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2007/08/29

Buried Liquid- the Hunt for H2O

The drilling platform is back in action in Gallup, only a short distance from the spot of the last well, having moved to the North side of Historic Rt. 66. The first well they drilled, called Rosebrough 1 (named after our former mayor, Bob Rosebrough) was a success and they reached a larger aquifer than expected, and is expected to ease a lot of the drinking water concerns that the city officials have.

They don't ease my concerns though. In my home we do not drink the municipal water. Each year the city sends out water quality reports and each year the numbers are funny, like they have been played with. This year's water quality report used numbers from the 2005 tests, and in every single test the reports came back as just barely under the upper limit for contamination/pollutants.

Two years ago my wife called the city with questions about that year's report and some possible inconsistencies with the previous year's report. The woman at the water department was stunned that she would call and question it, and when my wife said she had the previous year's report was told, "you're not supposed to keep them!" So much for trusting the government...



My other issue with not drinking the municipal water is that we are less than 15 miles from Churchrock, New Mexico. The whole area was heavily mined for uranium in the 1970's and I think into the early '80s. During that time the uranium tailings were merely placed in open piles on the ground. Rains came and often washed some of the tailings away to soak into the soil. The Navajo men who worked those mines were never told it was dangerous. The mining management never provided them with equipment for their safety - deciding that it would be cheaper to pay for the disability and health problems of the miners at some future time.
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