Well Well Well, You Want To Be Well, Don'tcha ? By Dr. Jo Gjelsten
“Whatcha gonna do when the well runs dry, you’re gonna run a..way and hide”…so goes the song. So our well broke last weekend. No water. I thought of the picture of my grandmother, singing away at the hand pump of a well, somewhere, back then. Tough folk they were. I don’t remember her complaining about having to pump water out of the ground. It was just done that way.
Our way is to panic. Sunday morning, I turn on the faucet and, getting nothing, I run downstairs to see if a circuit breaker is the answer, and sadly, with my shirt on inside out and backwards I’m so preoccupied with this, I return with the diagnosis. We need a new well (pump). Barmore Pumps, whose third generation of experts is named Bill, gives me a second opinion, same as the first, after a complete exam and a couple of tests. After using the modern equivalent of a divining rod, Bill and his crew locate the little sucker that has stopped sucking, which really, uh, stinks, under the big tree in the lower forty. They dig around all day in the mud with an expensive Tonka Toy, and presto, we are with water. Men in mud. And it’s a good thing too, Martha, because they’re our heroes, those who can get it done in a day, coming to our rescue with heavy machinery. These guys also handle the closing of wells, which we now understand are in the hundreds in Rockland County.
Years ago everyone wanted to have their own water source. Now the health department isn’t so keen on that according to Bill, and you do need a permit; see Rockland County Dept. Of Health, online.
So, not many new wells, but what about the old ones? We may need to look at those wells that are, one non-local watery source states , “A big issue”, “one that should be of significant concern are the 1.5 million reported abandoned wells. People need to decommission wells. Two major issues -- the water still flows and animals are getting trapped."
Ok, we may or may not have animals stuck in old wells around here, but we do have laws in these parts. According to what I’ve read in the Rockland County Sanitary Code, our Commissioner can decommission a well if it’s been abandoned, is polluted, and if it is otherwise unsafe, and more.
All those un-used, open-to-contamination wells, according to Bill, out there should be de-commissioned. We should look into this. I believe that much of what makes us “unwell” are toxins. Toxic air, toxic food, toxic relationships, and toxic water, which can affect all of those who happen to be made of mostly water, oh, roughly 100%. (Your new neighbor…“Hey bubba, there’s hole in the ground over here, lets pour our motor oil in there!”) Scary. Do we really want these unsafe wells to continue to possibly pollute our drinking water? Our whole neighborhood has their own wells. Can ground water become polluted? Yes, according to Kathy Jesperson, NESC (National Environmental Services Center) Editor, On Tap magazine, Fall 2003 – “Groundwater investigators have found contaminants in groundwater supplies, such as industrial and municipal wastes; leaking sewer or septic tank effluent; animal feedlot runoff; and lawn and crop fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides”. There is also information regarding Groundwater Remediation if you’re interested in cleaning up; water that is.
We now know from one study that nitrite is the most common chemical contaminant that is in our ground water, and in our drinking water, such that the EPA regulates it “because of concerns related to infant health and possible cancer risks.” And that’s just from fertilizer! “This study highlights the importance of maintaining long-term ground-water monitoring programs in the nation, because sustained monitoring provides critical information on changes of our nation’s ground-water quality, and whether pollution prevention programs are effective in protecting this nation’s ground water,” said Michael Rupert, a hydrologist with the USGS.” And, to add to our acronyms, the NDWC (National Drinking Water Clearinghouse) offers free technical assistance regarding ground water at (800) 624-8301. Also, see the NGWA website, or National Ground Water Association. www.ngwa.org for more info.
So let’s ask our officials: “Can get these abandoned wells looked into?” Hmm? Well, what are you waiting for?? P.S. Now we have a well out there with a little blue hat. Can anyone think of a name for him?
On another note: March into Spring with Happy feet. Open Space Center will be hosting another “Give a little-Get a little” Event for you Guys & Gals & Kids with feet. Dr. Jo will be doing a free foot scan to see how you stand, Stan. Or if you don’t have feet, come anyway and we’ll see how we can put a smile on your face! We have a Smorgasbord of mini-massages, acupuncture, and guided imagery. Think food. Bring a non-perishable food substance that’s eatable and safe so we can bring another 30 lbs. of it to People to People, people! . Copyright 2/12/2009
NOTE: Nothing in this article should be construed as medical advice. It is informational in purpose only and taken from numerous readily available articles written by physicians and researchers. For medical advice consult with an informed physician.
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