Tag Archives: Loudoun Soil and Water Board

A barrel of monkeys? – no, of rain water!

Peter Holden – on making a rain water barrel and why

Peter Holden – on making a rain water barrel and why

It’s not clear that a barrel of monkeys is much fun.

Nor maybe a barrel of rain water either.

But collecting rain water in a barrel is quite useful.

Peter Holden of the Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District came out to Lovettsville last Wednesday to the Quarter Branch Barn, in partnership with the Town, to help the local folk to build or buy barrels to collect rain water.

Some may think that there’s so much water, that it’s quaint to collect rain water in a barrel.

Although 70% of the earth is covered in water, less than one half of one percent of all that water is fresh, available and drinkable.

That’s not a lot worldwide, particularly when some is wasted, compromised by pollution, and not where it’s needed.

It’s startling that one fifth of all the world’s fresh water is found in Lake Baikal in Siberia.

We should be concerned because water is right up there after air for our survival.

The world record for holding one’s breath is 22 minutes for a trained free diver, Stig Severinsen (after Stig hyperventilated to rid himself of carbon dioxide). But many can hardly hold their breath for even a minute.

As for living without water, three to five days is about right although it depends on your physical condition.

Many presume that water is free. But mostly it costs to treat and recycle it. Town folk pay water taxes. Away from sources of public water, homeowners and renters maintain well and septic systems and filters and pumps.

Harvesting falling rain water in a barrel lightens the burden on public and private water sources.

Peter said, “Rain barrels are an old technology that has come back into style as people focus on conserving our resources and minimizing the impact on the environment.” Continue reading

Don’t go near that water

pastor Guy Johnson

pastor Guy Johnson

The lead infused water crisis in Flint, Michigan has inspired Pastor Guy Johnson, who does outreach for the Loudoun Soil and Water Board in Loudoun, to raise funds to help the children and their parents in Flint.

“This is an issue of human rights,” said Guy, “Clean water is a human right, not a privilege. Poisoning our citizens is not acceptable. If ISIS had done this, it would be called ‘terrorism.’”

In April 2014, Governor Rick Snyder’s Emergency Manager overrode Flint’s Mayor and the City Council, switching the water supply from the Lake Huron water treated by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, to the Flint River, so they could cut costs; Snyder’s Manager didn’t spend a dime to add chemicals to the Flint river water to offset the water’s corrosive effect; as a result, lead leached from water pipes and fixtures into the tap water the citizens drank.

Lead is toxic, not safe at any level in humans, and can cause nervous system damage, stunted growth, kidney damage and delayed development; its effects are most severe on developing brains and the nervous systems of children and fetuses; it can effect reproduction among adults; it is a likely carcinogen.

It is estimated that 8,657 children in Flint drank this toxic tap water, and there is no estimate how many pregnant women living in Flint, or who visited Flint, also drank the water.

Guy said, “I’m angry because these children are doomed to a life of unrelenting medical care. How is it that, in 1978, we took lead out of paint, but we have lead in water in 2016? That’s why I’m raising this money, to help these poor people.” Continue reading