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.