Spring water, drinking water ... gray water
We’re all wet. Our bodies contain about 60 percent water, give a point or a few. It depends upon sex, age, body type.
It is important for transporting nutrients, moving waste and various body fluids and in our cells.
People today believe one water is better than another and are willing to pay for it.
If you were to board a time machine and return to the middle 1900s it would be hard to convince anyone that the day will come when people would buy a bottle of water.
Water is water is water. In the 1800s many resorts sprang up around springs where people bathed and “took the water.”
Not all of them were grand resorts, some were family owned such as “Gillis Springs” and “Jay Bird Springs.”
The majestic Windsor Hotel in Americus, Georgia, was built next to a naturally flowing spring that attracted to enjoy the spring water. The spring was later covered up by a post office.
The water in “Radium Springs” contains traces of radium.
At the time radium was thought to have health benefits and the glow of wrist watches was due in part to radium painted on the numbers. We know better now.
My grandfather was director of Stilesboro Academy when he fell ill with Spanish flu in 1919. He believed if he could get back to his home in the Concord Com- munity of Walker County and drink from the well he would be better.
His father hauled him home in the back of the family wagon and he got over the flu. Not everybody died of the flu but millions did.
I was thinking about that while taking my morning shower. I was bathing in drinking water.
For decades my family’s water supply was a flowing spring. It served my family since at least 1839 and still flows. It is good water and I wish I had some system to use it.
We wash clothes, cars, dishes, take baths and flush toilets with drinking water. We use it to water lawns and gardens and I wondered, “Do we need to use drinking water for all that?”
A lot of water goes down sink drains and into the sewage system or septic tank that could be used for other things. It is called “gray water.”
We could build gray water systems in homes for all outside purposes and to flush toilets. I know of no home with a gray water system.
Some people capture rainwater for outside uses but not to the extent of using it for bathing and drinking.
My grandmother washed dishes in well water heated on a wood-burning stove. She didn’t use detergent and gave the nutrient rich water to her chickens. That was her gray water system.
There has to be a better way.
Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.