Well water testing

To the editor:

I thought everyone would support free well water testing, especially in Brown County where sound science has shown and continues to reveal areas where groundwater aquifers are rapidly recharged and at high risk of contamination. Testing is even more important due to the strong presence of agricultural production practices that could possibly cause elevated nitrate levels in the water.

Allowing state funded testing for free is a democractic way of saying: Taxpayers are weilling to pay a very small amount of money to prevent a potentially large loss of health to its citizens. We should want to give an incentive to those who deserve and need to know what is in their water.

Individuals and political organizations that are on the “anti-regulation” bandwagon would likely change their views if and when they or their families are hurt or killed by an action that could have been prevented through regulation. The local farm coops fully understand this concept. They put safety first and have employment positions such as Safety Director because life and good health is precious. They believe that rules and regulations regarding safety and health are more important than profit. A recent coop newsletter had the quote: “Every OSHA rule or regulation is written in someone’s blood.” Perhaps political farm organizations should quit playig defense on water quality issues and put that energy toward offensive, proactive clean water solutions. Complex issues such as this are better understood and problems more quickly resolved via public/private partnerships where government agencies work with private entitities such as the rural well owners, area farmers, private agronomists and local farm supply firms. It upsets me to thing that the Brown County Commissioners were swayed by political pressure to reject a program that would reveal what is in our water, and instead, perhaps, leave us with fear of what we don’t know is in our water.

If someone gives you a free smoke detector, thank them and mount it in your kitchen. Don’t be afraid that it may occasionally go off because the grease in your pan may have become too hot.

Mark Berle