,,,and the rains came...

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Todd wrote:

A large number of diseases are caused by contamination of drinking water with microbes, typhoid is just one. This is why all public reticulated water needs both correct treatment and constant testing to make sure the treatment is working regardless of its origin. How do you suppose the people down river from me survive? Re-cycled sewerage is no different from river or lake water except in the kind of treatment. Apparently Singapore uses re-cycled sewerage and the quality is said to be better than from other sources. There are two reasons this is not (yet) common: cost is one, many users having your reaction is the other.
D
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On 03/03/2014 02:07 AM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

Hi David,
You hit it on the head with your treatment statement. What I am mainly skeptical of is not the science of the matter, but the human factor. Not willing to risk my life on it.
Just an interesting aside, I watched a documentary on Netflix/Roku about the history of beer. Seems that was the way Europe coped with Toilet Water before if discovered as to why regular water killed everyone. So much so that settlers in Jamestown refused to drink the pristine water they had available and waited for beer to come available.
-T
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Todd wrote:

Yet every time you drink urban water you do.

Making beer IS a form of treatment, you are relying on the introduced yeast to exclude the pathogens. Tea the same - due to boiling the water.
D
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On 03/03/2014 01:50 PM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

Ya, whats a little dogs poop in your water!
Fortunately, ours comes from a deep aquifer. It is very pure and the best tasting water I have ever come across.

The documentary I watched pointed out the same thing about beer. They first boiled it. Fascinating documentary.
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On 03/03/2014 02:07 AM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

Exactly how is it they remove the pharmaceuticals and the Gold Fish?
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Todd wrote:

Layers of membrane filtration. They do have trouble with croodiles though.
D
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On 03/03/2014 01:51 PM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

They do get a little bit grouchy when that happens :-)
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

...

the basic problem is that we've gotten into the habit of mixing human waste with potable water to begin with. this compounds many other problems and they tag along with the whole process. clean up the basic misconception and you get many benefits in result. not having to build nuclear desalinization plants would be one of them (who needs more chances at Fukushima? are you seriously considering more nuclear plants in California? are you really that idiotic? yes, i am seriously calling you an idiot if you are building more nuclear plants in that area).
much of the use of water is simply to flush waste materials away.
when you consider how much energy it takes to pump and clean the water again after it is used as a waste transport system then perhaps you'll understand the sheer stupidity of this whole system.
most human waste is valueable and can be composted safely without having to use all that water.
the waste which is not safely compostable (hormone treatments, some drugs, chemotherapeutics and nuclear medicine) should be treated differently, but those people who know they are doing such things could be set up with their medical providers to have a clean disposal path for their waste (so that it does not become a hazard to others).
in a world of limited resources there is no excuse for not recycling of most materials. for areas with limited water they certainly should not be wasting water by using it as a waste transport mechanism.
you do not need or want more nuclear plants. there are viable methods that can be used right now without nuclear energy. please don't support methods which potentially can kill/pollute everyone downwind or downstream.
songbird
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On 02/28/2014 10:26 PM, songbird wrote:

That would be anyone taking pharmaceuticals and urinating into a toilet.
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On 02/28/2014 10:26 PM, songbird wrote:

Hi Songbird,
Do you know the death count on all of nuclear energy? Can you compare it to dead coal miners or other non-nuclear forms of energy? How about black lung? If would help to make a good comparison. Every form of energy has its risks. Nuclear has been pretty safe so far.
By the way, the new designs for nuclear plants are so safe that deliberate attempts to melt them down (under safe controlled conditions) have failed. With these, there will be no more Fukushimas.
-T
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On Friday, February 28, 2014 11:25:22 PM UTC-8, Todd wrote:

HB

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On Friday, February 28, 2014 11:25:22 PM UTC-8, Todd wrote:

Cite, Todd? Would be fascinated to read about these experiments.
TIA
HB
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On 03/03/2014 06:14 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Hi Higgs,
I heard it on the radio (news announcement) and have read it other places too.
Tried to find some reference with google, but was swamped with all the Fuki stuff. It was a test on "small modular reactor (SMR)" they were talking about.
My memory of the details was they took an SMR and put it inside a big reactor dome and deliberately tried to get it to meltdown.
This is the closest I found:
http://ansnuclearcafe.org/category/small-modular-reactors/
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/nuclear/take-a-look-inside-a-tiny-nuclear-reactor-15484608
http://www.nei.org/Issues-Policy/New-Nuclear-Energy-Facilities/New-Reactor-Designs
https://forms.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/new-nuc-plant-des-bg.html
http://science.time.com/2013/08/05/amidst-economic-and-safety-concerns-nuclear-advocates-pin-their-hopes-on-new-designs/
As an engineer, I much like the new small designs. I have always thought huge single designs were awkward. The SMR's are designed to shut themselves down automatically. This is the way it should have been done all along.
With lots of these all over, we could finally start cracking hydrogen from water for our cars and homes. Fresh water from the sea too.
Sorry I could not find a direct reference to the tests I heard/read about. Trust me, I did hear/see them. -T
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On Wednesday, March 5, 2014 9:43:34 AM UTC-8, Todd wrote:

Thanks,man. I looked up the references and absorbed as much as my tiny gardener's mind could handle.
One thing always pushed my "what if" button. What happens when a SMR reactor, designed to shut down automatically, fails? Is there backup? What kind.
The design for reactor buried underground sounded interesting, in terms of sparing nearby people & buildings. But could a failure trigger catastrophic earthquakes (I live in So. Calif, so earthquakes are always on our minds.)
Appreciate the research!
HB
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On 03/05/2014 07:38 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Hi Higgs,
The "idea" is that everything is self contained. But, test, test, test. Ah the life of an engineer! This is some fascinating stuff.
Underground: interesting. Maybe a second containment shell too, just in case.
Don't worry about the earthquakes. With the thermonuclear bombs that the dept of energy has been setting off underground in southern Nevada haven't triggered anything yet, it is not going to happen. Far more energy involved that a reactor with fuel rods that are not rich enough to explode.
Talking about '"what if" button', the fact that nuclear reactors are "dangerous" may actually be a blessing in disguise. Keeps us on our toes. All forms of energy are dangerous. How many lives do we lose in refinery fires/explosions, etc.? Maybe not scary enough to keep us on our toes? Maybe not enough attention paid to it?
-T
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songbird wrote:

No.
this compounds many other problems and

An emotive side issue.

It's true some water is used to flush but you still need to have a sewerage system in cities. If using dual flush toilets and only hitting the button when required the use on toilet flushing is not that high. There are only small savings there. Domestically, washing and showering use much more. Gardens, golf courses, pools, fountains, hosing the driveway etc use astronomically more.

Composting toilets are fashionable round here. They smell in normal operation and are a bitch to clean out, someone has to go in and dig them out. You can't pay someone enough to do it. They are suitable for deserts not cities. In high humidty areas they stay too wet. But you still need to have water reticulation and sewerage networks. Flushing with grey water is more practical.

Yes if the whole family is healthy compost it otherwise cart your shit to a waste centre if any one of you are taking pills. Or have a honey pot collection. Can you imagine this system in a big city. In the 19th century before the sewer was built London was called "the great wen" Get serious.

Most of the water in the sewer is not from flushing.
Bird you haven't thought this out.
D
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

we're allowed emotions.

to me this is poor design (especially in an arid climate). if most of the water being used is for washing then a graywater system which keeps the water on site is much better for recharging the groundwater and of benefit to the plants and animals. polluting it with waste and then having to pump it some place else, then to be cleaned up again is really a huge waste of energy and resources.
yes, it is the primary sytem in use now in many places but that doesn't mean it is the best way of doing things.

if you can smell it, then it isn't operating normally, do you smell nasty fumes coming out of your compost piles?
to me this is not a good design at all if you have a system that involves paying someone else to clean up after yourself then you're quite a ways from simplicity.
that a poorly designed or misunderstood system doesn't work well isn't a mystery to me. but of course, if the people using it don't maintain it properly or understand it then it's not going to be the greatest. however, if you're raised to take care of things and understand what you're doing it's not going to be a problem.
change can be hard, but this isn't beyond most people once they understand the reasons for doing it and the methods involved.

you don't have to pay someone to do it. do you have to pay someone to carry a bucket of compost materials out to the compost pile?

false. people compost in cities.

improper design. improper use. improper maintenance. people compost in wet or humid climates.

no, people only need water, food, air and shelter. there is no need for piping gray water off site. it is lazyness and habit and a temporary illusion of richness (mostly due to fossil fuel use).

only if you have the expensive system already paid for and installed, but then that doesn't deal with expenses of keeping it running or the energy involved.
if in the future energy gets more expensive and fresh water more scarce, you'll see a lot more changes and rethinking of how we do waste systems.
once you switch to an in place composting system with any grey water being handled on site processes then there's no need to pay anyone for waste processing any more than you pay someone to put things on the compost heap or scrub out a bucket.

compost it on site and use it on site, no need to ship it anywhere.

i am, any reasonably normal person can understand composting and accomplish it.
that is then, this is now, do we understand things better today or not?

it doesn't have to be, once it's contaminated by poop that means the entire volume must be cleaned up again. if you only had to move poop and pee around that would be how much less per person of material to deal with cleaning up, processing or disposing of?
dehydrate it and reclaim that water, and then you're down by another factor or two of reduction. isn't that a much more efficient use of energy and materials to deal only with the problem instead of multiplying it?

funny assumption, you've not seen my reading list for the past dozen years.
a very simple system of handling waste from people is quite possible that doesn't involve having to move or dig out huge tanks. if you are used to composting processes then it fits in very well. that it will work even when the power goes out, that it means valuable materials don't leave the gardens, saves water, energy, etc. that's all a bonus as far as i'm concerned.
take a look at _the humanure handbook_ it's in third edition and online for free.
the trouble is not composting it's getting people to accept that it can be done at all as they are raised to flush and forget. raise them with a different way and they'll be fine and much better off in the long run.
songbird
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wrote:

Word of the day: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/%20verbiage
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songbird wrote:

I admire your idealism to a degree. The problem is that you are so absorbed with it you give no time to the practicalities of whether your proposal can be done in various places or circumstances and what the cost may be. You complain that nobody is listening but make no effort to address the big issues with implementing your plan, until you can show that it can work and maintain public health and that the benefits outweigh the costs of a large scale implementation you are just pissing on the lemon tree.
D
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David Hare-Scott wrote: ...

the costs will vary by location.
if you have your own land and easy access to fairly dried shredded materials then the continuing cost is nearly zero. the start up costs are some buckets, a redesigned toilet so the buckets can fit under and a change in habits.
if you live in the city, that is different but it isn't impossible. change the toilets to be composting buckets, have the person move the bucket when needed to a collection point, pay someone to take those buckets to a composting site and rinse them out, return them with the next round of picking up the next lot. about the same start up costs (buckets and different designed toilet) other than needing materials (shredded paper, sawdust, leaves, bark, etc. still all work).
what costs are avoided by using a composting system? i thought i was pretty clear. pumping water costs, cleaning up polluted water costs, pipes and pumps maintenance costs, billing and collecting bill costs.

funny, i don't recall complaining in that post, i went back and re-read it, nope, still don't see complaints of being ignored in there.

when the power goes out and stays out for a few weeks in a large city then what? you think those toilets are going to be clean and maintaining public health? put a cover on a bucket of sawdust and human waste and leave it for a few weeks and it's not going to smell the greatest when opened but it won't kill anyone either.
at least under a simple system of composting the human waste is still able to be dealt with. with a large and complex system, once the power goes out, then people are up shit's creek when the water stops flowing.
the problem isn't that it is impossible to change, it's just that we have a large embedded system with all the inertia and costs and people are trained to use that and accept it. when it stops working, causes other problems (poor water quality), or becomes too expensive i think it a good idea to think about alternatives.
songbird
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