Out here in the country, miles from town, big trucks roar by constantly, destroying these little chip and seal roads on their way to deliver heavy loads of sewage sludge to various farm pastures. 

Out here in the country, miles from town, big trucks roar by constantly, destroying these little chip and seal roads on their way to deliver heavy loads of sewage sludge to various farm pastures.  


The number of truckloads passing in a day is unbelievable. I would bet that 99 percent of the people living in the Ozarks know nothing of this. They don’t know it is happening, and they have no idea what is in that sewage sludge. It is dumped where no eyes can see it but one landowner, and one truck driver. Only they know what creeks lie a few hundred yards below those tons and tons of sewage, but even they never realize how far it might go in the water, what rivers and lakes eventually catch the run-off.


These hundreds of truckloads of sludge I am seeing are dumped on fields above creeks which feed Pomme de Terre Lake, and in the summer, thousands of people, including small children, will swim in the waters of the lake only a few miles from where those trucks are dumping that sewage. The sludge is filled with absolutely dozens of deadly chemicals like arsenic, e-coli bacteria, viruses, and who knows what else. I don’t understand e-coli bacteria completely either, because some of it is harmless while some is deadly. Death from e-coli contamination is occurring now in a part of Europe.


But knowing what I know, I would be uneasy about letting my grandkids swim in the upper areas of Pomme de Terre Lake, and I imagine that if folks from Kansas City who come there to vacation could see those sludge trucks, they might feel the same as I. Or maybe it wouldnπt make any difference. Maybe I worry for no reason. There is certainly no lack of knowledge about the septic tanks that are flowing into Lake of the Ozarks, and yet no one worries about swimming there, or eating the fish.


Similar truckloads of sewage sludge are dumped on the watershed above Tablerock Lake, I am told, perhaps millions of gallons, at the same time they are forming groups concerned about the water quality of that lake. Is it possible that no matter what it has in it, and no matter how much of it goes into the creeks below, it will have no adverse affect on anyone swimming in the lakes which the creeks feed? Is it possible that the septic tanks and sewage sludge emptying into our rivers in small increments hold no threat?


Yes, that’s what we need to believe, that it is of no threat to anyone. And we also need to believe that the number of sewage sludge loads, which are moving non-stop to Ozark watersheds by the thousands, will not increase in number. It is best too, that what is in that nauseas black ooze being dumped on the land above our lakes, isnπt disclosed to the general public. No TV station, or large news media outlet in the Ozarks will ever touch this. It is better economics in a tourist area to keep all that unnoticed if we can.


It is the problem we face tomorrow that we must try to forget today that our huge, mushrooming numbers of people mean that if we destroy the earth, it is because we HAVE to, not because we WANT to. If man’s survival depends on destroying our water, on eliminating forests, on contaminating our air, we just have to do it and live with it until some future generation cannot. It still appears to be a problem of those who are not yet here.


Write to me at Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613, or e-mail lightninridge@windstream.net. Mywebsite is www.larrydablemontoutdoors.blogspot.com