Letters: Chemicals, chemists and chlorine

Saturday August 17, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
Letters: Chemicals, chemists and chlorine

Dear editor,

With due respect to the Kaumaiti Nui and all members of the House of Arikis, Dr Aumea, William Wigmore, government ministers Mark Brown and Rose Brown and in fact all that went up Turangi water intake.


I just want you to know that I was not convinced at all, by all what’s been explained and what I heard, there were still camparisons of us in Rarotonga with New Zealand and Australia.

Before I move on, I’d like to thank the Kaumaiti Nui for what he said, and Tupe Short and of course at the end when the Minister from Atiu supported the idea of working in connection with House of Ariki and government, with that, I fully support.

Chlorinating our water is what I don’t support.

As you can see, what I’m saying and comparing is of what I know from back in the 60s, 70s, 90s to today. How many can remember our No 1 oranges, which was one of the best exportd we have, we were given all sort of chemicals to spray and manure our plot of oranges, all of a sudden, oranges changed from yellow ripe to brown and not wanted for export anymore, we had the island food, or canning factory where we take all our brown oranges for juice.

Mangaia and Atiu had pineapples supplied to the canning factory, up the hospital hill full of pineapple by Manea Tamarua and Agriculture. All these failed to today, oh, even our tomatoes and bananas.

Our pawpaw, the latest. Why did we lose all these, because we are yes people and too soft, all yes, yes. All the introduction of these chemicals did harm our people. To agriculture we have been using DDT Malathion, all sorts of chemicals, all sort of manure, blood and bones, NPK, Paraquat, weed killers, etc, these contributed to our different sicknesses today.

These kill good worms that enrich our soil, but all these chemicals go in these plants and that’s what we eat and illness from there. Even though I know I will not be heard, it will not change my mind at all because the water is our only last resort, and I mean last.

Lastly, may I ask if, in the future, we find it was the wrong mixture, wrong amount of water, who will put their hands up and say, ‘my fault’?

And if anyone says I am not a scientist, hey, I am taught and trained here in Rarotonga.

If you don’t agree, don’t go back and learn Maori and Maori culture.

Irava no tatou.

Kare e Tangata e tutungi ite lamepa,

Ka tuku ei, ki raro ite kaingakai, ei runga ra kia marama to te ao.

Joe Ngatae

Dear editor,

I read with interest Ian Calhaem’s reply to my letter on water chlorination.

I am sure that with his background as a director of Envirolyte, he would definitely have a more in-depth knowledge of the Anolyte process than me.

However, articles I have read on the process indicate that, basically, the sterilising agent produced at the anode is the same chemical produced when dry powder pool chlorine (calcium hypochlorite) is dissolved in water.

The safety factor of the pool chlorine dry powder is no longer relevant once it is highly diluted in water. However the dry powder should be stored as any dangerous chemical.

The word Anolyte, while not a brand, is freely interspersed in both articles as a substitute for the Envirolyte product – which is a brand name.

Before I proceed any further, let me point out I was never advocating one method over the other. I do believe the Anolyte system is both effective and safe. However it would be up to engineering involved in the installation to carry out the cost analysis comparison.

The pool chlorine spillage story referred to, was a nice touch, but does anybody believe that there will be a person with a bucket and test kit at each induction point dosing the system. Obviously with expense the government is going to, they would have automatic dosing at each intake. Don't quote me on this as I am not privy to this information.

In addition electro- chemistry has been around for at least the last century. In fact Chlorine gas is/was commercially produced by electrolysis of Sodium Chloride (common salt) solution which is given off at the anode similar to the product in the 'Anolyte” process. I refer to similarity of the process and not the production of chlorine gas.

Please be aware that this response is without malice or vested interest of any sort and is intended to add to the information available for all concerned to make up their own minds.

Rodney Fletcher
Dip App Chem

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