James & Kalkat No Show

July 10,2021 Palm Beach Daily News.

“Palm Beach won’t separately test water after WPB agrees to share data”

“West Palm Beach, which provides water to Palm Beach and South Palm Beach, agreed to share its sampling and water test results during a June 28 meeting with the town, said Palm Beach Director of Public Works Paul Brazil.

Before the meeting, Palm Beach officials said they would ask to do their own testing after West Palm Beach officials took eight days to notify the town that the toxin cylindrospermopsin had been detected in the water supply. Additional testing by the town is most likely not necessary at this time. City staff making the test results available to the town is a very positive outcome,” Brazil said in a Wednesday email.”

Toxins initially found in water in May
That’s in sharp contrast to earlier reactions from town officials, who were upset with how West Palm Beach notified them about the water toxin.
Cylindrospermopsin, which is produced by blue-green algae, first was detected in low levels May 3, and subsequent test results returned May 19 and 20 were above a threshold considered harmful for vulnerable populations. But West Palm officials did not notify Palm Beach and issue a drinking water advisory until May 28.
Kalkat is slated to address the Town Council on Tuesday.”

Read the entire story below:


July 12, 2021 A WPB resident called the Town of Palm Beach to confirm the meeting was on the schedule for Tuesday July 13,2021, and if residents were allowed to attend.
The Town Clerk said all residents were welcome and the meeting with Public Utilities Director Poonam Kalkat along with Mayor Keith James would be present at the time certain of 11:00 AM to discuss the water issues. Time certain meaning the Town would end whatever discussion they were having at 11:00 AM and introduce James and Kalkat.

Who attended the meeting?

Palm Beach Mayor & Town Council Members: From the left Councilmen Lew Crampton, Council President Pro-Tem Bobbie Lindsay, Mayor Danielle Moore, Council President Maggie Zeidman, Councilwoman Julie Araskog, Councilmen Ted Cooney, along with Town Manager Kirk Blouin. Click to enlarge picture.



Who was absent from the meeting?

Mayor Keith James and Public Utilities Director Poonam Kalkat were a no-show. Kalkat and James said they has a scheduling conflict and cancelled at the last minute and Kalkat would not be making her presentation. I must ask myself what meeting was more important than an honest discussion with Town Officials over their drinking water. How disrespectful to Town Officials.

The meeting continued with Town Manager Kirk Blouin when the Town Council questioned why it took WPB so long to notify the Town about the drinking water contamination. His response was That town staff and experts will continue to seek to find out why it took so long, and it appears the Town of Palm Beach has a real issue with the delay.

Mr. Blouin also stated the City of WPB has formed a task force, and the City said that it would be ok for the Town of Palm Beach to be at the table. The Town has contracted with two water experts that will attend and observe, learn and evaluate what the City and task force is doing and will report back to the Town.

It was felt that hired experts at the table would be better than Town staff because experts have the expertise in water and Town staff does not. Experts are able to understand the test results. The experts are charged with assuring the Town that the city’s testing and reporting is correct.”

Why should WPB residents be comfortable with the Town’s reaction to the meeting that didn’t take place this morning? For me it’s knowing the Town admitting they didn’t understand all the water problems they are facing, and they are willing to hire the experts who will understand the testing and what it means.

Sadly this resident has more faith in the Town of Palm Beach to discover the truth behind the water crises than I have in my City Government to tell me the truth.

After publishing the last story on July 9, 2021 I received many responses concerning contaminated drinking water and I will share one response with readers because of the excellent points made.


“This is in response to your recently distributed email regarding WPB water quality. Three issues.
First, the city cites 80 micrograms per liter and below as a safe level of contamination for most (but not all) residents, adding that residents would be informed if the contamination level was high enough to be considered an emergency. However, the city does not cite the level of contamination that would be considered unsafe for drinking or a water emergency.

A second and related point is more serious. Since the city uses a 12-month moving average to monitor water quality, unsafe levels, even severe levels, can exist but be diluted statistically because moving averages are designed to “smooth” extreme or outlier data points. This method is sensible for assessing trends such as global warming. However, if contamination levels are only as safe as their weakest link, the current statistical approach of the city is egregiously flawed and arguably, dangerous.

Third, the city does not mention the impact of exposure levels to contaminants. Is someone who drinks an abundance of tainted (but classified as safe) water at greater health risk than another person whose water consumption is at a dangerous level but who drinks small amounts? This issue is similar to the notion of viral load in assessing the risk of contracting COVID; the duration of exposure is a key variable for COVID just as the amount of consumption of tainted water is a key variable for risking overall health.
We all should expect more of the water quality standards and the elected officials and experts who are responsible for their effectiveness.

The end