Friday, February 20, 2009
This is from Commenter Breezeway's lovely Gwynn's Island cottage. Do you see that water? It's salt water, and it tastes almost as bad as the water that comes out of our spigots here. Speaking of salt, that reminds me of water softener salt, which is as essential as oxygen in Mathews.
Mathews County is well known for its abundance of waterfront property, but not for water that's fit to drink. Don't believe me? I don't blame you. So to help substantiate my claim, I turn to the Dept. of Agriculture's 1962 Mathews County Soil Survey, which everyone has in their home library. I'll wait while you go get yours, so you can follow along.
OK, turn to page 40:
"...In Mathews County, drinking water is obtained mainly from hell..."
Oh, sorry, that last word was a typo (arguably). Let me try again:
"...In Mathews County, drinking water is obtained mainly from wells. The water in creeks and rivers is salty and unfit for consumption. There are a few springs in the county; the best of these are in the higher terraces in the northwestern section..."
My parents happen to have a spring bubbling up on their property, right near the intersection of our lane and one of two main roads running through Mathews. In fact, just today when I was leaving to run an errand, I saw people out there on their hands and knees filling up plastic milk jugs with this eau de le gods. My mother and I have a ball making fun of this spring and the amount of time Daddy has spent getting it rigged just so, but the truth is that water is far superior to anything I've ever tasted coming out of a tap or even from the store.
So, to recap: I'd rather stick my face down into a ditch and slurp water from a "spring" than drink our well water. (By the way, well water is pretty much our only option. There is talk of us getting all hooked to some "city water" but so far it hasn't happened.)
Let's continue with what the government said about our so-called drinking water over 45 years ago:
"...The average depth of dug wells is approximately 10 feet, and the quality of water ranges from poor to good, depending on the content of sulfur, iron, salt and carbonates. Also, the water ranges from soft to hard, according to the kinds and amounts of minerals. Deep wells are more likely to produce hard water; shallow wells, soft water."
I have yet to find one single house here with soft water. Instead, we are laden down like pack mules hauling hundred-pound bags of water softener salt from the Best Value grocery store, into the house, into the softener system, only to have the water come out of the shower not only smelly and stinky, but capable of rendering a perfectly good head of hair frizzy, green and unmanageable.
Speaking of pack mules, water softener salt, unruly hair and unmanageable individuals, stay tuned for tomorrow's rip-roaring episode of Chesapeake Bay Woman's Guide to Water Softener Salt Procurement and Installation in 10 easy steps! Where "easy" is loosely defined as "so excruciating that I am convinced hoisting 800-pound bags of water softener salt will cause my untimely demise."