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[GreenYes] Re: Food debris belongs outside the pipe.

At 09:05 AM 8/9/2006 -0700, you wrote:
>Alan's concerns (which I share) relate to the likelihood that
>conventional sewer systems will sometimes fail. My concern is that
>conventional systems may be inherently flawed in their design, not
>only because of downstream impacts but because of upstream impacts.
>Lester Brown's Plan B 2.0, Chapter 3, convinced me that "Emerging
>Water Shortages" are a real concern and that liquid waste management
>systems that rely on enormous throughputs of water may be part of the problem.


I was trying to say the same thing: Sewer technology is inherently
problematic. The entire history of the business shows failure to
look at the bigger picture. And, IMO, this continues to be how the
civil engineers and regulators operate: Tunnel vision: intake
upstream, pooper downstream--end of OUR problem.

Delaware is as good an example as any: over 40 inches of rain per
year, groundwater readily available in most places, rivers, streams
everywhere. But in dry years there is moaning and groaning about
"water shortage," talk of mega-buck pipeline and reservoir projects....

I can point out until blue in the face that there is plenty of cheap,
readily available water here. The only problem is that we are
polluting it with industrial, agricultural, and domestic
wastes. Sometimes it seems to me that the prerequisite for working
in the field is some sort of lobotomy. The different jurisdictions,
and regulatory bodies and programs, just cannot, even conceptually,
get beyond the boundaries of their own turf....

End of rant. I have heard there are places (Indochina?) where one
puts the outhouse over the fish pond and eats the well-nourished fish ....


>I think this is something that we should be tracking.
>At 08:34 AM 8/9/2006, Alan Muller wrote:
>>if untreated sewage is discharged (and the reasons and excuses for
>>doing this are many), and food waste is in the sewage, untreated
>>food waste will be discharged, and at the very least this will
>>contribute BOD (biological oxygen demand). To put this another way
>>for non-sewer-wonks: yes, the food waste is somewhat biodegradable
>>(I don't know about bones and such) but if this degradation
>>(oxidation) occurs in the "receiving waters" it will take up oxygen
>>and contribute to water quality problems, fish kills, etc. Low
>>oxygen levels are a common water quality problem associated with
>>sewage discharges....
>>So I guess I am saying that unless one can show that the sewer
>>system in question will treat ALL the sewage, ALL the time, and has
>>adequate capability to do so, and unless one can show that the
>>"receiving waters" meet all water quality standards (rare), then
>>unnecessary load should be kept out of the system.... Not
>>everybody agrees that there are good alternatives to, say, flushing
>>feces down the drain, but we all know there are good alternatives
>>to flushing food waste.
>>This is an interesting subject. The more I think about it the more
>>opposed to disposalls I seem to be getting.

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