Monday, July 16, 2012

E Coli in Our Drinking Water

When I first moved to Fauquier County in 2003, it could be considered a rural area. But the area has quickly grown. While it is still known for its vast farmland, orchards and wineries it is also considered one of the many suburbs of our Nation's Capital.

One of the "perks" (and I use perk with a tone of sarcasm) is that we pay astronomical fees for our public water. Our family of 5 pays, on average, about $120 per month. Yes, you heard me correctly. PER MONTH. If we want to water our lawn in the summer, we pay a hefty $600 a month. Again, you heard correctly. $600 PER MONTH. Part of the reason behind those hefty fees is that WSA (Water & Sanitation Authority) charges double for sewer services....and they charge those fees when you water your lawn, even though, technically you aren't using ANY SEWER. Nice, right? You could bypass this by installing a water subtraction meter at a meager cost of $1200. I suppose if you had $1200 to throw away, then it would pay for itself over the course of a year....or perhaps one watering season.

But maybe I'm a little stubborn. I don't think I should have to pay for something that should be charged correctly in the first place.

Which leads me to my next point.

I also shouldn't have to pay for water that is contaminated with E Coli - translation: FECAL MATTER.

Are you thoroughly grossed out yet?

Let me explain further.

This fecal matter was found AUGUST 2011....and we are just being told about it NOW.

Yup, so for nearly a year we've been drinking water with FECAL MATTER and E COLI in it.

I'm so glad I've paid $120 a month to be slowly poisoned.

Here it is directly from their report:

"On August 22, 2011, WSA conducted routine samples at Rogues Road Well G-3 for the fecal-indicator, E. coli. We
were notified on August 24th that Well G-3 tested positive for E. coli. On August 31st we took one additional sample
and were notified on September 2nd that the sample was positive for E. coli. We immediately took actions to determine
if the source was under the direct influence of surface water. Subsequent testing has determined that Well G-3
is not under the direct influence of surface water and that the initial positive test results were possibly from the effect
of the regional 5.8 magnitude earthquake."

WOW. I knew earthquakes could do a lot of things, but putting fecal matter and e coli into a well? Boy, you learn something new everyday. Insert sarcasm here.

And that's not all folks.
WHAT? There's MORE, you say?
Yup. There's more and it only gets worse....

"NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS
OF THE
NEW BALTIMORE REGIONAL WATERWORKS
In keeping with National Primary Drinking Water Regulations, we are obliged to inform
you that we may be in violation of state regulations.
We are required to monitor your drinking water for specific contaminants on a regular
basis. Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not our drinking
water meets health standards. During 2011 we did not monitor or test for Combined
Nitrate and Nitrite from EP006, the Mosby Woods Well and therefore cannot be sure of
the quality of our drinking water during that time.
There is nothing you need to do at this time.
We are attempting to prevent further violations by ensuring that all required sampling in
our distribution system is done in accordance with state drinking water regulations.
Future violations will be reported as required by state regulations in order to increase
consumer’s awareness of conditions that exist in their public water system.
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially
those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in
apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses). You can do this by posting this
notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
For more information please contact Joanne Dzenkowski at 540-349-2092."

They failed to monitor an entire well! I mean, how does an entire well, serving a large community of people, fail to be monitored?

They promise to notify us of future violations, huh? Kind of like their E Coli notification....a year later!

I'd like to know if they'll follow through with any other failed promises.

Because I wanted further clarification, I tried calling Joanne. All I got was a recording.

I guess Joanne is screening her calls today.

5 comments:

KarenG said...

Looks like the closer one gets to the nation's capital the crazier life gets.

Karen M Krueger said...

WOW. I am appalled. Wow. Ugh. My guess is the stores are gonna be wiped clean of all their bottled water. Good luck with getting it all figured out...so sorry this happened to y'all!

J.R. Johansson said...

Wow! Just so...so wow. Ugh. I feel ill on your behalf. I hope Joanne starts answering phone calls and taking care of business asap.

MTeacress said...

Yuck. Double yuck.

At least it's good for story ideas.

Anonymous said...

EEEEEEEK!!! I hope things get straightened out. Geez.