h2o mp3: Dope in the Water – Steve Anderson

We’re tickled to present you with a world premiere of sorts! The parody song “Dope In the Water” (sung to the tune of “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple) was written and performed by Steve Anderson, Water Resources Analyst at Clean Water Services, Portland, Oregon. This is of course a timely issue since the release of the 2008 Associated Press study that claims at least 41 million Americans may be getting a bonus of drugs and pharmaceuticals in their water supply.

Steve Anderson

The song (which is awesomely hysterical, in my opinion!) came to the fore as part of a forum discussion about the use of humor in public communications. The bottom line: no clear consensus. Some communications professionals believe in the power of humor to communicate, some are mildly uncomfortable with the risk and others believe it is often misleading to a misinformed public.

I think everyone knows where I stand! As I wrote on the discussion thread,

I think the point of the song is to change behavior and to promote the safe disposal of pharmaceuticals, which in turn, reduces the treatment burdens. This is the part that the public can control, and thus, an effective message to send.

So thanks, Steve, and we hope lots of people are humming this when they refrain from bad habits that add “Dope in the Water!”

Play the track

Download Dope in the Water by Steve Anderson (mp3)


We flush them down our toilets
We wash ‘em down the drain
We take ‘em when we feel bad
We take ‘em for the pain
They come to us in the sewers
We’d treat ‘em all but we can’t
When they show up at the headworks
They pass right through the treatment plant

Dope in the water
Hormones in the creek
Dope in the water

And what about them birth control pills?
At the outfall where the effluent swirls
Makin’ changes in the wildlife
Little boy fish look a lot like girls
And then we have our Prozac
Discharged by the very best
Don’t know how the fish like that
At least I guess they’re not depressed

Dope in the water
Hormones in the creek
Dope in the water

My coffee in the morning
Can keep a fish awake at night
Painkillers might make ‘em feel good
But you know it just ain’t right
Cosmetics and perfumes, well
Just add to this witch’s brew
It’s high time to figure it out
Just what the hell this stuff can do

Dope in the water
Hormones in the creek
Dope in the water

Corbin, Kentucky’s Water Tower Sure is High!

How high is Corbin’s water tower? Literally or figuratively? It seems that some of the town’s drug-crazed youth found that the town’s tower was a great place to cook up a little methamphetamine! Yessir, I’m talkin’ ICE, and not the frozen kind!

Not litter but evidence. Photo:

Not litter but evidence. Photo:

The Corbin, Kentucky police have nabbed a 17-year-old boy on numerous felony charges after a portable meth lab was found tucked in a backpack right by the city’s landmark water tower. (When authorities arrived, the teen was carrying a generator out to the water tower “lab.”)


(Police Sgt. Glenn)…”Taylor said he believes the boy was a methamphetamine addict who has been making it for himself and some other friends. He said police searched a home last week, where the boy was allegedly staying, in an attempt to find evidence of drug activity, but found none.

“My informant said this backpack was there. They knew we were coming and started hiding it up here,” Taylor said. “They don’t keep it at their house because they are afraid I am coming.”

So what was found at the tower?

Police discovered nearly all the ingredients for making meth: tubing, salt, drain line cleaner, fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia, a funnel, a propane torch, etc. Also discovered was a large Mason jar that contained a “pill soak.” Taylor said it appears that the “meth oil” most recently produced had already been poured off the mixture. He believes the juvenile was returning to the site to make another batch. He said there was enough pseudoephedrine present to make anywhere from 2.8 to 4 grams of meth.

And in case you’re wondering, “Authorities say if the meth lab had caused an explosion it probably wouldn’t have been bad enough to put the water tower at risk – but certainly the person making the meth.”

If this weren’t such a tragic state of affairs, I suppose I could have a field day creating fake-funny slogans to be painted on the tower. (Like, “CORBIN: THE CRYSTAL CITY!”) But somehow, I just can’t get in the mood to make light of the national misery that is meth. It’s just too sad.