My bio should to start here:
“Early Sunday morning, June 4, 2017, I was sicker than I had ever been before. Too sick to even bend over, as I vomited all over the toilet, myself, and the bathroom floor — and I didn’t even care.”
This was the aftermath of being engulfed in a cloud of Roundup from a giant agricultural sprayer while I was mowing my lawn the previous afternoon.
The incident motivated me to write “You Know You Live near a Factory Farm When Your Kids Go Fishing with a Pool Skimmer” — a picture book with large print and cautionary captions. “Family Farm Fun” is the second book in the Factory Farm series.
At this same time I grew increasingly aware of the treatment that the rural community in the town was receiving, and began my blog on elitist policy making: Rural Tompkins County — The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Credentials.
As for right now, what should I do next?
I think I’ll go to my favorite pub. Maybe there’s someone there who hasn’t heard my story.
My brother says, “Good luck with that!”
Since all land grant agricultural colleges seem to send the same message, I’ll quote from the PennStateExtension article “Nitrates in Drinking Water”:
After throwing dust about the sources and severity of the methemoglobinemia or “blue-baby syndrome” problem, the article outlines possible types of remediation:
“With agricultural nitrate leaching, often you may have no control of the nitrate source.”
While banned from any access to municipal water, rural families have no protection under the law for their only source of drinking water — their wells.
Here are PSU’s well water treatment solutions:
“ion exchange can be expensive and requires maintenance”
“Reverse osmosis is expensive. Added to the equipment costs are the high energy costs for operation.”
“Distillation uses much energy and produces heat which taxes air conditioners in the summer months. Energy costs are about 30 cents per gallon produced.”
Since bottled water is also very expensive, PSU recommends that mixing it with the polluted well water to make it less toxic to drink will save money. However they admit that “blended water still may not be safe for infants.”
PSU ends their article by stating:
“Though nitrates concern many Pennsylvania residents, proper testing will confirm the problem and adequate treatment will eliminate it.”
How’s that for a slap in the face of poor rural families.