A few days ago I heard a disturbing report on the news as I was preparing dinner. In a nutshell, I recall the reporter saying that Charlotte was ranked third in a listing of cities with the most contaminated water in the nation. I didn't get to hear the entire piece, but went looking for it to bring it here and to find out what in the world was going on. I couldn't find it anywhere.
Now I know why.
The listing was in Men's Health magazine. The listing has now been thoroughly debunked in today's Charlotte Observer.
Charlotte has the third-dirtiest drinking water in the country, Men's Health magazine says.
"Pure hogwash," retorts Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities spokesman Vic Simpson. "Men's Health needs to stick to sit-ups and health shakes."
Dayum! Vic's got his snark on.
More below the fold...
What does Men's Health have to say?
"The water's absolutely safe," says Men's Health public relations person Megan Montenaro, adding that all 100 cities rated meet federal standards. "It's just that when you rank something, somebody has to come in last."
What exactly was it that put Charlotte on the list?
But the magazine flunked the city for fecal bacteria detections. The water department blamed that on an episode of contaminated sampling equipment, saying the public wasn't at risk.
Oh, OK. So, at least you people know what you're talking about, right? I mean....because....we wouldn't want to cause a public outcry over nothing, right? Riiiiiiight.
A bigger mystery: the magazine's claim that Charlotte racked up 3,941 Environmental Protection Agency violations in a decade. EPA's online database shows seven Charlotte violations since 1993......
EPA spokesman Dale Kemery says it's "highly unlikely" any water system could amass thousands of violations.
"They didn't know what they were looking at," Simpson says. "We're pretty outraged."
Hmmmm....3,941 vs. 7. OK. Wow. Somebody's in need of a refresher course in math.
Who else was on the list in NC? Greensboro ranked 8th, Raleigh 10th and Durham 34th. Not to worry. Remember, these folks didn't know how to read the reports properly. So, next time you're reading Men's Health remember to take it with a grain of salt...er...fecal matter.
As always....please go visit the Observer for the whole story.