On Monday, October 10, 2016 at 3:18:03 PM UTC-4, Taxed and Spent wrote:
I was listening to a show the other day about lead service lines.
I don't know enough about this to call BS, but this is basically what
They were explaining that the issue with the pipes in Flint was not that
the pipes were lead, but that the city government changed the composition
of the water, by changing the water source, and that is what made the pipes unsafe.
According to the "expert", lead pipes are perfectly safe as long as the
buildup of minerals inside the pipes isolates the water from the pipes.
That's why no one was getting sick in Flint prior to the change. Once they
switched to a new water source, the composition of the water dissolved the
minerals and left them "clean" enough that the water was now being
contaminated by the lead.
While this seems to make sense, had I been face to face with the expert
I would have asked "Does that mean that people were getting sick when the
pipes were first installed (before the buildup of the mineral layer) or
is it dependent on time before the pipes corrode enough to be dangerous,
by which time the mineral layer has built up?"
I'm sure someone in this fine group knows the answer. ;-)
My first house had a lead service line. It was built in 1948 but we
bought it in 1966. It was never a problem in the neighborhood as
hundreds of houses were built that way.
Flint may have other pipes along the way that are lead and that would be
problematic. The service line only golds a small amount of water and it
takes time to accumulate. One flush of a toilet would clear it out.
Millions of houses have lead soldered pipes and it was not a problem
either until someone decided it should be.
Yeah, really cracked me up when someone decided the new 1% lead plumbing
items were not good enough, so we needed 0.5% lead max, which then were
deemed no good, so we needed 0.1% lead max, which was then deemed no
good, so we need 0.0% lead max.
Soon we will find out people are starting to have lead deficiencies.
You mentioned one of the reasons in the second paragraph. It's not
just billed for water usage. Sewer billing is tied to water usage, so
when the amount of water used goes up, the amount charged for sewer
goes up, too.
My elderly mom lives with me. One day this past summer she turned on
the water tap in the basement laundry tubs and then walked away and
forgot all about it. It ran all day until I got home and turned it
off. The faucet didn't run full force, but still, that single-day
usage increased my quarterly bill (water + sewer) by 25%.
I'd like to try to figure out how much water was actually used to cost
How much water (by gallon) did you get, for your $175 bill?
Once I know this, I'll divide the amount of water by 175. That will tell
how much water you get for ONE DOLLAR. Then I'll multiply that amount by
1600 to determine the amount of gallons of water that were actually
From there, it's a matter of figuring out how much water can a fully
running toilet (24/7) actually consume in about 90 days. (I'm not
exactly sure how to figure this out).
Either way, it would be fun to figure out how much water this tenant
actually used to cost $1600.
In this case, the bill is sewer and water combined (and possibly
charges for some other municipal services as well), and often/usually
the sewer charge is based on the amount of water used. So you can't
determine the amount of water used just by dividing the full amount of
the bill by the per-unit water cost. Simplest to just ask the guy how
many units of water used was noted on this quarterly bill, and how
that compared to a typical quarter's usage.
40,000 gallons is a small lake....
Divide that by 90 days, and thats about 444 gallons per day, or 18.5
gallons per hour. I can see a running toilet wasting 18.5 gallons per
hour. With this broken down into smaller units, it makes sense that a
water bill could get that high.
Here they bill by the cubic foot. there are various additional charges
such as sewage
BTW: Some may not know that the root word for the word "plumber" comes
from the Latin "plumbum"
The chemical symbol for lead is Pb
That's a bizarre way to measure water. I wonder how many gallons a cubic
foot of water is?
Yea, I know a lot or most cities charge a sewer fee. I know a guy who
lived in a city, had a well, and he was a gardner. Most of his yard was
a garden. They got city water and FORCED everyone to switch to the city
water, and to fill their well with concrete (or they would be fined
every year). As soon as all the wells were gone, the city added a large
sewer use fee to the water bills. Even though none of the water this guy
used in his garden was going down the sewer, he had to pay the sewer
fee. The following Spring, he tore out his garden, and planted grass
seed. He was old, and he died a few years later. His wife said that once
the garden was gone, he lost his will for life.
Yea, I know about the word "plumber" and it's origin.
Those guys really had to work hard, and were very skilled too. When I
was young, I got to see a plumber connect some lead pipes. The process
involved melting lead into a ball around the joints of the pipes, and it
was all done by hand. It really took skill to do it.
Today, almost anyone can screw iron pipes together, glue PVC, or crimp
PEX. Even sweating copper pipe is simple compared to working with that
old lead pipe.
On 10/11/2016 11:35 AM, email@example.com wrote:
When the city I live in decided to hook up to the adjoining city's
water and sewer, we were glad, because we live by a lake and too many
crappy neighbors were in the habit of pumping out their septic tanks
into the lake. Things got considerable less nasty once we were all
hooked up to the sewer system.
As for our wells, we were told we could keep them, but for outdoor
faucets only. My family was the only one in the neighborhood who
decided to keep it. That was a half-century ago, and the well is still
going strong. I did replace the pump a few years ago, since my dad had
installed it in 1969, and I figured it was on borrowed time.
But there's a reason for requiring the sealing of wells: open wells
are access points to the groundwater, meaning potential sources for
polluting the drinking water of everyone using that aquifer. It is
much more prudent to seal the wells than to assume that nothing is
going to get put down any of them, deliberately or otherwise.
I had a neighbor talk to me about re-opening his well, or having a new
one drilled. I told him the costs would make the payback period way
too long to be practical.
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