A Registered Nurse Speaks Out About Her Search For Clean Water

We love  sharing stories of people who either visit our spring or share our love of springs.

Mary Richardson (BA, MS, RN, IBCLC) is a  registered nurse who is on a search for clean water.  So much so that she moved from her home in central Pennsylvania to Manitou Springs, CO (1,600 miles !!!!).

Mary shares a pic of a glass of water from Manitou Springs

She reached out to us at Boston Clear on her journey across the country and her passion for mineral water.  Mary informed us that there is a worldwide Baby Friendly movement, a group dedicated to standardizing care for infants … clean water being one of them.  However, clean water for babies is not the only thing they need,  they need nourishment that comes from a mother’s milk … so when some hospitals encourage powder formula, we introduce a water problem.  According to Baby-Friendly USA, U.S. hospitals that have received a Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) designation must follow certain rules about when and how they offer formula to new parents.

Young mothers, parents, are looking for guidance in their first days after giving birth.  Some hospitals provide free formula for newborns (courtesy of large formula makers like Nestle).  The fact is, this sort of give-away deters women from wanting to breast feed and then mothers’ milk soon dries up.  The result is that we have too many babies on formula that would be much better served having something better for them.  Mary recognizes that mothers can choose, but are they getting all the facts to make the right choice or are these choices driven by profit?

Many doctors recommend breast feeding for up to a year.  So how many mothers choose breast feeding for their child?  In the U.S., about 80% of women start out breastfeeding but a number of studies suggest that this percentage drops off quickly after the first month of life.  Only about half of U.S. babies (51.8 percent) are still breastfeeding at 6 months of age … by the time the child is one year old, only 34% are being breastfed.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

“Many mothers begin breastfeeding but need community support to help them overcome challenges they may face in the hospital, when they go home, or after they return to work. This support might include breastfeeding education programs, improved maternity care practices in hospitals, peer and professional support for moms; and adequate space and equipment to breastfeed or express breast milk in workplaces and childcare centers.”

A look at a map of breastfeeding statistics reveals a concern that some states, particularly the poorer states, experience shorter breastfeeding terms for their babies … the population in these states, the ones who can least afford additional costs, appear to choose the additional cost for formula over babies’ health.  That just does not make sense!

Our own Anthony Gattineri on his way to Manitou Springs, CO … connecting the water.

While Mary acknowledges these challenges, many hospitals do not fully inform mothers of the dangers associated with formula along with the great benefits of breast feeding.  As Mary put it, “Hospitals hand out formula like it’s candy.  I love babies, being a mom/baby nurse and when I found out, well my heart collapsed.

Mary presented all the information she could to the hospital about the trap in which they were putting new mothers and their newborns.  They took a tough stand and when Mary saw that there was no hope of her employer becoming “Baby Friendly,” she made the move.  Now, living in Colorado, she has found a new hospital and a new way of life.

The springs in Colorado are renowned and Mary has visited a number of them in the area.  One of the things we noted was that one of the websites we visited about the springs said that they believed that the springs “once were thought to have healing powers.”  Mary said they absolutely have healing powers!  The photo here is one Mary snapped on her porch enjoying a cool glass of water.

So what makes Manitou so special:

Rainwater and snow melt from Pikes Peak and surrounding mountains soak into rock fractures. As the water penetrates to great depth, it becomes heated and mineralized. The warm water naturally flows up into cavernous limestone where it becomes carbonated, then issues from the numerous natural and drilled springs throughout Manitou. Because the water takes thousands of years to complete its journey from mountain sources, it is totally free of industrial and atmospheric contamination.

Makes us thirsty just thinking about it.  As for Mary, she loves her move but misses her home in Pennsylvania.  Her dedication to exposing how big companies trade babies’ health for profit is to be commended.  Her hope is that the comradery among her new co-workers will spark some renewed energy to fight on.  Mary said,

“I think of our children and the future for our planet every day and feel I have a moral obligation to do my part.  I want to leave this world a better place.  My voice may not be the best, but I have one.”

Mary believes that the lack of information on what we ingest has spread to our water.  As she put it, we believe we can turn on the faucet and the water that comes out is safe … it is not.  Like formula, it is full of chemicals that imitate the real thing but fall short.  Mary told me, “We have to realize that we are taking toxins into our body if we drink water from a tap.  As a society we have to realize that we are causing our own diseases.  The search for pure, natural, nourishment will help us all live long, happier, lives.”

Mary asked me to share a poem she wrote about how big companies are robbing our babies.  We with her luck in her new life and will certainly keep you all posted on her spring journey:

FIRST ONE IS ALWAYS FREE

Dealers of liquid formula, pushed through open doors,

Supplying a neighborhood nursery, non-“Baby Friendly” floor.  

Watchful nurses taking note, heed this curious sight,

Bottles appear mysteriously, cloak and dag by night.

Central nursery cabs and bins, always plumply stocked,

Ready to feed formula, complete with swanky tops.  

Polished logos shining bright, glossy picture themes,

Fess uncertain knowledge and quite possibly, malice schemes.

Special hand-held bottles, come desperate to defend,

We comprehend, we realize, our moms are hooked again.   

We’re solemn and profess our part, and wipe our conscience clean,

“Just one to help a real tired mom, we pray she doesn’t wean.” 

We struggle to unravel, this contorted paradigm,

You see, breastfeeding education, demands a massive chunk of time.

Working thru the dead of night, grim reality sets in,

There is no rest, we do our best, keep baby skin-to-skin.

Request for aide and some relief, a real Lactation Team?

I guess for now, yet somehow, tonight we only dream. 

Bravely marching forward, call bells unending ring,

We require reinforcement troops, to fight this dreadful thing.  

We have borne some heavy losses, during these Baby Friendly Times, 

We call upon our government to halt these human crimes.

The WHO CODE needs our grave support, to protect the weak and poor,

From predatory companies, with delusions of grandeur.   

Our under-education is a disrespectful shame,

To not call out an industry, that both profits and seeks to maim.  

Ours moms and babes deserve better, though a third world-wide apart,

We stand united together, until death do us part.

  • Mary Laura Richardson

Back To School With Nothing To Drink

In Detroit, MI, students were welcomed back to school but they were unable to drink from the water fountains!

Detroit Public Schools Community District shut off drinking water at all of the schools after testing revealed that 16 schools had elevated levels of lead and/or copper.  Superintendent Nikolai Vitti ordered testing of all schools this spring, after tests in 2016 found elevated levels of the metals. Initial results for 24 schools returned last week found 16 had levels higher than acceptable, he said in the emailed letter. All water sources, including drinking fountains and sinks, were tested. Water is still available for hand washing and toilet flushing.  I guess it’s a good idea to wash your hands in “lead and/or copper.”

Before we delve into Detroit, we wanted to take a look at the history of the drinking fountain.  Here is an article from the Washington Post (July 2015):

The modern era’s first free public water fountain was unveiled in London in 1859. Thousands gathered to watch officials turn on the tap. At its peak, about 7,000 people used the fountain each day. At that time, the rich were buying water brought in from the country. The poor were drinking water bottled from the sewage-infested Thames. Water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid were rampant.

One’s wealth or status should have nothing to do with their availability to safe drinking water.  This is particularly true when we talk about those who are most vulnerable, our young children, who drink out of trust.

Those of us who went to school in the 1960s and 1970s, remember drinking from a fountain without a thought that what we might be drinking was harmful.  Today, we cannot give those same assurances to students.  In Boston, there was a scandal related to high levels of lead and copper found in public drinking water supplies.  Now Detroit …  this is truly unacceptable.   Water, clean water,  is a required staple for a good education and our public water systems have failed us in this area.

Let us celebrate the return of kids to school by sending them off with  safe water that nourishes both their mind and body.  We should not assume that the bubblers in the school halls are sufficient when we have data that says that it may not even be safe in our own homes.

Lynnfield, MA Residents – Boston Clear Offers Free Drinking Water Amid Water Concerns

Many of us have assumed that the water that comes from our faucet is safe.  While we think of Flint, MI as an anomaly of a water system gone awry, the USA Today estimated that tens-of-millions in the US have been exposed to unsafe drinking water.  What was a problem for underdeveloped countries has come home to the US.

Now, water issues have hit too close to home and we are here to help.  Residents of Lynnfield, MA expressed concerns about the clarity of its water in May, in early August the town took down a water pumping station amid concerns of e coli in its water.  Now residents have renewed concern about the discoloration of the water, which engineers attribute to iron and manganese content.  A filter is envisioned as a possible solution.  People need clean water today and we have a solution!

On Saturday August 25 from 8:00am – 2:00pm and Sunday August 26 from 8:00am – 2:00pm, all customers who provide a copy of their most recent Lynnfield Center Water District bill will receive up to 5 gallons of free, perfectly drinkable water … all from our spring.  Bring your own, clean container and we will gladly fill it at no charge.  If you need a container, we offer high quality, one-gallon, glass bottles for a $5/each donation.

We are located at 165 Lowell Street, Lynnfield, MA 01940.

Be assured that the water you are drinking is the best for you and your family … get your water from Pocahontas Spring!

The Lynnfield ZBA Meeting Is Tonight, Honoring Our Customers

Tonight is the Lynnfield Zoning Board of Appeals meeting regarding our spring and, more importantly, your ability to come to it for water.  While we intend to honor our spring by working to share it with all of you, we are there to honor your rights to come to our spring for its healing waters.

A few people have spoken out to restrict this site and that means a lot more people have to speak out about keeping the spring open.  We are confident in our ability to overcome these obstacles and in doing so have rediscovered our purpose in serving many of you.

As a result of the many letters and input that we have received, we are going to start a series of posts on the people who visit our spring.  We find many of your stories inspirational and visitors to our spring represent a special community of people who are committed to the movement of clean water.

Here is one of the letters we recently received in support of our spring that was also sent to the Zoning Board of Appeals (the author was kind enough to share the letter):

Dear Lynnfield Zoning Board,

Many years ago a good friend of mine told me about Pocahontas Spring in Lynnfield.  He explained the amazing taste, high quality and health benefits. Knowing that this person practices a healthy lifestyle and in his quest to be healthy to find the perfect water, he researched many different types of water and what is the best for our bodies; I buried it in the back of my mind knowing that one day this information would be of use to me.

About a year ago I decided to give it a try.  The water is so fresh and crisp it is like drinking water that flows from a glacier!  I was immediately addicted! For many years my liver was sluggish from all of the toxins and metals from tap and bottled water. My liver now feels great and I have lost 30 lbs.  I also believe that drinking from plastic water bottles is very toxic to our bodies and not very good for our earth.  I can’t even imagine how many plastic bottles are in our dumps and in our oceans!

Every week I drive to Lynnfield with 8 glass gallon jugs, and fill them and return

home to enjoy this wonderful water all week with my family of three and 2 cats.

I have tried to find another Spring similar to this in Florida where I will eventually live part-time.  It just does not exist!  We are so very, very lucky to have this Spring in Lynnfield. Honestly it is helping a lot of people for many health reasons.  When I fill my jugs, I am usually the only one there the property is so quiet and peaceful. I also take a peek at the Spring in the back and say thanks for this delicious and hydrating water.  This is a precious gift from nature to us, please allow the Spring to remain open.

  • Jeanne F.