By Dr. William Iwen
The June 7, 2017, public discussion that was provided by Dr. Mark Borchardt on the polluted condition of Kewaunee County’s wells after the most recent well testing cycle in Kewaunee County was very enlightening and very disturbing.
When a well-known and respected microbiologist reveals that in addition to fecal matter in our water, there are also dangerous pathogens like cryptosporidium, salmonella and E. Coli plus rotaviruses A and C – which Dr. Borchardt stated he has never seen in ground water in the U.S. before – this in turn brings forward many questions and doubts about an article seen April 1, 2017, in the Kewaunee County Star News that was quoted from USA Today Network-Wisconsin. The article’s “County rated second in state health rankings.”
Kewaunee County does not have a hospital and many people who are ill will be directed to counties that do have hospitals for needed treatment. How is this information then accurately accounted for considering the increased complexities for data collection compounded by the known, but underreporting of the pollution in our aquifer and wells by dangerous pathogens?
For example, we have 4,896 wells in Kewaunee County and and the last test cycle reported on 621 or 12.7 percent of the total. Have citizens become seriously ill or died from water-borne infections without the infections being traced back to the actual source? Why is our government not giving top priority to testing each and every well several times a year to protect the health, welfare and safety of its citizens and then acting accordingly to protect its citizens?
Could this absence of responsible behavior be construed as a dangerous oversight and therefore a biological assault by our government on its own people? Meanwhile, dairy herds are increasing and liquid manure is being spread in ever greater volumes on vulnerable land underlain with fractured karst bedrock.
Questions and more questions are being asked without meaningful answers being offered by our elected officials.
It must be stated that this dangerous development has the apparent tacit approval of the majority of our elected representatives in Madison. Can this permissive behavior be the result of the pernicious influence of special interest money? If so, this gives meaning to the term “pay to play,” and what a dangerous game is being played!
I chose this line of discussion because the polluting of water by warring entities is well documented throughout history. However, the relationship of governments with its citizens in peacetime does not give clear evidence of deliberate biological assault. The passive permission of dangerous pathogens to exist in domestic water supplies is very strange, unusual, and sends a very negative message and image about the people chosen to represent their own people.
Dr. William Iwen lives in the town of Pierce. This essay formed the basis of Iwen’s testimony at the public hearing on El-Na Farms’ WPDES permit June 27. The image is from the June 7 presentation.