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Post Card Solution to Tainted Water Scare

Use the mails to reduce the public's fear of their tap water.
  [vote for,

The Flint water with a lead supplement has got a lot of folks scared about their own tap water or even the bottled water.

So here is what we do:

Get The President or Head of the National Science Foundation or some other mucky muck with the clout to make a national speech or commercial. (Since it is an election year, they shouldn't be too hard to find.)

The message should be along the lines of "Dip a post card in your water, let it dry, write your zip code and water company on the back, and send it into the NSF. We will test it and publish the preliminary results on the web site "Drink.it@nsf.??? "

They do some tests. The water is fine. Everyone breathes sigh of relief. Goes back to watching the game.

Some refinements would be:

- to ask for dried samples to be on 100% cotton typing paper, to avoid the sulfur in most papers screwing up the test validity.

- to ask them to smell, look at, and taste the water before they send postcard in and send that information along as well. (If some zip code has orange water that smells rancid, call the tiger team.)

- to ask the water companies to hold public information meetings to show off the testing they routinely do. They might also take and test samples.

- pools have test strips for Cl, ph, and other stuff. They are easy to misread. If the thing degenerates to where the Government is providing postcards, adding test spots to the postcards should be tried.


But basically just some public relations hand holding until the crisis blows over.

(I drink tap water and I don't twitch that much. )

popbottle, Feb 02 2016


       The lead is just the tip of the iceberg. If the emergency (non-democratically appointed) city manager would allow everyone to get poisoned, what else is going on there?   

       So, it's not just lead in the water. It's potentially biological contamination, &/or other metals in the water. It's not just the water, but also the city worker's pensions, the city infrastructure, etc...   

       Meaning, if you let your own kids get poisoned for 2 years, it's not just that poison that's under suspicion. We'd be curious about your overall parenting skills.   

       Oh, and yes, back to your idea: Can dipped paper adequately be used to test for things? Not really. Esp. if you use postcards, which travel in the mail exposed to all other conditions before they reach the destination.
sophocles, Feb 02 2016

       How to keep the samples pure enough to calm those worried about their water ?
popbottle, Feb 02 2016

       I think specially made postcards with sample protection by wrapping it in plastic would be necessary.
notexactly, Feb 03 2016

       Aren't there test strips available for most contaminants? Why not just make the postcard out of test strips and let everyone test their own water?
the porpoise, Feb 03 2016

       Ironically pop would probably have been healthier.
RayfordSteele, Feb 03 2016

       Yes, but only because the the bottling plant in Flint Michigan was shut down in 2009...
scad mientist, Feb 03 2016


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