Is It Safe?

In the movie 1976 movie “Marathon Man,” Dustin Hoffman’s character falls into the hands of Nazi Dentist Dr. Josef Mengele, played by Sir Laurence Olivier. Before, and during, some gruesome dental procedures, Mengele keeps asking Hoffman, “Is it safe?” At this point in the film, Hoffman doesn’t know what “it” is, and therefore can’t tell him what he needs to know.So the gruesomeness continues.

Who would have guessed that the most dangerous part of that procedure might have been when the Nazi Dentist told Hoffman to “Rinse and spit?”

For in our reality in Trenton and Mercer County 2017, we now know that the question “Is it Safe?” refers to our drinking water, as supplied by the Trenton Water Works (TWW).


Kevin Shea of the Trenton Times has published a piece in his paper picking up on the story introduced in this space of the long-running manpower crisis at TWW that has developed to the point where the utility has only one-third of the personnel needed to operate the system, according to Trenton’s own engineering consultants. Mr. Shea (thank you for the citation , sir!) spoke to Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson to respond to the revelations contained in documents received from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

In the Times piece, Mayor Jackson told Kevin Shea, “The water quality of TWW remains at or above regulatory standards.” OK, so can Mr. Jackson explain this water sample, photographed by Trenton resident Scott Miller of a sample taken from his tap this morning? Is the unnatural purple tint within regulatory standards?

“Is It Safe?”

scott miller 12-2

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