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The Lake News Online
  • Our view: Delays of sewer system entirely avoidable

  • The North Shore community is quickly becoming a perfect example, and perhaps the very definition of, Not In My Back Yard.
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  • The North Shore community is quickly becoming a perfect example, and perhaps the very definition of, Not In My Back Yard.
    For months, the treatment plant essential to get the voter-approved Rocky Mount sewer system up and running has been delayed by a misunderstanding.
    That misunderstanding hinges on just what comes out of a treatment plant. The word effluent is scary.
    It indicates things that crawl, glow in the night and frighten small children.
    In fact, effluent from a state-monitored treatment plant is drinking water.
    In fact, it is more pure than a lot of the water people are drinking from private wells around the lake.
    Realistically, when it comes to channeling the effluent into a creek or cove near you, the facts matter not one bit.
    One ad-hoc group was so concerned about effluent going into a rivulet in their neighborhood that they brought in a native-American holy man to ward off the evil spirits.
    Those spirits, in the form of a logical place to outflow the treatment plant, were indeed driven away and into Lick Branch Cove.
    Now the residents of that cove are so frightened by the boogey man that they are using reduced recreational use of their cove to create fear of effluent.
    Think about that.
    Lick Branch residents would rather have naked boat drifters, water skiers and fishermen intruding on their morning coffee than have drinking water running into the back of their cove.
    How far we have come from those days not so long ago when brandishing guns at kids on personal watercraft was a North Shore hobby.
    The fact is that the effluent has to go somewhere and unless the plant is located in Omaha, it is eventually going into the lake as does the effluent of dozens of commercial treatment plants and the less perfect effluent of every septic tank around the lake.
    In the end, as the endless state testing of the water has proven, the lake is a resilient body of moving water headed inexorably toward the Gulf of Mexico.
    There has never been one proven case of illness or ill effect from essentially drinking lake water as each of us does when we swim.
    Millions of people have taken pilgramage to dunk in our waters and while they may not have been healed of ills real or imagined, neither have they carried the plague back to their home communities.
    The effluent from the Rocky Mount treatment plant is going to be in someone's back yard.
    That is a fact.
    Residents would do better to concentrate on holding the feet of the Department of Natural Resources to the fire, making sure that the state does its job in monitoring Rocky Mount and all such plants public, private and state owned.

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