Archive for February, 2012

Clean Water Advocacy The Erin Brockovich Way

It is widely known that Erin Brockovich does not back down when confronted with a tough fight.

This is good news for those who care about our clean water sources. A recent Edmonton Journal article (edmontonjournal.com) follows up with Erins current clean water activism. Her latest film appearance is in the documentary called Last Call at the Oasis. It is about the dwindling clean water supplies around the world and the drastic repercussions already being experienced.
erin brockovich
Brockovich is especially concerned with water issues at home in the U.S. There are people in our country that dont get water, and that is a shocker for people. As she alludes to the idea that water shortages and water pollution is falsely assumed to be largely a third world problem, she is becoming just as surprised at others to find out how untrue this is.

The film named after her, in which Julia Roberts won an Oscar for, has certainly aided in her fight to help protect clean drinking water sources and to expose companies that threaten to ruin them for all. She is also currently working on a case of a group of children in New York suffering from unusual neurological symptoms that may be attributed to polluted water.

Perhaps the most important take-away from this article was the fact that she encourages others to take a stand. She realizes that one person can only do so much, and that, she has. Our collective voice for clean water rights can be much more powerful that just one, albeit a very strong one. Grassroots efforts can turn into very large campaigns when people come together.

Hopefully Erin Brockovichs work is showing the people that she comes into contact with just how true that can be.

Residents of Lake Station, Indiana, are facing a proposed 35% rate hike for their city supplied water.

The www.nwitimes.com recently covered this controversial story in which involved residents of Lake Station making quite an appearance at City Hall.
dirty water filter
The major outcry from residents is that their water is not that clean to begin with. If they are to be charged a considerable amount more, the least that they should expect is much better water. Many residents would have also preferred more gradual increases to the rates that they are charged.

It is safe to assume that the major issue here is not really the cost increase of this proposal. According to the article, even those residents who use the most water would only see their rates go up about $10 per month. On the other hand, the main issue here is water quality. It is expect that the city should be able to provide clean water to its residents for a reasonable cost.

One resident brought a dirty water filter to the City Hall meeting to give a good visual example of how bad the situation is. It might be a given that the challenges being made by increasing water pollution are making it difficult for municipal water treatment plants to deliver the cleanest water possible. However, every step should be taken to get to this point.

Hopefully the outcome of this meeting will at least make the average resident of Lake Station aware of the need to acquire a home water filter. Whether or not they are familiar with a great company like Aquasana, they should still seek out the best water filter that they can. Anyone who saw how bad that filtration cartridge looked will want to avoid the water that their city is delivering through their kitchens tap. Ideally they also avoid bottled water, which is neither proven to be healthier and definitely is not cheaper than home water filtration.

Im sure that anyone who comes across this story will think twice before they assume that their tap water is safe enough to drink.

Clean Water Equals Clean Energy In California

Californias wastewater treatment plants are doing their part to create clean energy in addition to their obvious and much needed clean water operations.

This news arrives by way of The Sacramento Bee (sacbee.com). The article mentions how the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) are taking considerable actions to both educate the public and various leaders and to actively help solve current energy problems.
clean water agency
The mayor of California and the President have both set respective state and national clean energy goals. It is expected that a high percentage of our energy needs can be provided by clean, renewable sources in the coming decades. The end result of this goal should be clear to all by now; we will benefit from considerably less air pollution and we will not be reliant on foreign energy sources.

There are already quite a few clean water agencies in California that are able to completely offset their own energy usage by using the energy that is created when wastewater is treated. This energy comes from the methane, biosolids, and biogas that is stored in the wastewater and other substances that the plants process. Some of these other substances include oil and grease provided by restaurants.

Energy produced from wastewater treatment plants represents an opportunity that is too significant to ignore. For example, the Water Environment Research Foundation has mentioned that biosolids and wastewater contain at least five times the amount of energy that is needed to process them. It is easy to imagine the considerable clean energy potential if this process were scaled to a national and fully cooperative level.

CASAs Gary Darling is very optimistic about the organizations ability to spread the word and ultimately have a large effect on clean energy awareness and production. His Waste to Watts motto will undoubtedly take off as more and more people realize the urgency that is involved with clean energy and clean water.

This is the kind of leadership that must gain some real traction if we are to be able to benefit from a cleaner, more livable future. I believe that our leaders will start to pay attention to movements like this one because they make too much sense. It will be difficult to say no to something that not only improves our environment, but makes money at the same time. This is the kind of win-win situation that can bring much hope to our future world.