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Author Topic: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!  (Read 1053 times)

Offline brewthru

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Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« on: August 05, 2023, 01:57:15 pm »
Government gone amuck. Originally looked into my water authority service water quality reports in 2016. Numbers were all over the charts! When I asked about the gross fluctuations, I was told some BS answer and had better things to do with my time.

In 2023 I want to revisit my water authority service water quality reports focusing on the values mattering to us, homebrewers. I email the water authority via the website’s “Contact Us”.

 I’m informed, hopefully anyone reading this post it sitting down, that I need to fill out a FOIA request for the water quality information!!! I reminded the person on the phone that I’m a paying customer and have a right to obtain/know the water quality provided by the public service. I’m repeatedly told “You need to fill out a FOIA request.”

This, IMO, is absolute nonsense!
« Last Edit: August 05, 2023, 03:39:32 pm by brewthru »

Offline BrewBama

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Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2023, 03:11:37 pm »
Ridiculous. Call your County Commission Representative.  Remarkable how they can cut thru the BS and get answers.

Reminds me:  I live in the country. At the end of the road there are nine properties fanning out in all directions. Someone put some limbs in a ditch for the large debris pickup service. Evidently, it was oversized so they wanted to charge a fee to pick it up. So, they left a letter in my mailbox stating I had to pay. So I called my rep. The gatekeeper that answered the phone explained that the landfill is getting full so they’re charging to haul stuff. She didn’t want to hear that it wasn’t mine. She even said she’d send a Sheriff Deputy to enforce the “fine”. I said I want to talk to my rep. She said she handles this program. I said I want to speak to the guy who we elected not his gatekeeper. She was miffed but passed the message. When he called back, it turns out the rep understood it wasn’t mine. He said they don’t send deputies even though I welcomed one to come onto my property so I can prove I didn’t cut limbs. They fined the wrong guy. He was very understanding and low and behold the problem went away. So did the debris. At no cost to anyone.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2023, 03:24:12 pm by BrewBama »

Offline Semper Sitientem

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2023, 04:40:19 pm »
Very unfortunate. My city’s water Dept. Is proud of what they do. Won some kind of state water quality award 5 years running and are more than happy to freely distribute information to anyone who takes interest in what they do, including water reports.
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Offline chinaski

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2023, 05:22:06 pm »
Given your previous observations of their data, I wouldn't be surprised that they don't want to advertise how well they are doing their job!  This is worth pursuing in my opinion as a nearby town had a water treatment manager "go rogue" and change the fluoridation amounts on their own with no communication to both their customers or the regulatory authorities.  Stuff happens...

Offline Bob357

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2023, 05:43:39 pm »
A number of years ago, I had a sit down with our city engineer and he was happy to give me all the information I asked for. It's nice to have public officials who don't think they're some kind of gods.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2023, 05:59:17 pm »
My city publishes the water report on their website for anyone to download. Once a year or so they also send out emails telling people where to get the information. Nevertheless, all they publish are ranges. I have had Ward Labs test my water a couple of times to give me a better understanding of what is in it. I recommend that anyone who is serious about understanding their water do the same. The water suppliers are mostly concerned with lead, bacteria, etc. Brewers have a different set of concerns and even the most forthright water supplier documents will not be enough for them.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2023, 06:18:06 am »
Government gone amuck. Originally looked into my water authority service water quality reports in 2016. Numbers were all over the charts! When I asked about the gross fluctuations, I was told some BS answer and had better things to do with my time.

In 2023 I want to revisit my water authority service water quality reports focusing on the values mattering to us, homebrewers. I email the water authority via the website’s “Contact Us”.

 I’m informed, hopefully anyone reading this post it sitting down, that I need to fill out a FOIA request for the water quality information!!! I reminded the person on the phone that I’m a paying customer and have a right to obtain/know the water quality provided by the public service. I’m repeatedly told “You need to fill out a FOIA request.”

This, IMO, is absolute nonsense!

A phone call to the federal and state EPA office should help. File a complaint.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2023, 07:16:27 am »
I thought they had to make the Level 1 reports public by law? Those are chemicals that may have negative health effects.

We are interested in the Level 2 data, which they don't have to test for, but often do.

Martin should know.


EDIT
Look for your state.

https://www.michigan.gov/egle/public/learn/drinking-water/information-about-my-water-quality
« Last Edit: August 06, 2023, 07:19:12 am by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline Drewch

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2023, 10:04:21 pm »
I thought they were required to publish at least the Consumer Confidence Report ... but maybe that's state requirement and not federal.

Ex: https://www.pwwb.com/ccr

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2023, 07:38:16 am »
I thought they were required to publish at least the Consumer Confidence Report ... but maybe that's state requirement and not federal.

Ex: https://www.pwwb.com/ccr

The EPA requires the CCR to be made public.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2023, 01:01:20 pm »
The OP didn't mention what Country they reside in. In the US, public water systems are required to publish their 'water quality' data, but that is statutorily limited to the things that can harm you.

The secondary parameters that we brewers are interested in, do not have to be tested for or published. However, a good water system operator probably wants to know what's in their water so they know how to treat it to protect their system.

To the OP, you are potentially out of luck. But if you sweet talk the water system's laboratory manager, they probably have the data.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2023, 01:12:10 pm »
A FOIA request is not very difficult to complete and file…just sayin’.  Shouldn’t cost anything but a little time.  Some jurisdictions allow for online FOIA requesting.

I appreciate that the information should be available via website these days, though.  Good luck with your inquiry.
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Offline brewthru

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2023, 05:51:35 pm »
"The OP didn't mention what Country they reside in."

I'm in the USA

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Water Quality Report requires FOIA request!
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2023, 08:03:15 pm »
That sounds like a big deal but it really isn't. Usually it's just a form or written request that has to go through the designated agent for info requests.

It's good for you because a FOIA request cannot be waived away like what happened to you in 2016. That experience is one of the reasons these laws exist.
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