Thursday, 22 March 2012

Happy World Water Day!

World Water Day trended this morning on Twitter.

So many people never give water a thought; it is just there. Turn on a tap, washing machine, shower, it is there and good for use.

So many people also give water a though. It is not there. For many it is a travail to gather it, a worry to drink it.

I wanted to show what is happening to our water supply. Just to recap, we are in temporary rented accommodation as our farmhouse is uninhabitable and our farm water supply is undrinkable.
Last winter, we were without any supply at all for 39 days.
My husband supplied us in the temporary home with raw water taken from our farm, a few miles away.
I believe that the physical effort of lugging by tractor 200 gallons from farm to here, every three days, led directly to his heart attack.
The raw water which we had no alternative to use (due to being blocked in by snow) was directly responsible for our family's gastro intestinal problems and ongoing medical treatment for inflamed oesophagus problems.

These pictures are taken from our 'temporary' home. It is fed by a private water supply which is collected from hill water.

It really is a beautiful view.
Note the scar made by the Beauly to Denny power line. The Roman fort (to the left) will house an enormous pylon.
Note also the large white pile of stuff to the right of the picture.
I hope you are not eating as I zoom in on the next picture.

This is a picture of several hundred tons of human faeces. Note how well it is fenced off and how well the public notices are displayed.

And a few hundred tons more although this was taken a couple of years ago. The smell is indescribable and can make people vomit.

This is our water holding tank. Leaks a bit and had a huge crack 2/3rds down it. Green slime oozes out of it. I have an assumption that if things are able to ooze out of it, things are also able to ooze in to it.
The tank belongs to the landowner. The hill is dotted with such tanks which feed individual houses. Mine is one of the better tanks.

This picture shows the human faeces being spread. The water tank is slightly to the right of the spreader. A fine mist of human faeces can clearly be seen being spread very close to our water supply. The line of reeds which are centre right of the picture, grow over the old cast iron in parts/lead pipe which leads to our house.

This is a picture of human waste being spread just beside a small lochan - you cannot see the water as it is surrounded by trees and shrubs but it is fenced off for duck shooting. The water from the lochan runs into a burn , past a local beauty spot and famous salmon jump then runs into a tributary of the Tay.

Cattle were grazing the day that the human faeces was spread. Their pasture had a good coverage of 'sludge'. It would have been impossible for the cattle to avoid ingestion.

This is a picture of our water filters. They were changed a week ago and will need changing in another fortnight, perhaps sooner. If the filters are not renewed every three weeks, we do not receive water.

Our own farm water supply does not have a water filtration system as we have not found one which can cope with the level of pollutants and organic matter in our water.

Please give thanks when you turn on your tap and clean water pours out.

This is happening in Scotland, 2012. Many thousands of people are supplied by private water supplies.

I wish we all had clean water.


  1. To say I'm shocked doesn't begin to cover it! I didn't know that first world nations still used human feces for manure. I shall be thinking of you all day and praying that things will get better.

  2. Thank you Mac and Janet.

    It really is vile but it is acceptable to spray on to some produce for certain large supermarkets. That said, some of the big names forbid the use of human 'sludge' on their produce. (Not just any sludge, forbidden by *&* sludge)

    The smell outside is dreadful as it has been heated by the sun and we have no idea when the human faeces will be spread as no warning is given. Most people drive by the heap and don't know what it is as there are no biohazard signs or anything.

    The first year was really bad as the contractors dropped lots on the road and beside the beauty spot car park. Children and dogs got their feet covered by the thick dust and nobody knew what it was.

  3. My husband remembers it being used on the fields in Belgium when he was young...the smell was indescribable!

    I am appalled that you have to take water from a source that can hardly avoid being polluted...but more then appalled that no sanitary authority does anything about it.

  4. Yes, the man who had been visiting the beauty spot and who was engulfed by the waste when they started to spray said that it smelled of rotting corpses. It really is putrid and you cannot hang out washing as the smell permeates the washing.

    We tried several authorities eg SEPA etc but they were absolutely useless and not at all interested.

    The problem with private water supplies begin when the population is less than 50 people in permanent residence. Visitors and others who stay (and drink the water) are not counted.
    There are so many affected yet none of the sanitary authorities will work to help the 'less than 50 population' private water users.

    Some landowners exempt themselves from responsibility when the water stops or there is a problem so when our supply stopped for 39 days during the long freeze, it was a case of total indifference by the landowner.

    The population is eight for this supply. Three along the road (separate tank) then two a mile past that. This entire glen is fed by private water supplies. The others further down the glen (and more populated) do not have human faeces spread on the fields beside their water supplies.

  5. You would think that elfansafety would apply to the whole population, not just those who live in towns. But evidently not, they don't give a toss, and as neither does the landowner you're basically invisible and probably considered a bit of a nuisance.

    It's an appalling situation! Not only is your water supply compromised, but the poor buggers of tourists who come to see the beauty spot are put at risk too! Unbelievable.

  6. We nearly bought a property with a private water supply which the vendors assured us was no problem at all. The farmer was marvellous blah blah. Well they would, wouldn't they?

    Thank you for this blog. It points up something naifs like us would not think about before landing ourselves in the ****.

    I hope all is well now.

  7. To date, the only company who bothered to give us a quote reckon it will cost in the region of £12000+ (not including 2 miles of new pipe, etc). The local authority grant would be in the region of roughly £3,500 (if we can find written proof that animals can be infected by E coli) but this would not include the farmhouse (as it is uninhabited).
    Landowner having nothing to do with it, of course, so we are stuck with this water supply.

    You were lucky to avoid a similar situation, Sophe.