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Dead steelhead trout, killed by chloraminated water accidentally dumped into a creek near San Mateo, California

Dead steelhead trout, killed by chloraminated water accidentally dumped into a creek near San Mateo, California

This morning, Waterblogged.info is bogged down in the arduous process of moving its operations back to Northern California–San Mateo, California specifically, approximately 20 miles south of San Francisco. It’s a difficult undertaking because it involves cramming souvenirs and gifts into imaginary spaces in luggage that was way overpacked in the first place.

Serendipitously, or coincidentally–but not ironically, for god’s sake–early morning research on our new favorite drinking water additive, chloramine–essentially a compound of chlorine and ammonia–turned up in this recent article about a fine levied against a San Mateo water supplier for accidentally dumping chloraminated water into a local creek, thereby killing 30-plus federally-protected steelhead trout.

It’s a typical tale of the kind of corporate malfeasance that so closely resembles the charmingly clueless behavior of mischievous children–a careless accident followed by the agreement not to tell Mommy and Daddy Regulatory Agency in the absurd hope that they won’t notice, and, after being caught, the desperate placing of easily disproved blame on something else, and finally complaining that the punishment–in this case a $200,000 fine–is just not fair.

The trout succumbed because, as all aquarium owners know, chloramines are deadly to fish and reptiles–this is not disputed. But what worries publicly-minded folks like the members of Citizens Concerned About Chloramine (CCAC), based in San Francisco, is that chloramines, for a variety of reasons, pose a danger to human beings as well. (For the sake of Waterblogged.info’s famous concern for balanced reporting, a rosy assessment of the use of chloramine here, brought to us by the city council of nearby San Bruno, California.)

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3 Responses

  1. Hi, Jared:
    First time reader, here.
    Great opening for the story. My first thought after I read it: Man.. that is an expensive fish you got.
    Reading the news from your link make me think, that Cal.Water should be slapped more fine. Just the way they deny that 99,000 gallons of chloramines could not kill 32 fishes.

    Great blog.

  2. Yes, there should be enhanced fines for lying in a way that assumes that everyone else is stupid.

  3. Haha…, too right, man. I have added link to your blog. Thanks!

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