Friday, September 13, 2013

Uranium Mining Problems: Water: Expert: Water can travel uphill / Common sense: Water the essential element

Expert: Water can travel uphill
Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 9:00 am
To the editor,
  I feel compelled to respond to Mr. Blair's Sept. 4 letter, "Water Doesn't Run Uphill."
Like many other popular clichés, this one distorts the facts.

Mr. Blair focuses only on the differences in the surface elevation between Mr. Lovelace's farm and the Virginia Uranium Inc. property.

But he’s focusing on the wrong end of the pipe. It’s not the elevation of the water as it comes out of the tap that matters.

The relevant question is from where the water is being drawn, down in the well.

As a water quality specialist with more than four decades of professional experience, I can tell you that the water in Mr. Lovelace's wells is as likely as not to be down gradient from the VUI property and the contamination that results from mining and waste disposal.

It depends on how deep the wells are, the ground water flow direction and a host of other variables.

Mr. Lovelace’s wells are also pulling groundwater from other locations and drawing that water into his wells. The water doesn't necessarily have to flow his way; he's pumping it that way.

Add in the fact that wells in confined aquifers, where the ground water is under positive pressure will often contain water that rises above the aquifer top and sometimes above the surface of the ground or "uphill."

In short, we all wish it were as simple as water always flowing downhill. But things are not always as they appear; and that is one cliché that you can rely on, especially in the case of how ground water moves through hard rock.

Bob Burnley

Bob Burnley is a former director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.


Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 9:00 am
To the editor, We would like to say we appreciate the concern, research and facts presented by Phillip Lovelace in letter on our water table in the event of uranium mining.

By offering comparable facts gives insight for the citizens to be aware of the effects of large quantity usage of water in the event of uranium mining, how it will change our water levels and may incur unforeseeable cost and a burden of expense that always lands in the laps of the taxpayers.

All water has a connecting link above and underground; the more water used, lowers our wells.
Water is essential for life, a most precious element.

Technology on any type of mining has to offer a research safety study.

Keep your eyes open.

The taxpayers will be lucky if the expense for the study on the safety of uranium mining isn’t passed on to us as well.

Previous mining of uranium in different locations does not paint a desirable picture. We need to take a long look at the adverse effects from mining in wet-lands.

Citizens, please be concerned, strive to keep a good environment for your children and future generations to come.

Brenda L. Amos