A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Monday, May 31, 2010

Extreme Greywater

"Wastewater" in its many "forms", including greywater, is starting to gain recognition as a valuable resource as opposed to a resource to be feared (see FONEY).  Check out this article titled "A New Water Market: Think of it as Liquid Gold" which discusses resource recovery from wastewater where "Resource recovery essentially revolves around developing filters, membranes and other systems to pluck solids out of various waste and industrial water streams and then sell them as commodities...Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, one of the early leaders, has created a system that crystallizes and extracts 85 to 90 percent of the phosphorous and 15 percent of the ammonia from human sewage streams and converts it to a high-grade fertilizer it calls Crystal Green". The system is installed at Clean Water Services, a water utility with more than 500,000 customers in urban Washington County, west of Portland as described in this article. I observed Crystal Green first hand when Ken Williamson, Chair of the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University took the SUSIE students who visited OSU last summer to some of the major water reclamation facilities in Oregon. I walked away with a newfound respect for water reclamation and reuse from this experience.

Someday we might see what may be called "Extreme Greywater" in line with the reaility TV series "Extreme Makeover" "Someday, this technology could even come into the home. Mark Shannon at the University of Illinois is concocting a prototype for residences that would convert your sewage into water for the garden, methane that could be used locally, and minerals that could be resold".

With small towns across Oregon struggling to fund aging sewage systems as described in this article in the Register-Guard, it seems like reusing Extreme Greywater is fertile ground for funding from The Oregon Way. Then, again, it seems like building bridges and highways is apparently more important for Oregon's share of the stimulus funding than investing in things that are "out of sight, and out of mind" like water reuse which might rejuvenate the aging water infrastructure.

We really need a powerhouse eco-couple like Michelle and Riaan of Love and Mortar fame to kickstart Oregon's water reuse program.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wasting True Believers in Greywater

I indicated in previous postings a few reasons why I left the Oregon experience in graywater. At the first meeting, the Oregon DEQ staff attempted to indicate that the advisory group process was going to follow a consensus-based approach to deciding upon what topics were important to the rules and regulations governing graywater reuse. But it was obvious from the onset that the DEQ had a pretty good idea of how they wanted the program to go given their debate over some of the words in HB 2080, including, but not limited to, issues of beneficial "use" versus "purpose" and what "disposal" really meant, almost reminiscent of the famous debate over what "is" is.

With that said, it was clear that the DEQ approach was going to follow the traditional "Tech-Reg" model defined by the Three I's of involving the public - Invite, Inform, and Ignore as discussed by conflict resolution scholars Steve Daniels and Gregg Walker. At first I thought I might be overly sensitive with this assessment, so I invited a colleague to sit in on the first part of a subsequent meeting and they agreed with my assessment. And the group had not really started working on any of the hard stuff yet!

According to Judith Innes and David Booher in their 2010 book titled "Planning with Complexity: An Introduction to Collaborative Rationality for Public Policy", the assessment was not off-base.  They indicate "One of the main challenges is that public agencies and public officials tend to operate on the assumption that they have the prerogative and obligation to make their own autonomous decisions. They often do not talk to one another about problems, even when their activities intersect...This tendency, which is clearly at odds with collaboration, is linked to the dominance of instrumental rationality - the ideal of goal directed behavior guided by experts and designed to fit the 'right' policy....we end up with Decide, Announce, Defend syndrome (DAD), which wreaks havoc on public engagement with decision making".

Back to Steve Daniels and Gregg Walker in their important 2001 book "Working through Environmental Conflict: The Collaborative Learning Approach" where they say "Collaboration may allow the discovery of shared values, but only if the participants 'walk the talk'. If agency personnel or community leaders convene a process, it will not be adequate to merely decree that it is collaborative; rather collaborative behaviors will have to be modeled by the conveners, encouraged by the process, and discouraged by group norms and behaviors".

Some members of the Graywater Advisory Committee felt things were going awry a few months back and contacted the administrators of Oregon DEQ, among others, to voice their displeasure with the process. On March 26, I received the following email from Neil Mullane, one of the department heads at Oregon DEQ: "....As with all committees, DEQ is committed to an open and transparent process in which the viewpoints of all Graywater Advisory Committee members can be openly shared and discussed. Periodically, it is worthwhile to step back from the normal technical and policy discussions and assess the effectiveness of the committee to communicate, function, and meet its goals. Consequently, DEQ requests that each committee member fill out the following survey...You’ll notice that the survey is being administered by Linda West, who is not on our committee. Linda works for the Department of Revenue and is a state facilitator".

A facilitator from the Department of Revenue?? You know something is wrong with this picture when the Department of Revenue is profiled as the "pit bull of a debt collector" by Oregonian columnist Steve Duin  who chronicled the trials and tribulations of a homeless person named Jimmy Leroy Grazier who was attacked, needed five stitches, and then was billed nearly $5,000 by the Oregon Health and Science University. While I am certain the facilitator for the Department of Revenue is a competent and nice person, it was clear there was no "complementary interest" with the decision to use an "in-house" facilitator.

And that was the tipping point for me as a member of the Graywater Advisory Committee. Why a state facilitator when, as stated in previous postings, Process is an Oregon export, just like their world class Pinot Noir, Potato Chips, and Pears? The Oregon Way for planning has lead to expertise in Process at the large state universities, including the Oregon Consensus Program at Portland State University, the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation at Oregon State University, and the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center at the University of Oregon. And yet, Oregon DEQ elected to "waste" these resources and ignore Oregon's legacy in process made famous by former governors John Kitzhaber and Michael Leavitt through Enlibra. What a pity.

Judith Innes and David Booher offer another framework based on their many years of experience with much more "wicked" water problems such as CAL-FED. They offer the Diversity, Interdependence, Authentic Dialogue (DIAD) for collaborative rationality. The condition of diversity includes "...agents who are 'deal makers' or 'deal breakers', but also those who have needed information or could be affected by outcomes". Interdependence "...holds that agents must depend to a significant degree on the other agents in a reciprocal way - each agent has something others want". Authentic dialogue "...requires that agents must engage with each other on a shared task...the deliberations must be characterized by engagement...so that they can mutually assure that their claims are legitimate, accurate, comprehensible, and sincere. The deliberations must be inclusive of all major interests and knowledge".

They go on to say that "Many examples of processes are called 'collaboration' fail to meet the conditions of authentic dialogue.  They may not be self-organizing but controlled by their conveners to preclude specific topics...Or they may not maintain ideal speech conditions...because they do not have the expertise to do this...".

What I observed in the Oregon greywater experience was a lack of diversity since most of the members were from the wastewater industry. Given this membership, the interdependence seemingly hinged on who needed permits from the Oregon DEQ or worked as sister agencies to DEQ. Authentic dialogue was not inclusive of those who did not feel that greywater was not a looming threat to "protecting the public" and the "silent voices" and "multiple ways of knowing" that are so important to decision making based on science as described by Portland State University Professor Connie Ozawa.

In my opinion, the DEQ's emphasis on permits and the advisory committee's restrictive approach to greywater reuse will lead to graywater rules that will be Dead on Arrival (DOA) just like the Wisconsin graywater program. Wisconsin's greywater rules recently underwent reconsideration as outlined in previous postings because of how restrictive they were.  The change in the Wisconsin approach has lead to new partnerships between the universities and private industry - it appears that their "fresh" look at greywater may be creating badly needed jobs. Oregon has this opportunity, too, as our new friends from Australia start work in Eugene.

But it is not the first time "true believers" were wasted by Oregon.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Greywater at Fallingwater

Canadian Architect magazine reports that Patkau Architects of Vancouver, BC "...won the design competiion for on-site cottages that will support residential educational programming at the Frank Lloyd Wright masterwork in Fayette County, Pennsylvania".  The article goes on to say that "The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which preserves and maintains Fallingwater, will build the cottages on the grounds of the 5,000-acre Bear Run Nature Reserve that surrounds Fallingwater, some distance from the house itself"...."In addition to using environmentally friendly building materials, the firms’ designs took advantage of natural heating and cooling opportunities to minimize environmental impacts. Each included a basic kitchen, fireplace and shower, and incorporated recycling of kitchen and grey water for use in toilets".

I guess Pennsylvania better get busy with developing their greywater rules, and it sounds like they might be a kitchensink state!

Maybe they could consider the Greywater Gadget of the Week, the HydroCyc system, which won the Waterwise Marque award.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

“Don’t Leave the Planet to the Stupid”


How do you sell "green"? Use a provocative tag line! Check out this article and many photographs  describing Solar Panel Powerhouse Solon SE headquarters in Berlin, where "From the outside, it’s obvious that Solon likes to make a statement. A huge curved structure covered in graywater-fed grass and solar panels, the building dominates an industrial area of Berlin. The 210 kWp panels only provide about 15% of the building’s energy which might seem counter intuitive for a solar company trying to walk the walk, but recreation and green space were also priorities in the building’s design. Virtually the entire roof is walkable and features small gardens and patios suitable for a lunch break". No doubt, Solon would be a nice addition to The Oregon Way portfolio. Perhaps a candidate tenant for the Oregon Sustainability Center to show us how sustainability is really done?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Manly Deeds, Womanly Words & Greywater

According to business law website Lexology, the State of Maryland passed many bills related to green building. HB 224 "provides that a county may not adopt or enforce a local plumbing code that prohibits a system that recycles greywater. Prior to the bill's passage, many counties throughout the state had removed the greywater recycling provision from their respective plumbing codes. The new legislation will prohibit such practices moving forward. The bill defines "greywater" as "used untreated water generated by a clothes washing machine, a shower, or a bathtub." The bill further specifies that greywater does not include water from a toilet, a kitchen sink, or a dishwashing machine. The reuse of greywater helps to reduce the amount of potable water that a building uses" (emphasis added).

My reading of the summary is that Maryland apparently had a greywater law in place, but the restrictive approach that was adopted lead to the unintended (or maybe intentional?) consequences similar to Wisconsin - no one knew they could reuse greywater.

The geography of greywater continues to expand and the map will be updated. The relaxation of greywater reuse in Maryland might end up like what just occurred in Wisconsin as outlined in this article, with partnerships between industry and academia leading to hundreds of thousands of dollars in research funding, and a buzz about jobs creation linked to greywater reuse. This could be The Oregon Way, too, but I suspect the restrictive approach to greywater reuse that is being discussed in Oregon will reinforce the state's motto that "She flies with her own wings" and a lost business and job growth opportunity.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Washington Releases Draft Greywater Rules

One of the "kitchen water " states proposes a tiered approach to greywater reuse. I am not certain that I agree with the classification scheme and their definition of homeland security, but it is great news to hear that they are done and perhaps can provide guidance to Oregon. I heard that Laura Allen with Greywater Action, shown here with recommendations on kitchen sink wastewater reuse, helped Washington out a little. Check out the rules here. Public hearings are also slated for the first part of June.

The greywater gadget of the week is Art Ludwig's book, Create an Oasis with Greywater Choosing, Building and Using Greywater Systems — Includes Branched Drains Revised and Expanded 5th Edition, endorsed by the visionary State of Wyoming DEQ who recently developed the no-nonsense approach to greywater reuse! Book and DVD available here. Thanks for all that you do, Art.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Greywater & Good Fortune

A visit to a Salem global resturant provided a fortune cookie with the message shown in the picture. The Rainbow Water Coalition and focus on the seemingly arcane subject of greywater has survived five months, 50 postings, visits from greywater fans in 56 countries, and 1,750 visits.

The "treasures" I have received from this blog and participating in the Oregon "experience" in graywater, albeit brief, have been manifold, ranging from new friends in Australia, learning about some amazing water reuse equipment, an introduction to reality TV that focuses on greywater, to a huge amount of lecture material for the class in Water Governance and Conflict Management that I teach with Dr. Aaron Wolf (shill alert: Dr. Wolf and I offer the class face-to-face this June and I offer the online version in the fall).

Thanks to WaterWired for encouraging me to move into the blogosphere, and to all the visitors and followers. Here's hoping that some of the water that you use each day be some shade of grey.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Greywater & Groundwater

I was invited to give a presentation on the subcommittee work on siting of greywater systems and impacts to groundwater at the Oregon Graywater Advisory Committee meeting today. The presentation is available on Slideshare, but also posted in the sidebar. I handed out a few Hughies (see also video on sidebar) as parting gifts since I gave the presentation after I resigned.

Some folks have asked why I resigned? I will provide a more thorough answer in a later posting, but it was primarily due to the lack of process. Next to Pinot Noir, Potato Chips, and Pears, process is something that Oregon is famous for exporting, but somehow this "pathfinding" approach was left behind to show short-term "progress" on what was erroneously assumed by the State DEQ to be a relatively "tame" water problem.  But based on my short-term observation of the May meeting, it appears that "authentic dialogue" has finally emerged from the "shakedown".

A future posting will describe what can best be described as an evolution from the "Three i's" as described by Oregon Conflict Resolution expert, Dr. Gregg Walker, to "DAD" and what appears to be "DIAD" as described by conflict resolution experts Judith Innes and David Booher in their new book "Planning with Complexity".

What would the regulatory world be without acronyms?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Grandest Greywater Scheme

Check out this building that was designed to treat "greywater" in Jakarta. CNN has a slide show and article to go along with this picture. Unfortunately, Oregon more than likely won't see anything quite like this innovative building due to the restrictive path it is taking towards greywater reuse. Thanks to colleague and Associate Director Lisa Gaines of the Institute for Natural Resources serving the Oregon Universities Systems (OUS) for sending this article to the attention of the Rainbow Water Coalition.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Greywater on the Campaign Trail

The race is on for new county commissioners in Santa Fe County, New Mexico.  Recall that New Mexico is one of the graywater states (see Geography of Graywater Map), but also is not so greywater friendly if one recalls the posting of the water conservation officer in Albuquerque dissing greywater reuse. But one candidate, Paul White, when asked by the Santa Fe New Mexican what the biggest issue facing his district is?

"Water rights. That is why as a court-appointed Aamodt settlement negotiation team member I fought for a pueblo-only water system and the rights of homeowners to retain their wells. I also believe strongly that all future development be water neutral by requiring greywater and rainwater reuse systems".

Katherine Yuhas, who is the water conservation officer at the Albuquerque Water Authority located in nearby Bernalillo County, better hope that Paul White's message is not "contagious" as some workers in the wastewater industry consider the viruses lurking in domestic greywater if permitted to wander with wild abandon.

The Rainbow Water Coalition would be remiss in not acknowledging the Brac greywater recycling systems in the cavalcade of Greywater Gadgets of the Week. Their stringent copyright does not permit any copying of their photographs, so visit their site for more information.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

FUDing About Greywater Appears FONEY

My sources watching the State of Washington graywater rule making process tell me that Oregon is not alone when it comes to FUDing about greywater reuse due to the apparent "dangers" to groundwater, and particularly when it comes to using greywater for irrigating vegetable gardens. Check out this article where a Ph.D. student in horticulture at Penn State University is testing the "threat theory":

"Our global fresh water supplies are fast depleting, said Robert D. Cameron, doctoral student in horticulture. "So it is critical that we begin to look at alternatives on how we can take wastewater and turn it into a resource". Robert designed a small wastewater treatment system constructed of culvert pipes filled with "...alternating layers of porous rocks, composted cow manure, peat moss, tire crumbs, potting soil and crushed limestone".  He also planted vegetables and ornamental plants such as tomatoes, peppers, rosemary, basil and orchids in holes drilled along the length of the pipes. He then pumped about 45 gallons of wastewater from a washing machine to the top of the two pipes and what happened?

"As the dirty water trickles down the pipes, the tight mesh created by the soil, gravel and roots filters out pollutants"...and..."Additionally, bacterial colonies among the roots eat away the dissolved organic matter while layers of iron scraps or clay can be added to trap phosphorous"  (emphasis added).

Interesting results.  Sounds painfully similar to what the Greywater Guru Art Ludwig, as well as his colleague Laura Allen of Greywater Action, have been promoting for years. Soil, organic material, and plants do an effective job of treating greywater (and septic tank effluent, too, if one believes the researchers at the largest land-grant university in the US, The Ohio State University).

But why stop there?  Canadian researchers Sara Finley, Suzelle Barrington and Darwin Lyew published "Reuse of Domestic Greywater for the Irrigation of Food Crops"  in the Journal Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, Volume 199, Numbers 1-4 / May, 2009, pp. 235-245. The abstract pretty much says it all with respect to the results:

As global water resources decline, reuse of domestic greywater for the irrigation of home gardens is quickly becoming widespread in many parts of the world. However, the sanitary implications of reusing greywater to water edible crops remain uncertain. This study examined the benefits and risks associated with domestic greywater reuse for the purposes of vegetable garden irrigation. Untreated (settled only) and treated (settling and slow sand filtration) greywater collected from a family home was analyzed for basic water quality parameters over a period of 8 weeks. During that time, both greywaters were used to irrigate individually potted plots of lettuce, carrots, and peppers in a greenhouse. Tap water was used as control. Upon maturity, plants were harvested and the edible portions tested for fecal coliforms and fecal streptococci, common indicators for the presence of pathogenic microorganisms. Heavy metals were not detected in the greywater, but both fecal coliforms and fecal streptococci were present in high levels, averaging 4 × 105/100 mL and 2,000/100 mL of greywater, respectively. Despite these high counts, no significant difference in contamination levels was observed between crops irrigated with tap water, untreated greywater, and treated greywater. Fecal coliform levels were highest in carrots and fecal streptococcus levels were highest on lettuce leaves. However, contamination levels for all crops were low and do not represent a significant health risk. Plant growth and productivity were unaffected by water quality, owing to the low N, P, and K levels of the greywater. These results reinforce the potential of domestic greywater as an alternative irrigation source" (emphasis added).

Penn State indicates that the next phase of their research will focus on the beneficial reuses of the treated wastewater such as reducing a building's need for air conditioning (yikes!). Probably won't happen in Oregon due to the FUDing about aeration of greywater, but Wyoming might be interested in implementing this research during their two days of summer.


The fussing about with greywater reuse in the Pacific Northwest is starting to appear to be Fear Of Nothing Except Yourself (FONEY).

Monday, May 3, 2010

Protecting the Public, Protecting the Profit, or Profiting from Power?

A consistent message is being spread by the wastewater industry about greywater which I have been perplexed by, but think I am starting to understand why.  Take, for example, this article from The Daily Lobo (The Independent Voice of University of New Mexico since 1895) where they quote Katherine Yuhas who is the water conservation officer at the Albuquerque Water Authority:

The state regulates gray water. And, in 2003, the state made it legal to use up to 250 gallons of gray water per day,” Yuhas said. “It’s not very popular at all, frankly. We don’t promote the gray water program. We don’t offer rebates for it. The reason is that we treat water at our water reclamation plant to a much higher standard than you could in your yard.”

I did not realize that someone's yard was in competition for water "treatment" with a wastewater treatment plant. Ms. Yuhas is silent whether or not the treated water is available for the homeowner to reuse in their yard, which I think is the idea behind greywater reuse.

But I think the issues are becoming clearer to me after reading the AWWA White Paper on Graywater, where it states:

"There have not been any documented cases of human health problems due to water reuse under standards, criteria, and regulations. The water reuse industry is unwavering in its intent to maintain this record with diligent operation of water recycling systems and has worked hard to educate the public about its safety record. It is, therefore, not surprising that the industry is constantly on guard to prevent a reversal of its increasingly positive public image....The recycled water industry takes immense pride in contributing significantly to our scarce water resources. Therefore, anything that might diminish the source of this water supply would be of great concern to the industry".

It is clear that the wastewater industry is out to "win our hearts and minds" with their apparent public information campaign of protecting the public.  Greywater reuse is perceived as a threat to their "positive public image" by the wastewater industry.

But the confusion about their message starts to cloud when one reads further in the AWWA White Paper on Graywater, where "A large proportion of graywater systems are deployed in rural areas and in residences that are not connected to a central sewerage system and/or are not served with a piped water system. Thus, the diversion of graywater from their onsite treatment/disposal system would have no effect on a central water reclamation system".

If this statement is indeed true, then why is the wastewater industry so against greywater reuse if it is truly a "rural" phenomena?  Let's explore the issue further through the lens of dollars and "sense".

This presentation  and this AWWA publication determined that the average rates charged for reclaimed water range from 70 to 90% of potable water rates.  Reclaimed water is not only colored purple, but also with flecks of goldwater.  The more purplewater that is available for "resale", the larger the "profits".

According to the AWWA, "There are no peer-reviewed survey research results available regarding actual volumes of graywater diverted and used".  Projected graywater reuse in 2030 is estimated at 10% of homes in the US by the AWWA. The Rainbow Water Coalition used current numbers of homes and estimated cost savings quoted from an AWWA study in Canada to come up with "lost" revenues to the Oregon wastewater industry approaching $10 to 14 million per year.

Digging a little deeper into the AWWA white paper reveals the following statistic: "Assuming an average of 75.5 gpd per household, the maximum total daily diversion of graywater would amount to 128 mgd in California and 604 mgd in the United States".  Recalling the other AWWA study in Guelph, Ontario that was recently mentioned in the Rainbow Water Coalition "Each reuse system is expected to reduce the water used by a family of two by approximately 32,850 L (8,678 gallons) per year and to reduce water and wastewater utility costs by approximately Can$73 (US$73) annually per household"....

Let's assume greywater reuse can be undertaken for about six months per year in the US.  If one divides "annual" daily diversion of greywater in the US by the number of gallons saved per home cited above to get the number of homes, then if one multiplies this value by the annual "savings" to the average homeowner it yields over $900 Million per year in "lost" revenues to the wastewater industry.  Even if one assumes that greywater is only diverted for only three months per year (one half of the time assumed in the calculations), this is still some serious money. But if these savings are only realized by "rural" residences, then what is the wastewater industry worried about?

It comes as no surprise that the wastewater industry is not fond of greywater reuse. It not only cuts out sales of reclaimed water, but it also cuts into the operating revenues of the wastewater industry by nearly $1 Billion. I think I am starting to see what really is being "protected".

And let's not forget that we heard a few words about the lack of fondness for greywater reuse from Pat Mulroy when she dissed greywater in favor of purplewater so that the Southern Nevada Water Authority could continue its power struggle over "new" water from the Colorado River (where Las Vegas reclaimed wastewater goes so they get "credit" for their diversions from Lake Mead) or from their proposed Snake Valley pipeline. Keeping the greywater reuse in Las Vegas to a minimum helps maintain the hydro-hegemony of the Colorado River and the Great Basin Carbonate Aquifer.

No week would be complete without the Greywater Gadget of the Week which is the Aqua2use Greywater System. This unit uses a unique filtration system to remove impurities in greywater. According to greywater reuse convert Jenni Sabiani "it's such a great and easy system". If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jenni (jenni at waterwisegroup.com). Thanks for following the Rainbow Water Coalition, Jenni!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Manz Clears the Way

Dr. David Manz, retired professor of Civil Engineering from the University of Calgary and current Vice President of Oasis Filter International Ltd., visited Oregon State University on April 30 to give a lecture on Biosand Filtration to "clear" drinking water in developing countries.  A world traveler, David Manz has been working to provide clean water to developing countries since the late 1980s.  His story about inventing the biosand filters is an inspirational one as the filter design and construction continues to be refined even today. When it comes to hydrophilanthropy, he is truly one of the global leaders. And he is willing to share all of his knowledge - just visit this link to not only see his presentation which was attended by over 70 people, but also the AutoCAD drawings which can be downloaded, as well as the manuals to train users to design and build the biosand filter.

Here is David standing next to my personal biosand filter called the HydrAid that is manufactured in Michigan. I was first introduced to these filters when one of the online students enrolled in my Introduction to Water Science and Policy class invited me to Grand Rapids, Michigan to speak on global water issues to Mars Hill, a faith-based organization with many individuals dedicated to trying to find ways to provide safe drinking water to people living in Honduras and Rwanda.

On May 1, David provided a day long workshop on how to design and construct biosand filters. David is an engaging speaker, and he captivated 20 students and faculty who attended the workshop on one of the rare sunny spring days in Oregon. Within a couple of hours, the biosand filter was providing "clear" water. David estimates that over 500,000 biosand filters are currently used across the globe.

And to those who have interest in greywater, David indicated that biosand filters could be used to treat greywater. But he cautioned against using the kitchen sink wastewater because of oils and grease could clog the filter. So the Rainbow Water Coalition takes a break from the greywater world to celebrate the clear skies in Oregon and the clear thinking of an engineer/entreprenuer to provide clearwater to the disadvantaged parts of the world. Thanks for all that you do, Dave.