Tuesday January 6 | Cleaning the Water

January 5, 2009 at 10:07 am | Posted in Coming Up | 3 Comments

Join us for a conversation about the water we drink as we continue our theme of a healthy environment for the new year. We’ll dive into the subject of the Catawba River, this region’s main source of water. There is a new Sheriff overseeing the Catawba, actually he’s called a Riverkeeper but he may as well be the Sheriff- his job is to keep the Catawba as clean as possible.
David MerrymanCatawba Riverkeeper

Listen to Show



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  1. Another 5th grade question: can the river be dredged in some areas to remove the silt?

    Also, will the Kingston (TVA) spill affect our drinking water?

  2. I listened to part of Clacum’s mudwatch today with the very merry man. I distrust the Riverkeeper Foundation because of their relationship with and attitude toward waterfront developers, Duke Energy and the country club set. Chris is about as good as it gets and remain a Baptist deacon (businessminded) but he barely cut the mustard on this one. You could tell from the “mutual admiration” and gentle admonishment that very little environmental protection goes on. How insanely arrogant to pipe away water for questionable (and maybe scientifically dangerous) development in Kannapolis and Concord. Why was the Merry-man doubletalking that issue? Turbidity is a problem, but the content of sewage effluent, industrial discharge and radiation coolant are greater irrevocable dangers. Water bottling is another injustice and fraud which remains unregulated.(Have a frosty swig of Bowater Squeezins from your petro-plastic unrecycled bottle.) Right now local municipalities are dumping toxic sewage sludge on food producing farmland. (Someone profits:No one investigates: WE all suffer.)

    When you delegate the public to inspect every silt fence you instigate the kind of selective enforcement and socio-economic profiling that resulted when Homeland security sicked truckdrivers and tradesmen on immigrants and minorities after 9/11. The big developers are able to keep onlookers away while they “do they bidness.” Let’s slow development and hire adequate inspectors with real enforcement powers. Stop the crazy tree cutting and lot speculation. I don’t think Scotts and Bayer will let WFAE jeopardize their lawn chemical business and I suspect I could find Mr. Merry-man with a spreader, wailing blower and a riding mower on his day off. How many better off people have invested in cisterns or solar panels?

    So many times the activism of the upper middle class amounts only to networking, catchwords, lip service and not for profit kingdom building. Such “companyman” play-acting is then used to blunt and deflect public action, outrage and curiosity.

    A good new documentary on corporate poaching of water is FLOW and it should be shown at libraries and at Spirit Square.

    Peggy: The under-reported TVA slag crime in Tennessee is in a different watershed that flows into the Mississippi. It is nevertheless important for us because cleancoal is a criminal fraud and there is no good place to put coal slag from generation plants. Paving with it has not worked and now Duke wants more new coal plants. There are also plans for nuclear units and their waste storage is a multi-millenial problem. The government might have to pay for these plants and insure them in the current investment climate. So even if kilowatt rates don’t rise that much at first the tax bill and the cost of accidents hangs over us. I live within the 12 mile ring of McGuire and it is long past its retirement date. I’m paying taxes on a house that would be worthless should it fail.

    Silt: Is Peggy’s party boat getting hung up on the sand bars? Silt and salinity are a particular problem above Duke Power’s dams. They control the alacrity of water for their generation needs as if they owned the river.Most waterways of any size have been used as disposal dumps for industry. This applies to the South Fork and the Catawba. The silt there is probably toxic underneath. And remember how dredging could disrupt habitat.

  3. Kudos for bringing attention to our endangered river and the only group in town trying to do something about it. More programs on environmental stewardship of our water, land and air are needed. Riverkeeper David is off to a great start in raising awareness about the dismal health of our main water source and how citizens can help improve it.

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