scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Leave No Trace
John Wm. Unger (junger@ALPHA1.NET
Mon Mar 20 2000 - 08:27:21 CST
I am not certified as a Leave No Trace Master, I am just a Trainer, but
I'll try this one.
Will the chlorine damage the ecosystem? The short answer is yes, some.
The question needs to be, "will my use of chlorinated water in this
situation damage the ecosystem beyond it's ability to recover?" In some
ecosystems, the slightest bit of contaminates may be more than the systems
self-repair mechanisms can manage. The procedure should be to contact the
managing agency for the area and ask for their recommendations for how to
handle chlorinated water. It may be that, if you have not over-chlorinated
the water, the septic system can handle it. If the ecosystem is robust,
scattering the water may itself be acceptable.
Remember, when adding chlorine to water for cleanup, a few drops are all
you need. Over-use of chlorine and soap is far to common among Scout
groups. Training the boys in the proper amounts is essential here. And the
training should be done in an area where the damage from their mistakes will
not cause further deterioration of the ecosystem - e.g. state parks and
Scout camps. Again, use the methods at those locations recommended by the
I would recommend taking the LNT training from a certified LNT Trainer
ASAP. LNT is an ethic, not a hard and fast set of procedures. It requires
some thought about where you will be, how the ethic applies to that
situation, and planning to minimize your impact in that situation. For
further information, you can look at www.lnt.org or call the 1-800 number
listed at that website for LNT trainers near you.