I'm really, really, really going mad... A story about pollution

The sea, a legacy in jeopardy

This summer will remain in memories as being the worst ever, considering that summer is supposed to be sunny, warm, well summery... at our latitude, that is.

I’m not suffering from a tourist’s ‘wasted-holiday-syndrome’. I only needed a few more rays of sun, less wind and since the sky is always cloudy, a little bit of rain to take walks on the beach, ‘just singin’ in the rain’.

The skies are overcast, the sea is rough, the wind is cold... And that’s it! No sun. No rain.

To top it all, we’re going through one of the worst period of drought ever.

In fact, I’m in a mean mood. The least little thing drives me crazy...

So when our friend Bernard who farms our fields came to Les Tertres to tell us that he has made a deal with the city hall and that he will spread liquid sludge from the city sewage system on our fields (which are very close to our home and to the sea), I went bersek! Really bersek!

I even broke two PĂ©rier water bottles while pulling out my raincoat!!! Quite a mess... Glass shards scattered everywhere!

Ever since we’ve been living in Brittany, we have been very environmental minded. Choosing and using products that would be safer for the environment than others, etc.

Since we were not linked to the village sewage system, our waste water went through pipes and ended up somewhere (obviously in the ground, 100 meters away from the house but more likely right into the sea after a while or a rainy day).
We also had a septic tank which we took great care of!
But we felt guilty anyway because we were somehow polluting Nature.

All this belongs to the past ever since two years ago, we got a letter from the city hall telling us to get our own ‘sewage plant’!!! Which we did, of course. Guilt over.

It’s quite big for two people (over 1.500 gallons) but we decided that we had to think big just in case... for the generations to come. It’s underground and will be covered with grass anyway.
Actually we never had any other choice than to accept the city hall ultimatum plus the experts’ decisions and the contractors they chose for us more or less.

So our waste is now taken care of as well as it can be done nowadays. We feel much better, no kidding.

Our beautiful garden has always been 100% organic. No pesticides, no fertilizers. No watering (which is the hardest thing to accept for my better half) . And it grows just fine anyway. We had a lot of fruits this year by the way.

Back to Bernard and his liquid sludge from the aging municipal treatment plant. The plant is actually overflowing. They desperately need to get rid of the liquid sludge. How do you think they will get rid of it? There are a few solutions. Some clean, some dirty. Of course they chose the dirtiest one. Which they call ‘sustainable development’? This is a joke, isn’t it? A nightmare? Please, I want to wake up!

European environmental laws are tough... but obviously unheard of in Brittany. The fields are there... We used to have liquid manure spread in a lot of fields. Now we’ll have liquid manure and liquid sludge...

So if I made myself clear, we spent a lot of money, time and energy to be in line with the city hall environmental policy (and our beliefs)... quite simply to get our precious fields polluted by farmers with the help of the same city hall which seems to be so deeply environmentally involved!

I went bersek because black is black and white is white. I hate shady greys especially when applied to the environment.

The city hall gives money to the farmers to get rid of the sludge. It pays a handsome fee for the transportation and the spreading of the sludge plus the plowing of the fields.

Of course, we said ‘NO’ and offered Bernard to pay him for compensation (compensation for not polluting our environment. Let’s have a good laugh!). Up until now, we never checked his use of our fields and never asked for rent either. Our fields were mainly used to grow alfafa for his flock of Suffolks. Or they would lie fallow from time to time... which was quite allright.

But what about the city hall? Our tap water is toxic but we pay high rates for the water we use at home. We have to buy our drinking mineral water. We have to set up very costly miniature private sewage plants... And yet the city ends up being the first and foremost polluter.

We still don’t know whether or not Bernard has accepted our ‘NO’. We are long time friends but the pressure from the city hall may be too strong.

We’ll see. The first spreading should start on August 24... on the fields that are very close to the top of the cliff and to the sea...

Should we get ready to immolate ourselves in front of the citry hall to protest against a truly wicked measure? I guess we won’t go this far.

Write to newspapers? Use my Facebook network? Ah, ah, ah!

Actually, we are lost and feeling defeated, which is one thing I do hate in life, especially when I believe the issue is worth fighting for!

I’m really, really, really  going MAD!

If you want to know more about Brittany, please read I love Brittany.

*Good Night, and Good Luck* (to you because we haven't been sleeping well at all lately)

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