Compost Piles & Ants

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Where did you get your degree in science? The same place you got your delusion of grandeur?
YOU would not understand anything I wrote anyway.
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in
to
but
OK. You're busy. You can write it up later.
Like it or not, we're not talking about junk science here. It's old news. PCBs & dioxin are nasty compounds that don't belong in our drinking water. http://www.clearwater.org/news/pcbhealth.html
Too late, though: http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/fish/fishregs/fishhealthadv.html
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The problem with pollution, is it's a classic example of the tragedy of the commons. If i were to dump a bottle of motor oil in the an unpolluted river, the pollution impact to the entire river would be minimal. On the otherhand if somehow, we could take all the fresh water in the world, divide it equally by number of people on earth, and made it so that anything you did, affected only your personal allotment of water, people would behave far differently.
I once took an economics class, one section we studied environmental economics. The focus of environmental economics is, an attempt to answer the question "how clean, is clean enough?" At what point do you face diminishing returns that cleaning up the pollution is no longer cost effective to clean it up, compared to the quality of life improvement.
Snooze
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On Fri, 5 Nov 2004 18:37:33 -0500, Snooze wrote

Garrett Hardin's 1968 article is itself one of the important 20th century classics. It applies to issues it specifically mentions (such as population growth and pollution) and to many others as well. I've often recommended it as the best essay ever written on spam. Full text is available at
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/162/3859/1243
Edward
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wrote:

Ever here of a rectal cranial inversion? Your head COULD be removed from your arse!
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Well no, I have not heard of a "rectal cranial inversions", but I have heard of dumb asses, like you.
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wrote:

To bad, then you weren't aware of the hope in having yours reversed....
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently released information stating that no matter where we live in the U.S., there is likely to be some toxic substance in our groundwater. Indeed, the agency estimates that one in five Americans, supplied by one-quarter of the nation's drinking water systems, consume tap water that violates EPA safety standards under the Clean Water Act. Even some of the substances that are added to our drinking water to protect us, such as chlorine, can form toxic compoundssuch as trihalomethanes, or THMsand have been linked to certain cancers. The EPA has established enforceable standards for more than 100 contaminants. However, credible studies have identified more than 2,110 contaminants in the nation's water supplies
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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Hound Dog wrote:

"Life expectancy" is the average age that a group of people under the same conditions will live. In other words, no access to potable water would be factored into the "life expectancy" of the people who have no access to potable water. The life expectancy for those folks is not going up.
Life expectancy is not going up for the wildlife exposed to polluted water, either. In many cases, life expectancy has significantly been reduced to the point of species extinction.
But if you don't think polluted water is harmful to someone's health, or if you think that pollution simply doesn't exist, then you are a delusional idiot. I'd like to invite you to move someplace where the tap water has been polluted by run-off, and we'll sit by and see how it affects your life expectancy.
--
Warren H.

==========
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You, of course, have a source where your hypothesis can be proven!?
In any case where in the U.S.A. do we have a significant lack of potable water?

The main cause for the extension of wild animals is the encroachment of civilization which reduces the habitat of the wildlife.

I have no intent, nor do I know of anyone with the intent of moving to a locale such as you espouse.
As a matter of fact, I am not even aware of anywhere in North America where such conditions exist, do you?

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You may want to revise your definition to include "water you'd really rather not drink", rather than just "undrinkable". Example: Lake Ontario has contamination warnings for virtually all the fish species living in it. But, the same lake is the source of drinking water for quite a few cities in NY and Ontario. Scientists like to say that it's OK to drink it because we're not bathed in it constantly like the fish. But, what's the result of drinking it for 30-40 years? Nobody knows.
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wrote:

Interesting, reality is predicated on your level of awareness. How can you be so politically enlightened an so in the dark about pollution? Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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wrote:

By David Nakamura Washington Post Staff Writer March 12, 2004; Page B01
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has overstated the purity of the nation's drinking water in four recent years, potentially leaving millions of people at risk, according to a new report.
From 1999 through 2002, the EPA announced that it met its goal that 91 percent of U.S. residents have access to safe tap water. But the data the EPA used to make those conclusions were "flawed and incomplete" because states did not report all violations to the federal agency, stated a report released this week by Kwai Chan, the EPA's assistant inspector general.
Despite that, the EPA trumpeted the inaccurate rates to the media, giving a false impression to the public, Chan said. The EPA's documents show that some agency officials believe that in 2002, only about 81 percent of the jurisdictions monitored had safe drinking water, far lower than the official agency estimate of 94 percent for that year. The lower number would put roughly 30 million additional people at potential risk.
Benjamin H. Grumbles, the EPA's acting assistant administrator for the office of water, acknowledged in a letter responding to the inspector general's report that the agency's records are incomplete. He said the EPA has been working hard to improve compliance in reporting from the states and has made some strides but still has a long way to go.
Grumbles wrote that the EPA was not trying to mislead or lie to the public with its reports but is simply "using the data that is available to us through the national reporting system."
Chan's report, based on an independent analysis that the inspector general's office began in June, was not prompted by the lead contamination of drinking water in the District. However, Chan's findings are important for the District because the city is one of two jurisdictions -- Wyoming is the other -- that reports water problems directly to the EPA. In all other areas, state governments have primacy in overseeing local water agencies, and the EPA oversees the states.
The EPA's oversight of the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority's handling of the District's lead contamination problems has been criticized by some local and federal leaders, who said the federal agency should have demanded that WASA provide more information to the public after the contamination was discovered two years ago.
A coalition of environmental groups met with high-level EPA officials yesterday and harshly criticized WASA, according to Damu Smith, the meeting's chairman and executive director of the District-based National Black Environmental Justice Network. The coalition demanded that the EPA determine whether low-income communities have experienced worse lead contamination than other neighborhoods, he said.
"Our main message was that EPA has to take leadership in this situation," Smith said. "The mayor and the city council don't have the authority to force WASA to do what it needs to do. It's EPA that has the power to do that."
Tom Voltaggio, EPA's deputy regional administrator, said that the meeting was "excellent" and that more meetings will follow. "We want to work with them and get their sense of where they think the best place to put our time and energy is," he said.
WASA officials announced yesterday that they intend to release today the results of hundreds of water tests conducted last month. The agency also said it has retested two D.C. homes where water showed the highest lead levels and found that the lead receded significantly after the taps were flushed for 10 minutes.
A house on Evarts Street NE in the Bloomingdale neighborhood had lead levels as high as 48,000 parts per billion, well above the federal limit of 15 parts per billion. A house on Monroe Street NW had a level of 24,000 parts per billion. Retests recently showed that the Evarts house had a level of 6.7 parts per billion and the Monroe house 5.5 parts per billion after the taps were flushed, WASA officials said.
WASA Deputy General Manager Michael Marcotte said the high readings at those houses probably were caused by partial lead service line replacements done by WASA at both houses last year. When lead lines are cut, the leaching of lead often increases because a protective coating of lime on the pipes can become dislodged, officials have said.
The EPA bases its statements about the quality of drinking water across the country on data collected by states from their utilities, which test for about 100 contaminants and pollutants, including lead, arsenic, industrial chemicals and fecal matter.
The EPA inspector general's report states that the agency has a verification program in which it reviewed 71 water systems where safe drinking water violations were found. But of those, 17 had never been reported by the states to the EPA's safe drinking water information system, which is used to make the agency's official estimate of jurisdictions with safe water. With 54,000 water systems nationwide, it is difficult to determine just how many unreported violations take place each year, the inspector general's report said.
Cynthia Dougherty, head of the EPA's safe drinking water program, said the EPA does not know "what the right number is. The only number we can use is what the states report. We have not figured out yet a good way to come up with a different number."
Erik Olson, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, believes that the EPA's regulatory system is "broken."
Federal authorities, he said, "don't even know the basic information about public water systems."
The lead contamination in D.C. tap water, Olson continued, is only "a very small part of the problem. There's a much more profound, serious problem they're trying to paper over."
EPA officials said they are implementing more training for state officials, simplified reporting formats and reduced complexity of federal rules. But Paul Schwartz, national policy coordinator for Clean Water Action, another environmental group, said the EPA is "not really getting in there and aggressively [monitoring] these states. The EPA has to take a far more proactive oversight role."
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Some gets broken down by soil bacteria and disappears. It's only a problem if you overload the system, or apply chemicals in a reckless manner so they get washed into the storm sewer right away.
The ChemLawn folks around here scare me with the all the chemicals they use. You can smell the herbicide in the air when they come through and treat all the neighbors' yards. I use the same chemicals at perhaps 1/1000 the rate they do, or less, and I think that's OK. (Of course it's OK for *me* to do it. ;-)
When I used to get fire ants in my compost pile, I just wore cowboy boots when I turned the pile so I could brush off the ants before they got me. I'd get the pile pretty wet and fluff it up really good, and the heat would keep the ants sort of under control. I liked to think it killed them, but they probably just moved deep underground.
You could also pour boiling water in the compost pile right where you think the heart of the ant nest is. If you pour boiling water in the lawn to kill an ant next, it will kill the grass and it takes a *long* time to fill back in, but in the compost pile that's not a problem.
Bob
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So, why did you snark when a non-pesticide organic method of dispersing the ants without killing them or wasting the compost heap, was eagerly received by the OP?
Janet
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contains these words:

contingent
hubbub
is
That's a good question. I was expressing disbelief at how close she came to getting in the car and buying something hideous.
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contains these words:

contingent
hubbub
is
snark???? :-)
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My compost pile was alive with fire-ants this summer.
I was at my wits end trying to decide what to do. I even sought advice from this and other news groups. Then I remembered. Every time I knocked over a fire-ant mound in my yard, the ants abandoned that mound.
I turned my compost pile and the ants left it and set up a new mound elsewhere on my lawn, which I treated with antrol.(?)
I now turn my compost pile,and soak it down every week or two. Since then I've not had any further problem with the pile being invaded by fire-ants.
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On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 9:09:28 -0500, Donna deMedicis wrote

Nah. Presumably it's imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). They slow down in the winter but pretty much nothing non-nuclear kills them reliably. They may abandon the aboveground part when it's really cold, but will move back in on any day that warms the pile. I assume that their northern limit is determined by cold, but it has to be serious ground-penetrating cold to stop them, not when South Carolina calls cold.
I have my doubts that drowning them is likely to help, but I'll be interested to hear if it does. There's information about them at
http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Red%20Imported%20Fire%20Ant
This page describes the ants' response to flooding:

I would also say that due to their small bodies, ants seem to be able to survive being underwater for a long time -- probably they can absorb considerable amounts of oxygen even from water.
I have noticed that fire ants like it warm. Most of the nests I see are in full sun. Almost none in shady areas. So if you keep the compost pile cool, perhaps they won't be as likely to invade. Of course this will also slow down the compost.
If I'm forced to poison them (and we're talking non-native ants here, so natural management isn't always feasible), I'll use something with bait and very small amounts of readily degradable insecticide. At least the insecticides today are far less toxic than what was available 30 years ago. But at the same time, Amdro is not approved for food crops, and my understanding is that it never will be -- could not pass the required tests.
I read a few years ago about tests on the feasibility of introducing a wasp that preys on the fire ant in its native environment. This sounds awful, but it fact it's a wasp that's much smaller than the ant. The web page mentioned above also discusses proposed biological methods of control. At least the lesson has been learned that introducing new organisms to control previous introductions can make a bad situation worse, so these aren't going to be seen for a long time.
Edward
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