Tag Archives: water

Saving Resources With Gray Water Recycling Systems

Gray water is the kind of water which comes out of your shower, sink or washer. It is one of the untapped resources in the conventional home design. Usually this water is wasted, by being sent into the sewage drain; however, this water can be reused for a variety of purposes in which non-potable water is useful.

Typically there are two uses for gray water: irrigating lawns/gardens and flushing toilets. Since most individuals are already doing these things; gray water can replace the need to treat water and sewage, creating a tremendous long-term environmental and economic benefit.

Gray water systems can be installed by individuals without specialized knowledge. The price of systems starts as low as $200 for a very basic system which reuses water from the washing machine for lawn/garden irrigation. Higher end systems filter and/or treat the water for reuse in toilets and other applications which require cleaner water.

How to Implement a Greywater System for Your Garden

Google Tech Talk
May 12, 2010

Presented by Laura Allen and Gregory Bullock.

Laura Allen and Gregory Bullock describe how Greywater can green an increasingly parched California, and what Googlers can do to help. Are there such things as waste, or just resources that are currently misplaced? Greywater (water that comes from sinks, showers, and washing machines) turns wasterwater and its nutrients into irrigation water, saving time, money, and fresh drinking water. Whats more plants love it, especially fruit trees, berries and vines. Last year California rewrote its greywater code, making simple greywater reuse legal and affordable. Learn the why and hows of greywater reuse, and how to transform your household plumbing into a greywater irrigation system.

Laura is a founding member of Greywater Action and has spent a decade exploring low-tech, urban sustainable water solutions. She has a BA in Environmental Science, a teaching credential and a masters in education from New College of CA. She is a co-editor of the anthology Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground. Laura leads classes and workshops on urban ecological sanitation technologies of rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse and composting toilets. Laura also works with the Greywater Alliance to help remove institutional barriers to sustainable water use.

Greg is the founder of Bang for your Green Buck, an environmental enterprise that designs sustainable, productive landscapes that grow food through greywater irrigation and rain harvesting. Having built a successful career as a management consultant principally focused on increasing talent, performance and organizational development within Fortune 500 companies, he decided to leverage these nurturing skills to focus on converting wasteful lawns into orchards and positively addressing the water crisis of California. Greg is a graduate of the first Greywater Installers Certification Course, and is also a sustainable landscaper. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Strategy and Marketing.

Why You Should Filter Your Own Water

Many are concerned about the quality of their drinking water, so they buy bottled water. Many will even pay $1-3 dollars a gallon for drinking water; even going so far as buying water which was shipped from overseas.

I once had a roommate who frequently drank the imported “gourmet” San Pellegrino mineral water. Every day he would drink two or three bottles of the stuff. Funny thing is, when the guy finally left, I cleaned up his huge mess and filled two large green city trash cans (the kinds that the garbage trucks pick up like small dumpsters). There must have been a few hundred of them, which probably cost around a thousand dollars.

Just crunching a few numbers reveals that, even spending a dollar or two a day, is enough to justify purchasing a filter. If that isn’t enough, much of the bottled water is comparable if not worse than the water coming out of the tap.

Now the kind of filter I’m talking about isn’t a “Britta” or “Pur” filter, I’m talking about a filter that gets out the junk that those filters can’t. The filter you need to get, if you really want to clean your water, is a “reverse osmosis” water filter. These reverse osmosis filters remove Fluoride, Chlorine, Lead, Sediment; it removes 99% of the contaminants from the water.

If you get a decently priced, high quality system, such as the 5-stage filters at freedrinkingwater.com, you can filter your water for about 2 cents a gallon. So if you were to use 3 gallons of bottled water a day @ $0.79/gal versus reverse-osmosis water at $0.02/gal, you essentially save $0.77/gal which amounts to an $843 per year savings.

Once you buy the filter, the only other purchases are the replacement filters; which need replacing about once annually, and cost about $40. Its not much of a cost for having all of the clean water you can use for a year; and it encourages you to drink water, since it is readily available.

Bottled Water Found Contaminated with Medications, Fertilizer, Disinfection Chemicals

Natural News

(NaturalNews) Bottled water across the country contains a wide variety of toxic substances, according to laboratory tests conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

“Our tests strongly indicate that the purity of bottled water cannot be trusted,” the study authors write. “Given the industry’s refusal to make available data to support their claims of superiority, consumer confidence in the purity of bottled water is simply not justified.”

Researchers conducted comprehensive tests at the renowned University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory on 10 leading bottled water brands, purchased from retailers in nine states and the District of Columbia (D.C.). A total of 38 toxic pollutants were detected altogether, with each brand containing an average of eight. Chemicals detected included fluoride, byproducts of chlorine-based disinfection, caffeine, pharmaceutical drugs, fertilizer residue, plasticizers, solvents, fuel propellants, arsenic, other minerals and heavy metals, and radioactive isotopes. Four brands also contained bacteria.

More than a third of the chemicals detected are not regulated by the bottled water industry. Voluntary industry standards regulate the following two-thirds, but water purchased in five states and in D.C. contained levels of some carcinogens in excess of even the industry’s standards.

“In other words, this bottled water was chemically indistinguishable from tap water,” the authors write. “But with promotional campaigns saturated with images of mountain springs, and prices 1,900 times the price of tap water, consumers are clearly led to believe that they are buying a product that has been purified to a level beyond the water that comes out of the garden hose.”

Further analysis at the University of Missouri found that when applied to breast cancer cells, one brand of water led to a 78 percent increase in proliferation rate compared with untreated cells. The addition of estrogen-blocking chemicals noticeably reduced this effect.

“Though this result is considered a modest effect relative to the potency of some other industrial chemicals … the sheer volume of bottled water people consume elevates the health significance of the finding,” the researchers write.

The researchers were unable to determine if estrogen-mimics in the water came from the water itself or had leached out of the plastic bottle.

In accordance with standard scientific practice, the report does not name the brands tested. Exceptions were made for the brands Sam’s Choice (Wal-Mart) and Acadia (Giant), however, which contained toxin levels high enough to violate California law.

Samples of both brands tested positive for trihalomethanes, which have been linked to reproductive disorders and cancer. The chemicals form when water disinfectants react with pollution. The water also contained bromodichloromethane, a carcinogen regulated under California law. In response, EWG is preparing a lawsuit against Wal-Mart to require that Sam’s Choice water contain the legally required notice: “WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.”

Acadia-brand water is not sold in California.

Bottled water purchased from these brands also exceeded the bottled water industry’s voluntary standards.

“The bottled water industry boasts that its internal regulations are stricter than the FDA bottled water regulations,” the researchers write, “but voluntary standards that companies are failing to meet are of little use.”