Perrier in the potty - water supply quality befuddlement

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Ulmer, Nov 2, 2002.

  1. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    First off no politics.
    I am befuddled by the thinking about our water supply. Once again people are screaming for an upgrade to the chlorinization/decontamination process used for residential water supply, which is a tens of millions of dollar upgrade. The goal is to make sure that water coming from home taps is drinkable.
    However, water for drinking accounts for a minute amount of the water in the supply system. I don't have the actual numbers, but I assume it's less than 5% once we factor in agricultural uses, and all the other uses in the home. Do I really need Perrier to flush my toilet with, water the lawn, bath in, or wash dishes? Why should we spend millions to treat that 5%, when an in home treatment would be far more cost effective?
    Can someone explain the rational behind this?
     
  2. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I'm guessing it's because the logistics of installing/monitoring in-home purification would be overwhelming. Having all the water this way simplifies the infrastructure.

    However, many places here in FL (not my neighborhood, unfortunately) do supply a "reclaimed" water supply to neighborhoods for lawn watering.

    Personally, I'd like to see the "drinking water" plumbed to sinks, showers, and clothes washing- yes, I think "Perrier" should be used for these things. Plumb a "looser spec" to the hose bibs, toilets. Finally, reclaimed water to the lawn.
    Better yet, I'd like to see bigger acceptance of cistern systems. It seems odd, particularly here in FL, that all this rain (>50"/year) falls on my roof, and I can't easily collect it, and I have to get my water from 1300 ft under the ground (Floridan Aquifer). It seems an awful, anti-common-sense, circuitous route. I can, of course, but at a HEFTY price for the tank system. I'm not sure why it should cost so much.

    I intend to attempt the cistern idea if I build another home. In my current neighborhood, I simply can't justify the cost, permitting, etc, in spite of what I think I should be doing.

    Todd
     
  3. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Yeah, the cost of converting from one infrastructure to another can be horrendous.

    That's why were probably stuck with the Gates model of home computers for a long time.

    Water policy Irrational? Yeah, why do so many people buy and lug water around with them, when the tap water is usually ok?
     
  4. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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  5. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Hmm, wasn't Perrier notorious for being worse than tap water?

    Anyhow, investing in a water filter (a la Culligan or whatnot) might be a good way to go if the tap water isn't up to snuff.
     
  6. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    There certainly have been scams, where the bottled water came out of taps from the same source as the consumer has been trying to avoid, and many cases where the quality of the bottled water has been found to be defective. The press recently reported that Health Canada was considering whether bottled water doesn't need to be regulated like food and drugs, because more people are turning to it.

    But carrying water has become a common social behaviour, like carrying a cell-phone.

    Anyway, the irrationality of water policy is far more than that - we usually use several gallons to flush away an ounce of urine, we bathe in more water than a whale would need to live for a few hours, etc. And we pollute the fresh water like crazy
     
  7. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    When you think of the amount of chemicals required to treat the billions of gallons that are flushed or sprinkled on the lawn, not to mention the cost of the facilities etc, it would almost make more sense to declare tap water not suitable for consumption, and make bottled water the norm for drinking - and yes, it should be regulated to a testable standard for toxins and impurities.

    As for cisterns, they make perfect sense for bathing or watering, but they can have problems if the water sits for any length of time.
     

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