Water in the first world

tishtoshnm Zone 6/NMApril 17, 2014

I suppose I can only see this is as a first-world problem. An open, 38-million gallon reservoir will be drained because one teen peed in it. I just wonder at what his bladder capacity was? I do understand that Portland's water situation is much different than here in NM but this just seems incredibly wasteful to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Look at all that water!

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pnbrown

That director should be fired. We don't need people with a pathological fear of urine and feces in charge of vast potable water supplies.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 3:32PM
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jodik_gw

Do fish and other wildlife not pee in the same water?

Hello? It's filtered and treated, I do believe, before it reaches your tap.

Some people are so ignorant...

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 3:38PM
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david52_gw

So, apparently they store their treated water in these open reservoirs, and the Feds are telling them they need to put them underground.

Our potable water storage, (what there is of it), is in steel tanks. Its used more to regulate pressure than store water.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 3:57PM
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jodik_gw

Even at a bladder capacity of one whole gallon, it's a teeny tiny amount in a vast body of water.

How many ducks and geese butter it up during nice weather? How many animals stop to drink, urinate, poop, or leave other bodily fluids in that reservoir? How many dead, rotting fish are in the reservoir? What about the fish and other wildlife that spawn there? What about bacteria, protozoan life and parasites, bugs, worms, snakes, turtles, and other forms of life? What about the dirt and mud, the plant life... some of which dies and rots?

I'm guessing the town doesn't drink directly out of this body of water, regardless what is reported. You can't pre-treat an open body of water and expect it to remain pure. Birds and other wildlife can't be expected to hold it while flying over or engaging in other behaviors.

To say it's treated and then held in an open reservoir doesn't make any logical sense. Treating it and leaving it open is stupid. Most water is treated before it leaves for mains, and is usually stored in water towers. Even water taken from underground aquifers is treated and stored BEFORE being pumped to consumers. It's not left open to the elements and environment.

To be so blind to the cycle of life within any body of water is to be... completely out of touch with reality... with life, itself.

How do you get to be the director of such a thing... and not have a clue?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 4:43PM
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pnbrown

It's probably similar to how it's done around here, where potable water sources are periodically tested for pathogens - once in while the count is high and they add chlorine into the mains for a few days.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 5:14PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

The conspiracy theorist in me wants to imagine that wasn't the real reason the water had to go.

Any help here?
I'm drawing a blank.

Edited to say I
just noticed the post above.
That makes more sense.

This post was edited by asleep_in_the_garden on Thu, Apr 17, 14 at 17:35

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 5:30PM
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duluthinbloomz4

Our potable water comes directly from Lake Superior - pumped up from a depth of @180 feet. It's filtered and disinfected and pumped to covered reservoirs around the city.

One idiot peeing in a reservoir wouldn't turn Portland's water supply into the Ganges - which is all things to countless hordes of people from sewer to bath tub to repository of the dead (ash and whole corpse form) to laundry to...

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 5:44PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Duluth,
this thread made me think of the ganges as well!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 6:08PM
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dragonflydee

Well Jodik

After reading your post I am damn glad I got a private deep well!

DD
(still a big METALLICA fan)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 6:40PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

The only reason I can come up with for the feds requiring it be stored underground or covered is terrorism. If I were a in Portland I would find this ridiculous as I cannot imagine that draining the water and treating it before entering the Columbia would be free. It completely and totally boggles the mind. My family of 6 uses roughly 72000 gallons of water a year so that 38 million gallons of water they are going to drain off would be sufficient for my family for over 500 years.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:19PM
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eibren(z6PA)

It sounded like a deliberate contamination. IMO if the reaction was to drain the supply, maybe they should have been held as attempted terrorists and had a few urine tests.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:47PM
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david52_gw

Unless I'm missing something, I understood "treating the water" as meaning they filtered then sterilized it with chlorine or UV rays or something, then pump it into an open reservoir, and then on into town without further treatment.

Which seems kinda risky to me, what with birds flying o'er head and muskrats and raccoons and such.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:32PM
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jodik_gw

"After reading your post I am damn glad I got a private deep well!"

And you're probably not the only well on that particular water table, either. But the many layers of earth and rock and sediments are nature's filter system. Even so, most incoming plumbing has a filter of some sort... and the pump, itself, has a screen... whether a filter to remove excess minerals and sediments, or to filter for other things...

We generally don't pump water straight from any body without some sort of screening or filters... unless one lives so rurally and off-grid as to be sure that the source is as pure as nature offers.

Totally a Metallica fan, here! Love metal! :-)

Risky isn't the word, David... that would be downright idiotic. Something doesn't fit right about the story.

I'm not a big fan of treated city water. I prefer well water or spring water, not treated with any number of chemicals... like fluoride, for example.

A little urine in that amount of water isn't really "contamination", per se'... think about how many people urinate in public pools, a decidedly smaller body of water... which is why public pools are typically over chlorinated.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 2:30AM
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frank_il

"And you're probably not the only well on that particular water table, either. But the many layers of earth and rock and sediments are nature's filter system."

I guarantee that she is not.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:51AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Hey, dogs drink out of toilets with no ill effects, just saying...

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:16AM
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pnbrown

I have decided that this OP article must be from the Onion.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:16AM
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jodik_gw

It's either a satire, or there are some really poorly educated officials running Portland's water supply. Something is not right with the article.

"Hey, dogs drink out of toilets with no ill effects, just saying..."

Dogs also eat their own feces, lick weird things, dig through garbage if given the chance, and do a lot of other unsavory things... they're animals with different systems than we have... and our flush supply is potable water.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:44AM
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markjames

It's funny to see the looks on the faces of customers and tenants when we cut water piping and they see and smell all the dark colored gooey matter on the inside of drinking water supply piping.

In many regions the very old water supply mains and branches are cracked and constantly breaking, so all sorts of foreign matter is entering the system.

Many have high concentrations of lead, plus many have no backflow prevention so they're drinking boiler water, sewage, boiler chemicals, boiler antifreeze etc.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:49AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Actually, the original article I posted was in People magazine (it had a nice picture with it) but it was also reported on CNN and some local news stations here. It is also posted on many other news sites, a quick search will produce many hits.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 12:07PM
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dragonflydee

Jodik

We live...

Abt 1/2 to 3/4 a mile from the next house(there's only one neighbour),
Then well over 2 miles to the paved county road before a few houses.

I live 14 to 17 miles from any town and although county water systems
Do run out we are on a well.

So I am going to hope for that good earth filtration!

The well water is alkaline,comes up very cold and refreshing.
We drilled 80 feet into the Limestone.
We needed to case and did so.
The depth of the well is over 580 feet.
No chemicals.

DD

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 12:50PM
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jodik_gw

i suppose it all depends on local geology and where water tables or aquifers are located, DD... and what the local county and health department want to see...

My parents, when building their rural home about 6 decades ago, bypassed the water table that others in the same area tapped into, and drilled several hundred feet beyond to a larger table with better water. It was high in iron and other minerals, but icy cold, fresh, and potable with no problems.

Their incoming main from the well pump was outfitted with inline filters to catch some of the minerals and rust from iron... but white porcelain fixtures still gathered orange rust stains. The water was great, though... and good for health with the particular minerals contained.

We always found it odd that visitors from the city, mostly relatives, would bring their own bottled water for mixed drinks or coffee... while we always found the city water to be strange tasting, smelling faintly like a chlorinated pool.

To each his or her own, I suppose. I was raised on well water, and have always lived far enough away from civilization that the water came from a well. I guess if you're not used to the variety of tastes well water can bring in various areas, you may prefer bottled or treated water. But we like ours straight from underground.

In some areas, the well water can contain a high concentration of sulpher, giving it the odor of rotten eggs. Well water can show different colors and have different odors, however slight or strong, indicating the particular minerals in the area.

As to the story in the OP... it still doesn't add up to me.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:45PM
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