Saturday, August 16, 2008

Agua segura?

Recent postings on Loreto Bay's official homeowner site have called into question the means by which homeowners are warned of unsafe water quality in the development. This issue was first raised in early July by a homeowner whose trip to Loreto Bay was ruined due to a severe case of "Montezuma's revenge." The homeowner also leveled a heap of criticism on LB management for not informing homeowners when there is a problem with the quality of water. And rightly so. In that homeowner's case, residents had been warned of bacteria in the water just a few weeks prior, but they were not warned upon their arrival.

LB's marketing department responded to the complaints and concerns by outlining the measures that are taken to keep the water safe and to inform homeowners and hotel guests of any potential water problem by issuing a Boil Water Advisory, which is handed out to resident homeowners and hotel guests. However, based on more recent postings, those advisories aren't reaching some homeowners.

The most troubling part of LB's response was the section that said the town of Loreto is notified and asked to increase the amount of chlorine in the water supply when LB's monthly independent water testing indicates the water does not meet minimum California water standards. (This response and the other responses referenced can be found on the Community Bulletin Board under Environment on the official homeowner site.)

OK, sounds good. LB seems to be doing its part in informing the proper authorities when the water quality dips below minimum standards. But no mention was made about how quickly Loreto's water authority - SAPAL - responds to those requests for increased chlorination.

It appears there are two problems here: First, LB is not doing enough to warn visiting homeowners and hotel guests about possible unsafe drinking water. And secondly, unless LB knows that SAPAL takes immediate action when notified that water quality falls below minimum California standards, they should inform homeowners and guests at the same time they inform SAPAL.

LB acknowledged in its July 11 response that some residents apparently hadn't "noticed" the posted Boil Water Advisories in a timely manner, so they were considering other ways to effectively inform homeowners when a Water Advisory is in effect. They proposed including "posting the Advisory in prominent locations within the Villages and Hotel, and broadcasting the Advisory on Loreto Bay's Television channel."

But apparently those additional measures haven't been implemented, or so say the most recent homeowner postings.

A few questions come to mind about this issue... Why not post those advisories on the official homeowner Web site right under the weather box, as suggested by one homeowner? And why not post them as soon as LB is aware that the water does not meet the minimum requirements? Should we all - as suggested by another homeowner - buy water purification drops for cleaning and soaking fruits and vegetables? Or should we consider a full-scale water purification system for our casa, as proposed by yet another homeowner?

It would be nice to hear an in-depth response from LB on this issue. And we invite homeowners to weigh in on this topic as well!

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