“When the well's dry, we'll know the worth of water.”
— Benjamin Franklin
Every since I was a little boy I've heard that there were three basic necessities that everyone needs in life: food, clothing and shelter. But as you may have read about in the paper lately there's another rather important element to keep us all above ground — and that's water. Specifically clean water, and for that we were granted a visit by the governor himself to go over the blue-green algae situation that's happening within Owasco Lake.
Now I'm not a scientist, but it seems to me that having water you can drink without causing harm to yourself would be an easy decision to make. But instead of just asking me personally to take a solo cup out to Emerson Park and taking a sip, the city and townships spent a bunch of money to have some studies done. Which makes me wonder why I spent so much time in college studying business administration when I could have gotten a degree just by standing near the water cooler.
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But I digress. Another issue with the watershed is evasive species getting into the lake. No matter how you may feel about Trump's border wall there are some immigrants that just aren't welcome. In the past these have been zebra mussels — and boy can they do a number on your outboard motor if you're not careful.
The solution that the state is going with for the drinking water is powdered and granular carbon treatment systems, which may sound like we'll have the world's largest fish tank. There's no word on whether or not there will be a bubbling treasure chest or scuba man floating on the bottom of the lake but for that kind of money we should at least get a plastic castle to sink under the waves.
I've got to say that I've learned a lot about our environment while preparing for this week's column. I've found that one of the reasons why we have this algae issue to begin with is the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water are a bit high and apparently those two elements are what this blue-green algae really enjoys dining on. And where do these ingredients come from? Some of it comes from cows. Well, not the cows, per se, but rather what they leave behind: bull pucky and cow patties.
Granted, I may be poking a bit of fun at this issue, but I do hope that the cleanup works well, because summer is coming, and I'm hoping to drink the Kool-Aid.
Auburn native Bradley Molloy's column appears here each Sunday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org