Protesters push to protect public drinking water - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Protesters push to protect public drinking water

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Group protests MDC to protect drinking water (WFSB) Group protests MDC to protect drinking water (WFSB)

A group is pushing to protect public drinking water in the greater Hartford area.

The group Save Our Water is holding a protest on Wednesday afternoon ahead of two important meetings being held by the Metropolitan District Commission.

Protesters held a rally on Wednesday outside of MDC's office on Main Street.

They are fighting discounts offered by MDC to the California-based company Niagara Bottling, which is setting up a plant in Bloomfield.

"We're told to conserve, were told to turn off the faucet when we brush our teeth ... and then they're pulling 1.8 gallons of water. It doesn't make sense," said Donna Landerman, of Bloomfield.

Save Our Water is upset that the MDC agreed to sell public drinking water as the historic drought continues in Connecticut.

Despite the group's approach, Niagara Bottling's plans have gone ahead. It has reached deals with the town of Bloomfield and the MDC.

Save Our Water recently won a Freedom of Information hearing over the MDC's water supply plan, but there will be changes.

MDC cited Homeland Security as a reason for not releasing more information.

The meetings on Wednesday will focus on possible changes to sewer and water ordinances as well as the 2017 budget. 

There are growing concerns among city and town leaders around Hartford who use MDC water that they may have to foot the bill if the city of Hartford cannot pay its $11 million bill.

The city has not declared bankruptcy, but Hartford is facing a $50 million deficit next year.

MDC and town leaders met on Tuesday to discuss that issue. Hartford has promised it will make its first two payments of 2017.

The first of both meetings on Wednesday started at 5 p.m. and both are open to the public.

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