THE DOG POO BLUES

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Only about 60% of dog owners pick up after their pets, The 83 million dogs in the US generate more than 11 million tons of waste each year.

The real problem is that we view at the poop as waste rather that a resource that can be used and recycled for both compost and energy. Dog waste can be anaerobically digested to produce useful products.

The same biological process that makes compost of dog poo in used in Toronto, Ontario to produce a biogas that can be burned for energy. The residue can be used for compost for gardens, plants, and greenhouses. Toronto actually collects dog poop through a curbside bin program and makes a profit.

The dogs in the Denali National Park kennels produce around 50 pounds of poo each day. Alaska has had to deal with the problem for hundreds of years, as the natives have always had dog teams and the attendant problem of dog waste. Denali established a four-bin composting system where the nitrogen-rich waste is mixed with sawdust and/or leaves to provide the necessary carbon. This method—mixed with water, and rotated when it naturally heats up to 145 degrees—transforms the waste into a sweet smelling, earthy soil that is packed with nutrients. They use the soil to compost gardens and flowerbeds in the park.

When the microorganisms have broken down all the organic material, the compost pile is done “cooking”. This process can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. The nutrient-rich material that is produced is called humus. It increases the nutrient content of soils and helps retain moisture.

San Francisco, with its 120,000 dogs produces 32 million pounds of poop per year. They began a program t divert dog waste into compost with biodegradable poop bags. The leader in that market is BioBags, who not only partnered with San Francisco but sells more than 19 million bags a year.

New York boasts the only dog park in the nation in which dog waste is processed right on the site. “This is the only one in the state and the city and possibly North America which has dog waste composting onsite completely handled by the people here at the park,” said Leslie Wright, the New York City regional director for the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The park provides poop scoops and paper bags for people to pick up the waste and deposit into designated compost bins. Park staff takes it from there, mixing the waste with sawdust and transferring it to larger composting bins.

“The recipe for composting is to have a carbon source, a nitrogen source and mix them together,” Wright said. “The waste is then cooked and cured to kill microbes and pathogens. Eventually, it will be used as fertilizer for nearby gardens on Kent Avenue. But more importantly, it will keep waste and those ubiquitous plastic bags out of landfills.”

In Boulder, Colorado, Rose Seeman started up EnviroWagg and now process more than three tons of poop a year to make her product called “Doggone Good Compost”. They are planning to expand even further and partner with collectors such as Pet Scoop and Duty Calls.

There is also a booming market in biodegradable poop bags. BioBags sell more than 19 million bars each year. Regardless of the type of bag used, when dog poop degrades in a landfill, it produces the potent greenhouse gas methane that rises into the atmosphere and contributed to the problem of global warming.

Dog parks, doggie daycares, veterinarians, and shelters can recycle their dog waste for beneficial purposes. Doing the right thing always has its own reward.


 

ADDED BONUS:  AN UNRECORDED SONG LYRICS ABOUT THE SUBJECT. I WROTE IT LAST YEAR.  MAYBE I WILL TRY TO RECORD IT. -KHF


 

DOG POO BLUES ©2017 Kenneth Harper Finton

(TO THE MELODY OF “OLD SOFT SHOE”

G                                       A

Stepped in that old dog poo and got it on my shoe

C         D           C                               D

A one, a two, a dogetty-doodlely dew.

G                                         E          E7

Stepped in that old dog poo and got it on my shoe

C                                           D                          G

A  a dogetty-doodlely dew-dew-dew.

 

( LOOSELY BASED ON ‘DARKTOWN STRUTTER’S BALL” TUNE]

G

First you take your left foot and set it down.

A

Then you find your foot’s not touching the ground.

D                               D7

It has landed in a pile of poo …

G

Do-wha , do wha, do do de do.

G

Then you wipe your left foot in the grass

A

Twist it to the right, then to the left.

D D7

Shuffle all around and wipe it clean

G                   C               D

It’s so easy, see what I mean.

G                                      A

Stepped in that old dog poo and got it on my shoe

C         D           C                           D

A one, a two, a dogetty-doodlelly do.

G                                  E                       E7

Stepped in that old dog poo and got it on my shoe

C                       D                                 G

A  a dogetty-doodlely dew-dew-dew.

THE HUNZA PEOPLE OF NORTH PAKISTAN

http://www.readgang.com/2016/03/they-never-get-sickthey-dont-know-about.html

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LEGEND HAS IT THAT THESE ARE THE PEOPLE OF SHANGRI-LA

Is living well past 100 yeara only a dream?  Not in Northern Pakistan.

They, like many in Northern Pakistan, claim to be descendants of the soldiers who came to the region with Alexander the Great‘s army in the 4th century BC.

Healthy living advocate J. I. Rodale wrote a book called The Healthy Hunzas in 1955 that asserted that the Hunzas, noted for their longevity and many centenarians, were long-lived because of their consumption of healthy organic foods such as dried apricots and almonds, as well as their getting plenty of fresh air and exercise.[21] He often mentioned them in his Prevention magazine as exemplary of the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. John Clark stayed among the Hunza people for 20 months and in his book Hunza – Lost Kingdom of the Himalayas[22] writes: “I wish also to express my regrets to those travelers whose impressions have been contradicted by my experience. On my first trip through Hunza, I acquired almost all the misconceptions they did: The Healthy Hunzas, the Democratic Court, The Land Where There Are No Poor, and the rest—and only long-continued living in Hunza revealed the actual situations”. Regarding the misconception about Hunza people’s health, John Clark also writes that most of patients had malaria, dysentery, worms, trachoma, and other things easily diagnosed and quickly treated; in his first two trips he treated 5,684 patients.

Clark reports that the Hunza do not measure their age solely by the calendar––as he also said there were no calendars––but also by personal estimation of wisdom. This leads in turn to notions of typical lifespans of 120 or greater.

The October 1953 issue of National Geographic had an article on the Hunza River Valley that inspired Carl Barks’ story Tralla La.[23] Their standard of living is totally different from the others. Barks said,  “the healthy way of that kind of living should be an example to us.”

THE HUNZA LIFESTYLE

Hunza people are people who take a bath in a cold water, and they can give a birth to a baby on 65 years which for us is inconceivable.

In summer, they eat only raw foods and in winter they use dry fruits, especially apricots, germinated seeds and cheese from sheep.

”Hunger spring” is called the period when they are fasting, then they do not eat anything except the drink clean water.

From 2 to 4 months they drink that water and consume the apricot seeds.

One of the Hunza people, known worldwide as Said Abdul Mobuda, totally confused the workers for immigration services when he pulled out his passport on which was written that he has lived 160 years. They did not believe him until they checked that the man is really born 160 years ago and that in his village all the people have long lifetime.

THEIR GENETIC LINE

A variety of Y-DNA haplogroups are seen among the Burusho. Most frequent among these are R1a1 and R2a, which probably originated in Central Asia during the Upper Paleolithic.[17][18] R2a, unlike its extremely rare parent R2, R1a1 and other clades of haplogroup R, is now virtually restricted to South Asia. Two other typically South Asian lineages, haplogroup H1 and haplogroup L3 (defined by SNP mutation M20) are also common among the Burusho.[19] [18]

Other Y-DNA haplogroups reaching considerable frequencies among the Burusho are haplogroup J2, associated with the spread of agriculture in, and from, the neolithic Near East,[17][18] and haplogroup C3, of Siberian origin and possibly representing the patrilineage of Genghis Khan. Also present at lower frequency are haplogroups O3, an East Eurasian lineage, and QPF, and G.[18] DNA research groups the male ancestry of the Hunza with speakers of Pamir languages and the Sinti Romani (Gypsies), due primarily to the M124 marker (defining Y-DNA haplogroup R2a), which is present at high frequency in all three populations.[8] However, they have also an East Asian genetic contribution, suggesting that at least some of their ancestry originates north of the Himalayas.[20]

 

WE ARE ALL FLINT

WE ARE ALL FLINT

View at Medium.com

SEE ALSO: https://kennethharperfinton.me/2016/02/29/is-chloramine-in-your-tap-water/

Erin Brockovich

How America’s Moms Are Leading

the Battle for Clean Drinking Water

THIS IS AMERICA’S WATER

 

We saw Flint coming. In fact, I’ve seen this whole national water crisis coming for years. I see these issues happen, I know where they are. I know when they’re going to hit. And I know they’re going to come up, year after year after year.

I know because tens of thousands of people write to me each month. I started creating a map and I have more than 10,000 communities across the U.S. recording their plights. People come to me, saying, there’s too many children on our street with cancer, or we’ve had too many high school kids die of brain tumors, or we live next to a superfund site and we think our water is contaminated. After one comes forward, then five follow, then 20, 30, more. I read hundreds of these emails everyday, and sometimes you have to be able to read between the lines. I can sense the urgency. I know when what people are saying is just not right. Some emails clearly speak volumes, and I’m like, we need to jump on this now. It’s about being responsive: Last February, when my investigator Bob Bowcock and I heard about Flint, he was on a plane the next day.

What has always stuck me the most were the instances where people’s health was deteriorating. This has been true from the time I was a little girl to my work in Hinkley and beyond. What’s that common denominator? It’s usually the water. The one thing that sustains us all.

Communities across the country have been dealing with lead issues for years — but they’ve always fallen on a deaf ear. Flint is simply the perfect storm.

 
These horrifying images are sent to me every week from people all over the United States.

I didn’t discover Flint — the community wrote to me. We got out there and tried to sound the alarm. There’s almost always a community leader, and nine times out of 10, it’s going to be a mom. She starts gathering the community, setting up town meetings so we can inform people about what’s happening. We show folks how to protect themselves and their families. We try to work with the emergency contingency team that’s in place — we do that everywhere we go, and they usually don’t want to hear it. They want to run things their way, they think we’re just there to cause trouble, but that’s not the case at all.

Unfortunately, it takes a huge crisis like Flint for everybody else to wake up.


Right now, we’re in this special moment where people are paying attention and raising their voices. These chemicals, this problem, did not just arise yesterday. People have been drinking water that’s contaminated with PFOA or lead or TCE or other chemicals for too long. Towns in New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York are learning that their water is contaminated. Schools have turned off water fountains due to lead poisoning. Hannibal, Missouri and Tyler, Texas and Sebring, Ohio are all sounding the alarm.

These issues don’t see any boundaries of rich or poor, black or white, Republican or Democrat. All kinds of people everywhere are being taken advantage of. There’s this false sense of security that we’ve all been lulled into, and only now are people actually waking up to reality.

Eventually this moment will go away, when the attention wanes, and we will all forget that it ever happened — until the next crisis hits the news.

 

Look, there’s plenty of blame to go around. It’s here. It’s happening, it’s been going on for a very long time. It will continue to go on, and it’s going to get worse until we have a disaster situation that we cannot turn around. Agencies have not listened; they haven’t done the right thing, either out of fear or greed. This is morally wrong on a thousand different levels. And this is where we have to change.

The EPA is over burdened, understaffed, and broke. And this agency oversees our Safe Drinking Water Act. If we are going to have these federal agencies, we need to actually support them. Because, frankly, right now they’re not doing any good.

Sure, there are some good, well-intentioned, intellectual people in the EPA who want to make a difference. I don’t want everybody to go down when someone makes a bad decision, but unfortunately, bad decisions are happening everywhere.

We learned just this week that, in a memo, an EPA official stated that “Flint was not worth going out on a limb for.” The fact that someone from the governmental agency that is there to protect the health and the welfare of the people made such a disgusting comment will tell you where the problem is.

I’m so perplexed by Governor Rick Snyder’s thinking. He should be criminally prosecuted because he has done so much damage. That’s my opinion. To continue to waste millions of dollars of tax payers’ money to defend himself — Where is your decency? Where is your integrity as a human being, Governor? Please step down. Save that money, give it to those people who need it, get out of office, and let us begin the difficult task of repairing this problem.

These are real, legitimate, serious issues, and too often our government officials dismiss the affected community. Too often agencies fail to check on the health and welfare of people who live in a known contaminated zone. Too often they are dodging a bullet, hiding information, and doing it just to save a buck. Too often, the government is in denial.

Until we really start to listen — and I mean, until the municipalities, federal and state agencies start to listen to the people — instead of reacting to these disasters, we’re going to continue to create greater problems. Government officials and communities need to change their thinking in order to catch the crisis before it happens. And it starts with listening to the people. Right now, nobody is listening, so they come to me.


I’m a grandmother now, and I’m asking myself, what will be our legacy? What am I leaving? If I don’t continue to fight for this, what kind of world would I leave for my little grandchildren, Molly, Grace, and Charles?

My job isn’t to sit here and point fingers, my job is to care. We all do, about our health, our family’s health, our grandchildren’s health, and our neighbors health. I know we do.

Nothing is more important than water. It is connected to every single thing we do: our health and our welfare and our economy. And it should be up to the federal government, the state, every agency, right down to the local levels, to find a solution that provides safe water for all. The solution to pollution is not dilution. That is what we have used our water systems for in the past, and if we continue to do so, we are going to pay the ultimate price — many people already have.

If we could look back at history do something different, we would. We are at that moment right now. We can do something different. We don’t have to make history repeat itself. We are better than that.

We are living in a great country full of great people. We are now more connected then we have been before. We have easy access to information, we are more aware, more educated, more informed — and that’s helping us make different choices in how we live our lives. The millennials are starting a groundswell, which I think is fabulous. In the past our voices haven’t been heard — but now they are starting to rise.

When everyone uses their voice, that’s when we all get on that page — and I’m talking about our leaders. That’s how we change things. That’s how we set the tone and it’s how we move the world forward.

SEE ALSO:

https://kennethharperfinton.me/2016/02/29/is-chloramine-in-your-tap-water/

IS CHLORAMINE IN YOUR TAP WATER?

-Compiled by Kenneth Harper Finton

corroded pipe

A corroded pipe, as a result of chloramine,  leaches lead and other materials into the water.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan has illuminated a potential nationwide crisis, as the chemicals that they used corroded the pipes was chloramine which leached lead out of the old pipes and caused an emergency situation in Flint. But Flint is not the only city that uses this dangerous chemical. One in five Americans are bathing with and drinking water polluted intentionally with chloramine. SOURCE

Before Flint, there was a lead scare in Washington, D.C. in 2004. The city’s tap water contained as much as 30 times the acceptable levels of lead. The explanation for that increase is that Washington’s water treatment facilities began disinfecting water with chloramine instead of chlorine. Chloramine is the compound  that causes the pipes to leach lead into the water supply. It is a compound of chlorine and ammonia that is easier to handle and much more stable than chlorine. It is also cheaper. Chloramine is now used in about 20% of the American drinking water systems.

Chloramide Nation

Refrigerator filters, pitcher (carafe) filters, and faucet attachment filters do not work with chloramine. They deteriorate at a rapid rate and due to their lack of contact time, cannot effectively remove dissolved lead, or chloramine and its toxic byproducts from your tap water. SOURCE:

In January 2011, NPR ran an exposé on the water treatments systems across the United States.

Sometimes solving one problem leads to even more serious problems. Chlorine is used to disinfect our drinking water by killing the living organisms from the water. It has been used for over a century but it leaves toxic by-products.

 “…One of the biggest unintended consequences of adding chlorine to water was that it reacts with some of the organic matter in the water to produce carcinogenic by-products,” says David Sedlak, of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

Reports from several sources, including the Science Journal, report “The Chlorine Dilemma,” have shown that chloramine also has significant risks.

Chloramine does not produce the same by-products as chlorine. It does produce its own toxins, including chemicals called nitrosamines.

Nitrosamone Nitrosamines are chemical compounds of the chemical structure R¹N-N=O, that is, a nitroso group bonded to an amine. Most nitrosamines are carcinogenic. Wikipedia

 

CHLORAMINE – WHAT IS IT AND HOW DO YOU REMOVE IT?

If desired, chloramine and ammonia can be completely removed from the water by boiling; however, it will take 20 minutes of gentle boil to do that. Just a short boil of water to prepare tea or coffee removes about 30% of chloramine. Conversely, chlorine was not as consistently removed by boiling in SFPUC tests. Jun 29, 2013

Chloramine is a compound of chlorine and ammonia and is fast becoming a familiar substance in our water. It is being used in place of chlorine to disinfect city water in over 22% of American municipal water treatment facilities and the number is growing.

Here is what you must know about chloramine and the problems associated with it:

  • Mixing chlorine and ammonia results is a dangerous chemical called monochloramine. It is a toxic nerve gas and is very irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. This is what is being used in municipal water systems to disinfect the water we use to drink, bathe, shower, and cook.
  • Chloramine does not dissipate from water like chlorine does. If you let chlorinated water sit for 30-60 minutes, it will dissipate from the standing water (though it will still leave behind toxic byproducts and VOCs). When you shower, chlorine and chloramine both release into the air and you inhale it, causing irritation the lungs, throat, and eyes. People who suffer from asthma, upper respiratory issues, and cystic fibrosis cannot afford to be inhaling these chemicals.
  • Chloramine has been linked to several health concerns, including gastrointestinal irritation and skin disorders (i.e. eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis). Those who shower and bathe in filtered water exhibit relief from these issues.
  • Chloramine produces by-products known as nitrosodimethylamines (NDMA’s) that may be more carcinogenic than their predecessors (nitrates/nitrites).
  • Chloramine cannot be removed by typical water treatment technique. All sink attachment gadgets, refrigerator filters, and pitcher filters are useless for filtering out chloramines. Chloramine requires special filtration media.
  • Chloramine can cause genetic damage in mammals, including human beings (keep reading below for more information).

In addition, a study conducted by the University of Illinois in 2004 demonstrates that a by-product of the chloramination of drinking water known as iodoacids (eye-o-doe-acids) may be the most toxic ever found in drinking water. The concern is the genetic damage they can cause in mammals (including humans) that drink chloraminated water, but also the fact that these dangerous chemicals are being released back into the environment where fish, wildlife, and the food chain can be harmed.

Like chlorine, chloramine is designed to kill pathogenic organisms by penetrating their cell walls and membranes and disrupting their metabolism. Chloramines are much slower to react so they are not as effective. Unlike chlorine, they do not evaporate from water, nor are they removed by typical water treatment techniques. The only resolution is to move somewhere else, drill your own well, or get an effective filter made specifically for removing chloramine from your drinking and showering water.

Ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate completely neutralize both chlorine and chloramine, but degrade in a day or two, which makes them usable only for short-term applications. SFPUC determined that 1000 mg of Vitamin C tablets, crushed and mixed in with bath water, completely remove chloramine in a medium-size bathtub without significantly depressing pH.

Chloramine is more difficult to remove from drinking water than chlorine. Chlorine is easily removed from water just by boiling, which means that there will be no chlorine in hot drinks like tea or coffee, nor in cooked food. However, unlike chlorine, chloramine is not fully removed by boiling water, and carbon filters are not good at removing chloramine either.

Fortunately, there is a very simple method to remove chloramine from drinking water: just by adding vitamin C. SOURCE

You only need a very small amount of vitamin C to completely neutralize the chloramine in your drinking water: around 10 mg (0.01 grams) of vitamin C will neutralize all the chloramine in one liter of water.

 

WHAT DOES THE EPA SAY ABOUT CHLORAMINES?

Chloramine

Recently San Francisco Public Utility Commision (SFPUC) changed from using free chlorine to chloramine in its drinking water transmission pipes. Some people are concerned for possible public health implications and for reported effects on fish and amphibians.

Using chloramine to disinfect drinking water is a common standard practice among drinking water utilities. A number of utilities have made this switch from chlorine to chloramines to enhance water safety and compliance with drinking water health standards. For example, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), which serves drinking water to customers in parts of the greater San Francisco Bay area, switched from chlorine to using chloramine in February, 1998.

Background information on chloramines

Chlorine has been safely used for more than 100 years for disinfection of drinking water to protect public health from diseases which are caused by bacteria, viruses and other disease causing organisms. Chloramines, the monochloramine form in particular, have also been used as a disinfectant since the 1930’s. Chloramines are produced by combining chlorine and ammonia. While obviously toxic at high levels, neither pose health concerns to humans at the levels used for drinking water disinfection.

Chloramines are weaker disinfectants than chlorine, but are more stable, thus extending disinfectant benefits throughout a water utility’s distribution system. They are not used as the primary disinfectant for your water. Chloramines are used for maintaining a disinfectant residual in the distribution system so that disinfected drinking water is kept safe. Chloramine can also provide the following benefits:

•Since chloramines are not as reactive as chlorine with organic material in water, they produce substantially lower concentrations of disinfection byproducts in the distribution system. Some disinfection byproducts, such as the trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), may have adverse health effects at high levels. These disinfection byproducts are closely regulated by EPA. EPA recently reduced the allowable Maximum Contaminant Levels for total THMs to 80 ug/L and now limit HAAs to 60 ug/L. The use of chlorine and chloramines is also regulated by the EPA. We have Maximum Residual Disinfectant Levels of 4.0 mg/L for both these disinfectants. However, our concern is not from their toxicity, but to assure adequate control of the disinfection byproducts.

•Because the chloramine residual is more stable and longer lasting than free chlorine, it provides better protection against bacterial regrowth in systems with large storage tanks and dead-end water mains.

•Chloramine, like chlorine, is effective in controlling biofilm, which is a slime coating in the pipe caused by bacteria. Controlling biofilms also tends to reduce coliform bacteria concentrations and biofilm-induced corrosion of pipes.

•Because chloramine does not tend to react with organic compounds, many systems will experience less incidence of taste and odor complaints when using chloramine.

Other concerns with chloramines in drinking water

Chloramines, like chlorine, are toxic to fish and amphibians at levels used for drinking water. Unlike chlorine, chloramines do not rapidly dissipate on standing. Neither do they dissipate by boiling. Fish owners must neutralize or remove chloramines from water used in aquariums or ponds. Treatment products are readily available at aquarium supply stores. Chloramines react with certain types of rubber hoses and gaskets, such as those on washing machines and hot water heaters. Black or greasy particles may appear as these materials degrade. Replacement materials are commonly available at hardware and plumber supply stores.

 


WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT CHLORAMINE IN TAP WATER?


 

Erin Brockovich

Chloramination of Drinking Water 

by Erin Brockovich

October 2010

Water utilities across the country are changing the way they treat our drinking water. They’re switching from chlorine, the primary disinfectant used in drinking water systems for over a hundred years, to the alternative disinfectant chloramine at an alarming rate. But are they making a sound, informed decision? What are the health effects? Where are the studies to help us understand the impacts to our health and infrastructure?

The fact of the matter is chloramines are a terrible mistake. While utility companies often use chloramines as a matter of convenience, there are far safer alternatives. As a world-leading nation, we have to stop cutting corners where our health and safety are at stake.

Historically, drinking water disinfection with chlorine has been extremely successful in addressing bacterial and viral contamination. It has virtually wiped out waterborne diseases like typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery. However, chlorine disinfection may also cause health risks. When chlorine is added to the water, it not only kills bacteria and viruses, but it also reacts with other chemicals dissolved in the water to form new compounds, known as disinfection byproducts. Some of these byproducts, such as trihalomethanes, are thought to cause cancer and pose other long-term health risks.

Chloramine, on the other hand, is a combination of chlorine and ammonia. While chlorine dissipates and evaporates into the air relatively quickly, chloramine is more stable and will last longer in the water system. The goal is to provide increased protection from bacterial contamination. Chloramine also happens to be the cheapest and easiest of the options available to water utilities. Yet even though the use of chloramine is convenient, it may not be safe.

Studies indicate chloramine causes more rapid deterioration of the municipal infrastructure and degradation of valves and fittings. In water systems that still use lead pipes or components, this causes lead and other metals to leach into drinking water and out of faucets and showerheads. The chemicals themselves may not cost much, but we can’t afford their consequences.

On top of all these infrastructure and health problems associated with chloramine use, there is growing evidence that chloramine forms toxic byproducts as it disinfects. This also occurs with the use of chlorine, but recent studies indicate the formation of toxic byproducts in drinking water may be higher when utilities use chloramines. These studies also indicate that chloramine causes more dangerous byproducts than other treatment alternatives, such as ozone or chlorine dioxide.

Disinfection byproducts are created when the compounds used for disinfecting drinking water react with natural organic matter, bromide, or iodide. Research shows that the byproducts are highly toxic to mammalian cells like ours, and they’re known to affect cells’ genetic material, which can cause mutation or cancer. In studies, some of these byproducts, such as iodoacetic acid, have been shown to cause developmental abnormalities in mouse embryos. Other byproducts of chloramine use include the highly toxic human carcinogens hydrazine and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Hydrazine is the primary ingredient in rocket fuel and is extremely toxic at very low levels in drinking water. NDMA is also a chemical used in the manufacture of rocket fuels. Both chemicals are a result of the chloramine’s combination of ammonia and chlorine, a potentially deadly cocktail.

Amazingly, it’s not even clear that chloramine’s benefits are worth these risks. Chloramine is 200 times less effective than chlorine in killing e-coli bacteria, rotaviruses, and polio.

How many times do we have to hear water utilities complain that the EPA is making them adopt chloramines? This is not the truth. Time and time again, water utilities shift the blame from themselves and take the easy way out, pointing to some higher authority as responsible.

These utility companies are blaming chloramines adoption on the EPA Stage I and Stage II Disinfectants and Disinfection By-Products Rule (DBPR), which has been actively negotiated since 1992. These rules tighten drinking water regulations, requiring utilities to provide their customers with cleaner, safer drinking water. To support the science behind these regulations, well over $100 million in research has been conducted to better define the risks from microbial pathogens and disinfection byproducts.

The Stage II DBPR and the Long Term Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule are the second phase of rules required by Congress. Set to take effect in 2012, these rules strengthen protection against microbial contaminants and aim to reduce dangerous disinfection byproducts. The rule targets water systems with the greatest risk and builds incrementally on existing rules. Under the Stage II DBPR, systems will conduct an evaluation of their distribution systems to identify the locations with high disinfection byproduct concentrations. These locations will then be used as the sampling sites for Stage II DBPR compliance monitoring.

Utility companies are concerned that these new regulations are too expensive. To cut costs, many are choosing to adopt chloramine treatment. It’s the cheapest way of meeting the EPA’s new regulations, but it’s one of the most dangerous ways of getting the job done.

There are several alternatives recommended by the EPA that do not involve adding more chemicals to our drinking water. All of the alternatives involve removing organic contaminants through enhanced coagulation or sedimentation, filtration, or carbon adsorption. Within those three areas of treatment, there are scores of readily available, real-world applicable options. Alternative disinfectants, such as ozone and chlorine dioxide, are better, but they too can cause the formation of other byproducts. All this demonstrates the need to effectively remove the bad stuff in our drinking water rather than trying to merely treat it with chemicals.

Collectively, we can stop the poisoning of our drinking water supplies. Speak up, and tell your water utilities, state officials, and the EPA, “We are informed, we understand the issue, and we do not want you to continue contaminating our water supplies.”  Cite the Cincinnati’s experience with granular activated carbon (GAC) as an alternative.

In December 1978, Richard Miller became director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works, home to the EPA Research Center and Office of Administration and Resources Management. Miller spearheaded the creation and implementation of a vision that would provide Water Works customers with the high-quality water they desired at a price they could afford. In 1992, he implemented a post-filtration granular activated carbon process, which essentially vacuumed up the dangerous contaminants in water. Using this process, Miller eliminated the need to sully Cincinnati’s water with chlorine, chloramine, or any other dangerous chemicals.

Eighteen years later, Mr. Miller explains, “It is better to remove contaminants by adsorption with GAC instead of adding chemicals that might have unintended consequences. Science is continually identifying additional chemicals in the drinking water supply, often in minute concentrations. While evidence may be lacking that many may pose no significant threat to public health, removing them as an additional benefit of treatment for other purposes is advantageous.”


 

SEE THE SLIDESHOW ON THE DANGERS OF CHLORAMINE

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CITIES USINBG CHLORAMINES

Does Your City Use Chlorine or Chloramines? Check the list at: http://dudegrows.com/watercheck/