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My Ban (One-time use) Bottled Water Campaign

by g4allblog 0 Comments

Hey guys,

Posting here, pretty much indicates I'm in need of some help. A few months ago, I started a campaign to ban one-time use water bottles from sales at my school. So far, I'd say, it's going steadily, but I could really use the boost from internet users and water lover's from all spectrums and sorts. As many of you may know, but I'll reiterate my points in case you don't, bottled water comes at a huge cost; from the actual monetary cost of prices well beyond tap water, to the environmental degradation of draining lakes and the plastic alone, and finally, the potential personal cost of Bisphenol A (BPA) that can harm the human body from the resins.

As with any campaign, legitimization can come from almost any medium nowadays. What I ask of you reddit hydrologists, is to visit my page and website for traffic, and others like it, to give a "like" to help promote this cause. If I can convince one of you to receive a like because of this post, I will have done my job tonight.

Thank you.

Links at the bottom:



TLDR? Bottled Water bad. Give likes. ty.

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Source: Reddit Water News

Source: Water Industry News

The Stream, February 24: Canada, U.S. Commit to Reduce Nutrient Pollution in Lake Erie

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The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Canada and the United States committed to cut phosphorus pollution in Lake Erie by 40 percent in an effort to combat toxic algae blooms. Japan cut the number of buoys it maintains to track El Nino weather events, and a new report found that coastal flooding in U.S. cities is increasingly linked to climate change. Australia will soon decide whether to begin operating a major desalination plant near Melbourne. U.S. states in the Colorado River Basin plan to either use or lose their water rights.

“You can lease whatever you want, but you’ll never get it back once they’re using it. And so I’m saying we’ve got to put it to use with agriculture.” –Bill Taliver, a rancher in Wyoming, on the notion of leasing Wyoming’s excess Colorado River water to states like California. Wyoming and Colorado are working on ways to either store or use all of their allotted water from the river so that they do not lose access to it in the future. (NPR)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

40 percent Reduction, from 2008 levels, that Canada and the United States plan to make in the amount of phosphorus flowing into Lake Erie. Action plans to meet the new target will be completed by 2018. EPA

150 billion liters Capacity of a $4.1 billion desalination plant near Melbourne, Australia that was completed in 2012 but has never been used. The state of Victoria, hit by drought, will decide whether or not to begin using the plant within the next two months. Bloomberg


Science, Studies, And Reports

The number of days with coastal flooding in U.S. cities has more than doubled over the past three decades, according to a report by the nonprofit news organization Climate Central. About three-quarters of the flooding events over the past decade could be attributed to climate change, the report found. Guardian

On the Radar

On The Radar

Japan has cut the number of El Nino-monitoring buoys it maintains and operates by almost half, from 15 to eight, and plans to maintain only three to four buoys by next year. Scientists have raised concerns that the cuts could hinder global efforts to forecast El Nino weather events, which can cause severe droughts and floods around the world. Bloomberg

The post The Stream, February 24: Canada, U.S. Commit to Reduce Nutrient Pollution in Lake Erie appeared first on Circle of Blue WaterNews.

Source: Water News

Source: Water Industry News

Flint Scandal Is Already Changing the Water Utility Business

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Brian Calley

Utilities respond to lead contamination

Brian Calley Flint Michigan lead Carl Ganter Circle of Blue

Photo © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue
Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley spoke in Flint, on February 6, 2016, at the Flint Neighborhoods United meeting. ‘Fixing Flint is my life now,’ Calley told the group of community leaders. Click image to enlarge.

By Brett Walton
Circle of Blue

For Carrie Lewis, superintendent of Milwaukee Water Works, the Flint water crisis is a history lesson.

In the spring of 1993, two years before Lewis was hired to oversee the water treatment process in Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee’s water system failed. Cryptosporidium, an intestinal parasite, entered the distribution pipes through the city’s Lake Michigan water intake. The bugs should have been killed by a battery of common purification measures: chlorination, flocculation, filtration. They weren’t.

“Flint will be as transformative for distribution lines as cryptosporidium was for treatment.”

–Carrie Lewis, superintendent
Milwaukee Water Works

The mistake resulted in the largest waterborne disease outbreak in United States history, and the consequences were grave. An estimated 403,000 people became ill with diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps, and 69 died. In response, Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to strengthen monitoring and treatment requirements for microbial contaminants. The amendments also ordered utilities to cover reservoirs that store treated drinking water — to minimize exposure to animal feces — and to provide annual water quality reports to customers.

“The outbreak made utilities realize that we are in the business of public health protection,” Lewis told Circle of Blue.

Lewis predicts that similar changes will arise from the Flint scandal.

“Flint will be as transformative for distribution lines as cryptosporidium was for treatment,” she asserted.

The Flint scandal is ripe with lessons: the audacious failure of government, the burdens of race and poverty, the legacy of outdated infrastructure. These hallmarks of Flint will change the utility business in four ways, according to interviews with industry leaders. In the short term, local officials are attempting to avert a loss of confidence in municipal drinking water while making operational changes to avoid lead contamination.

In the long run, utilities are redoubling efforts to educate the public and politicians about the need to invest in the water systems that are the foundation of civic and economic life. Utilities must also implement changes in federal lead regulations, which are now being revised.

A New Way of Doing Business

First, the operational changes. Many cities sent out notices to customers who have lead service lines to remind them of the potential danger. Milwaukee sent letters to 70,000 customers and is receiving 30 to 50 calls per day from customers seeking advice.

“Everybody’s sensitivities are heightened because of Flint,” Lewis noted.

Other responses are still more cautious. Milwaukee has suspended water main replacement work for neighborhoods that have lead service lines, Lewis said.

The water mains are not made of lead, but excavating the street to replace the mains can shake loose lead particles in the service lines that run from the mains to homes. This has been a problem elsewhere. Three Chicago residents sued the city on February 18, alleging that water main replacements caused high lead levels in household tap water.

Milwaukee Water Works, according to Lewis, is developing a protocol for reducing the risk during construction. The outline of the program is taking shape: provide water tanks or bottles to homeowners while the repairs are made, then teach them how to flush their systems of residual lead. After the work is complete, the utility will monitor tap water.

The utility does not have a timeline for resuming water main replacements. It will do so, Lewis said, when she is sure that public health is protected.

Reputation at Risk?

Other cities are reassuring customers that their water is safe.

“All water is local,” said Diane VanDe Hei, the chief executive of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, which represents large utilities. “But what happened in Flint had an impact on water systems in general. People want to know, ‘What is my utility doing differently from what happened there?’”

In the short term, utilities are providing information about water quality testing and the extent of lead service lines. The larger question, one that is a matter of debate, is the long-term effect on the reputation of water utilities. Is the reputation of public water damaged? Pat Mulroy, the former general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, said that Flint was “a black eye” for the water utility industry and that a basic assumption of trust had been broken.

George Hawkins, the general manager of D.C. Water in the nation’s capital, called what happened in Flint “the stuff of nightmares” for those who work in the public utility sector. “The District’s drinking water is safe,” Hawkins wrote in an online opinion piece published by The Hill. “We must not compound the Flint crisis with a nationwide loss of confidence in tap water.”

But some industry leaders say that a distinction should be drawn.

“If Flint were my city, it would take a long time to rebuild trust,” VanDe Hei told Circle of Blue. “Is that the same for every city? I don’t think so. I don’t see a permanent scar.” Her advice to utilities: be honest with their communities and address their worries.

water infrastructure water main replacement New York City Manhattan

Photo courtesy of MTA Capital Construction
Workers excavate 23rd Street, in Manhattan, to replace a water main. Click image to enlarge.

Other utility leaders have not confronted much concern. Martin Querin, assistant public works director for water in Vallejo, California, has been making public presentations in recent months to explain the need for a water rate increase. Querin said that in more than a dozen public meetings only one person had asked about Flint.

“It hasn’t appeared to be an issue with our customers,” Querin told Circle of Blue.


Querin draws a different lesson from Flint. He sees a fractured relationship between water utilities and their customers — water systems are physically breaking down, but utility leaders are unable or unwilling to communicate that need.

“The black mark is not just because of Flint,” Querin said, referencing Mulroy’s comment. “It’s because water utilities do a poor job in general in communicating with their customers.”

“It’s partly political,” he explained, noting that water rate increases usually must be approved by city councils. “Customers want inexpensive water. Elected people know this. The utility is trained to reduce its requests for rate increases because it knows that it is not going to get the larger sum. Politicians rely on the fact that we have infrastructure that lasts 50 to 100 years. No one tells the customer, ‘Do you want low rates or sustainable, reliable water? What do you prefer?’”

Querin prefers investment. He helped pass a doubling of Fresno’s water rates over five years when he was the water division manager at that city. In Vallejo, he is now advocating for a 73 percent increase in residential bills over four years, to replace old pipes.

The need for investment is one of the lessons that the U.S. Conference of Mayors has taken from the Flint crisis. In its Compact for a Better America, the conference asks Congress to spend more on infrastructure, including water and sewer systems.

New Federal Regulation Forthcoming

To reduce lead in drinking water and to repair broken water systems is no easy task. The utility-customer relationship must be strong. The money must be corralled from ratepayers, state funds, and federal coffers.

New federal lead regulations might play a role. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is revising the Lead and Copper Rule, which dictates what utilities must do to minimize lead contamination and how much they are required to tell their customers. A draft rule is expected next year.

A federal advisory council recommended that all lead service lines be replaced. More than 7 million such lines are still in use in the United States. Environmental health advocates want more accountability and public education requirements that go beyond the rather technical annual reports that were mandated as part of the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act amendments.

It is a familiar spot for Lewis, who sees the need for yet another national readjustment in the wake of an eye-opening crisis.

“The regulatory structure needs to be revamped,” she said. “State, federal — every aspect of water treatment needs to be looked at differently.”

The post Flint Scandal Is Already Changing the Water Utility Business appeared first on Circle of Blue WaterNews.

Source: Water News

Source: Water Industry News