Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Last weekend, the drinking water of 400,000 Toledo residents was fouled by animal waste.
With unfettered growth of animal agriculture and ineffective discharge regulations, it will happen again in our own state.
The problem has become pervasive.
Waste from chicken farms has rendered areas of ocean off the East Coast unfit for fishing. Waste from Midwest cattle ranches carried by the Mississippi River has created a permanent “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico larger than that of the infamous 2010 BP oil spill.
Animal agriculture dumps more pollution into our waterways than all other human activities combined.
Principal pollutants are animal manure, fertilizers, as well as soil particles, organic debris and pesticides from feed cropland.
Manure and fertilizers promote growth of toxic algae that poison drinking water supplies. Organic matter feeds micro-organisms that deplete oxygen and kill fish.
Effective regulations to limit dumping of animal waste into water supplies have been blocked by the meat industry.
Fortunately, every one of us has the power to stop this outrage three times a day by saying “No” to polluting meat and dairy products. Our local supermarket offers ample alternatives.
Entering “live vegan” in a search engine provides useful recipes and transition tips.
The mission statement of the Charleston Water System is as follows: “Our mission is to protect public health and the environment of our service community by providing clean water services of exceptional quality and value.”
That sounds fine. We want clean water coming out of our faucets and our flushed toilet waste to travel to a place where we would probably not hold a Sunday picnic.
Are you old enough to remember when the water bill would arrive quarterly and would run about $25 or so? Those days are long gone. I guess that is why my shares in Slip ‘N’ Slide have tanked. Few people can afford to waste the precious liquid on yard amusements.
Sure, inflation has played its role in the now much higher prices.
However, what I consider wasteful giveaways of the money we send them also has played a role.
The information I am about to present was difficult to come by. Searching for and finding fur on a frog might have been easier.
After several phone calls and having to submit a Freedom of Information request, they finally relented and sent me what I asked for.
In my limited experience, having to go the FOI route usually means that the entity does not wish to release the information.
At any rate, here goes.
These figures are from 2011-2013 only.
Any monies spent previously or since are not included. During this three-year period, $35,000 was given to the Charleston Trident Urban League and the Black Expo ($9,500 to the Urban League and $25,500 to the Expo).
I can already hear the stale screams of racism. Folks, if these people feel so charitable, I suggest they pass around the hat at the office. I fail to see how these “sponsorships” fit into the organization’s mission statement. Anyone have a clue?
I do not know a lot about the two groups receiving our dollars and have no ax to grind, except that I do not appreciate my hard-earned money being given to organizations I may or may not support.
I do know that the Black Expo is put on by the company that publishes the “Black Pages” phone directory. I doubt they are a nonprofit. Although I like the Boy Scouts and animal rescue outfits, I would be opposed to the water company giving them any money.
It would be interesting to learn who proposes these annual earmarks and which commissioners approve or oppose them.
Call or write the Charleston Water System and submit your own application for sponsorship money. However, I hope you are turned down.
Whatever your cause is, it would likely not be a fit use of our money “to protect public health.”
If enough people did complain about how our dollars are doled out, it just might send a wakeup call to the powers that be.
I’ve got to go make sure my rain barrels are full. I never know when my faucets might run dry due to non-payment of the bill or out of spite.
Service Line Care
In response to a letter published on Wednesday, Aug. 13, regarding Mount Pleasant (MPW) Waterworks’ Service Line Care Program, I would like to take the opportunity to clarify information about the program that will kick off next month.
As many of you are aware, Mount Pleasant Waterworks is responsible for the major water and wastewater system that is in the public road right-of-ways or easements.
Our responsibility ends at the water meter or the wastewater clean out at the property line.
Homeowners are responsible for both the water service line that runs from their home to the MPW water meter and the wastewater service line that runs from their home to MPW’s wastewater main clean out.
If these lines become clogged, collapse or otherwise fail to operate, homeowners are responsible for any necessary repairs, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Last year alone, MPW responded to over 500 calls from customers who were experiencing issues on their water and/or wastewater service line.
In order to assist our customers with these problems, we have developed a Service Line Care Program to help minimize the financial risk to homeowners.
For a low monthly fee of only $4 per month ($48 per year), Mount Pleasant Waterworks Service Line Care Program will provide water and wastewater line repairs or replacements.
The $4 monthly fee provides coverage for customers who have both water and wastewater services.
For customers who may only have water or wastewater service, they can receive the same benefits for only $3 per month ($36 per year).
In the letter published on Aug. 13, the writer asked why local plumbers were not complaining about this program as it seems to be something that was meant to take their business.
In developing this program, MPW has requested proposals from local plumbers who will work as contractors for MPW and provide plumbing services.
MPW is not setting out to take business away from our local plumbers.
We have a respectable working relationship with many local plumbers and look forward to working with them to create an opportunity for our customers to receive reliable services from local experts.
I would agree with the writer, this program is definitely something to think about.
For over 75 years, MPW has provided safe, clean water for our customers.
We are excited to extend our services and provide an affordable program that will protect homeowners from being burdened with the unexpected costs associated with water and wastewater service line repairs.
We encourage you to depend on your local, reliable, water experts to help you care for your water and wastewater service lines.
To learn more about the program, please email email@example.com or call 843-884-9626.
Mt. Pleasant Waterworks
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mayor Page and my colleagues on town council for their compromise on the heights of buildings on Coleman Boulevard, specifically around Shem Creek.
We also owe a debt of gratitude to all of the citizens who participated in meetings and made their voices heard on this issue. However, we still have some work to do.
Seventy-five-foot buildings on Coleman Boulevard are too high and out of character for this area of Mount Pleasant.
These heights belong at the foot of the bridge, in Economic Development zones and maybe along some areas of Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, but not on Coleman Boulevard.
Stepping the heights back, as recommended by council, does not affect the density and congestion issues that 75-foot buildings will bring to Coleman Boulevard and the surrounding communities.
It will certainly help with the aesthetics of the buildings but does nothing to minimize the negative impacts that come with these large buildings.
We all know that Mount Pleasant is growing and that’s a good thing.
However, if we don’t grow responsibly, we will do a disservice to our current and future citizens as well as our neighbors on Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms.
We can avoid that if we continue to work together for the good of our community.
I look forward to working with the mayor and my colleagues, as well as our citizens, in an effort to find a solution that will allow us to grow while maintaining the quality of life that we have all come to know and love.
Please supply your readers with facts that warrant the calumnious attack upon Russian president Vladimir Putin, blaming him for the recent Malaysian airliner tragedy as the cartoon in the Opinions column of the July 30 issue of Moultrie News so clearly suggests.
To merely propagate the baseless pretenses of those in Washington who are responsible for the destruction of countless countries and far more countless lives (including American troops) in the past 14 years is an insult to any intelligent reader.
A more reputable columnist recently observed that “the gullibility of Americans is destined to doom mankind to extinction.”
It is likely that Colonel Moultrie would agree with this statement, and it is more likely that he would disassociate his name with such irresponsible publishing.