It’s good to be back. I haven’t added new content in about 10 days because I have been attending to my Mom, who has been fighting through some health care issues. She is doing much better and my trip to be with her in Youngstown, Ohio, brought me back to the waters of my birthplace. You might think it odd that these waters would strike me so strongly, but they do. I want to share my trip with you.
- The first watery thing to hit me was the taste of my hometown water. The funny thing about drinking water is that most people think their water is tasty while everyone else’s water is nasty. Now, I am spoiled because Memphis has one of the best drinking waters in the world. Upon my first glass in Y-town however, my trained taste buds picked up on both the hardness and the Alum (Aluminum Polymer) that are found in drinking water from the Meander Reservoir. As I drove over the reservoir I remembered breaking the law to fish in it when I was a boy.
- Next, I visited my boyhood church; Holy Trinity Byzantine Ukrainian on W. Rayen Avenue. The holy water pedestals were still in the same place after all these years. I thought about how I was baptized in those same waters.
- As I drove around town I crossed the once infamous, dirty and nasty Mahoning River. As a boy, and for decades before, US Steel, Republic Steel and others continuously dumped millions-of-gallons per day of raw sewage and acidic steel pickling chemicals, rich with chromium, lead, arsenic, nickel and other toxic metals. The river used to run an ugly, thick, syrupy brown. Today however, after 30+ years of no steel mills, the river is healthy and supports both aquatic and land-dwelling wildlife. This is a reminder that science comes from the creator, and the Earth will always heal itself; even when we carelessly abuse it.
- As I drove through beautiful Mill Creek Park I remembered how a recent pipeline break sent raw human sewage pouring into the beautiful lakes and streams that I once played and fished in. As I took in the sights I thought about my blog and how I frequently write about our need to upgrade our water infrastructure. Things like this, and the situation in Flint, Michigan bring me sorrow. Why do we only address water when we are destroying it?
- While I visited my Mom at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital, and old friend from the maintenance department, who I knew when I was the chief technician of Dialysis, let me take a peek into the equipment room where the water treatment system was. Back in the early 80’s I was instrumental in the redesign and upgrade of that system. Alas, while the system was still in the same place, but much of what I designed and installed is long gone. However, some of the essence of my hard work and design is still implemented in the new system. For a moment, I traveled back in time.
Since 1981, water has been the focal point of my livelihood. At one point in my career I asked God to let me find a way out of the industry. I couldn’t understand why he kept immersing me into water, (no pun intended). Now I know. I am a Watchman of Water. This is my calling.