This warning does not come from me, it comes from Tom Volinchak, a Memphis-based water expert and the author of Open Tap: Drink Poison- Let's Fix It (if you have Kindle Unlimited, it is free). St. Jude turned to Mr. Volinchak to design its water system. The laboratories at St. Jude have a need for pristine water.
He was on Facebook Live a couple of nights ago sounding the alarm, and warning us to be cautious about using the water, indefinitely. He does offer a solution, thankfully.
I summarize the points that he made during the presentation, which you can watch yourself here: Germantown Water Contamination
1) The people in the water department at Germantown are good folks who are dedicated, but they can only work with the system they are given.
2) The leadership of the municipality, and the age and history of the system determine the safety.
3) Every system he designs has containment for anything that can contaminate water, such as a diesel generator, that is around stored water.
4) He is unsure if federal regulations require containment for things like diesel generators around water storage,
5) There is no way that Germantown officials can say the water is safe after this incident, because it is not. Tests determine only the specific time and place where the test was taken.
6) No matter what the TDEC or EPA say, we should assume that our water is contaminated indefinitely, due to the scale (gunk, e.g. calcium deposits) on the pipes that can trap diesel, and release it at any time into our homes.
7) The Germantown officials cannot set a time when the water can be treated as normal enough to use, because there is no way to tell at this point.
8) Detergent should be run through the pipes. Oil and water do not mix, and running water alone through the lines won't cut it.
9) Memphis Aquifer has some of the best water in the world, but due to these issues, MLGW water is now better than Germantown water.
10) The number of violations that Germantown has racked up on water reporting is concerning.
11) We all need activated carbon filters not only in our kitchens, but in our showers. They do a VERY GOOD job of filtering diesel out of water. If you have good carbon based filters, that will make your water safe to drink and shower. And, he shared his opinion that the City ought to pay for them.
10) if you have a swimming pool, you really should buy an expensive filter for it. The reason is, as the water evaporates, the possible diesel doesn't, and you replace it with water that could have diesel in it. This could lead to unsafe levels of diesel in your pool.