They say don't drink from the garden hose.
Well, maybe you shouldn't drink from the house faucet either, if you don't
like eau de arsenic.
The Center for Public Integrity (winner of the Pulitzer Prize) has just pub
lished a long, carefully-detailed account of how the EPA has been blocked f
rom increasing the required safety standards for arsenic in drinking water
on the basis of scientific research.
So, who did it? All the evidence from the Center's investigation pointed to
one congressman: Mike Simpson of Idaho. Lobbying payoff...
The Center is one of the best "muckraker" sites, conducting investigations
into wrong-doing in government and private enterprise. I support it and ur
ge my fellow US gardeners to do likewise.
Modern analytical chemistry can find things down to parts per trillion.
If you are familiar with Avagadro's number you will find an atom of
anything in any substance you analyze.
Poison is dose related. Everybody knows that.
In my familiarity with EPA standards, they are way too stringent.
They extrapolate toxicity of anything down to zero when even they know
that below certain thresholds something will not be toxic.
Most of these muckracker, chemophobic sites take advantage of the
On Tuesday, July 1, 2014 1:18:14 PM UTC-7, Frank wrote:
n't like eau de arsenic.
published a long, carefully-detailed account of how the EPA has been block
ed from increasing the required safety standards for arsenic in drinking wa
ter on the basis of scientific research.
d to one congressman: Mike Simpson of Idaho. Lobbying payoff...
ons into wrong-doing in government and private enterprise. I support it an
d urge my fellow US gardeners to do likewise.
I AM familiar with Avocado's Number, prepared guacamole sold by Trader Joe.
. but seriously, no I am not so ignorant that I don't know about AvOgadro's
(Note spelling correction.)
...but seriously, people like you blithely throw the baby out with the bath
water with glib non sequiturs like the above.
It is also characteristic of certain political orientations, even -- or esp
ecially -- in the wake of careful studies that contradict their philosophie
s to go immediately on the attack with meaningless epithets like "chemopho
You mean to say that the EPA, an government agency created by
politicians to carry out laws written by politicians, managed by
politicians for politicians, has been somehow influenced by a
What a coincidence! Today, being the first of the month, I paid bills.
Included with the bill from the Oak Park Water Service (OPWS) was the
brochure "Annual Water Quality Report". No arsenic was detected at
Metropolitan Water District's Jensen Treatment Plant or at the
intermediary Calleguas Municipal Water District.
If you (Higgs) get your water from the State Water Project and not from
the Colorado River, your water is also from the Jensen Treatment Plant,
although some well water might have been added to your supply. The
water I get from the OPWS is strictly from the Jensen Treatment Plant;
the soils in this part of Ventura County are too highly mineralized for
well water to be used even for agriculture.
The OPWS itself does not test for arsenic or several other contaminants.
That is understandable since the OPWS only stores and distributes the
water and does not treat it. The OPWS does test chlorine levels and
also tests for byproducts of the chlorination. These relate to
disinfecting the water, making sure there is enough but not too much
The Calleguas Municipal Water District also uses ozone for disinfecting
the water. However, ozone generally leaves no residue once the water
leaves the treatment plant.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
On Tuesday, July 1, 2014 11:03:18 PM UTC-7, Fran Farmer wrote:
Delighted for you that you have access to rainwater. Some of us don't.
Forgot where you live? I'm in So. Calif.
In the 60's70's there was an LSD scare around here. The "hippies" -- for la
ck of a more accurate term for the drug crazies -- were threatening to spik
e our water with LSD. Fortunately it was quickly established that CHLORINE
in the water would have neutralized the LSD>
This is my recollection from decades ago. If anybody remembers differently
, please share.
You don't get rain where you live?
If you do get rain and you live in a house (as opposed to an apartment),
you too could probably drink rainwater with a bit of modification to
your guttering and the installation of what USians call a cistern and
which we call a tank.
Australia and my spouse says the Napa valley reminds him of Australia.
Both Higgs and I live in southern California, about 30 miles and several
microclimates apart. Since the start of our rain-year on 1 October, we
have had 5.87 inches of rain in my immediate neighborhood. It has been
66 days without measurable rain. This might be the worst draught ever
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
So how is your garden holding up? We've had a number of droughts since
we moved to this place and each time it happens we learn which of our
plants are tough and survivors. I now have lots of grey plants in the
garden. But I also have roses. Roses are as tough as old boots.
My garden is okay although the plants were not selected for drought
tolerance. I use water-conserving methods of irrigating my garden.
Details are at <http://www.rossde.com/garden/drought.html . While I
have not updated that Web page for the current drought, its content is
still applicable. Because of exceptionally high water costs -- close to
$5.50 per 100 cubic feet -- I follow those methods even when there is no
drought. Even with "sailor showers" and not always flushing the
toilets, our water bill is about $160 per month and expected to increase.
Arrgghh! In my previous reply, I used "draught" -- which is British
English for either "draft" or the game of checkers (usually "draughts")
-- when I meant "drought".
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
That's an interesting site. I notice that you give your roses far more
water than I do. I've found roses to be as tough as old boots and not
in need of a lot of water. I stopped counting how many I had when I got
to 112 and they all flower. Some never get any water except what falls
from the sky. In a garden the size of mine I don't bother watering in
Ouch. I'm glad we supply our own water. Not that I like drinking
municipal water anyway - I hate the taste of it so the cost would just
be another disincentive for us.
On Wednesday, July 2, 2014 9:58:03 PM UTC-7, David E. Ross wrote:
And the previous few years were not exactly Biblical floods! Yes, this is very, very serious. As usual, we can count on some -- most - people to Do The Right Thing, conservation-wise but there will always be pigs and negligents. (is that a word?)
One area of concern is the vast Central Valley where about 1/3 of the country's fruits & vegs are grown. (Set aside the politicking whereby these giant agri-businesses get to buy water at cheap rates originally set by Congress for small 140-acre farmers.)
Problem is that enormous tracts of land are used for two of the thirstiest crops -- rice and cotton -- which should be grown in areas that have enough rainfall or rivers, instead of seriously depleting the water table. Politics!
The water wars in California are legendary. Endless books, articles, academic theses on the subject. Including the film "Chinatown" which -- except for the fictional dramatizations -- was pretty close to the truth.
just published a long, carefully-detailed account of how the EPA has
been blocked from increasing the required safety standards for arsenic
in drinking water on the basis of scientific research.
pointed to one congressman: Mike Simpson of Idaho. Lobbying payoff...
investigations into wrong-doing in government and private enterprise. I
support it and urge my fellow US gardeners to do likewise.
One Calif air quality project I worked on was to measure 2-3 ppm NO
continuously in boiler flue gas. This is unbelievably low, below the
"real" level of pollutants and should be considered in the noise level.
In a laboratory, that could be possible. But in an industrial
application, it was impossible to prove reliable readings. For one
thing, the effects of vibration & even minor temperature changes on the
instrumentation made it impossible to get repeatable readings. Another
was finding a stable calibration gas for that range. And too much
effect from slight temperature changes and gas interactions with the
walls of the gas cylinder and tubing.
Originally in the early 70's and for several years after that, EPA was a
"good" organization and did a lot of good getting "real" pollution
cleaned up. It got acid rain scaled way back, which was well on the way
to destroying much of the Appalachian forests. Same for the Clean Water
Act in slowing the pollution of lakes and rivers. They did a lot to get
lead out of the environment, and a lot of other good things.
However, they are completely run by special interests today. It's
obvious when we see how they ignore real pollution problems but go after
bizarre "new pollutants" like "carbon".... It's really pitiful that they
have to be taken to the Supreme Court to be reigned back in to reality.
On Wednesday, July 2, 2014 1:24:35 AM UTC-7, Guv Bob wrote:
"good" organization and did a lot of good getting "real" pollution cleaned
up. It got acid rain scaled way back, which was well on the way to destroy
ing much of the Appalachian forests. Same for the Clean Water Act in slowi
ng the pollution of lakes and rivers. They did a lot to get lead out of th
e environment, and a lot of other good things.
s when we see how they ignore real pollution problems but go after bizarre
"new pollutants" like "carbon".... It's really pitiful that they have to be
taken to the Supreme Court to be reigned back in to reality.
Grammar police here: REINED (as with horses) not REIGNED as with monarchs
Would welcome more info on "special interests" and EPA ignoring "real pollu
tion problems". Straight request.
Excellent points. The local water treatment plant here scaled way back
the use of "nasty ozone" and went to more "nice clean chlorine."
Unbelievable. Like you said, ozone is great for disinfecting and
disappears. Chlorine at any concentration is harmful. Our tap water
now smells like bleach. My guess is that the chlorine supplier paid
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