Wednesday, August 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Water costs more than health care

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By
From page A8 | April 06, 2014 |

I live in Green Valley, and with all of the controversy recently over health care, I just realized that my present water bill exceeds the cost of my health care insurance.

There are similarities between the city of Vallejo’s Lakes Water System and health care. For more than 90 years, the Lakes Water System was operated to serve Vallejo, and the infrastructure aged to the point where the majority of the pipelines were beyond the end of their useful life. This situation is similar to a person, living a healthy life for many years, finding that they are “old” and are in need of medical help.

In 1992, Vallejo discovered the Lakes Water System had an “incurable disease,” which was because the treated water did not meet the new state drinking water standards. Vallejo elected to abandon the Lakes Water System as a water source for the city, and pass the system, and all of the costs, including a new water treatment plant, on to 809 Lakes Water System customers.

The situation Lakes Water System customers are now faced with is like a patient, who has paid for health care for 90 years, finding out that they have cancer and their health care provider has canceled their policy. The patient now has to pay for all of the expensive treatment and drugs out of their own pocket. Similarly, Lakes Water System customers are now required to pay all costs for the Lakes Water System because Vallejo abandoned Lakes Water System customers, just like the cancer patients’ health care provider did by canceling their policy.

For more than 90 years, Lakes Water System customers paid into the system, together with Vallejo residents, and everyone enjoyed the benefits of the Lakes Water System. Now, similar to the cancer patient, Lakes Water System customers should not be left in a situation where they are abandoned by Vallejo and have to pay all costs.

Because of the benefits Vallejo received from the use of the Lakes Water System for more than 90 years, they should now assist with the Lakes Water System’s costs.

Penny Fisher

Fairfield

Letter to the Editor

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Discussion | 3 comments

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  • rlw895April 06, 2014 - 8:25 am

    Interesting analogy! And no one else will take on this system with its "preexisting condition." Unfortunately, there's no "ObamaCare" equivalent for the Lakes System.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • John StroutApril 22, 2014 - 9:30 am

    Most importantly, Vallejo accepted the responsibility for maintaining the system when they accepted payment for the water service from "each" customer and they have been negligent in their ongoing maintenance program although they accepted the money. JJ Strout

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • David EimerlApril 22, 2014 - 2:51 pm

    Another analogy: several large companies have been sold recently wherein the buyer has no obligation to pay the defined retirement benefits of the employees. The abandonment of such obligations leaves ordinary folk in the lurch. The Lakes Water Customers paid their bills and are entitled to what they paid for, the same as every other Vallejo water customer. No more, no less.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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