शुक्रवार, 2 अक्तूबर 2009

रविवार, 20 सितंबर 2009

सोमवार, 10 नवंबर 2008

Is It Time to Kill Off the Flush Toilet?

Toilet flushing

To flush or not to flush. That was the question that designers and ecologists were asking each other this week as hundreds of people — who spend a lot of time thinking about these things — convened for the annual World Toilet Summit and Expo in Macau.

The World Toilet Summit and Expo is like the Star Trek Convention of the waste management and sanitation world. Toilets on show run the gamut from a cardboard box complete with a hole, plastic bag and pouch of waterless magic pathogen-busting dust ($50), to a high-tech 'uber-toilet,' featuring an in-seat warmer/cooler, male and female water jets, an in-bowl light (why? why?) and a USB port so you can connect your mp3 player for your soothing tune of choice ($1,200).

But figuring out how to wean the world off the flush handle took center stage. Though the common flush toilet has remained largely the same since it's invention in 1596, the world it inhabits has changed drastically. City populations have mushroomed, sewers have become overburdened and water has become scarcer. Now, the flushing loo — that human innovation that lifted the industrialized world out of its own dirt, cholera and dysentery — is quickly becoming one of the more egregious instruments of waste in this time of acutely finite resources. "The world can't sustain this toilet," says Jack Sim, the founder of the World Toilet Organization — the other WTO — an organization that advocates for sustainable sanitation solutions for all. "This 'flush and forget' attitude creates a new problem which we have to revisit."

If you are, as Sim's said, one of the millions who tends to 'flush and forget' on a regular basis, chances are you're dumping up to 22 liters of drinkable water every day, one three- to six-liter flush at a time. But the problem doesn't stop there. What follows — the 'forget' part of the toilet experience — is the long and costly process of sanitizing the water that was clean before you answered nature's call. In the developed world, the flush toilet is our only direct link to the enormous — and exorbitant — engineering feat that is the modern urban sanitation system: the sewers, filtration plants, water treatment facilities, and finally, treated water disposal channels that send the scrubbed water into our rivers and lakes.

Using so much water per flush unnecessarily increases the volume of our waste and the cost of its transportation and treatment, ecologists say. If you don't put waste in water in the first place, then you don't have to spend money to remove it at the back end. The process also leaves a huge carbon footprint, says Rose George, author of The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why it Matters. In the UK, she says, "the sewage system uses as much energy as what the largest coal fire station in the [country] produces" — about 28.8 million tones of carbon dioxide a year.

But the fundamental shift in how we think about our waste, and by extension, dispose of it, needs to be to stop mixing liquids and solids, says the WTO's Sim. "The human body is designed to separate solids from liquid waste," and we should follow suit, he says. By separating fecal matter from urine at the source in what's called a "urine diversion toilet," a wider ecological system of waste disposal becomes possible. Solids can be composted for fertilizer and harvested for methane gas. Urine can be used to produce phosphorous and nitrogen and clean, drinkable water. (The question is, will people bring themselves to drink it?)

Ecological sanitation, as this call to arms is known in toilet circles, is already up and running in many spots around the world. In rural China, 15.4 million homes convert methane into power from what normally went down the pit behind the house. Household waste is stored in a state-subsidized "digester," a kind of metal stomach that breaks down the matter and releases methane gas which is trapped for reuse. In the French city of Lille, a small fleet of ten buses are also using methane, gleaned from the city's poop. And in some Indian villages, simple latrines have been built that separate waste and use it to produce compost and fertilizer at a per capita cost infinitesimally lower than any waste management budget in the West.

In a reversal of the traditional one-way innovation highway — from the West to the rest of the world — many of the best ideas in sanitation are coming from the developing world. And for now, the gap between these initiatives and the large-scale urban sanitary solutions of tomorrow is being filled by inventors and dreamers like Jack Sim and others who gathered this week in Macau. Among their larger visions for collective waste disposal and treatment on display was a network of low-water toilets that separated solids from liquids and assigned them to reservoirs shared by an apartment building or block of houses. Those resevoirs would then produce fertilizer, soil conditioner and energy producing methane — and dramatically cut the cost to the public of waste disposal.

But for many people, this is just hot air. "We have the luxury of flushing the toilet and just seeing it disappear," says George. The industry is stalled not only by that convenience, but by taboo. "People are uncomfortable talking about their own waste." It may have been quite some time since relating the adventures of your most recent bowel movement has constituted acceptable fodder for conversation, but nevertheless, says George, our 'bodily products' have to come back into the conversation somehow, if we are ever going to flush away the flush.

रविवार, 9 नवंबर 2008

Epoxy Pipe Lining To Prevent Lead Contamination

During the 19th and early 20th century lead was widely used in major U.S. cities for water pipes because of its durability and malleability. Lead pipes were eventually superseded by galvanized steel and copper, and copper pipe became the predominant material selected for domestic water service and distribution in post-World War II residential construction.
Pipe corrosion and erosion-caused lead contamination, was the top source of lead-related health issues before the hazards of ingesting lead were realized. Stillbirth and high infant mortality were two of the worst effects of lead ingestion. Many other plumbing or pipe problems are easy to detect by seeing or listening, but without specifically testing for it, there is no way to detect lead in your water. The EPA offers general information about lead contamination and how to test for it on its website.
If you have lead in your water, it?s generally because of one (or more) of these: lead-based solder which used to be the primary way to join copper pipes, a lead service line pipe linking your house to the city or town water main, and brass (or chrome-plated brass) faucets. The U.S. Congress banned the use of lead solder containing greater than 0.2% lead in 1986. It also limited the lead composition of pipes, faucets, and all other plumbing materials to 8.0%.? As a result of this legislation, ?lead-free? brass legally can contain no more than 8% lead and plumbing installed before 1986 possibly contain higher levels of lead.
In older structures, lines from the city/town water main to the home or building may be a lead pipe . Unless your piping has been upgraded in the past 40 years, it is probably galvanized pipe which does not require lead solder for joining. Faucets should be checked to see if they are brass or chrome-plated, a licensed plumber should be able to tell you if they are. CuraFlo??s website offers a brief history of lead materials in water pipes.
If your pipes are the source, epoxy lining will prevent lead leaching into your drinking water. Because the epoxy lining creates a barrier between the metal pipe and the water coming in contact with it, it stops the chemical reaction that causes corrosion. It eliminates and prevents from reoccurring, leaching of lead and other metals into the water, as well as a host of other poor water quality issues such as: discolored water (red, brown, blue or yellow), metallic taste (caused by zinc or iron leeching in galvanized pipes), and water odor or bad taste (caused by bacteria).
A relatively unknown technology, epoxy pipe lining is not a new technology, –in fact it?s well proven. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Navy have both ested and approved the use of epoxy pipe lining to prevent contaminants, including lead, from leaching into drinking water. Their reports are published and links to them can be found at http://curaflo.com/CuraFlo/ResourceCenter. The epoxy used by CuraFlo in epoxy pipe lining, CuraPoxy?, is certified to meet the U.S.
There is no need for health concerns when it comes to epoxy lining your pipes, CuraFlo?s epoxy, CuraPoxy?, is certified to meet ANSI/NSF Standard 61 - the U.S. government standard for safe potable (drinking) water. ANSI/NSF Standard 61 certification means that something is certified safe to be used in potable water pipes at temperatures up to 180? Fahrenheit or 82.2? Celsius. CuraFlo?s epoxy pipe lining process protects you from lead (and other metals) in your pipes leaching into your water by preventing these metals from leaching into your water.
by Dr. Dave Dunn
About the Author:
Dr. Dave Dunn is Vice President of Research and Development for CuraFlo which provides epoxy lining solutions for homes & commercial buildings. Dr. Dave holds a PhD in Polymer Chemistry from the University of Keele in England. You can contact dr dave about plumbing problems or plumbing repair. SEO