The Most Essential Things in Life

The N8ZYA family, and approximately 100,000 others in the immediate Charleston West Virginia area, can’t drink the water, wash dishes, bathe, do laundry, or use the city water supply for ANY reason due to a large chemical tank which is leaking dangerous chemicals into our water supply  tonight. The governor has declared a “state of emergency” until the concentration and amount of a liquid used in the coal mining cleaning process can be determined and evaluated for public safety.

In essence, our drinking water can only be used to flush the toilet, or for putting out a fire. It should not be touched with human hands.

“Through a news release, the Kanawha County Commission Emergency Management says a product leak of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol at Freedom Industries on Barlow Dr. is responsible for the contamination of the local water supply. Local health department officials are urging restaurants and bars to close immediately” 

 Which brings me to the caption of the post above. In this case, and above all other resources, water is at the top of the list, every time. It’s not a luxury, it’s essential for life.

I’ve always assumed clean drinking water is possible by filtering or boiling; but chemical contamination is an entirely different problem. There’s not much can be done except hope it moves downstream and eventually becomes harmless.

I hope clean water arrives by truck in the morning.

John Smithson, Jr., N8ZYA, is a regular contributor to and writes from West Virginia, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “The Most Essential Things in Life”

  • VU2KVR:

    Thinking of Bhopal Tragedy happened in the early morning hours of December 3, 1984!

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    This is a terrible situation, however it bring up the fact that as ham radio operators we are called up in emergencies. This means being prepared not onl with a go kit (mine had a KX3) but also being prepared to survive for a period of time without help. We, in out house, are not preppers, but we do live in the mountains and any major disaster would mean being cut off from supplies from the nearest City which is 3 hours away. We have 3 weeks of Distilled, not filtered or spring water, but filtered water always on hand and rotate the bottles out about every 90 days slowly. We also have extra food, including freeze dried for 2 months. A lesson to be looked at when I read this is am I really prepared for the unexpected be it a attack, forest fire, natural disaster or man made like this one. Time to reflect and not have to wait for a water truck. Just my thoughts. Hope everyone will be OK.

    Harry K7ZOV

  • Matt W1MST:

    Why distilled water, Harry? I have half a dozen gallons of water on hand but it’s really not enough for any kind of serious disaster.

  • kb1uac:

    All WV residents should become joint owners of this company and the current owners should receive life sentences for this gross stupidity. Until the punishment becomes a reliable deterrent this behavior will continue.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Matt… Distilled water the purest kind. No chemicals, No minerals, No nothing just H2O. It goes in the bottle after being boiled, turned to steam then condensed and bottled. The shelf like is far longer then spring, filtered or bottle tap water. It is the the purest water you can get and the safest for long term storage.

    As for the amount of water. That is based on how many people you have, how long you want your emergency supply of food and water to last. Two weeks seems typical. 30 days ideal, but not really practical in most cases. Same goes for any medication you might need, batteries, bullets, beer….oops getting off subject. In any case how much will range from simple to not so simple. If you live in a high risk area like CA, FL, or anywhere bad weather hits then maybe a 1-2 week supply. If you live in a area of really bad weather where it is very possible it might take a month to get help or dig out, then naturally stock more. Just remember not all water is created equal. The purest will last the longest and that is distilled.

    Hope that makes sense and helps.

    Harry K7ZOV

  • Matt W1MST:

    Thanks, Harry!

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