Our property is located at 3876 Fairview Road, Egg Harbor Township. Our well was contaminated and remains contaminated by the September spreading of liquid manure from Haberli Farms over a sinkhole.
That same weekend our son brought his family and four friends to stay at our home. Four days later, the first to get sick was our 3½ month-old granddaughter, Lilly. Our son had mixed her powdered formula with our tap water, tap water that was clear and had no odor. Her doctor confirmed the bacteria as campylobacter and E.coli from a bovine source. We do not live on a farm; we do not have cows on our property. She had explosive diarrhea many times a day full of mucous and blood. Next, three out of four of their friends became sick. Next, my husband, Paul. Next our two German shepherds. Same symptoms. The older of the two dogs died four days ago.
In late 2013 we signed a contract with a Door County vacation rental company. Our water tested safe in 2013 and again in July of 2014. In 2014 we rented our home 40-some days, grossing more than $30,000. We had to cancel a rental in October for $2,400 and close to renters for the balance of 2014 until our water issue is resolved. We already have the month of July mostly rented in 2015. We cannot ever rent again unless our water is guaranteed safe, 100 percent of the time. We invested significantly in our home to set it up to be a rental.
We had to cancel a family gathering at our home for Thanksgiving. These occasions are the reason we built our home. Our daughter and family traveling 1,000 miles with five children, baby Lilly returning with her family from near Appleton, Uncle Mike and family from the Madison area. We so regretfully had to say it’s not safe to come here. Our family has been affected, Door County tourism has begun to be affected.
Our 2-year-old grandson is coming to our house so his daddy can hunt. How do I bathe him in contaminated water? How do I even wash his precious chubby little hands? How can I explain?
We pay more than $10,000 in property taxes based on a set value. Where’s our property value at today after 70 days and counting of well contamination? What right does someone have to contaminate the water of others? Water is the very lifeblood of our existence on earth. What right does someone have to contaminate the water of others and just walk away?
Have you noticed the number of people in the grocery store buying water who have become used to the fact that sometimes their water is not OK? Or those who say, “Oh, I don’t drink the water in the county.” God help us all for such pathetic complacency.
Come on, folks. We’re better than this. Remember what we were taught as children. If you make a mistake, if you do something wrong, admit it, extend your hand, say you’re sorry, pay for the damages. Make a plan for the future so this won’t happen again. Let’s make Door County something we can proudly pass down to our children and make sure they understand this lesson of life.
Egg Harbor, Wis.