Will Your Water Filter Protect You if  You Have a Boil Water Alert?

 

Adapted from an email communication by Marianne Metzger of National Testing Laboratories.

With the cold weather comes the increased possibility of water mains and pipes bursting.  Pipes and mains are at risk in colder weather due to the expansion and contraction of the pipe material.  Even a 10° change in temperature of air or water can cause significant stress on the pipes. Other factors like the material the pipe is made of, corrosion, soil conditions age. and ground movement also contribute to breaks.

There are approximately 250,000 water main breaks every year in the United States. That’s 685 breaks per day.

Water customers in the area of the break may experience a shut off of water while repairs are being made. Additionally, if customers do have access to water, they may be under a boil advisory. (more…)

Providing clean water to the developing world

Household water treatment offers the best hope for nearly 900 million people.

by Michael D. Robeson

Many Americans take clean drinking water for granted. However, much of the developing world is still grappling with the challenges of supplying water that is safe for human consumption. The problem affects nearly 900 million people around the globe and leads to 2.2 million deaths by waterborne diseases annually. More than half of the victims are under the age of six.

While the danger in urban areas stems from aging or inadequate water treatment infrastructure, the risk is most acute in rural communities lacking the density or the resources to build and support water treatment facilities.

Many rural residents still fetch water from rivers, lakes, ponds and streams contaminated with human and animal waste, whether from open defecation or factors such as seepage from septic tanks and pit latrines. Even people with access to cleaner water from common wells, collected rainwater or centralized taps face the risk of pollution by an unsanitary container or improper storage in the home.

For these reasons, groups such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) have long recognized that the most practical immediate strategy for improving rural drinking water quality is to provide solutions for treating and safely storing water at the household level.

The upshot has been the development of a variety of household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) technologies designed to improve water quality at the point-of-use (POU), as well as the publication of WHO specifications for evaluating the microbiological performance of different HWTS systems in 2011. That 2011 WHO document was the first to establish target performance levels for bacteria, virus and protozoa in POU water treatment, providing a benchmark for measuring the relative effectiveness of each technology option. (more…)

 

The Pure Water Occasional for January 26, 2015

In this pre-Groundhog Day Occasional, you’ll hear about dangerously pure water, cirque lakes, pluvial lakes, mesotrophic lakes, drought in Sao Paulo, and plastic in the ocean. Then there’s algae, fish farming, Atrazine, Katalox Light, Matt Damon, nanometers, and a classy giant milkshake metaphor. Read about a serious oil spill in the Yellowstone River, the Rehoboth Beach sewerage controversy, fracking and fracking sand. Finally, Pure Water Annie answers all your troubling questions about Aer-Max,  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.

 The Dangerously Clean Water Used to Make Your Iphone

 The ultra-pure water used to clean semiconductors and make microchips would suck vital minerals right out of your body.  Plus it tastes really nasty.

by Charles Fishman

 

FACT: Water can be too clean to drink. 

That’s the kind of claim about water that people scoff at—it seems ridiculous on the face of it.

Water too clean to drink?

Give me a break. It’s water. Cleaner is better.

But this is one wild water story that’s true.

Every day, around the world, tens of millions of gallons of the cleanest water possible are created, water so clean that it is regarded as an industrial solvent, absolutely central to high-tech manufacturing but not safe for human consumption. (more…)

Think of our water supply as a giant milkshake

by Hardly Waite

 

Think of our water supply as a giant milkshake, and think of each demand for water as a straw in the glass. Most states permit a limitless number of straws—and that has to change.

You may receive a water bill every month, but you’re not actually paying for water. You’re paying for the cost of service, and this free-rider problem is contributing to the worsening water crisis that threatens to dehydrate the US.

Last year, metro Atlanta—home to 5 million people—came within 90 days of watching its principal water reserves dry up, and one Tennessee hamlet ran out of water entirely. Small towns in Texas and California ran completely out of water in 2014. More than 30 states are now fighting with their neighbors over water, and a surging US population means increasingly less to go around. Proposed solutions range from the expensive (desalination of ocean water) to the just plain unpopular (reuse of municipal waste).

Some may find the idea of charging for water itself immoral, as water authority Robert Glennon counters, “Precisely because water is a public—and exhaustible—resource, the government has an obligation to manage it wisely.”

All Lakes Are Not Alike

by Kacy Ewing and Gene Franks

 

Lakes have always been a source of awe and mystery for human beings. Their formation can be just as amazing and mysterious.

The definition of a lake is any body of water that is not an ocean, that is of reasonable size, and that impounds water with little or no horizontal movement. There are a great variety of lake sizes and types. On one hand, you have pools that are slightly larger than ponds. The line between a pond and a lake is hazy and subjective. Where I come from, the body of water that Thoreau called Walden Pond would definitely be called a lake.  On the other hand, you have giant lakes such as Lake Superior which contains enough water to submerge all of North and South America under a foot of water. All lakes, large or small, are part of the diverse ecosystem known as a lentic (Latin for sluggish) habitat. Probably even Thoreau didn’t know that. (more…)

 The Dangerously Clean Water Used to Make Your Iphone

 The ultra-pure water used to clean semiconductors and make microchips would suck vital minerals right out of your body.  Plus it tastes really nasty.

by Charles Fishman

 

FACT: Water can be too clean to drink—so clean that it’s actually not safe to drink. 

That’s the kind of claim about water that people scoff at—it seems ridiculous on the face of it.

Water too clean to drink?

Give me a break. It’s water. Cleaner is better.

But this is one wild water story that’s true. (more…)

Plan targets farmers in 3 states to reduce Lake Erie algae

by John Seewer

 

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Farmers in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana are being asked to be part of the solution in fixing the algae problem in Lake Erie. Federal officials on Friday outlined a program that will make $17.5 million available to farmers who take steps to reduce the pollutants that wash away from the fields and help the algae thrive.

Algae in water at Toledo’s water uptake point.

How will it work?

First, it’s a voluntary program so farmers won’t be forced to take part. And it only applies to those who have land in the western Lake Erie watershed, which is mostly made up of northwestern Ohio, southeastern Michigan and northeastern Indiana. (more…)

 

The Pure Water Occasional for January 19, 2015

In this MLK Day Occasional you’ll hear about drugs, drilling wastes and, yes, corpses in our rivers. Then there’s the fight over fracking in the UK, water pollution by dairies, kidney disease in Sri Lanka, and mysterious ice balls in Lake Michigan.  Learn how bad water can make you fat and sick and how cremation can pollute water. Hear of the great thirst of almonds and the world’s growing appetite for water treatment chemicals. Hear about the absurdity of the way we treat waste water, kidney disease in Sri Lanka, the dangers of benzene and  BPA-free plastics, and water’s inclusion on “My Plate.” Finally, y0u’ll get to read the very first article in Pure Water Annie’s monumental FAQ series in which all of your troubling questions about reverse osmosis flow restrictors will be answered. 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.

 

 

Music festival causes spike in ecstasy and caffeine in nearby river

by Rachel Feltman

Gazette Introductory Note: How do music and sports affect water?  This article will tell you that they may have more  than we thought to do with the growing problem of “emerging contaminants.” A local university professor published research a couple of years back showing how the calendars of our two local universities are reflected in the birth control drug content of our lakes. Are we approaching a time when special hazardous waste assessments are required for football stadiums and concert halls as they are now  for auto repair shops and dry cleaners? –Hardly Waite.  (more…)

Pure Water Annie’s FAQ Series.

Pure Water Gazette Technical Wizard Pure Water Annie Answers All the Persistent Questions about Water Treatment.

This week’s topic:  Reverse Osmosis Flow Restrictors.

What’s the purpose of the flow restrictor?

The flow restrictor, as the name suggests, restricts the flow of brine (reject water) in drain line leaving the membrane. It provides resistance, creating pressure against the membrane and  forcing some of the water, the permeate, or product water, through the membrane.  Without the resistance provided by the drain line flow restrictor, all the water entering the membrane housing would simply take the path of least resistance and exit through the drain line.  In short, without the flow restrictor, the reverse osmosis process wouldn’t take place.

Where is the flow restrictor located on my home RO unit?

The most common situation is to insert a tiny restrictor into the 1/8″ threaded fitting where the reject water leaves the membrane housing.  Better units now normally use larger capillary restrictors that are inserted into the drain line itself.  These are easily visible and have the advantage of having the “size” of the restrictor printed on the surface. This is especially valuable, because if you can read the output of the restrictor you can guess the size (output capacity) of the membrane.

In RO units larger than undersink, flow restrictors are often electronically controlled or variable-output hand-controlled needle valves that allow adjustment to suit different treatment challenges.

Tiny fitting-insert-style flow restrictor that inserts into the elbow fitting where drain water leaves the membrane housing.

Capillary-style flow restrictor.

(more…)

Dirty Water Is Leading to Obesity and Diabetes in California

by Colleen Curry

 

A lack of access to clean drinking water in rural California farm communities is leading residents to turn to sugary drinks and soda, contributing to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, researchers said in a new policy paper.

The report, from the University of California Davis Center for Poverty Research, finds that many agricultural immigrant communities in California’s Central Valley have difficulty obtaining clean, drinkable water. And even in those that do have clean water, a persistent belief in the contamination of water leads individuals to buy alternatives, including soda and other sugar-heavy drinks.

Researchers at the school interviewed mothers in poor, rural, unincorporated towns in the Central Valley for the report. They found that the women would not drink the water or give it to their children because of its “unpleasant taste, dirty or yellow appearance, excessive iron, and/or general contamination.” Instead, the women purchased bottled water or other drinks at nearby stores. They reported that their children drink soda or sugary drinks at least two to three times per week.

“The prevalence of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in California is higher among low-income minority populations than white affluent populations. A combination of environmental factors, including a lack of access to healthy foods and nutrition education — and safe drinking water — likely contribute to these disparities,” the team wrote. “Decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is key to preventing obesity and nutrition-related chronic disease.” (more…)