To enable “us” – that’s you and me – to objectively evaluate the conclusions presented to us about any assessment, we must have full, open, honest disclosure of all information. This assessment provided by USGS while interesting is loaded with self-serving definitions and phrases, designed to paint an assessment allowing us to inaccurately to conclude the water we consume from groundwater water wells is clean and safe. And, you know what, using their definitions most likely that is a probably conclusion.
One is invited to ask, what might the conclusions be were “we” – that’s you and me – invited into this assessment process where the definitions of words and phrases were established to be clear, concise and understandable. For me the operable word is understandable. What is missing from this water assessment…? Well for me, the chemicals and compounds tested represent a mere highly selected list and exclude the bulk of the more than 120,000 different man-made chemicals which have found their way into our nation’s groundwater. And moreover, this assessment is highly selective of where and what they tested for. I find it unsettling this assessment notes in its summary, fecal indicator bacteria were analyzed for a small number of wells … why…?
I invite everyone to make the time to take a look at the entire presentation which is pleasantly arranged and presented and to the extent you choose to ask yourself what’s missing…?
National Water-Quality Assessment Program…Quality of Water from Domestic Wells in Principal Aquifers of the United States, 1991–2004…Overview of Major Findings…By Leslie A. DeSimone, Pixie A. Hamilton, and Robert J. Gilliom …This study from the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assesses water-quality conditions for about 2,100 domestic wells. The sampled wells are located in 48 states and in parts of 30 regionally extensive aquifers used for water supply in the United States. As many as 219 properties and contaminants, including pH, major ions, nutrients, trace elements, radon, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), were measured. Fecal indicator bacteria and additional radionuclides were analyzed for a smaller number of wells. The large number of contaminants assessed and the broad geographic coverage of the present study provides a foundation for an improved understanding of the quality of water from the major aquifers tapped by domestic supply wells in the United States
I invite you to consider contemplating how the word – contaminant – is defined and used in this assessment. Personally I find it amusing this assessment notes … man-made organic contaminants, such as pesticides, are not required by humans and may or may not have adverse effects on people, depending on concentrations, exposure, and toxicity … truly I must be missing something as I am not aware of any peer review data suggesting that pesticides regardless of the level of their toxicity are NOT adverse or deleterious to human health…?
What is a “Contaminant?”
A contaminant is defined by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as “any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water” (U.S. Senate, 2002). This broad definition of contaminant includes every substance that may be found dissolved or suspended in water—everything but the water molecule itself. The presence of a contaminant in water does not necessarily mean that there is a human-health concern. … Whether a particular contaminant in water is potentially harmful to human health depends on its toxicity and concentration in drinking water. In fact, many contaminants are beneficial at certain concentrations. For example, many naturally occurring inorganic contaminants, such as selenium, are required in small amounts for normal physiologic function, even though higher amounts may cause adverse health effects (Eaton and Klaassen, 2001). On the other hand, man-made organic contaminants, such as pesticides, are not required by humans and may or may not have adverse effects on people, depending on concentrations, exposure, and toxicity. As a first step toward evaluating whether a particular contaminant may adversely affect human health, its concentrations measured in water were compared to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) or a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Health-Based Screening Level (HBSL). Concentrations greater than these water-quality benchmarks indicate the potential for human-health effects (see sidebar on page 16). … Contaminants originate from a wide range of natural and man-made sources. Most inorganic chemicals, nutrients, and microbial contaminants measured in this study occur naturally, although their concentrations in ground water may be altered by human activities. For example, nitrate is present from natural sources in many wells, but concentrations are often increased by contributions from man-made sources in agricultural and urban areas. In contrast, the organic contaminants measured in this study are all man-made, though some also may form in ground water through various chemical and biological transformation processes.
Call me … Simple Simeon … and perhaps my perspective is far too outrageous, but I ask you to consider that starting with the advent of DDT in the late 1930 and early 40’s man has to date invented more than 120,000 different chemical, most of which are proving over time to have an adverse impact upon our earth’s biosphere. Additionally, there has not been a peer review assessment in the last 25 years which does not conclude that every aspect of our single earth biosphere is in decline.
If even one of the above statements I made have reasonable validity, how then can our assessments about any aspect of our air or water honestly NOT provide data leading to an understanding that our individual and collective action produce contaminants that find their way into our groundwater, tapped by domestic wells, producing a harmful affect upon man, plant and animal.
Do “we” really like being treated as mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed nothing but bullshit…?
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… People should never be afraid of their government, government should always be afraid of the people …
…“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world…indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” … Margaret Mead
… “they must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority” … G. Massey, Egyptologist
… “Everyone has the right to clean and accessible water, adequate for the health and well-being of the individual and family, and no one shall be deprived of such access or quality of water due to individual economic circumstances” …
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And let me be even a bit bolder, I am most willing to present and discuss any water issue with any audience in Arizona where open full disclosure and two way dialog is permitted.