Free water in Naples about to dry up
February 23, 2009
NAPLES, Italy — The free bottled water being offered to off-base residents in Naples soon will be a thing of the past.
Officials said Friday that when current supplies run out, probably by spring, the giveaway will end.
The Navy began giving out the water last September after testing in several off-base homes detected contaminants such as volatile organic compounds along with fecal and total coliform bacteria.
The testing is part of the Navy’s continuing public health evaluation to determine the risks of living in Naples. The illegal dumping of toxic waste, burning of trash and piles of garbage left uncollected for months on end have plagued the Naples area for decades.
Since September, the Navy has spent more than $250,000 on bottled water for off-base residents. The current plan is for landlords to provide "containerized water" as part of the rental agreement.
The Navy has negotiated more than 200 new leases since November to include the provision of bottled water. But only 22 of about 1,700 leases signed prior to the water provisions have been re-negotiated to ensure the landlord provides bottled water.
Those who don’t renegotiate their leases will have to buy their own water, "which is covered by … utility allowances in the amount of $73; enough to cover the approved four liters per person, per day for two people," reads Friday’s posting on the command Web site.
The utility allowance only covers buying water for up to two individuals. The quantity supplied by the Navy currently covers all individuals living in a household.
A family of five, for example, now receives 20 liters per day. That same family only gets 8 liters per day under the utility allowance.
The water allowance is part of the overall utility allowance for off-base residents in Italy — not just Naples, according to the Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee, which adjusts the allowances based on survey data.
Navy officials have advised all off-base residents to use bottled water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth and making ice.