Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Holy Crap, Batman!!

I don't know where you live and what sewer/septic rules your city plays by, but where I live it's pretty much tolerant of everything, including leakage.

Now, I'm not trying to be gross here. Honestly I'm not. But I am already so grossed out by this that I have to vent (of course, it helps to be in a funk and foul mood for days on end, too), so I guess you can be grossed out, too.

A couple of months ago, I wrote about a crappie tournament at Lake Conway, a small lake surrounded by mostly very old homes with septic tanks leaking into the water. Fisherman are on Lake Conway daily catching fish to take home and cook for their evening meal (hurl).

Lake Beaverfork is another lake just outside the city limits, probably within ten minutes driving time from my house. When we moved here, there was nothing but old houses around it. In the last 17 years, people moving here from other parts of country could not believe their luck finding a piece of lakefront property for as little as $20,000, so now very old homes and very large new homes dot the shoreline. Although the City of Conway maintains the lake and the facilities surrounding it, the properties have not been annexed into the city limits and governed by city codes. All homes are still on septic instead of sewer.

You know where I'm going with this, don't you?

The last couple of weeks, the swimming beach has been closed because officials, during routine testing, found high levels of E.Coli in the water. They determined the cause to be that the swimming area is downhill from the public restrooms, which are on septic and officials have determined that the septic system is faulty and is leaking into the lake water (DUH). Remember I just said that the city maintains the facilities around the lake.

Of course, officials have said throughout this period of beach closure that it is perfectly safe to boat and FISH in the lake water.

So, let's get to their solution, shall we? Did they repair the the faulty, leaking septic system? Oh, no, don't fix it. No need to, says the State Health Department. Our brilliant state officials made a perfectly acceptable and reasonable suggestion: put a chlorinated barrier between the faulty septic system and the swimming beach.

I'm not kidding. And that is what they have done. Tuesday they finished laying perforated pipe around the swimming area. The pipe will be filled with pool chlorine, which will supposedly create a chemical barrier to keep the leaking liquified poop (sorry for the image) out of the swimming area.

And what do you think was going on in other parts of the lake as park workers laid the perforated pipe? The lake was filled with jet skiers, fishing boats and other boats pulling children riding in inner tubes. Our state and local officials deemed these activities "safe."

In order to open the swimming beach as quickly as possible, our accomplished and distinguished state officials suggested park workers also fill burlap sacks with pool chlorine, attach the sacks to the back of a motored boat, "and patrol the swimming area at a slow rate of speed to disperse the chemicals."

I feel so much safer. Where's my bathing suit and towel?

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