EDITORIAL: Watered down communication

It's no secret the media aren't always the favourite of those who most frequently come onto its radar – politicians and celebrities, for example.

It’s no secret that the media aren’t always the favourite of those who most frequently come onto its radar – politicians and celebrities, for example.

Regardless, they are invaluable assets when it comes to spreading the word quickly on important – real or perceived – matters.

Take White Rock’s water.

Issues surrounding the wet stuff that’s delivered to residences and places of business have become a steadfast topic; from the evolution of the drinking water going from praised as some of the best in the Lower Mainland to its decline in popularity since 2010, when an E. coli contamination prompted an order from Fraser Health for systemwide chlorination by June 2016.

Local and regional media got the word out, often following advisories from those connected to the issue.

The trend continued with the city’s takeover of its water system from Epcor, though the source of the majority of advisories that followed – regarding discoloured and even odorous water coming from the taps – was residents and business owners.

This week, as the focus temporarily switched to the waterfront, when visitors Monday morning discovered water flowing into the bay from the Anderson Street outfall was a dramatic reddish-brown colour, word was spread by those residents.

They made calls to the fire department and city hall as early at 7:40 a.m., and a brief statement was posted to the city’s website at 9:30 a.m., noting crews had responded, the issue had been seen in past years, and that samples had been taken to confirm the cause.

An update, the statement promises, would be provided once test results are in.

Curiously, on an issue that caught the attention of so many people, as well as major news outlets across B.C., no news release was issued; not an email or a phone call was received at Peace Arch News from official sources.

As we remind all levels of government, one message sent to us can prevent thousands of messages from concerned residents.

One might think they’d take advantage of that relationship more.

Peace Arch News