Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cape Pollution Makes the Headlines

During the discussion about municipal water at town meeting April 28th, I was particularly struck by the words of warning, spoken by Steven Pechonis, plumbing inspector, regarding the dire situation in downtown Wellfleet where parcels are small and some people still have cesspools, rather than Title V septic systems. Mac Hay, who owns and runs Mac's Shack, told the audience the authorities had already cracked down on his popular eatery and would give no more slack, since the restaurant is located on Duck Creek, downtown, close by the harbor. The following Monday the town voted yes to municipal water. Soon after I hope Wellfleet will also deal with the creation of the necessary sewer system. (Regarding pollution, see today's Cape Cod Times.) Out here in the woods, we have Title V for Chez Sven, but I still worry about well water, whose quality is influenced by choices made by neighbors. This is why we provide guests with filtered drinking water. There are too many people living on this incredible sandbar of ours now. It is necessary for us all to adapt new behavior and think twice about what goes into the ground. I cringe when I see folks buying lawn fertilizer, for instance. Do we really need green lawns? What about chemicals in the ground water? I wish everyone understood better how their personal choices affect us all. Wellfleet's two major industries are shellfishing and tourism. Both will take a hit if we continue along the same path. Remember Tom Lehrer's song about pollution? "Just two things of which we must beware: don't drink the water and don't breathe the air."