Thursday, April 26, 2007

Still Raining

It is still raining here in WI, but I heard there is a terrible drought in Australia. Speaking about water here is an interesting article:

SPENCER, Mass. - Dozens of residents were taken to hospitals Wednesday with burns or rashes after the town's water supply was accidentally treated with too much corrosive lye, officials said.
People in Spencer were advised not to use or touch the water until further notice, said Ed Coletta, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Residents started complaining of skin irritation and moderate burns after showering early Wednesday, police Sgt. John Agnew said. He said officials determined that a malfunction at the town's water treatment plant had released too much sodium hydroxide into the water supply.
Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, is routinely put into water to reduce acidity and limit pipe corrosion, Coletta said.
The fire department took about 40 people to hospitals with rashes or burns, firefighter Ryan Flannery said.
The state advised residents to discard any liquids or foods made with town water Tuesday or Wednesday.
Town Manager Carter Terenzini said that as of 11:30 a.m., about 12 people were undergoing "decontamination" treatment at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester. He did not know whether those people drank the water, or if it touched their skin.
Without water, many local businesses had to close. David Cao, owner of the Spencer Coin and Clean laundry, said he turned customers away and closed all the washing machines.
"We don't have business today," Cao said. "We really will have to see when they come back."
The excess chemical was to be removed by evening and the water supply would be subject to extensive environmental testing, Terenzini said.
Flannery said bottled water companies delivered drinking water to the fire station, where residents could pick it up. Officials were arranging to deliver drinking water to people who couldn't get to the fire station, he said.
The town of 12,000 is about 50 miles west of Boston

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