CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tests Show CMU Water Supplies Are Safe Following extensive testing, Carnegie Mellon University has determined that drinking water supplies throughout its campus facilities are safe and free of elevated lead levels.


Lauren Miller said...

I will never forget the dire Tuesday morning (one fateful March 21, 2017) when I awoke at 8:30 to 35 unread text messages from my mother concerning the lead levels in the water supply in Pittsburgh. So, thank you David Boevers for the perfect article to send to her in an effort to quiet her worries.

I still live in a house built in 1921 though… and it still has most of the original plumbing. But I don’t spend time there so it will all be fine. Just so all 3 people who read this comment know, you can request a free lead test from PWSA, just to be sure. I requested a test two weeks ago. Still haven’t heard back from them. But no worries, Mayor Peduto vowed to ensure that the water regulations would be stricter and that this would be fixed. He also said that free filters would be available, though I haven’t actually seen any evidence of this besides in his interview. But don’t worry, the government always does what it says it will. They’ve done this before. The Flint water crisis - that was totally solved ages ago. There is definitely no lead whatsoever in Flint’s water supply today. Immediately after finding out about the lead levels the government replaced all the lead pipes and the company was punished and in no longer in control of the water supply. Everyone in Flint is happy and healthy and the nation did not forget about them after a few short months of media attention.

Also – lead in water supplies affects all people equally, which is why the nation cares so much. It’s an everyman’s problem. It definitely does not disproportionally affect people living near or below the line of poverty (by the way, 40% of Flint’s population lives in poverty) who can’t afford to replace their pipes themselves or buy bottled water for every task (including bathing – because lead causes really bad rashes). Even if it did no one living in Pittsburgh is poor.

As a bonus, since the Flint water crisis was a result of water privatization and lack of regulations on such companies, no one drinks privatized water any more. Cities like Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Detroit, and many other large cities definitely don’t have privatized water systems. Also – the current administration is totally reinforcing the EPA and increasing their budget so that they can continue to monitor lead levels in fresh water. Also, the Great Lakes Restoration is also definitely not being defunded in the purposed budget since they are of course the largest source of fresh water in America and currently facing problems with pollution and invasive species threatening that supply. Also – the lakes are definitely not shrinking, that is just a rumor made up by “environmental scientists”.

I’m glad I can drink the water on campus.

Angel Zhou said...

Pittsburgh seems to be having a number of water issues lately – first, it was the boil water advisory. Now, it’s this. It’s reassuring that Carnegie Mellon took steps to ensure that the university’s water is safe, but I think the university also needs to keep in mind the number of students who live off-campus (and are not allowed back on campus because of CMU’s policy about terminating housing contracts, a policy that I still do not understand – shouldn’t students always be allowed to come back on campus, not forced to remain off campus just because they want a change of pace?), myself included. Now that I have seen this article, I will likely be testing my house’s water for elevated lead levels, but I’m slightly disappointed in CMU for not sending out a mass email about it. Just because the campus is safe does not mean all its students are. Even giving out the link to this article would have been sufficient, since it even includes helpful websites for additional information.

Evan Schild said...

I remember the day that we were told not to drink the water on campus. It seemed like the school was heading into a world war. At many times Entropy was sold out of water. People were waiting in long lines to get ONE free bottle of water. When I found out that the school was only going to give one bottle per location I was surprised. The school costs so much money that you think in an emergency like this they would have truck after truck filled with water but nope. School of Drama had to go out and get water for the crew that was happening that night. I am very happy that they did that because crew can be very labor intensive and without water we could have easily gotten dehydrated. I do wish though that Pittsburgh and more cities would test their water as frequently as CMU does since it clearly paid off.

Emily Lawrence said...

When I read the announcement that we were not supposed to be drinking water because it would be dangerous, I was shocked. I had never thought of something like this actually happening and it just felt so unreal. During hurricane season where I'm from, people will go to the store and stock up on water in case something happens. One year, we lost the ability to drink water and we ran to the store and found that shelves upon shelves were completely empty. And it's not something you can drive around to try and find because you wanted to save gas because we weren't sure when the pumps would get refilled. I was so shocked by the water issue in Pittsburgh, because nothing seemed to cause it. How did they know that the water was unsafe and long had the water been unsafe before people were notified. It was just something that felt out of the blue, and that there was nothing that could be done to fix the problem in a short days time, which made it even more alarming.

Claire Farrokh said...

Well good. You don't really think about how much water we use and consume in a single day until there's a water crisis like the one we had a couple weeks ago. I remember I was in rehearsal that night, and we bought bottled water for all of our actors, and it was like we were bringing a treasure chest into that room when we brought the bin of waters in. Many people wanted to take two or bring some home, but we had to ration it out. I'm glad CMU is not trying to let that happen again, by being proactive and testing all the possibly contaminated water, and fixing the causes of actually contaminated water. To be totally honest, the school definitely could've been more helpful during the first water crisis. Yes the one free water bottle was nice, but all of the locations were in like the pits of hell or on Craig Street or something. They should've delivered a bunch of cases to every academic building and every dorm and called it a day. But oh well we all made it out alive regardless. Anyway, I'm glad there's not another water crisis happening cause that was horrible.

Ali Whyte said...

I am very glad to read this article, but also a little unnerved because I had not even given a thought to this since the crisis. I hadn't really even seen it as a crisis, more as just haphazard signs on drinking fountains and mounds of bottled water in the entryway of my dorm. It was almost like a blip to me because of the short duration, but there were several inconveniences that I remember from those fateful few days. I am very glad they have resolved the issues and we hopefully will not have any similar events in the future. I think it is incredibly important to pay attention to changes in water systems to ensure the health and safety of all of those people relying on such systems from a government standpoint, but also making sure there are ways for those who want them to test their own water themselves.