Hotel water plan is wasteful

October 3, 2009

I would like to take exception to the topic and the quote in [Scott] Olson’s article in the Sept. 21 IBJ regarding the de-watering system planned for the new Marriott Hotel.

The idea of taking perfectly good water and dumping into the White River is a colossally dumb idea on several points:

• It is shortsighted in that it is taking perfectly good drinking water and wasting it, in light of increasing water shortages nationally and in light of the city of Indianapolis’ alternative water supply, Geist and Eagle Creek reservoirs, [being] polluted to the extent that swimming is not advised.

• Has there been an environmental study showing the long-term impact of lowering the water table to the wells around 16th Street, now used as a source of water, particularly in light of Mayor Ballard’s recent concern about the need for increasing water for an increased Indianapolis population?

• There are opinions from people wiser than me that say lowering the water table will cause adjacent rivers to dry up. What then will be the effect on sewage flow from the Southport Road Sewage Treatment Plant, which already reports there are times when there is more sewage flow than water flow in White River?

I don’t necessarily buy the accuracy of the quote in your article, “The water was going to the river anyway.” Lowering the water table, as indicated by cities around the country facing water shortages, is not that simplistic. Coming from an engineer, responsible for the public well-being, [that] was irresponsible in the extreme. Done by a firm who touts themselves as being green-oriented is hypocritical as well.

I showed this article to fellow board members of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association in the New Mexico/Arizona /Texas/Southern California part of the country and they think such a practice of wasting perfectly good water is crazy bordering on criminal.

Citizens of Indianapolis and public officials should be protesting this waste of a public resource.

E.W. Bob Boulware

Design-Aire Engineering Inc.

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