The Pure Water Occasional for December 15, 2014

In this mid-December Occasional  you’ll get information about Axeon, road salt, plastics in the ocean, and droughts and flooding in California. You’ll shrink in horror at news of the new sinkhole epidemic and rejoice at the discovery of an exciting new bivalve mollusk. Then you’ll hear of China’s Great Wall of Trees, a furnace oil spill in the Shela River, and depleted uranium fragments and TCE left behind by the US Army.  Learn how to deal with rising sea water, where to buy Katalox Light, Aquasorb, and Colorsorb, plus how to pick a whole house reverse osmosis unit.  Find out about “baby beaches” plagued with fecal bacteria, massive sewage dumping by luxury cruise ships,  rare turtles stranded on Cape Cod Bay, and, as always, there is much, much more.

The Pure Water Occasional is a project of Pure Water Products and the Pure Water Gazette.

To read this issue on the Pure Water Gazette’s website,  please go here.  (Recommended! When you read online you get the added advantage of the Gazette’s sidebar feed of the very latest world water news.)

You’ll sing better.

What Happens to All the Salt We Dump On the Roads?

In the U.S., road crews scatter about 137 pounds of salt per person annually to melt ice. Where does it go after that?

by Joseph Stromberg

As much of the country endures from the heavy snowfall and bitter cold that has marked the start of 2014, municipalities in 26 states will rely on a crucial tool in clearing their roads: salt. (more…)

Study: 270,000 tons of plastic floating in oceans

by Audrey McAvoy

A new study estimates nearly 270,000 tons of plastic is floating in the world’s oceans. That’s enough to fill more than 38,500 garbage trucks.

The plastic is broken up into more than 5 trillion pieces, said the study published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

The paper is the latest in a nascent field where scientists are trying to better understand how much of the synthetic material is entering the oceans and how it’s affecting fish, seabirds and the larger marine ecosystem.

The study’s lead author is Markus Eriksen of the 5 Gyres Institute, an organization that aims to reduce plastic in the oceans.

To gather data, researchers dragged a fine mesh net at the sea surface to gather small pieces. Observers on boats counted larger items. They used computer models to calculate estimates for tracts of ocean not surveyed.

The study only measured plastic floating at the surface. Plastic on the ocean floor wasn’t included.

Bits greater than about 8 inches accounted for three-quarters of the plastic that the research estimated is in the ocean.

Kara Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, who wasn’t involved in the study, said the researchers gathered data in areas where scientists currently don’t have measurements for floating plastic debris, including the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean near Antarctica and the South Atlantic.

In addition, the study’s estimate for tiny plastic bits less than one-fifth of an inch — about 35,540 tons — is comparable to an earlier study by researchers in Spain who used different methodology, Law said. That study estimated there was 7,000 to 35,000 tons of plastics this size floating in the ocean. (more…)

What Happens to All the Salt We Dump On the Roads?

In the U.S., road crews scatter about 137 pounds of salt per person annually to melt ice. Where does it go after that?

by Joseph Stromberg

As much of the country endures from the heavy snowfall and bitter cold that has marked the start of 2014, municipalities in 26 states will rely on a crucial tool in clearing their roads: salt.

Because the freezing point of salty water is a lower temperature than pure water, scattering some salt atop ice or snow can help accelerate the melting process, opening up the roads to traffic that much sooner. It’s estimated that more than 22 million tons of salt are scattered on the roads of the U.S. annually—about 137 pounds of salt for every American.

But all that salt has to go somewhere. After it dissolves—and is split into sodium and chloride ions—it gets carried away via runoff and deposited into both surface water (streams, lakes and rivers) and the groundwater under our feet.

Consider how easily salt can corrode your car. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a problem for the surrounding environment—so much that in 2004, Canada categorized road salt as a toxin and placed new guidelines on its use. And as more and more of the U.S. becomes urbanized and suburbanized, and as a greater number of roads criss-cross the landscape, the mounting piles of salt we dump on them may be getting to be a bigger problem than ever. (more…)

Whole House Reverse Osmosis

by Gene Franks

A residential whole house reverse osmosis unit consists of more than just the reverse osmosis unit itself.  Usually, some pretreatment will be needed, a  storage tank is required, and the water will then have to be post-treated and pumped into the home.

The Reverse Osmosis Unit

There are many excellent residential whole house reverse osmosis units on the market. They are usually classified according to the number of gallons per day of “permeate” (finished water)  they are rated to produce.  GPD ratings are purely theoretical: the actual production depends on the nature and conditions of the treated water. TDS (total dissolved solids), for example, affects production rates considerably, as does water temperature.  When furnished a detailed water analysis for the water to be processed,  RO manufacturers will usually perform an analysis called a ROSA test that gives a fairly accurate prediction of the actual production and the quality of the finished product.

Axeon AT Series RO Unit.  Units in this series produce in the 500 to 1000 gallon-per-day range. When you get the unit, it has been run and tested–it’s ready to install and use. (more…)

 

The Pure Water Occasional for December 8, 2014

In this cool December Occasional  you’ll hear about rain (but not enough) in California, water shortage in Nevada, a corn spill on the Feather River, and a new song for the Irish water protest.  Learn what ibuprofen does to lettuce leaves and how radon is measured in the air and in water. Hear about diclofenac, dead pools, picocuries, DuPont, and the Gila River.  Well contamination from oilfields, high fluoride in the natural waters in Thar, MTBE’s resurrection as a fundraiser for governments, the discovery of a huge Roman water basin, and the sad disappearance of Assateague Island.  Tiger Tom recommends revival of a much-neglected form of communication,  and, as always, there is much, much more.

The Pure Water Occasional is a project of Pure Water Products and the Pure Water Gazette.

To read this issue on the Pure Water Gazette’s website,  please go here.  (Recommended! When you read online you get the added advantage of the Gazette’s sidebar feed of the very latest world water news.)

 

You’ll sing better.

 

Water Woes Among Topics for 8 Governors in Vegas

by Ken Ritter

 

Facing dwindling water supplies, Western states are struggling to capture every drop with dam and diversion projects that some think could erode regional cooperation crucial to managing the scarce resource.

Against that backdrop, eight Western governors meeting in Las Vegas this weekend will address regional water issues, and water managers from seven states arrive next week to work on ways to ensure 40 million people in the parched Colorado River basin don’t go thirsty.

Gary Wockner, a conservationist with the Denver-based advocacy group Save the Colorado, said there’s already jostling amid the fear of empty buckets. “Everyone is trying to get the last legal drop of water,” he said. (more…)

Let’s Bring Back Bottle Messaging

by Tiger Tom

Gazette Social Critic Tiger Tom Speaks Out on the Lost Art of Message-in-a-Bottle Communication

One of the great forms of human communication, putting a written message into a bottle and tossing it into a body of water,  has been on the decline in recent years and I, for one, would like to see it come back.  That message-in-a-bottle communication has been eclipsed by smoke signals, pony express, telephones, email, text-messaging and other such fads is understandable to a degree, since these methods have a few advantages.  But I feel bottle tossing has redeeming qualities that we should reconsider.

The origins of bottle messaging are obscure, the only thing certain being that the practice did not develop before the invention of bottles that were light enough to float.  Messaging with stone bottles never got popular.  The first glass bottles were produced around 1500 B.C., and it’s hard to understand how someone didn’t immediately launch a bottle message;  but it is generally believed that the first known messages in bottles were released around 310 BC by the Ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus as part of an experiment to show that the Mediterranean Sea was formed by the inflowing  Atlantic Ocean.

Bottle messaging was widely used by the time of Columbus,  who tossed a bottled message addressed to Queen Isabel into the ocean when he feared his ship might not make it through a storm.  The message has not surfaced to this day.  Finding it would be a big event and the message would certainly fetch big bucks on Ebay. (more…)

 

Common drugs affecting plant growth,  study shows

The commonly prescribed drugs such as diclofenac and ibuprofen that we release into the environment are likely to have a significant impact on plant growth, a new study has warned.

By assessing the impacts of a range of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the research has shown that the growth of edible crops can be affected by these chemicals – even at the very low concentrations found in the environment.

The research led by the University of Exeter Medical School and Plymouth University focused its analysis on lettuce and radish plants and tested the effects of several commonly prescribed drugs, including diclofenac and ibuprofen.

These drugs are among the most common and widely used group of pharmaceuticals, with more than 30 million prescribed across the world every day, researchers said.

The potential for these chemicals to influence plants is becoming increasingly relevant, particularly as waste management systems are unable to remove many compounds from our sewage.

Drugs for human use make their way into soil through a number of routes, including the use of sewage sludge as fertiliser and waste water for irrigation. (more…)

Water Woes Among Topics for 8 Governors in Vegas

 

by Ken Ritter

 

Facing dwindling water supplies, Western states are struggling to capture every drop with dam and diversion projects that some think could erode regional cooperation crucial to managing the scarce resource.

Against that backdrop, eight Western governors meeting in Las Vegas this weekend will address regional water issues, and water managers from seven states arrive next week to work on ways to ensure 40 million people in the parched Colorado River basin don’t go thirsty.

Gary Wockner, a conservationist with the Denver-based advocacy group Save the Colorado, said there’s already jostling amid the fear of empty buckets. “Everyone is trying to get the last legal drop of water,” he said.

Colorado River Water Users Association representatives deny there’s discord at their table.

“Fifteen years of drought has tightened everything. But I don’t see this as people are getting ready to fight,” said Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. That agency is dealing with a double-whammy ? drought on the Colorado River and in the Sierra Nevada and Northern California. (more…)

Avoid Amazon’s “Cyber Monday,” and buy local

 

by Jim Hightower

 

It’s “Cyber Monday” – get out there and buy stuff!

But you don’t actually have to go anywhere, for this gimmicky shop-shop-shop day lures us to consume without leaving home, or even getting out of bed. Concocted by Amazon, the online marketing monopolist, Cyber Monday is a knock-off of Black Friday – just another ploy by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to siphon sales from real stores.

Seems innocent enough, but behind Amazon’s online convenience and discounted prices is a predatory business model based on exploitation of workers, bullying of suppliers, dodging of taxes, and use of crude anti-competitive force against America’s Main Street businesses. A clue into Amazon’s ethics came when Bezos instructed his staff to get ever-cheaper prices from small-business suppliers by stalking them “the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle.”

Jeff Crandall, who owns Old Town Bike Shop in Colorado Springs, is one who’s under attack. He offers fair prices, provides good jobs, pays rent and taxes, lives in and supports the community. But he has noticed that more and more shoppers come in to try out bikes and get advice, yet not buy anything. Instead, their smartphones scan the barcode of the bike they want, then they go online to purchase it from Amazon – cheaper than Crandall’s wholesale price. You see, the Cheetah is a mulitibillion-dollar a year beast that can sell that bike at a loss, then make up the loss on sales of the thousands of other products it peddles.

This amounts to corporate murder of small business – and, yes, it’s illegal, but Amazon is doing it every day in practically every community. So, on this Cyber Monday, let’s pledge to buy from local businesses that support our communities. For information, go to American Independent Business Alliance: www.amiba.net.

 

Source: “Amazon’s ruthless practices are crushing Main Street–and threatening the vitality of our communities,” www.hightowerlowdwon.org, September 2014.

 

The Pure Water Occasional for December 1, 2014

In this 1st of December Occasional  you’ll hear about the water treatment boom in China, sewage dumping in Lake St. Clair, production of arsenic-free water for West Bengal, and the decline of the Caspian Sea.  Learn how drought affects the price of turkeys and why there are dead fish in Lake Willow. You can take Delft University’s water treatment course, read about a machine that turns water into gasoline and another machine that purifies water under water. Thrill at the success of the UCLA Bruins water polo team and learn about the red water in the Ganga river. Irish protests over water metering, Italian protests over the burkini.  Read about rising water at Mustang and Padre Islands, the century-old pollution problems at a DuPont munitions plant, and the origins and treatment of radon in residential well water.  Finally, you’ll meet Axeon’s sexy new LT1-300 reverse osmosis unit, and, as always, there is much, much more.

The Pure Water Occasional is a project of Pure Water Products and the Pure Water Gazette.

To read this issue on the Pure Water Gazette’s website,  please go here.  (Recommended! When you read online you get the added advantage of the Gazette’s sidebar feed of the very latest world water news.)


You’ll sing better.

Pollution total dumped in lake hits 3.7 billion gallons

by Chad Selwesky

The rain showers of this week created sewage overflows that dumped 79 million gallons into Lake St. Clair, bringing the total pollution this year from sewer systems discharged into the lake to 3.7 billion gallons.  (more…)