceptions and one, in particular, is an eye-opener.

Perhaps the most astounding finding in the report is that the publicly-owned water system in Flint, Michigan – which the state-appointed emergency city manager switched to drawing polluted acidic water from the Flint River to save money in line with the edict to “run government more like a business,” charged the highest rates of all the systems surveyed. That’s right, the poisoned water that residents of Flint were drinking which contained toxic levels of lead and other metals that had leached from pipes due to the acidic river water, cost residents more than water provided by any other large municipal system in the country. The malfeasance, negligence, and utter disregard of Michigan officials, who stonewalled and denied the problems with Flint water for months, keeps magnifying.

In this survey there is some interesting information for us here in Lexington.

The data indicate that the rates charged by Kentucky-American Water, a private for-profit company serving Lexington and other smaller communities in the region, and which recently filed an application for a rate increase, has the 69th highest rates among the 500 water systems surveyed. This is in contrast to the publicly-owned Louisville Water Company, which has a rank of 308 in the survey and whose annual bill rates are 60% of those charged by Kentucky-American.

Something to drink about?

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The author

Art Shechet is Co-Publisher of UnderMain.