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7.16.2007

LIFE IS MESSY. CLEAN IT UP.

I love the slogan from one of the vacuum companies...can't remember which one bit boy, I remember the slogan.

It's been a busy messy few days. Dealing with the car issues. Having company and family visit. Working in the yard. Trying to scrapbook. Etc.

There was an article in Sunday's Tennessean that didn't sit very well with me. It's here. It just seems so basic to me that a house needs running water from a non-contaminated source, in order to be livable. How can it be that something "less than 500" homes in Davidson county are without running water? How's that for vague? Could be three homes, could be 499. Who knows? But whatever the number, this is a metropolitan area. There's really no such thing as a "remote" area of Davidson county. Water is not that expensive--it's the least expensive utility in most cases. How can this be?

This article made me want to strangle some politicians and some city and state officials for their lack of foresight and for what reeks of a bottom-line mentality. I wonder how long the governor would stay in the governor's mansion if his clean running water suddenly went away. Or the patrons at Lowes Vandy Plaza? Can you imagine the hissy fits taking place? And yet...

Back in the dark ages, when I was in the 11th grade, in podunk Mississippi, we got a free day from school because there was a water line break and to repair it, the water to the school had to be turned off. So even school kids in nowhere Mississippi must be entitled to functional water (toilets, fountains, etc). Are families in Tennessee not? Is it even legal to have children living in homes without a safe water source?

I am certainly not an advocate of continually expanding the roles of government and I almost always fall on the side of those who say: You want something done, do it yourself. BUT. As someone in the discussion of this article on the Tennessean forums said, we aren't talking about people living in the middle of the desert not having running water. This is about people in a county that has roughly 578,000 people in 502 square miles.

A home without clean water--is it really something we want to know even exists in this day and age? Before new baseball stadiums, before hockey teams, before road paving, before excessive fourth of July fireworks shows, before tax-breaks for incoming businesses...safe water. It's a basic necessity and our entire community benefits from having clean, safe running water in every single home.

3 comments:

Mimi said...

The endemic poverty in some parts of the United States is shameful, I agree.

Steph C said...

I don't find this shocking at all. And I don't think it is the responsibilty of the government to fix it. Many areas here in NH do not have public water, including where I live. You have wells. You make sure the wells are tested (costs $5), and you put an inexpensive filter on your sink faucet.
We grew up in the 70's-80's using an old well where we pulled 5 gallon buckets out for everything we needed water for. It is easy to decontaminate water...boil it. We did for years. We didn't have an actual well that ran into the house until 1983, my junior year in high school. It was amazing to me to take a hot shower every other day, as opposed to a hot bath once a week from water heated on a wood stove.
It doesn't mean we were poor, or that the politicians in our town didn't care. You do what you need to do to get by.

TracieClaiborne said...

I am torn on this issue.
On one hand, I get a little irritated that someone would build a house without water running to it. (Like those listed at the end of the article.) You just don't take a chance like that with your money. You HAVE to have water. You don't take someone's word that you'll get it. You wait until it's there before you buy the land.

I feel the worst for those with a well that dried up or went bad because my family grew up on well-water. If something were to happen to that water, it would affect several of the families related to my Mother and they own hundreds of acres together. It's not like they could just move...your land is your inheritance in a case like that but what good is it without water?

I don't know. Things like that really puzzle me. I'm not sure what can be done about it.