by Fred Hilsenrath
Tim Shaw is the general manager of our community water system which provides clean, safe water to Fairfield Bay and other communities. Tim gave us a talk assuring us that we here need not worry about lead in our water. He proceeded to talk about how lead gets into water systems in other communities, particularly old systems when lead piping was routinely used to transport water long distances. We are fortunate to be a young community with modern pipping and living next to a beautiful healthy and clean lake. He did point out that inside our homes often copper pipes are used which are soldered with typical lead solder. Some of that could wind up in our drinking water but probably in negligible amounts.
Talking about water: We all are aware of the danger of contaminated water supplies. Imagine how many people in Africa, Asia or even South America carry their water long distances from questionable water sources to their homes. Certainly they don’t bring enough water home to wash and bathe. These places are full of diseases. We here in America are used to having healthy, running water in our homes. Not too long ago that was not so. Where I and my family lived in Germany, we did have good water supplies but when we fled in 1938 to my Grandparents farm in Romania, where things were different. We had no electricity and a 50 ft. deep well in our backyard. It was clean water but without electricity, we only heated about two buckets of water on Friday on the kitchen wood-stove before the Sabbath for bathing. None of us smelled too good after a week without washing. The heated water was poured into a smal,l sit-in bathtub for the whole family. The grandparents got the first bath, then my mother and my aunt followed and finally my brother and I bathed in the same water. I did not object, it was just the way it was. There was however a benefit to that way of living: We were mostly immune to whatever bugs got on our bodies. Today with all our hygiene we are insufficiently immune to nature’s attacks.