Can an Environmental Health Practitioner Really Go on Vacation?

Date posted: 
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 11:45
Blog poster: 
Ken Runkle, REHS/RS
Email of Blog Poster: 

We took a 5,000-mile family driving vacation this summer from Illinois through North Dakota westward to Montana and Idaho, returning via a slightly southern route through Wyoming and South Dakota. We saw beautiful scenery, historic locations, and awe-inspiring national park lands…

I also was reminded that it is difficult for an environmental health practitioner to really go “on vacation”.

As we drove through the big sky country of western North Dakota, I observed the fracking installations. They were cleaner than I expected, yet I wondered about the depth to groundwater and the potential for contamination…

Stop it Ken, you are on vacation!

We stopped at the first rest area in Montana and drank from the water fountain. “The water tastes funny, Dad.  Smells like rotten eggs,” my son observed.  I replied, “That’s hydrogen sulfide, likely caused by deposits in the aquifer this water system draws from (thought to self:  I sure hope it is not from a faulty septic system impacting a shallow well)…”

Vacation, Ken!

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Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect NEHA policy, endorsement, or action, and NEHA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.  

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