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Bottling The Lake?

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jun 8, 2010 8:40PM

Photo by Teddy Wachholz
While Mayor Daley and City Hall insist there are no current plans to privatize the city's water system, this story over at the Sun-Times claims there's another idea the City may mull over: bottling and selling Lake Michigan water. Fran Speilman caught up with Tom Powers following his confirmation hearing to become Water Management Commissioner:

“The quality of the water that the department puts out is exceptional. In some cases, it’s better than bottled water,” Powers said after his City Council confirmation hearing.

Asked if Chicago might someday bottle and sell Lake Michigan water, Powers said, “As far as how you go about doing that — I don’t know how practical that is. It’s something you’d have to look at.”

That the idea was put to Powers by Speilman rather than the other way around has us taking any such proposal with a huge grain of salt. The thing is, the idea that the City would bottle what already comes out of our taps - which many of us already drink anyway - and sell it for profit, not to mention the money that would roll in thanks to that bottled-water tax, seems incredibly dumb yet not at all surprising. We'd hope common sense would take priority and such a proposal would never come to fruition, but if there's one thing we've learned about local government in any city, it's that common sense usually has little impact especially where there's money to be made.