Monday, January 25, 2016

Water...The Next Gold

You never realize how important something really is until you don't have access to it.  I think most people take it for granted that they have clean drinking water at their disposal anytime you need or want it.  Growing up, I had public water all the time and never really thought twice about not having water, or I should say clean water.  My parents' summer home had questionable water when I was very little, but we always brought drinking water over from the main house and used the tap water there only for washing and showering.  The water there eventually got upgraded to water from the county (versus the small village) and its been clean ever since.

Over the past few weeks of dealing with our water issues, I've become more aware of how precious water can be.  I also look at what is happening in Flint, Michigan, and it makes me grateful that I do have my own water supply that I can control (to some extent).  I don't have to wait for some town to figure out that the water is bad and to eventually fix it.  I can do the testing myself and fix it.

Which is where this post is going....

We got news just over a week ago that our water was not suitable for drinking.  The water appeared clean, but I think that's where people sometimes get tripped up.  After the well drilling company next door messed up our well, we drank the water for two days before I said I wasn't comfortable doing it and we switched over to drinking bottled water until we could get test results back.  We knew ahead of time that our well had sulfur, iron and a bit of methane.  Our original water "system" had a chlorination system (sulfur, iron and chlorine bond and can be filtered out in something like a Brita filter) to take care of the sulfur and iron.

With the changes caused by the hydrofracking, we have a significant increase in the amount of methane in our water.  The hydrofracking also introduced coliform (bacteria) into the water.  Thankfully, the chlorination system is killing the bacteria; however, with the huge amount of methane we have now, there are two major problems.  First, we have a tremendous amount of water hammering now (i.e. gas buildup that causes pipes to rattle).  Long-term water hammering actually damages pipes and appliances and can cause major water issues as the pipes can break from the change in pressure.

The second issue...due to the insane amount of methane (and the fact that we chlorinate the water for sulfur and iron), we now have a chemical in our water called chloromethane (chlorine and methane bonding).  Chloromethane is toxic for humans.  It causes nervous system problems and if ingested by someone who is pregnant, will cause severe birth defects in the fetus.  I'm very glad that I made the cautious decision not to drink the water until the tests came back, as this is BAD STUFF!

We had three companies come to the house last week to quote water systems to fix our new issues.  We ended up picking one of them and they are installing a system this week.  Thankfully it is all fixable.....for a price.  Due to the cost of it, we also sent a letter to the well drilling company explaining everything (including all of our water test results) and that we expect them to cover our expenses for the new water treatment system since it is a direct result of their poor decision to hydrofrack.  We are not sure whether we will get anywhere with them, but we have to try.

So at this point, its at least another 4 weeks of using bottled water until we can get a new set of water tests back.  While the new system is designed to take care of these problems, we want to make sure that it does before we start drinking the water again.  It will be nice to be able to drink water straight from the tap again.

On the crafty side though (and because I want to include a picture), I've started a new cross-stitch pattern.  I've temporarily given up on the last one and put it aside as it was just REALLY slow going.  This one will be faster to sew (a bit smaller) and I'm more excited about this one.  Here is the next project:


I'm really liking the reds, golds and oranges in this one, which is a nice change after doing just blues and greens.

Hope everyone is doing OK after the storm that came up the coast this past weekend.  We didn't get a single snowflake, but I know other areas got hit really hard.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

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