Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What Color Is Your Water ?

This is a tributary of Grassy Run, one of the crown jewels of Randolph County, WV.  Grassy Run has been useless, except as a sewage outlet since the early 1900's.  This small tributary hasn't always been in this condition.  For generations,  the "shit crick" has been a source of entertainment and recreation for numerous youngsters of the Norton community.  Its waters were dammed, "crawdads and lizards" were caught, countless summertime hours were spent in the "crick".

Sometime in the late 1990's, an abandoned deep mine containing many gallons of acid mine water burst open and spilled through this small stream. I wasn't living here at the time, but the "reclamation" process was to permanently drain the mine water into this tributary.  Just add another permanent scar to Randolph County, it won't hurt anything and nobody cares anyway.  This is the attitude that has destroyed northwest Randolph County over the previous century.

When I was a kid in the 60's, this little waterway had a tremendous bio-mass of amphibians and crusteations.  Louisiana Waterthrushes and other warblers were always present on summer days.  We would create a dam and keep fish from the Tygart River in the waters for weeks. Later, I caught mink and muskrats there.  These waters are now devoid of all life, the few trees and shrubs along the banks are dead or dying.  Nothing can live there anymore.  Yes, this water quality has been provided by the origional "Fiends of Coal", the process has happened time and time again:  Seek, Destroy & Leave.  Many of you will face issues in the next few years, which may potentially turn your little "crick" into a barren, lifeless stream of wastewater.  Think about your quality of life and that of those who will follow.  When water quality is gone; so is life.

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