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Cleaning Water Bottles

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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:03 am

Day Hiker wrote:I didn't read every word in the thread, but you guys do realize that wastewater treatment plants commonly chlorinate and then DECHLORINATE the water as part of the treatment process. The water must be dechlorinated before being released.


No shit. (rimshot.)

Actually, didn't Vegas start the move to ozone treatment? There was a concern that the chlorinated organics would persist in the environment.

And now for a full circle analysis... Denture-cleaning tablets usually contain chemical oxidants; not chlorinated, but still perborates or such.
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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby welle » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:13 pm

mrchad9 wrote:
1000Pks wrote:Dishwashing liquid and boiling hot water does the trick for me. Don't be like the mentally debilitated enviro club member who uses clorox and then dumps it all into the drain. It goes into the river, not where it should unless you like dead fish and similar. If you have BPA free bottles, of course. If not, throw all of them away.

Your home sewage does not go straight into a river with fish in it, clorox in it or not.


It eventually makes it into the ocean - where do you think the chlorine goes? While 1000Pks gripe with Sierra Club turned into a running joke here on SP, I agree with him on the Clorox issue, SC's endorsement of Clorox was plain wrong.
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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:39 pm

welle wrote:It eventually makes it into the ocean - where do you think the chlorine goes? While 1000Pks gripe with Sierra Club turned into a running joke here on SP, I agree with him on the Clorox issue, SC's endorsement of Clorox was plain wrong.


There is actually quite a bit of chlorine in the ocean; sea water is almost 2% chlorine. The question is whether oxidized chlorine makes it to the oceans, and in general, it doesn't. Also true, there isn't a one-to-one correspondence between the elemental content of what we dump in sewers, and what enters natural waters. There is a fair concern that some chlorinated hydrocarbons remain in sewage sludge, but that's pretty far from his concern.

Do you know how most municipalities treat drinking water and waste water? Read Day Hiker's comments above.
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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:15 pm

I'm not sure if you will interpret this correctly, but I'll take a chance:
http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/corpgov/20 ... attention/

As you can see, there are far more direct ways that man-made hypochlorite can make into the oceans. This plan is still on the books; direct treatment of ballast water with a small amount of bleach solution. If the expelled water is not diluted, it is toxic to some critters; but even with this very direct treatment -- designed to keep tankers (e.g. off the CA coast) from spreading disease to your beaches -- the oxidized products disappear in short order. This is likely to be a far more significant source than hypochlorite from people cleaning water bottles.

Chlorinated sewage can be a problem:
http://www.springerlink.com/content/v557h6w0hq624881/

...but only in the initial outfalls of the sewage, and then only a weak "maybe." But most important, this chlorination is not from people disinfecting water bottles-- it's from intentional chlorination of sewage in some treatment plants. These man-made effects swamp the ones of your concern.

Ironically, hypochlorite may be more benign than perborate (used in denture-cleaning tabs); it tends to degrade in seawater:
http://www.stormingmedia.us/43/4379/A437951.html
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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby welle » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:22 pm

MoapaPk wrote:
welle wrote:It eventually makes it into the ocean - where do you think the chlorine goes? While 1000Pks gripe with Sierra Club turned into a running joke here on SP, I agree with him on the Clorox issue, SC's endorsement of Clorox was plain wrong.


There is actually quite a bit of chlorine in the ocean; sea water is almost 2% chlorine. The question is whether oxidized chlorine makes it to the oceans, and in general, it doesn't. Also true, there isn't a one-to-one correspondence between the elemental content of what we dump in sewers, and what enters natural waters. There is a fair concern that some chlorinated hydrocarbons remain in sewage sludge, but that's pretty far from his concern.

Do you know how most municipalities treat drinking water and waste water? Read Day Hiker's comments above.


Not New York City, the only time they dump massive amounts of chlorine is after extensive rain. In any case, my comment was not about the concern on the chlorine in water, but the fact that anything we flush down our sewage systems eventually ends up either in the ground, air, water and eventually into the oceans. It's a closed system, we need to be mindful of it and strive to use less of soap, detergent or bleach, and think twice before flushing those expired meds into the toilets.
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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby goldenhopper » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:28 pm

I use the disposable Smart Water or large mouth Aquafina 1 liter bottles and toss when done... Bam! Now that's easy!
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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:15 pm

welle wrote: but the fact that anything we flush down our sewage systems eventually ends up either in the ground, air, water and eventually into the oceans. It's a closed system, we need to be mindful of it and strive to use less of soap, detergent or bleach, and think twice before flushing those expired meds into the toilets.


Expired meds -- and even urine from people taking meds -- are certainly persistent tracers. But the idea that everything dumped in the sewers makes it to the oceans or rivers is not correct. There is a lot of biodegradation of organics, and degradation of many inorganic chemicals, especially oxidants. Sorption of metals on soils is pretty extreme.

I think you are a little naive about the treatment of waste water in NYC:

"To disinfect and kill harmful organisms, the wastewater
spends a minimum of 15-20 minutes in chlorine-contact
tanks mixing with sodium hypochlorite, the same chemical
found in common household bleach. The treated wastewater,
or effluent, is then released into local waterways.
Disinfection is an essential step because it protects the
health of people who use local beaches and enjoy other
recreational activities on or near the water."


http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/wwsystem.pdf
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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:19 pm

NancyHands wrote:I use the disposable Smart Water or large mouth Aquafina 1 liter bottles and toss when done... Bam! Now that's easy!

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby welle » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:58 pm

I meant drinking water, not waste water. It's fair that a lot of stuff gets degraded in nature, but there is a limit. Didn't BP dump bunch of chemical dispersants into the Gulf to break oil into small particles that could be absorbed by bacteria? I'm sure the amount of oil they spilled and the amount of chemicals they dumped pretty much killed or overwhelmed the bacteria that was supposed to absorb the oil...
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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:40 pm

welle wrote:I meant drinking water, not waste water.

Then I don't see the relevance of your original comment. Read the comment about how they treat NYC waste water (which comes through the sewers) and what they do with it, and decide if the clorox you might use to clean a water bottle will make any significant difference. What do you think eventually happens to the water you drink, and the water you use to shower, flush toilets, or wash clothes?

It's fair that a lot of stuff gets degraded in nature, but there is a limit. Didn't BP dump bunch of chemical dispersants into the Gulf to break oil into small particles that could be absorbed by bacteria? I'm sure the amount of oil they spilled and the amount of chemicals they dumped pretty much killed or overwhelmed the bacteria that was supposed to absorb the oil...


There are limits, and the purpose of water management authorities is to make sure they are not exceeded. I'm pretty sure that you do not realize the amount of chemical analysis that goes into checking the process.

The BP example is a red herring; that wasn't a gradual or intentional release, nor in any way typical of the sewer systems. We are supposed to recycle our used motor oil nowadays, and there are penalties for those are found to be exceeding the limits. The EPA will even force people to remediate old buried oil tanks on their properties. Around here, an individual is limited to recycling about 2 gallons oil a month, and that oil gets processed, it doesn't go in the sewers. Few even come close to that limit. Yet by far the biggest source of hydrocarbons in sewers is runoff from roads. Perhaps that is a relevance of the BP example; we have lots of tight regulations on thoughtful use of small amounts, and few regulations for the big problems.

My main concern is that people will take strong stands on trivial transgressions, and pass lots of feel-good laws, while starving the environmental checks that really make a difference. If you want to make a difference for hypochlorite, get involved with the harbor and water authorities and ask about the regulations for cleaning ballast tanks and treatment of sewage. Multiply the numbers out, and you will quickly see that the occasional cleaning of water bottles --with a small amount of clorox-- is massively trivial.

EDITS: blue
Last edited by MoapaPk on Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:55 pm

welle wrote:I'm sure the amount of oil they spilled and the amount of chemicals they dumped pretty much killed or overwhelmed the bacteria that was supposed to absorb the oil...

I'm not sure about that. Why are you?

One only needs to look at the surface of the Gulf today to see the impact was not as great as anticipated given the massive quantity spilled.
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Re: Cleaning Water Bottles

Postby chugach mtn boy » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:36 pm

mrchad9 wrote:One only needs to look at the surface of the Gulf today to see the impact was not as great as anticipated given the massive quantity spilled.

It is an ecosystem that is adapted to dealing with oil, because of all the natural seeps in the Gulf. So not an especially sensitive environment.

This was an environmental issue--and not the first one--where there ended up being kind of an unspoken conspiracy to make it sound worse than it was. The right wanted it to sound bad to reflect badly on Obama, and the left wanted it to sound bad because it fits the narrative of corporate despoilation and helps raise funds for environmental groups. And the press wanted it to sound bad because drama sells.
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