July 19, 2007

Nobody Wants to Bottle THEIR Water

Pam over at Pamibe had a comment in my drinking water post about her Dad finding a dead rat in their well. Good grief… that comment so skeeved me out. You know how I am about rats. Add them to my drinking water? I’d have been damaged.

And Jerry, if there are rats on a farm, I’d definitely NOT have handled farm life. I can do snakes, some bugs (not roaches), and mice… but I don’t do rats.

Anyway, Pam’s comment reminded me of something that happened last week.

My aunt and uncle took the boys and me to my cousin’s house. They live in NE Alabama on a farm, a real farm like Jerry’s folks. My cousin (John and I share the same GGGG grandfather) and his wife are two generations older than I; he is in his early 80s and she in her late 70s. John is seriously active, still doing what farmers do. He’s not had any health set backs, lean and strong, so I’d say he’s in as good a shape as any many 20-30 years his junior although to hear him tell it, he’s not anywhere what he used to be.

We’ve started a tradition to see them every year when I do my ‘Southern Tour’ with the boys. The boys get to see the cows, run through the various fields, and hang out in the hay loft. I hang with John’s wife who is a master quilter and she shows me her quilts and gives me tips, while John takes the boys out on the farm.

John and his wife are good country folk. Holy crap, they are smart. He can fix anything and she is a tremendous writer. She has her own column in the local paper and has published books.

We were all sitting around in their home, which by the way, she was born in… they moved back into the home she was born and raised in… the house was built in the 1800s, and Johns’ wife said, “I don’t drink the water anymore. If you boys want some water, go get bottled water from the fridge. You’ll find it. Go look.”

John: There’s nothin’ wrong with our water, but you boys go get that bottled water.

His wife: Oh yes there is. It makes me sick.

(Keep in mind, they’ve been raising herds of cow on this land for God only knows how long. Also read this in slloooow southern drawl. I love how they speak.)

John: I drink it all the time.

His wife: Well, I got it tested and that young man came out here and said it tested positive for EEEE- Coh-lie. He said to drink it if it didn’t make us sick, but it makes me sick, and always has, so I drink that bottled stuff. It doesn't make John sick. He drinks it out of the tap.

I thought my aunt was going to spit. She’s a biologist and my uncle is a very straight laced engineer… they don’t do germs well. I think they both sat up a bit straighter. I know I was taken aback.

Water laced with E Coli? It so made sense, with their being on well and having all those cows around.

I said to my aunt as we got back in the pick-up to leave, ‘You remember those stories you and Dad told me about going to your aunts’ home and as an adult you realized the outhouse was on the top of the hill and the well was on the bottom? Well… that’s what it reminded me of here.”


And on a side note… Pam is trying to win a contest and she speaks of it HERE. Please go HERE and type in ‘REFERRED BY way of PAM OF PAMIBE.COM’. If she wins by having the most commenters, she receives a painting of her dog, Tess, and if you know Pam, she loves her puppies and she’s a great gal. I want her to win. She did the graphics on this blog!

And well… it looks like some other blogger unleashed some sort of army over there to help them win and I don’t have an army, but I’d like to do what I could do to help Pam win. So… Go HERE, please, and type in your info and copy ‘REFERRED BY way of PAM OF PAMIBE.COM’ into the comment and hit enter.

Thank you!

Posted by Boudicca at July 19, 2007 07:43 PM | TrackBack

You know, I actually like rats, but the last house we lived in had an infestation off wood rats -- we lived in a forested area -- that culminated in one coming through a hole in a kitchen cupboard wall and ending up in my room. I was asleep, hear a noise, turned on my light, and there was a rat on my wall staring at me! I still have creep out fits remembering it.

Posted by: Ith at July 19, 2007 08:30 PM

This house had arsenic in the water... the people we bought from lived here 11 years and never got the water tested after the initial test on sinking the well!!! We ended up spending a huge chunk of change putting in a water system. And we will test every year.

For heaven sake, municipalities check daily! I can't imagine having a well and not testing at least yearly! Of course the water we have now is fit to be bottled and sold - it's excellent.

Posted by: Teresa at July 19, 2007 10:32 PM

Our town gets its water supply from a river. The town is also downstream from a few dairy farms. I don't trust the water, in spite of the annual report card we get in the mail.

When our two oldest kids were toddlers, we went through a space of a couple months where they constantly had the scoots. The pediatrician treated them for giardia, and asked what our drinking water supply was. I told him, and he said that sometimes even in treated water all the cysts aren't always killed. Although, they do chlorinate the living daylights out of it and sometimes it smells like bleach when you open the tap. It was enough for me to start on bottled water. That, and the comment my husband made about the texture of the drinking water. Bleahhhh!

Posted by: Peggy U at July 19, 2007 11:32 PM

A ratty to love.

Posted by: Peggy U at July 19, 2007 11:40 PM

Rats? Oh yeah. We got 'em here. Not as many as when we raised hogs though. Theres's not as much corn laying around here and there anymore. The rats stay near the corn bins which is a good ways from my house. I do have a bunch of mice that are building tunnels right up by my house though. I'm gonna have to drown them out.

And well water? My Mom and Dad's had bacteria in their well a few years ago. Dad has had it tested again, and Culligan says it is fine now. It still leaves a black grit in the sinks and toilets. I don't drink it, no matter how hard Dad tries to serve it up.

My well water is rusty and smells like rotten eggs according to my house guests (I have no sense of smell). But at least it doesn't contain bacteria or e-coli.

Posted by: Jerry at July 19, 2007 11:49 PM

have you found a frog in your toilet yet?

Posted by: vw bug at July 20, 2007 05:47 AM

Thanks for the push! It's close... :D

Reading this reminded me of the saying "survival of the fittest". I'm sure our well water was tainted with all sort of germs and bacteria... and e coli. But my Mom lived to be 91. ;)

Posted by: pam at July 20, 2007 07:07 AM

Well water should always be tested, something could die nearby and leave bacteria in the system. We had ecoli and then we had something else. I don't drink the tap water, though we test it and it is safe because we get it treated if it is not and retested. I just prefer bottled water. Course, I don't drink city water either.

I have a very simple creed, if it makes you sick, don't do it. If it doesn't - fair game. :)

Posted by: oddybobo at July 20, 2007 07:51 AM

Back when we used to own a horse, we kept him stabled close by and the Missus, the Mistress, or I would go by twice a day to feed and water him...and muck out the stall.

In the fall and winter it would be dark when the evening feeding came around...and that's when we discovered that an army of rats had invaded the stable. Their eyes would glow in the dark as they scurried along the rafters...

We made the stable owner call out an exterminator. He also got a cat...and after that, no more rat problem. But thinking about going to the stable at night still skeeves me out...

Posted by: Elisson at July 20, 2007 11:56 AM

Every morning when I'd open the barn doors to feed the horses, the barn cat always had "presents" for me piled up. It was usually just the heads.
The rats would also fall in the water buckets and drown.

Posted by: Maeve at July 21, 2007 07:43 AM

I've gotta get out more. Just saw this and the comments over there are already closed :(

Posted by: Richard at July 21, 2007 07:10 PM