A little over five years ago, I started walking for exercise. The Island Park in Ronceverte has a nice paved track so a friend of mine and I started walking there. After a while we decided to start walking through the neighborhood and along the river down past the Southern States feed store toward the power sub station. A good turn around point so we could get about a mile and a half walk. We walk parallel at one point to the sewer plant that is on the other side of the river. We walk every day, in the rain, the snow, no matter what the weather.
I have been looking at the river every day as we walk our route. I’m always looking at the depth of the river, and the quality and clarity of the water. I’m always worried about the wildlife along the river. Ducks, both tame and wild, the Canadian Geese; the Blue Herons and Cranes. Always large families of the Canadian Geese in summer being hatched out. I’ve seen Eagles fishing along the river too. Anyway, quite a bit of natural wildlife along that short strip of river. A good sample of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful area.
What concerns me is the sewer plant. They are in the process of building this $27,000,000 upgrade. I know what the water is supposed to look like coming out of the discharge pipe. It is supposed to look like clean water after being processed by the plant. Sometimes the water looks pretty clean, not perfect. Several times in recent weeks I’ve noticed what looks like raw sewage being dumped in the river. You can see the trail of the water being dumped, as it floats along the river banks and it definitely looks like sewage. I have also noticed a heavy sewage smell along that area. I don’t think that under ANY circumstances that raw sewage is allowed to be pumped into the river.
The human body can go without food for a month, but we can only go three days without water to drink. I just think it is highly STUPID to dump sewage in our water supply! What the heck is wrong with our society that this is allowed to occur? God granted us this beautiful area to live in and stuff like this is disgusting! This is pollution of the worst kind. This spreads diseases, bacteria and germs like you can’t even believe! People wonder why we have such high rates of cancer in this area! My God it makes me sick just thinking about this going in our drinking water supply! Alderson draws water out for their town just a few miles below this. What about the water getting into the aquifer, coming into our wells? You know the river water is leeching into all the wells along the river, that’s a given.
I don’t have any faith in the EPA as far as investigating matters like this; nor our local Health Department. I have dealt with both agencies before and they seem like they could care less. There is ALWAYS some excuse or lame reason they can’t do their jobs! I don’t want to get started on those two agencies, which are totally supported by our tax dollars. Don’t even know why they exist. I don’t know what steps need taken and I doubt that I would get very far. That’s why I decided to take this to the public through the paper.
Greenbrier county is like an oasis in this State. It is beautiful and when I see people doing stupid, absolutely dumb things to destroy this beauty I get pretty upset. Litter being thrown out of a car is pretty dumb, that’s one thing. Dumping what looks like raw sewage into our river is beyond stupid! Who is responsible for this? Is it the town of Ronceverte? Is it the Public Service District? The workers at the plant? Who gave the OK to do this? This has to be a criminal act, I can’t see any excuse at all for this practice. The Greenbrier River is not a toilet!!
James G. Livesay