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

Friday, August 31, 2012

Taking the “Waste” Out of “Wastewater” Infographic

Science Magazine has a special issue Working With Waste that is worth a look. It covers many *wasted* topics and greywater is no exception.

Take a look at the paper titled Taking the “Waste” Out of “Wastewater” for Human Water Security and Ecosystem Sustainability by University of California, Irvine professor Stanley B. Grant and colleagues if you can. Because the paper is by subscription, I extracted the video interview of Professor Grant which does a wonderful job of encapsulating the message.

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And given all of the recent interest in infographics, in the spirit of "non-profit educational presentation use only", here is one from many contained in the article.


Overcoming obstacles to the widespread adoption of wastewater recycling and water-saving measures is a sine quo non for meeting the water challenges of the future.
~ Stanley B. Grant and others, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Texas Not Messing With Greywater

Despite a prolonged drought in Texas variously referred to as a by-product of climate change, this  article titled Why Most Texans Haven’t Turned to Graywater Recycling by the local National Public Radio media StateImpact Texas provides a snapshot of why, despite being one of the pioneers of *legalizing* greywater reuse, Texans are not messing with it, for now.

While reclaimed water is treated wastewater, graywater doesn’t contain any solid waste and doesn’t undergo any formal treatment process. But, using graywater to irrigate vegetable gardens could still introduce pharmaceuticals and trace contaminants. Andrew Sansom, the Executive Director of the Rivers Systems Institute at Texas State University, says these health risks have prevented large-scale adoption of graywater recycling in Texas.

“The issue is more problematic on a residential level because there’s concern that children play in sprinklers. And so you want to be very, very careful about potentially exposing little children to water that might cause them to contract the flu, or some other problem of that nature,” said Sansom in an interview with StateImpact.

And if enough people use graywater recycling, water flows from neighborhoods to treatment plants could be reduced. Most sewer systems require a certain volume of water to function properly. So, decreases in flow volume could create some blockages and motor problems.

Sounds like the usual FONEY excuses for not being better stewards of water. Don't bother saying a prayer for Texas, either. It didn't work the last time.
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Everyone except the far right wing of the Republican Party realizes that oil, gas and coal burning are the main activities that have sent the climate into bigger floods, droughts, hurricanes, and El Ninos.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

CLIMATE: Greywater Recycling in Jordan

From the Global 3000 | The Globalization Program

In the Dead Sea Spa Hotel, water filters were recently installed, and since then a third of the valuable drinking water can be recycled as water for washing and flushing toilets. Projects like this are extremely important, because tourism is growing and water shortages loom. According to predictions, Jordanians themselves and tourists visiting the country will use about 513 million cubic meters of water in the year 2020. Added to that are the needs of the refugees flooding in from neighboring Syria.

Watch the television show here.

Another of a series of postings on greywater reuse in the Middle East.
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War over water would be an ultimate obscenity. And yet, unfortunately it is conceivable... Water has been a source over so many years of erosion of confidence, of tension, of human rights abuses, really, of so many in areas whose traditional water supplies have been controlled and depleted by occupational authorities. That must stop if we're going to be able to develop a climate for peace. 
~ Queen Noor of Jordan

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another Greywater Science Fair Project Winner

The Rainbow Water Coalition has previously profiled some great student projects hereherehere, and here. But this new winner described in this article in the Arlington Sun Gazette does a repeat. I don't know how the RWC missed this one, but back in March, 2012 "Valentina Lohr, a student at Williamsburg Middle School, earned a “Best in Fair” award at the middle-school level for her entry, “Is Greywater ‘Green’? The Relationship Between Greywater Applications and Earthworm Food Supply.”

Way to go Valentina! But her research project wins yet another award as described in this article in the Arlington Sun Gazette for, ...drum roll please..., "...second place in the American Statistical Association’s 2012 national project competition. She was honored for her project, “Is Greywater Green? The Relationship Between Greywater Application and Earthworm Food Supply,” which also won the Curtis Jacobs Memorial Prize for Outstanding Statistics Project, sponsored by the Washington Statistical Society".

Who says greywater is boring?
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Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.
~ Humorist Mark Twain

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

If you build it, they will tear it down

Marin County has been profiled by the Rainbow Water Coalition as one of the more progressive areas in the US when it comes to greywater reuse. Recalling this posting, the county wisely reconsidered the value of enforcing permit acquisition for greywater reuse for the simple reason that noone was applying for a permit.

So what is going on in Marin County where the county is levying a fine on the order of $225,000 to a "green" builder who has a greywater moat as discussed in this article buried deeply within The Oregonian?

David Hoffman labored for 40 years to turn his Lagunitas home into a model of sustainabiity. However, he never got building permits for the work, and now county officials have lowered the boom, ordering him to demolish it by Aug. 1 and pay a $225,000 fine -- but then extending the deadline to September...

And then this article burrows in on the dreaded greywater issue:

County health officers are horrified by the moat Hoffman has dug beside his house, which he uses to store "gray water" from sinks and showers for re-use in the garden and for other household tasks. They fear it's a breeding ground for mosquitoes and disease-carrying pests. But Hoffman points out three different kinds of frogs that thrive in the greenish water, and he contends that the mosquitoes who lay their eggs there are not the kind that bite.

Sounds painfully similar to what the Zen Rainman has been promoting all along for greywater.
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Horror... Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies! 
~ Colonel Walter E. Kurtz character, Apocalypse Now