Town hall meeting looks for answers about safety of Melbourne drinking water

Local, state water authorities take questions in packed council chambers

MELBOURNE, Fla. – It was a full house at Melbourne City Hall on Tuesday afternoon. Some concerned citizens are not sure when the city says their drinking water is safe.

State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, said his office started getting calls earlier this month about new blue-green algae concerns from Melbourne's main source of drinking water.

This summer, Lake Washington guests are greeted by a caution sign that reads "Toxins may be present in the water."

The same signs also advises no swimming and to avoid eating shellfish from the lake.

"All the authorities are telling people the water's fine, but my constituents don't feel that way," Fine told News 6 before the meeting. "The purpose of the meeting is to get regular folks together with the four organizations that are responsible for this to see if we can gain some comfort around the situation or figure out what we have to do."

Testing the water continues between the St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida Department of Health and the Environmental Proection Agency.

Fine wrote in a post on his Facebook page Tuesday that an extremely small amount of unregulated toxin was found in the water July 23.

That was before the water source was treated by the city utility.

"The city of Melbourne says no matter how bad things are in the lake, by the time the water gets to your house, it's fine. That's the short-term immediate issue we have to solve," Fine said.

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