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

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Flush Twice, Save a Farmer

Big news on potential new members to Greywater Nation. In the Coloradoan.com, this article describes the heroic efforts of Colorado State University professors to move Colorado closer to accepting the reality that The People's Republic of Boulder is not unique, and that "green" news about Colorado can extend beyond legalizing pot.

Yes, the Colorado legislature is slated to discuss yet another bill on greywater reuse in households. 

Consider it a royal flush — extremely rare, a long time coming and a harbinger to the satisfaction of sure victory.

In the bowels of Aspen Hall on the campus of Colorado State University, disinfecting vats have been gathering water from the student residents’ showers for four years and spitting it back into an experimental commode in preparation for gray water’s coming out party in Colorado.

All the while, researchers Larry Roesner and Sybil Sharvelle from the Urban Water Center based at the university have been tweaking the water recycling system in the gray water lab at Aspen Hall to assure that the water is safe enough for reuse, but minimally treated to avoid any waste of energy. 

“We are very anxious for that first flush,” Roesner said. “We are ready to flush the toilet, but we’re taking some final tests to make sure it’s OK.”

Why the hangup on greywater? It is not a function of the yuk factor, but the "yuk-yuk's" factor.

Opponents of last year’s version of the bill say concerns that proliferation of gray water systems would harm downstream water-rights holders — not partisan politics — torpedoed Fischer’s first bid.

“That has always been my concern, how it affects downstream water users,” said agriculturally-oriented Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling.

Drilling a little deeper on this concern, I found this article in the Durango Herald describing the "Water bills on tap" under consideration in Colorado, including a discussion on HB 1044.

Sonnenberg farms in Northeast Colorado, and he and his neighbors depend on water that’s “wasted” upstream in the Front Range cities.

“That’s why when I’m in Denver, I always flush twice,” Sonnenberg said.
* * * 
One of the scariest things ever is flushing a toilet 
& seeing the water coming up instead of going down.
~Author Unknown

1 comment:

  1. I think it is very exciting that gray water is working its way into legislation. It also appears that colleges will be helping to produce experiments and innovations in gray water use. Hopefully this will help future generations to understand gray water better and that flushing twice is perhaps not the best answer.