Ocean City News In Brief

OCEAN CITY – In the brief this week, there were some reports of brown water in the mid-town area of Ocean City and a Boardwalk body piercing company questioned the ethics of several others.

Brown In The Water?

Despite reports from the mid-town area of Ocean City in late June complaining of “brown spots” in the drinking water, City Manager Dennis Dare says that all is well and the problem has been handled.

In sporadic areas of Ocean City, ranging from 50th to 80th streets over the course of several weekends in June, a reaction between increased amounts of chlorine in the processed water and existing iron in the water caused a few brownish spots to pop up.

Dare, however, said that the water was always safe to drink, but the problem was quickly amended after a few tests were done to figure out the cause of the spotting.

“As it turns out, there is a new state requirement which requires more chlorine to be put into the water when it leaves the plant than in the past and we’ve had some trouble balancing it,” said Dare. “With the amount of iron bacteria in our raw water source, our treatment process has to work well to remove the iron. If one little thing changes, we can have small amounts of the iron enter the distribution system, thus causing the brown spots.”

Dare compared what occurred with a problem that people who have “well water” in their homes experience.

“It is perfectly safe to drink but it can stain clothes and plumbing fixtures.  People on well water know this all too well,” said Dare. “We thought we identified the problem twice before we finally got the right fix the third time.  Things are now working well.  There was never any danger to the public health.”

Dare noted that because of the new requirements, balancing the levels at the plant were increasingly difficult to gauge as the town started to fill up on the weekends.

“When water usage would get high, especially on weekends, the high dosage of chlorine would react after it left the plant and any iron left in the water would oxidize and appear to be brown,” he said.

Councilwoman Margaret Pillas, who brought up the subject at the end of Monday night’s council meeting, wondered aloud if the retreatment of the brown water could have altered the record demoflush numbers that were reported in June.

However, Dare quickly thwarted that theory as inaccurate.

False Advertising Claim

From Piercing Competitor

Dan Troiano is losing business like many other Boardwalk shop owners, but he says he’s losing it because his competitors are falsely advertising their services.

Troiano, who owns Dimensions on the Boardwalk, came before the Mayor and Council on Monday to complain that “about 10 competing stores” are essentially misinforming their customers of their provided services based on their outdoor signage.

“You can’t advertise a product or service that you don’t provide on the premises,” said Troiano, “but, there are businesses on the Boardwalk who are taking money, then sending people to another one of their storefronts up the street, which is right past my store, to get the actual piercing done. It’s like trickery.”

City Solicitor Guy Ayres told Troiano that Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith has determined that the signage which advertises “body piercing” does not violate city code because the particular stores offer “ear piercing”, which Ayres said is deemed a “part of the body.”

“There is a difference in licensing [between body and ear piercing], but this is about signage, and in this case, the signage is not technically wrong unless council decides to pass a law that says you must list the parts of the body that you can pierce there, and I don’t think the council wants to head down that path”, said Ayres.

Troiano says he pays almost $10,000 per year in licensing fees to perform body piercing on the Boardwalk.