Water warriors demand funding

National Guard troops supplying Blades with water earlier this year. (National Guard photo).

Over the last year and a half, Delaware’s Office of Drinking Water has issued 11 notices for various locations, warning people to beware of contaminants in their water, especially water being consumed by babies younger than 6 months old.

The problem was especially bad in the southern Delaware town of Blades, wherethe three municipal wells tested positivefor perfluorinated compoundsin early 2018at a rate above the human health-advisory level.

In nearby Ellendale, residents endured years of smelly, discolored water from private wells before finallyapproving a public water system in a referendumvote last year.

“I’m tired of delivering bottled water to folks in Ellendale, or Blades,” said Colin O’Mara, CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Clean water is a basic human right. You can’t do anything without basic clean water.”

O’Mara led the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control under then-Gov. Jack Markell and was a big part of the administration’s 2014 push for a fee to fund clean water improvements. That effort failed to gain traction in the General Assembly. Several similar attempts since then have also failed.

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‘Water warriors’ in Del. demand funding for clean water projects

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