The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

January 17, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Friday, January 17, 2014

Crab Orchard needs good creek cleaning

Wonder if the disaster chemical spill in Charleston has given anyone the idea to look at their own streams and creeks in their immediate area?

You should. Let me tell you a little story about Crab Orchard Creek, which is downright filthy.

Last summer and fall (and even before then), early in the morning there was an unusual stench coming off the creek and, as one passed by it, would get into the automobile and stay there for about a mile or so until the air cleared.

I asked neighbors about it and finally one person in another close neighborhood said, “I smelled that and wondered what it was.”

I am always fuming about the creek and notice the difference in its appearance. Especially when the stench was there, it flowed somewhat red. Sometimes it has a foam, sometimes it has a white film, sometimes it is downright muddy.

I contacted the EPA and wrote a letter describing the smell, the colors, etc. Someone did come to talk to us and took a look.

I sent a copy of my letter to Beckley Water Co. I have utmost respect for our water company and have asked for help many times and have been treated with genuine respect and courtesy. I’m certain they do the utmost to provide us with clean drinking water, but what if that dirty stream leaked into our pipes?

The EPA employee said it could be iron, aluminum, etc.; she would check up the road.

We also noticed a stream flowing in our neighborhood, which we cleaned out years ago and established a small neighborhood park, began to run orange. We have lived here 37 years and that has never happened. But that did not result in the pollution to Crab Orchard Creek.

I am one to think ahead and have fought litter and pollution for years and not too many seem concerned. But you will be when you could possibly face a disaster similar to the one in the Kanawha Valley. If it is not pointed out to the proper authorities as a cautionary measure, whether it is harmful or not, then you are not a very good citizen and all of us have to suffer as the result of “it doesn’t involve me.”

What we need in Crab Orchard is a good creek cleaning.

Don’t think about it, complain about it.

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