Saturday, March 14, 2009
This is Bethel Beach and a sky which jump starts the imagination. (We'd be here all day long if I told you what I saw in that sky.) Usually when I'm down there I am facing the bay trying to figure out what little section of nothingness to photograph next. Rarely do I look behind me, but I'm starting to learn that the more I do the more I'm pleasantly surprised. This was one such occasion. Now, speaking of water, surprises and looking back, let's talk once again about the drinking water here in Mathews.
Today we continue with the topic of Mathews' lethal drinking water. As I've mentioned on numerous occasions, most (if not all?) people are on wells. The quality of the water ranges from skanky to raunchy, with very little in between.
I jokingly call the water lethal, but not without some degree of concern that it may be true. Back in the 1970's, long before heavily processed foods and other present-day dietary nightmares wreaked havoc on our health, almost every house on our lane had a history of cancer (the people living there, not the houses per se) . Although I was a teenager, I didn't think it took a nuclear physicist to figure out there was a trend, and I made up my mind it was the drinking water.
Whether it is or isn't is immaterial, because the stuff stinks, it tastes horrible, and it's ruthless to hair and clothes.
By now, those of you who are scientific, factual sorts are all, "Here she goes again. Another of CBW's cockamamie statements with absolutely nothing but the cobwebs of her failing mind to substantiate her claims."
Perhaps that's true, but I offer this from my handy dandy government publication known as the Mathews County Soil Survey from 1962, which really is a Must Read:
"At Port Haywood, a driven well, of a depth of 70 feet, entered blue mud* at about 20 feet and soft rocks at 40 feet; the yield of water was not satisfactory.** Another driven well at Fitchetts produced water that was too salty for use. An 817-foot drilled well at Mathews contained 167 parts per million of chloride, and it was abandoned. At North, a drilled well, 460 feet deep, yielded 12 gallons of water a minute and contained 550 parts per million of chloride."
Folks? The government covered all the bases geographically. And nary a clean drop of water was found. (BTW, "nary" is pronounced "nare," rhymes with "mare," in Mathews.)
Hello, welcome to Mathews. My name is Chesapeake Bay Woman, and I'm so glad you're visiting. Go ahead and take off your coat, stay a while, make yourself comfortable.
You must be parched. May I bring you a glass of chloride?
Two additional comments from the peanut gallery:
*How about some blue mud? Do you think maybe there's something swirling around in that mud? Well, it's called iron bacteria, which has been described as follows:
"Clues which indicate that iron bacteria may be present in well water are:
unpleasant tastes and odors commonly reported as: "swampy," "oily or petroleum," "cucumber," "sewage," "rotten vegetation," or "musty." The fact that these same words can be used to describe the smell of my house is really not germane. The point is, our water smells like rotten vegetation at best; sewage at worst.
**"Not satisfactory" may well be the understatement of the century. Similar to "Chesapeake Bay Woman doesn't enjoy housework."