Harris Fires Back at Providence Water Supply on Lead Info

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team

Johanna Harris
Former Chair of the Providence Board of Licenses Johanna Harris -- who writes the blog "Providence Rules" - has fired back at Providence Water's response to her recent post. 

Harris had written "Lead in Our Tap Water: Providence RI versus Flint MI" to which Providence Water called Harris' findings "not representative of [our] data."

On Tuesday, Harris wrote the following response:

Providence Water has tapped Dyana Koelsch of DK Communications to respond to my July 3 blog post Lead in Our Tap Water: Providence RI versus Flint MI. In an interview published on July 11 in GoLocalProv, Koelsch noted, “The conclusions she has drawn are not representative of the data, Providence Water’s findings or its ongoing activities regarding lead.”

Koelsch’s defense offers no new analysis of her client’s own database of tap-water lead measurements to show where I supposedly went wrong. Nothing in her defense rebuts my conclusion that certain sections of the city, especially the area around Ward 2 on the East Side, have levels of lead in first-draw samples of tap water comparable to those published for Flint, Michigan. 

Nothing in her response contradicts my conclusion that the official statistics reported by Providence Water in its annual water quality reports obscure the seriousness of the local problem by combining Providence with neighboring Cranston, Johnston and North Providence. 

Nothing in her response rebuts my conclusion that, while there is evidence of an improvement during the past 2–3 years, Providence still appears to be far from solving a serious public health problem.

Read Harris' full response HERE. 

  • Charlestown


    ZIP: 02813


    Number of Children Tested: 1,437


    Percent Elevated: 10.02%

  • Providence


    ZIP: 02904


    Number of Children Tested: 8,975


    Percent Elevated: 10.07%

  • Cranston/Providence


    ZIP: 02910


    Number of Children Tested: 6,343


    Percent Elevated: 10.37%

  • Hopkinton


    ZIP: 02894


    Number of Children Tested: 621


    Percent Elevated: 10.47%

  • Westerly


    ZIP: 02891


    Number of Children Tested: 4,241


    Percent Elevated: 10.16%

  • East Providence


    ZIP: 02915


    Number of Children Tested: 4,711


    Percent Elevated: 11.12%

  • Woonsocket


    ZIP: 02895


    Number of Children Tested: 15,651


    Percent Elevated: 11.34%

  • Little Compton


    ZIP: 02837


    Number of Children Tested: 819


    Percent Elevated: 11.72%

  • Burrillville


    ZIP: 02859


    Number of Children Tested: 1600


    Percent Elevated: 12%

  • Providence


    ZIP: 02909


    Number of Children Tested: 24,764


    Percent Elevated: 12%

  • Richmond


    ZIP: 02832


    Number of Children Tested: 1,012


    Percent Elevated: 12.35%

  • East Providence


    ZIP: 02914


    Number of Children Tested: 8,045


    Percent Elevated: 12.77%

  • Warren


    ZIP: 02885


    Number of Children Tested: 3,458


    Percent Elevated: 12.78%

  • Providence East Side


    ZIP: 02906


    Number of Children Tested: 6,484


    Percent Elevated: 13.66%

  • Pawtucket


    ZIP: 02860


    Number of Children Tested: 21,099


    Percent Elevated: 14.19%

  • Newport


    ZIP: 02840


    Number of Children Tested: 7,068


    Percent Elevated: 14.77%

  • Central Falls


    ZIP: 02863


    Number of Children Tested: 10,897


    Percent Elevated: 16.22%

  • Providence


    ZIP: 02028


    Number of Children Tested: 15,943


    Percent Elevated: 18.14%

  • Providence/Cranston


    ZIP: 02905


    Number of Children Tested: 10,245


    Percent Elevated: 18.53%

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