Letters to the Slippery Rock 


As I think you are aware, I have been involved in the stone industry in Europe generally, Germany and U.K. in particular and then for the past 45 years in North America. I therefore read the trade magazines in various languages and it is of interest to me, and hopefully your readers, to see similar problems addressed differently in other locales. 

One example hereof is the use of water in our industry. I attach hereto a cutting from a recent issue of the U.K. magazine Natural Stone Specialist (see story Water Management Case Study). This article is self-explanatory but if you think of the profligate way in which our industry uses/abuses one of our most valuable resources, I cannot help but compare that with the practice in Germany which will not allow you to set up a new fab shop without the mandatory planning for 100 percent water recycling. Here in the State of Georgia we are very dependent on Lake Lanier and yet, the stone industry alone uses approximately 7.5 billion gallons of water annually without much thought of recycling.

On the other hand, for many years the EPA and the Department of Agriculture have insisted on using fumigated lumber to import stone from overseas. Germany had no such requirement and now, to their total horror, they have a plague of Chinese wood worms which has spread throughout the country; most of these worms are coming in with shipments of stone. So sometimes our regulators are on target and sometimes they are not. Given that water is essential for life, should we not be a little more concerned?



Peter T. de Kok