Holding on to the US water supply

Congressman [Dennis E.] Eckart [(D) of Ohio] is concerned about cleaning up America's water, and Congress should be concerned [``Congress: clean up America's water,'' May 29]. Part of the problem lies with the socialistic structure of the water business in the United States. A majority of water companies in this country are owned by the municipalities where they do business. Although some say France has taken a left turn, water is strictly free market there, and competitive factors in the marketplace keep the quality high. Here in our own country, some of the private water companies such as American Water Works, the largest private water utility, and Indianapolis Water Company, a one-city utility, are striving to offer the best possible product for the lowest possible cost to the consumer, i.e., safety with economy. Gene Chapman Tulsa, Okla.

The article on water conservation [``Drip, drip, drip -- it all adds up to waste,'' June 7] cautioned against careless use of water. I recommend the following addenda.

Hundreds of thousands of new and used automobiles are on display outdoors at dealerships. It is expected that they be kept bright and shiny, and the most convenient cleanser is the municipal water supply. Feather dusters, rainwater from local catch basins, or chemically treated dusting gloves should be used as economical substitutes.

In many areas there are ``grass plots'' in front of residences -- all requiring daily watering. We have found artificial turf satisfactory in areas of private enterprise, including sports stadiums, and on tracts where natural grass is difficult to cultivate and expensive to maintain. F. Pierce Sherry San Rafael, Calif.

A sponge and bucket to wash the car? No. Get a long-handled window washer's brush, no more than 9 inches wide, and keep yourself dry in the process. Some may think the brush is too harsh for the finish, but not if it is dipped frequently. With my subcompact there is enough water left to throw over the car for a final rinse.

Showers: It saves water if a family can take its showers in tandem. Only the first one has to waste two gallons of water to get to the hot. (Otherwise, two gallons are heated later all for nothing.) T. V. Anderson Evanston, Ill.

Thank you for your article ``For R. J. Reynolds: less liability in cookies'' (June 5). The article was very informative regarding the holdings of the tobacco industry, and brought two thoughts to mind. 1. Since the tobacco companies are cash rich, and the consumers using their product seem not to care about price, Congress should be pressured by the public to eliminate the price supports on tobacco.

2. We nonsmokers can send a loud voice to these companies by not buying any products sold by them or their subsidiaries. These would include Seven-Up, Miller Brewing, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Del Monte, Sunkist, and their newest arrival, Nabisco. Mrs. Holly Manning Palm Harbor, Fla.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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