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Kiger: Veolia Makes Better Excuses Than Water Featured

Written by  Thursday, 29 August 2019 12:54
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Veolia North America, which originates from France, defended their poor performance in making clean water for the city of Heavener this week by saying, “We know that many residents are understandably asking why the water that reaches their homes is sometimes discolored and flecked with minerals.”


Veolia, along with Heavener city leaders, also wants to put the entire blame of discolored water all on an aging water piping or water line system. This is completely inaccurate, said state Rep. Lundy Kiger (R-Poteau).


“Veolia said they don’t know what my motivations are and I should have contacted them first,” Kiger “They went on to say that ‘Veolia is working to make sure the people in this community are getting the very best service possible in our water plant.’ This has been going on for decades so the time to ask permission has long passed.”


The following statement is from Kiger to Veolia and to city leaders on behalf of the people and businesses in Heavener who he represents in House District 3. He said he and his consituents are tired of putting up with the practices of Veolia and the city.


“All cities have aging water systems that move water from the water treatment plant or the source of making potable water, and you will at times find discoloration in water in some cities. But even Veolia on a rare day will produce clean water; so it’s possible. But even after spending over $8 million, the city has experienced dirty water for over 25 years. The time for this to end is now!


“When the people and businesses of Heavener contacted me, it wasn’t just about discolored water, it was about dirty, nasty, black water that stinks like sewage that people couldn’t drink or even use most days for the simplest things such as bathing or washing their clothing. So this results in people having monthly water bills running at times over $100 and having to buy bottled water for their everyday necessities. This is unacceptable!


“My actions and my comments are on behalf of the people and business owners of Heavener, and I stand by every comment I’ve made, including that Veolia North America – which is getting paid $192,000 a month by the citizens of Heavener – doesn’t know how or just doesn’t care to make clean water under their current leadership.


“The residents and businesses of Heavener cannot drink the water and cannot use the water on ‘many’ days due to being black, not just discolored.


“Dirty water is also affecting the poultry industry (including growers) resulting in OK Foods having to shut down operations, sending workers home and chickens back to the farm, and killing the economy of the region, because the water is too dirty to clean up. Every business in town is affected and spends money monthly on water filters and purification systems.


“I spoke with the city manager, a portion of the City Council and the Heavener Utilities Authority (HUA) before holding my first Town Hall meeting on behalf of the people. These leaders stated to me that they had received no complaints, and there was also no money available to fix the aging water system. These both were proven wrong, and frankly I believe this issue is over the heads of many city leaders and Veolia is taking advantage of everyone.


“I worked in industry for over 27 years and I don’t make statements like I’ve made unless I see they are warranted.


“I have taken these complaints, researched the water quality with five different independent water quality experts and companies, and I stand by my claim that Veolia continues to put the screws to everyone who lives, works or receives a water bill from the city of Heavener.

“Veolia claims the water is compliant when it leaves the water plant. We provided to the people this week a presentation by a real water company showing how water that’s over-treated with chemicals may show compliant at some points in the process, but will show up black after a short period of time as it moves into the water lines. This is how Veolia justifies producing clean water and blaming city water lines. The water is more than discolored at times; it’s black. and people can’t use what they’re buying. Enough said!


“The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality inspected the plant on August 28, 2019, and within the next 30 days we will see what the agency found. I don’t believe this will be the last visit that DEQ makes to the plant, and soon the real source of black water will be discovered and corrected.

I believe we will see that those who really run the plant, even though they may have the best intentions, don’t have a clue as to what their actions are causing in homes and businesses. And with these poor water quality results, you normally see improper maintenance at the plant and on equipment also lacking and contributing to the overall problem.


“For $192,000 a month, Veolia should have made it a priority of producing clean water for the citizens and businesses of Heavener. And with over $8 million being spent by the city most of the aging water pipes should have been replaced.


“But an aging water line system doesn’t produce black water (with manganese and other metals) that’s unusable and not fit to drink or use on a daily bases.


“Veolia and those on the City Council who take this position should be ashamed to allow this to continue for so long and for defending the actions of Veolia.


“This year isn’t the first year that Veolia has been getting paid by the city for operation of the treatment facility and/or sewer plant. And today isn’t the first time that ‘conflict of interest’ has been discussed with a council person and water treatment plant manager. I also believe that is a real part of the problem. Time will tell.


“I will continue to hold Town Hall meetings in getting to the bottom of black and unusable water. I’ll communicate the real findings of DEQ over time regardless if I’m accurate or inaccurate in my statements. And with the support of the people of Heavener, this town will soon begin receiving the only things we want, clean water everyday that’s usable, even with an aging water line system!”


Kiger: Veolia Makes Better Excuses Than Water - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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