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How Safe Is Your Water?

Joisah Grafenauer and Carsen Rasmussen

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Water in Rhinelander has been shown to contain small amounts of lead and arsenic, but according to Waste and Wastewater Utility the contaminants are not enough to be dangerous for you.  

According to a 2017 report issued by the Waste and Wastewater Utility, the water in Rhinelander has been tested and has shown trace amounts of contaminants that include but are not limited to radium, lead, arsenic, copper, and sodium. According to the report, none of the contaminants breaching the water are violating the levels determined to be safe.

The report details what’s in the water and how these contaminants may enter the water. However, the report does use tests from 2014, so the information found may no longer be accurate. The full report detailing what’s in the water and how much of it is in the water can be found at Rhinelandercityhall.org.

Some of these things are in the water for a reason though, such as chlorine.

“They add chlorine to the water to keep bacteria at a minimum,” said Mrs. Esslinger, who has a masters in Environmental Education and Natural Resources . 

So some of these additions to the water helps us from becoming sick from bacteria, but some believe they can and have gotten sick from the water before.

Although contaminants in the water are well below the levels determined to be safe, senior Anthony Klabunde is still concerned.

“I’ve gotten sick from water before,” said Klabunde.  

When asked what might stop him from drinking the water Klabunde said,
“If I knew there was something in the water that could potentially hurt me, even if it is just a little bit.”

Some people would be okay with these contaminants in their water if it was deemed safe, but not Klabunde.

“My family is kind of really healthy and my mother has us eat right and if the waters not right we don’t like that because it’s not good for us, we get sick, I’ve gotten sick from water before so this wouldn’t be the first time,” Klabunde stated.  

However, Esslinger claims city water is better than well water.
“I know Rhinelander’s water is just well water and is then treated,” said Esslinger.

So it should be better than well water.  
While contaminated water will be the target of disapproval, some believe it’s best to be happy with the water you currently have.

“Be thankful we don’t have to go down to the river to get water, be grateful and don’t take it for granted,” said David Ditzler principal of Rhinelander High School for six years now.

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