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Does Drinking Wastewater Sound Like A Crappy Idea?

Please forgive the title of this post, but I just couldn’t help myself. The fact is that people are already drinking treated wastewater and most of them are obviously not aware of it.
treated wastewater
In a recent article from usatoday.com, many cities around the U.S. are considering the use of treated wastewater for public drinking water. Right from the start, I share the same initial feelings with just about anyone who would become aware of this – it sounds disgusting.

However, treatment plants are supposed to be able to make this water just as safe, if not safer than our existing water supplies. Even with improved technologies, it is obviously still difficult to forget where this water just came from.

The primary driving force behind this idea comes from the fact that we are experiencing water shortages that only seem to be getting worse. This is no surprise as the general population keeps increasing at fast rates. Locations that are already stressed for water must do something to be able to supply it to future generations.

I, for one, support the more natural and traditionally common use of wastewater – use it for irrigation and industrial purposes. Letting nature filter it might be a longer process, but I’d bet you’d end up with some better water. I realize that this does not solve the current water shortage crisis, but this quicker turnaround for wastewater just does not sound right.

This is just another example of why it makes sense to filter your water one more time at home. A point-of-use home water filter can really make a difference in the quality of water that you end up consuming. Why take any chances with the quality of something as important as drinking water?

I’d like to think that we will make some technological breakthroughs that will allow us to bypass the need for drinking this highly polluted water. For example, if water desalinization ever becomes cheap and efficient enough, that would solve our drinking water problems. Let’s hope for the best…

Wishing You The Best In This New Year

Wow, 2012 is already here. It seemed like 2011 was not around for that long.

Although this might be a few days late, I’m wishing you the best of health this year and every one that follows.

2011 saw quite a few negative stories concerning the state of our drinking water. However, there is always a “silver lining”. I believe that we are on the right track as far as protecting and improving our clean water sources are concerned. Social environmental responsibility is starting to become the norm. Corporations and individuals that continue to ignore these responsibilities are finding it more difficult to do so.

We owe it to future generations to keep spreading messages of sustainability. This should not be thought of as the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. Those that believe that you must “be the change that you want to see in the world” know how powerful and important that idea is. As more people do the right thing, others will follow suit.

There is no longer any doubt about the negative effects of pollution. Whether it be land, air, water, or noise pollution, all forms can affect your health. If you currently live in a large city, there may not be much that you can do about most of these forms of pollution, without moving. It should be at least somewhat comforting to know that you can do something about being affected by water pollution. A home water filter and a shower filter can go a long way to protect your body from water borne toxins. You owe it to yourself to find the best water filter that you can to protect your health.

Ultimately, it is up to the larger institutions and corporations to be the best stewards of our planet as they can be. They simply have the ability to make the largest impacts. Like I mentioned earlier, I believe that the proper intentions are beginning to take hold.

I see a brighter future for the resources that we all need.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Napa County, California, have recently pledged to appropriate $3.3 million in funding to improve water quality and the natural wildlife habitat of the Napa River watershed.

This recent announcement can be found in the EPA’s newsroom at yosemite.epa.gov.
napa river salmon
This two part restoration effort covers 15 miles of the Napa River. Also, approximately 135 acres of farmland will be converted back to wildlife habitat. More than 40 landowners have agreed to contribute to help make this happen.

Although this project will benefit many species of wildlife, salmon is definitely a major focal point here. Local salmon populations have been declining for decades in the Napa River. Stream erosion and higher concentrations of fine sediment are two of the primary culprits for the dwindling salmon numbers. The river once supported between six thousand to eight thousand Steelhead salmon. Now the adult salmon population measures in just the hundreds. The grant money will help stop erosion and improve spawning gravel to help spur a recovery in salmon population numbers.

There is also strong economic incentive for this project. The Napa Valley is perhaps one of the most well known wine producing locations in the world. Local winemakers have been not surprisingly very cooperative with the restoration efforts. More than 20 acres have been restored to help protect the Napa River. This can be seen as a common sense move on behalf of the vintners as they are taking a positive step in helping to protect their own stake in a $61 billion per year industry.

The river has become increasingly narrow which has led to a high erosion factor. A decrease in water has created banks as high as 30 feet. This has created a situation where these banks can collapse much more easily. Work is being done to mitigate this danger as well.

Another important goal of this project is to minimize potential pollution sources affecting the Napa River. Polluted runoff will be monitored as well as an implementation of heightened pollution standards.

This project is a truly shining example of how environmentalism and economic stability go hand in hand. It is very refreshing to see businesses and agencies like the EPA working together on a common goal.

It really is quite simple. Any business activity that is not good for the environment is also not good for business. There is no long term business model that does not rely on environmental resources. So it is easy to conclude that taking care of the environment easily translates into a long term, sustainable business.

The moral of this story is that you can make money by making a better world.

Hopefully examples like this news story will start to spread to other parts of the country and the world.

Corporate polluters have been getting away with poisoning our drinking water sources for many years now. Residents of Washington County in Minnesota know all about the dangers of water pollution.
PFC in drinking water
In a recent article from the South Washington County Bulletin (swcbulletin.com), findings show levels of PFC’s in citizens of Cottage Grove have been declining. PFC is short for perfluorochemicals. While there does not seem to be any documented studies that has linked this chemical to any human diseases or illnesses, you can be sure that they can and will damage your health.

This chemical is used by many companies to make fluropolymer coatings and other products that resist oil, stains, water, grease, and heat. This chemical does not break down in nature. It eventually can show up in food products and drinking water.

The company that has been responsible for dumping this toxic chemical is 3M. The company has been lawfully dumping this chemical waste in sites nearby Cottage Grove for decades. Unfortunately, all of those years have passed before there was enough awareness of the consequences of this action. Apparently there was not enough concern or knowledge of the impact that this pollution would have on drinking water sources.

Although there has been a decline in the amount of this chemical found in individuals that have been tested in 2010 than those tested in 2008, the fact that there is any amount in their blood streams is obviously a cause for concern. While there may not be any direct link between this chemical and any specific illness, it won’t be surprising when it happens.

As part of the Minnesota Department Of Health’s remediation efforts, new carbon filters have been placed at nearby water treatment plants. Those who had relied on their well water were either given carbon filtration units, or were connected to the city’s treated water.

This story is a shining example of how it pays to be proactive when trying to protect your health. Instead of just assuming that the water that you are currently drinking is safe, why not make sure. One of the only ways that you can do this is to filter it right at the point of use. Again, this is where a good home water filtration comes in. Had residents of Cottage Grove and nearby towns assumed that their public drinking water and tap water was not safe to drink, they could have drastically limited their exposure to this toxin by installing a home water filtration system. It’s the best water filter for preventative health measures.

Universities like the College Of Dupage, in Naperville Illinois, are making strides against disposable bottled water.

The college has installed a total of five water bottle filling stations throughout the campus. Students that are concerned about bottled water waste can now use these water filtration systems to do their part to help reduce the amount of bottles that end up in landfills.
bottled water filling stations
What’s unique about these systems is that they showcase a “green ticker” that displays how many water bottles have been spared from use and therefore needless waste. Since the filters inception in the college in 2010, more than 40,000 16 ounce bottles have been saved. This is obviously a major step taken to combat this source of environmental pollution.

The systems are set to fill 16 ounce reusable bottles. No buttons need pushing as the system detects the presence of a bottle and automatically fills it up.

It won’t be long before word of these great systems spreads to other institutions. While the upfront costs associated with these systems range in the thousands, the waste saved from landfills is priceless. This is the kind of leadership that must take place for real change to happen. Organizations should not always need a monetary return for every investment that is made.

As more universities, corporate office spaces, and organizations of all kinds get word of these great systems, we will see some major headway in the prevention of bottled water use and waste. Major change can also come from the home. Obviously, a good amount of time of the average person is spent away from school and work. Having a good water filter at home will ensure that you will have access to clean water no matter where you are. Definitely do some research to get the best water filter that you can find.

We can all do our part to spread the word about this. Tell everyone you know that using a water filter is less expensive, more convenient, and less wasteful than bottled water.

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