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Don't Drink The Toilet Water!

 
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 01:05 pm
@DrewDad,
I remember that we were doing a mine site cleanup in California and there were signs around the site that the original contractors had installed that
NO BEBER AGUA DE LA ACEQUIA (Dont drink the water out of the irrigation ditch)
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 01:07 pm
Ive seen signs in plants that have "industrial water supplies" . On the taps and flanges they have signs that say
"NON POTABLE WATER SUPPLY_DO NOT DRINK"

That doiesnt sound too demeaning
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 01:47 pm
@Ceili,
Ceili wrote:
My friend used to live in Germany and she told me they bought all potable water in bottles, the stuff coming into the house was not safe to drink.


Really? That either must have been years ago - our potable water laws are stricter than any EU-guideline. (Coca-Cola's "table water" Bon Aqua is 99.999% normal drinking water from the local waterworks of the various production localities.)
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 01:51 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Yes, she lived there 20ish years ago. She also lived on a military base, I think Baden Baden. This may have been why the water was undrinkable. However, at the time and until this day, I actually thought this was a good idea, at least compared to the system we have here where all water is treated. It seems like a colossal waste of time and energy to flush clean drinking water down the toilet.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 02:01 pm
@Ceili,
The (Canadian) military here (in southern Germany, it was mainly the air force, here we had the 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade resp. the 4 Combat Group and 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade) mainly used source from the barracks' ground. [I suppose, your friend lived closed to Baden-Baden, in Lahr.]

We have about 450 sources which produce more than 1,000 different bottled mineral waters Germany - many of those wouldn't be allowed as tap drinking water, though.

Most houses built during the last couple of years have two different water circulations: one for drinking, the other for toilets/washing machines.
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 02:04 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Most houses built during the last couple of years have two different water circulations: one for drinking, the other for toilets/washing machines.

Washing machines? Really?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 02:23 pm
@realjohnboy,
Eh, yes. You can buy such systems in any hardware store/do-it-yourself supermarket.

http://i38.tinypic.com/1585f9w.jpg
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 02:28 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I'm just thinking: in our house, built 1904, we had a "washing cellar" .... with yn oven for cooking the clothes, an electric washing machine (originally driven via a huge wheel) ... and a rainwater-collecting.system for the water.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 05:10 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter you seem to be showing a rainwater use system rather than a grey water reuse system. rainwater is stored in an underground tank and pumped to the toilets and washing machine when/as required.

Grey water usually refers to the water exiting shower handbasin washing machine after use. This water can be used to flush toilets and water gardens.
This is (as I understand it) what RJB is talking about.

Black water is (usually) kitchen sink and toilet and goes straight to sewer.

realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 05:17 pm
@dadpad,
Thanks, Drewdad. I, too, was confused by Walter's diagram.
We would be collecting (grey) water from rainfall and from showers - and reusing it in toilets, landscape management and fire suppression.
We will get back on the same page at some point.
dadpad
 
  3  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 06:25 pm
@realjohnboy,
Drewdad has all the good answers. Wish I was as intelligent and well recognised as him.
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 06:30 pm
I am sure that we can come up with a warning that is (get ready) more palatable.
I have nothing but praise for the Planning Dept staff and the citizen/volunteers who serve on the Planning Commission and Board of Architecture Review.
Sure enough, the city botched our application to be on last Tuesday's PC meeting. There was a failure of communication amongst some city departments, causing them to ask that we defer for a month. We got into a room on Friday and resolved everyone's concerns. I think.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 10:18 pm
@dadpad,
You're just jealous of my Australian accent, mate.
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 10:26 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

You're just jealous of my Australian accent, mate.

to say nothing of your rugged individualism, tanned and streamlined body and good looks.
who better to advise on water issues than someone from the driest continent in the world.

(d'ya think they are getting the message yet?)
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 01:07 am
back to the business at hand.

How does one quantify the environmental benefit of a project such as this.
I assume there is an electric pump (or several) to make the whole system work. Hopefully the pump(s) will be solar. If not they contribute to atmospheric CO2. Even if they are solar (with battery storage/backup) the whole system contributes to greenhouse effect just by being made.
What is the carbon cost of the system?

Is the contribution to greenhouse worth the saving in water? How can this be environmentally quantified. As opposd to $$$ quantified.

I'm definitly not trying to put you off RJB. (I have a greywater to garden and solar electricity system in my own home)
I'm just asking the hard questions that I have not been able to see answers to.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 01:33 am
@dadpad,
Interesting points. Consider the savings in pumps and electricity to purify and deliver water in the absence of such systems, though. Now, big pumps on high voltage 3 phase current are more efficient that little pumps, there is still the purification and treatment of the city water that the system displaces. Also, the grey water used means less waste water to treat - I think.

I have no idea which way the balance goes, but those are things to consider. My inclination is to say that the dollar cost of city water reflects the cost of delivery and disposal. If it doesn't, it should. And maybe the whole system pays off for rjb because most cities base sewage charges on the amount of metered water consumed during seasons when lawns are not being watered.

Heck, I might as well just say I don't have any idea.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 05:21 am
@roger,
much of the cost in water plant operations is for over treating water to keep the water pipes fully running and not to allow leakage back into the system freom tainted ground water. The city of Philadephia treats an additional 20 MILLION GALLONS of water per day , just so their aged delivery infrastructure wont have inflow. Under the city of Philly is a huge water table that is composed of flouridated treated water. We could sink wells and use the water that the city wastes.
PITY, but most old cities of the world are like this. SOme are actually worse. (In London , PAris and New York , they still have old wooden water pipes that are connected like sharpened pencils shovd up each others ass from end to end.)
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 05:25 am
@realjohnboy,
Im amazed that this is even a point of discussion in C ville , since in most other cities in US, the LEEDS system has taken over and architects have become LEEDS certified in a quiet rush to embrace technologies that have been in use in many 3rd world countries for years.

I sit on a planning commission of a rural township in PA and we are dealing with this quiet upheval by having seminars and workshops by our state township government association
0 Replies
 
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 11:53 am
@dadpad,
dadpad wrote:

How does one quantify the environmental benefit of a project such as this.
...
What is the carbon cost of the system?

Thanks, dadpad, for raising those issues. I can't quantify the costs of doing this vs the costs of doing that. I know this is a cop-out, but I think that harvesting grey water on site will be positive economically and environmentally.
Can I prove it? No. I can't.
The 6-story mixed use building across the street was originally conceived of as having 2 floors of retail, 2 of office and 2 of residential. The city code allowed only so many kitchens (the measure of what a residential unit is) per acre. In our case: 16 units of 2000 sq ft each.
God, I chaffed at that. That is not at all what I had in mind for this evolving neighborhood one block from UVA hospital, 3 blocks from the central grounds of UVA and 5 blocks from the downtown area. A few handfuls of rich, old, white farts.
The city recently changed the density rules for the narrow strip of W Main between UVA and downtown. We can eliminate the office floors and some, perhaps, of the retail space and put in up to 76 residential units of 550 sq ft.
Could you, if you were single or a young couple, live in 550 sq ft. I could.
Or we will offer the option of 1100 sq ft.

Which leads me back, dadpad, to the issue of quantifying trade-offs. Cville is an expensive place to live. A nurse, a teacher, a med-student and spouse will find it hard to get an affordable place unless they go further and further out of town. Those folks then have to drive a lot to work. Or shop, unless there is sprawling retail development in their area.
I sort of apologize for a long response. Thank yall for your comments.
More later (that is a warning).
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 09:56 pm
Checking in, and now to read the thread..
 

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