September 7, 2008
My husband John and I have lived in New Freedom Pa. since 1976. We live on a 9 acre farm which was once part of a larger farm at one time.The property surrounding our farm is all farm land.
Sludge was spread on this land in April of 2007. Our house is in a valley surrounded by the property that was sludged. Any run off from rain ended up on our property dumping toxic pathogens into our drinking water.
I was diagnoised with asthma some time ago but my symtoms have been more intense since the spreading of sludge. Since then I have also had pneumonia and a persistant cough. I fear the spreading of more sludge will cause more health complications to an already compromised immune system. John,my husband, developed a rash in 2007 soon after the spreading of sludge along with 2 other people on the same street. He has suffered everyday with itching and pain from the sores. He went to a dermatologist and was treated with no results. He then was referred to an allergist in York. She looked at his rash and said it was definately was an infection and put him on antibiotics and prednizone. His rash began to clear up after 6 months of antibiotics, but has started to return. He is now back on antibiotics for 3 more months. The allergist did a biosopy which was inconclusive, but she did say it is very possible this could be from exposure to all the toxic pathogens in sludge.
Our drinking water is from a spring about 50 feet from our house. Sludge was spread 145 feet from our spring. The spring has been there for 150 years. When we moved to our farm in 1976 we had the water tested many times and it always came back pure. In August of 2007 we had our water tested again and the results came back not meeting drinking water standards. The test results revealed 200 colonies of coliform bacteria. Our drinking water was not fit for human comsumption.
The nitrates were also very high. We had an ultraviolet light system installed so that we could drink the water again. This still does not purify all the toxic chemicals that still exist in the water.
Needless to say this spreading of sludge has altered our lives as well as our neighbor's a great deal. It has affected our health and daily lives. What will it take to convince the goverment that this practice of spreading sludge over time will prove to be harmful to everyone, not just those affected directly. The water will be contaminated and the health of all people will be in jeopardy. This must be stopped now before our environment is ruined and there will be no recourse.
Lynn Freese, New Freedom, PA