Radiological Contamination, Water Treatment and the Water Well

Well water is subject to contamination from above and below ground contaminants the same as surface water.  Agricultural and residential fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides are regularly found in ground water.  Industrial chemicals sometimes contaminate ground water and surface water.  Radiation and toxic chemicals found in water wells can be caused by the currently popular fracturing (fracking) process used by some oil and natural gas companies.  

Just as you can’t tell by looking if the water you wish to drink is contaminated with chemicals, bacteria and viruses, you can’t tell if it is contaminated by radiation.  Certainly you will need special equipment for that.  As stated in the article about purifying water, be on the look out for dead things in, on, or near the water source before approaching, touching, or using it.

Observing surface water is easier than observing ground water.  Plants and animals lying dead all around a stream or lake is a sure sign something is wrong.  Radiation contamination doesn’t kill instantly.  The animals may drink the water and go a long distance away from the source before they die.  When observing surface water, pay attention to more than the shores and banks.

Ground water is another matter completely.  While there may be chemicals and bacteria, there won’t be animals standing around the well dead or dying.  Instead, there might be people living in the area who can tell you about families who used a certain well or wells, who got sick and/or died from it.

But, let’s suppose you are in a world changing event and need to know if water is safe.  You’d get out your handy water test kit to check for chemicals.  Wait.  If the water is contaminated with radiation, you may have already contaminated yourself, simply by touching anything the well water may have touched.

Instead, when approaching a water well, get out your handy Fluke radiation detector (charged by your solar powered charger) to find out if there is radiation present on the ground or surfaces of the interior of the well. Once you have safely approached the well, be careful about how you get the water out of the well.  If the water is contaminated, breathing it’s fumes or touching it may likely will contaminate you.  If you are going to sample the water be sure to wear protective gear and use protective equipment if at all possible!

Once you have determined that the water is contaminated with radiation, it’s up to you to decide if the risk of contaminating yourself is worth the reward of cleaning the water.  Seriously, the only way most people would think the risk is acceptable is if there were absolutely no alternative sources of water and they were going to die before any other source of water can be found.

Major water purification systems designed to purify water for entire cities can’t even remove all the radiation contamination.  Since using a source of water contaminated by radiation will be difficult to purify, will ruin any filters and utensils, may contaminate you during the process, and still may not be safe to use, one would only consider this under the most dire circumstances. 

Right now, before some world altering event happens is the time to have your well water tested by professionals.  It should be tested frequently since changes can happen without warning signs.

 

Referenes:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/02/fracking-radioactive-water-pennsylvania/2904829/
http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/radiationdetection.html

Yet Another Reason to Prepare – Social Networking and Preppers

Social Networking and preppers.Preppers usually know that what happens on the internet stays on the internet – forever.  Except in France, but that is another story.

We also know various companies are using the social networking sites to find out as much about you as they can before they decide to give you a job.  They also use it to decide if they are going to loan you money or extend you credit.  Insurance companies gather as much information about you they can from social media sites, or they hire a private detective to do it for them.  They use the information to determine if they want to insure you, which claims to pay and whether or not to pay or discontinue disability or other benefits.  What can they get off those sites?

They can access all sorts of information they have no legal right, it would actually be illegal, to ask of you.  So can employers.  Not a big deal, right?  You’ve got nothing to hide?

Lenders will use algorithms currently in development to “see” who your “friends” are on all the social media sites and decide your future based on whether or not they like who they see.

With these new super-secret algorithms, used for this purpose, they will find the stuff you deleted last month because you plan to apply for a loan or credit.  It will still be on your friends’ sites.

It would be a fair guess to think that might be why social media sites set their privacy policies in such a manner as to make it contractually legal to sell access to their databases.

Why would I think that?  Because as the number of institutions using the algorithm increases, so will bandwidth usage on the social media sites.  Someone has to pay for that bandwidth.  No, social media sites won’t let that go unpaid.  And, they are in the business of selling “people” to the companies that currently advertise on those sites.

Turning over the passwords to all your social media sites will be required to get credit from these lenders.  They will use that information for several purposes:

  • Determine if your friends are financially stable enough to make you a good risk
  • Market products to your friends
  • Send messages to your friends from your accounts
  • Those messages will also include telling all your “friends” if you have missed some payments.

With employers, insurance companies, and lenders looking at your social media to gain information they can’t legally ask, they will misconstrue, take out of context, and assume meaning that does not exist.  They will use that information to discriminate in ways the Constitution of the United States forbids.

What we can do about it:

  • Do not use real names.  Pseudonyms are legal!  You just can’t intend to defraud people.
  • Use an email service such as gmail or yahoo instead of an address that leads back to your front door when signing up for social media sites.
  • If you do use your real name, be selective about who you “friend”.
  • Demand laws protecting citizens who decline to provide social media account information.  Some people drink on Friday nights until they are drunk, get photographs posted about it, but still pay their bills on time!
  • Lastly, if we all stopped using social media, our businesses might suffer, but everyone would get the message.  We would all connect on forums and lists, as we did in the past, where we have some anonymity until we decide to whom and when to reveal information.