Letters - June 2020

Words and Meanings

In reference to your March column (Let’s Be Clear, “It’s About the Product”), I hope you will walk with me. Words have different meaning to different people (that’s the reason judges, lawyers and politicians stay in business). 

So on that note, is “wastewater” a dirty word that really needs to disappear and/or be replaced? I don’t think so. To paraphrase Forrest Gump: Wastewater is like a two-way street. Yes, wastewater is dirty, and people need to realize this. The only thing dirty about the word “wastewater” is the word “waste.”

If people truly realized that the byproduct waste (attached onto the word “water”) is produced by all of us, they might also understand that wastewater can become clean again, not by magic but by water professionals who work their magic day in and day out to provide clean water to all of us. The two-way street thing again — not a one-way street with no yield — dirty down one lane, clean in the other lane.

Bottom line, just because it’s clean doesn’t mean it’s safe. Perhaps a better choice would be a combination of words: clean-safe water.

Respectfully,

Richard Downing “Rob” Robbins Jr.

Wilson, North Carolina


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