Editorial Reply - Bill Wiggins

Bill Wiggins

I strongly agree with your Dec. 6 editorial "Handling of water

concerns laughable." In the editorial you state "city and school district

officials have seemed to rely too heavily on public relations rather than

frank and open dialogue to handle the recent concern over the presence of

chromium 6 in Burbank's water supply." Nothing could be further from the


The City Council has approached the chromium issue from two fronts.

The first is to give the public as much information as possible on the

subject. To this end the council has asked that we receive a public

report at each week's council meeting from the general manager's office

on the city's efforts to measure, report and deal with chromium in the

water. This report is available to the public at the meeting or in the

city clerk's office any time after the council meeting. Recent reports

have included test results for total chromium and chromium 6 from various

locations in the city. They have also outlined the steps the public could

take to reduce chromium in the water, such as the use of various

technologies the home owner can use to filter out chromium.

Our second front is to do everything possible to reduce the chromium

in the incoming water, even though the jury is still out (and will be for

several more years while the State Department of Health Services performs

the required long term studies) on what the standard should be for

chromium, and on whether or not chromium 6 is carcinogenic when ingested

in liquid form.

We have taken the well with the highest chromium content out of

service. We have begun blending our water in a different way, which will

lower the chromium content, and are working with Glendale and the Los

Angeles Department of Water and Power to explore treatment equipment that

we can install which will remove even more of the chromium before our

water is distributed.

You end your editorial with "all the while, the public remains thirsty

for some straight talk." If this is true, it is also true the Leader owes

its readership some more straight facts.

BILL WIGGINS is mayor of Burbank.

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