This year's garden produce poisoned ? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The 4 Million gallons may have destroyed every garden rather than simply added fertilizer. The safe way for local authorities is to provide notice not to eat of the produce, the job of doing chemical and health testing of crops and soil is too large.

This failure of the system may also have rendered all soil unsafe for produce gardens for several seasons.

This is a good flag to go up for low lying area garden spots - evaluate and consider a remote garden on higher ground if there is a waste treatment system near enough to fail like this.

(I think this a post like OLD GIT might provide)

-- Living in (, June 18, 1999


This post sounds just like OLD GIT, one of my favorite people on this forum.

-- BiGG (, June 18, 1999.

Let's hear it for Old Git! BTW...good 'heads up'. While it is true that sludge (the end product and final result of treated raw sewege) is often distributed over farm fields, there are minimum Federal regulations requiring the testing and examination of soil samples which must be adhered to. In addition to the Fed regs, each State is then allowed to add to these guidlines any further restrictions it may choose. I'm quite certain the State of Kansas does NOT allow a sludge treated field to be planted for a minimum of three years. What does this tell you? It ain't safe to eat.

-- Will continue (, June 18, 1999.

Just as a little side note....We have all been afforded the very valuable *lookie* into one of the far too few y2k tests. How many will even be able to reach the TESTING stage of this crisis? Now, let's consider some of our other glorious industries and the potential ramifications of "ooops, who would have guessed" BIG- BRAINED mentality. Chemical industries. Treatment facilities. Storage (toxic waste, etc)facilities. Nuclear facilities. The list goes on and so does the list of potential ecological nightmares (land, water, air) which very possibly could result. A shovel and bucket just isn't going to clean up the mess here. Just how much should we be willing to put into the hands of the plethora of *experts* and their fluffed up *opinions*? What bet are you willing to place on the table? The "call" is coming. Do as you see fit, but be willing to take responsibility for your decisions because if TSHTF...finger-pointing isn't gonna cut it!

-- Will continue (, June 18, 1999.

The Humanure Handbook (by J.C. Jenkins) gives a good description of what it can take to make human sewage safe to deal with. If the compost pile is really hot, then the problems (the most difficult to deal with being round worm) are taken care of in a matter of DAYS. Cold composting performed correctly also works, eventually (MONTHS). Asia has survived for centuries using uncomposted human feces (night soil) straight up in its agricultural fields, but that invites serious pathogen problems. However, cooking the food thoroughly would allow it to be safely eaten immediately.

There is the additional issue of whether there are unacceptable levels of industrial contaminants. This is a function of who the users of the sewage system are and what percentage they are contributing to the overall flow. The wastewater treatment plants that sell composted sewage for home use (eg., Milorganite) must demonstrate to EPA's satisfaction that only negligible levels of toxins are present. Not all plants could do that. This is one of the open questions regarding the Van Nuys spill.

-- Brooks (, June 18, 1999.

Our local small municipalities wanted to dispose of their sludge by depositing it in local farmer's fields. Nipped that one in the bud fast. The heavy metal build up can eventually render the land a toxic dump. You can't graze the cropland for at least a season and you can't sell the hay for feed. In addition, the land can become uninsurable. Besides, we live in one of the most naturally nitrogen rich ecosystems (grasslands.) We don't need more nitrogen to invite algae blooms and low dissolved oxygen in our watersheds.

Facilities in southern CA commonly sell "sludge" to farmers, but it is specially treated and dried first so that it is safe.

If I recall my college biology, the Chinese liver fluke perpetuates its cycle beginning with human waste deposited on fields, then entering snails and on and on.

-- marsh (, June 18, 1999.

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