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Thread: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

  1. #1

    Default Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    It's kinda been bugging me for awhile (after I learned about this) that most municipal water supplies purify for things like bacteria and add things like fluoride, but did you know that they don't filter out things like chemical residue from medications that are prescribed to people?

    You may or may not know that if you take a prescription med, not all of it stays in your body. Some of it is flushed down the toilet, where it eventually ends up in the water supply (or in the ocean). I don't know about you, but the thought of drinking trace amounts of drugs I don't need kind of concerns me.

    We started buying purified, ozonated water by the 5-gallon jug about 3 years ago. We use it as our drinking water and for some cooking. Seattle water tastes great but I just didn't want to be drinking somebody's excess chemotherapy.

    You guys in Honolulu especially might want to investigate where you get your municipal water supply from to see what kind of contaminants it might have.

    Miulang

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    Trace pharmaceuticals in drinking water are generally more of a concern in areas where the drinking water supply is from rivers and lakes, because that's also where the sewage treatment plants discharge their possibly-pharm-containing effluent. Here in the islands, our drinking water is mostly from groundwater, and our sewage is mostly discharged to the ocean, so there's less chance for this issue to come up.

    I read an article about this a while ago. My favorite part was:
    ...water quality engineers have recognized that one of the highest-volume contaminants emerging in effluent -- especially early in the morning -- is caffeine, a drug excreted by all those people who down a cup or two of Java to jolt their bodies awake.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Miyashiro
    Trace pharmaceuticals in drinking water are generally more of a concern in areas where the drinking water supply is from rivers and lakes, because that's also where the sewage treatment plants discharge their possibly-pharm-containing effluent. Here in the islands, our drinking water is mostly from groundwater, and our sewage is mostly discharged to the ocean, so there's less chance for this issue to come up.

    I read an article about this a while ago. My favorite part was:
    But I think that even Hawaii water comes eventually from rainwater, which comes from the ocean...etc etc etc. I don't think clouds or the evaporation that seeds the clouds to cause the rain to fall and become groundwater filters out the excess pharmaceuticals, either.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    Actually, evaporation is a pretty effective way to purify water, unless the contaminant in question is volatile enough to evaporate along with the water. I don't think most pharmaceuticals are that volatile.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Miyashiro
    Actually, evaporation is a pretty effective way to purify water, unless the contaminant in question is volatile enough to evaporate along with the water. I don't think most pharmaceuticals are that volatile.
    Have to ask a pharmacy person at work how volatile chemo drugs are...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    From the NYU Medical Center, here's a list of "hazardous drugs"...

    http://www.med.nyu.edu/envservices/s...1-03-app-a.pdf

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    Even though the Board of Water Supply can guarantee their purity from their pumping stations, it's the underground utility piping and the service lines to the home that is the problem, including old galvanized pipes especially in Kaimuki, Manoa and Palolo.

    Try cracking open an old galvanized water pipe feeding your home (shut the main first) and take a look inside. You'll find this mustard looking muck surrounding the insides of the pipe like cholesterol. You're drinking, cooking and bathing in this sludge.

    Being on catchment I'm always aware of our potable water's purity. The sulphuric acid from the volcano presents the biggest problem for us here on the Big Island

    I start off with a basic sediment filter before my pump to catch the stuff that passed the filter screen up on the gutter downspout. From there it goes to a 3-micron carbon filter to catch organic stuff then 2-stage reverse-osmosis filtering system to catch everything else. In the house each faucet and the refrigerator has a PUR water filter just in case. The best filteration system is probably a diatom filter that polishes the water to absolute crystal clear where there is nothing but the chemical content of water itself.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe
    Even though the Board of Water Supply can guarantee their purity from their pumping stations, it's the underground utility piping and the service lines to the home that is the problem, including old galvanized pipes especially in Kaimuki, Manoa and Palolo.

    Try cracking open an old galvanized water pipe feeding your home (shut the main first) and take a look inside. You'll find this mustard looking muck surrounding the insides of the pipe like cholesterol. You're drinking, cooking and bathing in this sludge.

    Being on catchment I'm always aware of our potable water's purity. The sulphuric acid from the volcano presents the biggest problem for us here on the Big Island

    I start off with a basic sediment filter before my pump to catch the stuff that passed the filter screen up on the gutter downspout. From there it goes to a 3-micron carbon filter to catch organic stuff then 2-stage reverse-osmosis filtering system to catch everything else. In the house each faucet and the refrigerator has a PUR water filter just in case. The best filteration system is probably a diatom filter that polishes the water to absolute crystal clear where there is nothing but the chemical content of water itself.
    Gotta admit it, Craig, you sound like you've thought about every contingency. Sounds almost like paradise found, yeah? Now, do you also grow food on your acreage?

    Miulang

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    Papayas, avacados, lychee, coconuts (samoan), chestnuts, cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon (in season) and pineapples. I'm thinking of raising chickens for eggs and ultimately well you get the picture.

    I guess when you live out here you start to wonder if you really can disconnect from the utilities and the supermarkets. One great discovery I've found is the variety of farmer's markets here where you can buy avacado's at three for a dollar, ten ears of Kea'au sweet corn (better than Kahuku) for a buck and all the fresh fruit and vegetables cheaper and fresher than at any supermarket anywhere. I ended up gardening and planting fruiting trees only because after a month of early retirement, you get kinda bored so you do things. For me I like yard work (believe it or not I can spend the entire day picking weeds and there's a lot of em on my property). You just sit on a bucket and fill another with weeds. Before you know it, the sun is setting and you get up and realize your back won't straighten up.

    All the food scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, and green waste is composted twice over and used for the garden, I have five gallon buckets all over the place collecting rain water (dumped every day) to water the plants.

    Since coming to the Big Island I have a greater respect for the Aina and recycle as much as possible. I keep a deep pan in the sink to catch water from the faucet after rinsing vegetables or simply washing my hands. This water is transferred to a bucket outside and that's used for watering the shrubs. Another bucket is in the shower stalls (four of them total) to catch the cold water from the hot water tap (gotta run the water until it gets hot right). That bucket helps flush the toilets, just pour it in the bowl and it flushes. I leave my cars out overnight so when the 2am downpours hit (some say that's when the nightmarchers are near), the next morning I use a product called Wax as You Dry from Eagle One. You spray it on your wet car and wipe it off with a terry cloth towel and you clean and wax your car in one step. I use rainwater instead of tapwater to wash and wax my car.

    To date I've had to fill my two tanks only twice during the summer drought at $75. That's not a bad water bill for just over 1 year and my plants survived and my cars stayed clean and waxed thru the water recycling and using products that work with the environment. Wash as You Dry from Eagle One requires you to dry the car as you wax it, there's another product called Prism by Johnson Wax (I think) that lets you apply it during a rainstorm with a sponge. You work it in as if you're washing your car and while it's still raining the car starts beading the water off. When the rain stops your car is freshly waxed, you just wipe it dry with a terry cloth, that's it (I learned about this product while living deep in Manoa Valley where it rains everyday).
    Last edited by craigwatanabe; September 17th, 2004 at 10:49 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe
    Papayas, avacados, lychee, coconuts (samoan), chestnuts, cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon (in season) and pineapples. I'm thinking of raising chickens for eggs and ultimately well you get the picture.

    I guess when you live out here you start to wonder if you really can disconnect from the utilities and the supermarkets. One great discovery I've found is the variety of farmer's markets here where you can buy avacado's at three for a dollar, ten ears of Kea'au sweet corn (better than Kahuku) for a buck and all the fresh fruit and vegetables cheaper and fresher than at any supermarket anywhere. I ended up gardening and planting fruiting trees only because after a month of early retirement, you get kinda bored so you do things. For me I like yard work (believe it or not I can spend the entire day picking weeds and there's a lot of em on my property). You just sit on a bucket and fill another with weeds. Before you know it, the sun is setting and you get up and realize your back won't straighten up.

    All the food scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, and green waste is composted twice over and used for the garden, I have five gallon buckets all over the place collecting rain water (dumped every day) to water the plants.

    Since coming to the Big Island I have a greater respect for the Aina and recycle as much as possible. I keep a deep pan in the sink to catch water from the faucet after rinsing vegetables or simply washing my hands. This water is transferred to a bucket outside and that's used for watering the shrubs. Another bucket is in the shower stalls (four of them total) to catch the cold water from the hot water tap (gotta run the water until it gets hot right). That bucket helps flush the toilets, just pour it in the bowl and it flushes. I leave my cars out overnight so when the 2am downpours hit (some say that's when the nightmarchers are near), the next morning I use a product called Wax as You Dry from Eagle One. You spray it on your wet car and wipe it off with a terry cloth towel and you clean and wax your car in one step. I use rainwater instead of tapwater to wash and wax my car.

    To date I've had to fill my two tanks only twice during the summer drought at $75. That's not a bad water bill for just over 1 year and my plants survived and my cars stayed clean and waxed thru the water recycling and using products that work with the environment. Wash as You Dry from Eagle One requires you to dry the car as you wax it, there's another product called Prism by Johnson Wax (I think) that lets you apply it during a rainstorm with a sponge. You work it in as if you're washing your car and while it's still raining the car starts beading the water off. When the rain stops your car is freshly waxed, you just wipe it dry with a terry cloth, that's it (I learned about this product while living deep in Manoa Valley where it rains everyday).
    Woohoo, Craig! Waytogo! Now if the townies would just listen to what you're saying, maybe they'd also start doing more recycling (so there would be less of a problem with opala and running out of landfill space).

    They should wait to buy land in Keeau, though, until after I've bought mine!

    Miulang

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    Drink water??!!

    What a disgusting idea.

    (One more bottle of beer on the wall, one more bottle of beer ...)

  12. #12

    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert
    Drink water??!!

    What a disgusting idea.

    (One more bottle of beer on the wall, one more bottle of beer ...)
    Heh. If that works in foreign countries to keep you from getting Monctezuma's revenge, then by golly it should certainly work in Hawaii, too!

    Miulang

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    I also recycle my Miller Genuine Draft long necks! Great stuff after a hard day of shoveling red cinders over my yard. Today I shoveled 8-1/2 cubic yards of top soil (one wheelbarrow at a time) and covered about an area about 1000 square feet. Took me all day 7am to 6pm. I'm sore, my hands blistered (stupid no gloves), my feet ache but the driveway is now cleared and the grass can not grab onto something. Geez I feel like Eddie Albert in Green Acres. Ahhh that fresh air, gotta love it!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe
    I also recycle my Miller Genuine Draft long necks! Great stuff after a hard day of shoveling red cinders over my yard. Today I shoveled 8-1/2 cubic yards of top soil (one wheelbarrow at a time) and covered about an area about 1000 square feet. Took me all day 7am to 6pm. I'm sore, my hands blistered (stupid no gloves), my feet ache but the driveway is now cleared and the grass can not grab onto something. Geez I feel like Eddie Albert in Green Acres. Ahhh that fresh air, gotta love it!
    Next you gotta start brewing and bottling (using recycled bottles, of course) your own beer! Give the Ali'i Brewing Co. (I think they're the ones that make Longboard Ale?) some competition!

    Miulang

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    The recycle center (Kea'au transfer station) has a glass recycling campaign. This company behind where the new Hilo Home Depot is being finished crushes the glass into small square pieces (similar to smashed safety glass) and sells it at a lower cost than red cinders. They also mold it with resin to form all kinds of things.

    So my glass bottles go there.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    WOW Craig! You should be the chairperson for the recycling committee...you could give concrete suggestions that you've worked out that are working for you. Folks here in HI seem to think that as long as we don't see our waste/junk that we dispose of...it's okay. Rubbish goes somewhere and someone else deals with it. Too many of us have this notion...GOOD for you doing something about it.
    Retired Senior Member

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    I'm just one of thousands of people who recycle here on the Big Island because we don't want this island to become another landfill. Since coming here I've gotten this greater respect for the land. It also helps that there's no refuse pick up here so you keep your trash to a minimum because you'll be hauling it yourself to the refuse centers.

    Green waste is the hardest to haul so we compost as much of it as possible on our own properties. Since we're on septic tanks out here we didn't install a garbage disposal in our kitchen sink so that food waste goes to the compost bin as well.

    You recycle out of necessity. And because I live out in the rural parts of Kea'au, you plan your road trips accordingly instead of bouncing back and forth several times a day wasting gas and contributing to traffic and pollution.

    As a former Honolulu resident who complained when trash day wound up on a major holiday so no trash pick up for three days, I realized that the typical home dispenses a lot of opala without any regards to where it's being dumped. When you live out here you have to go to the landfills or the transfer stations so you see where it all goes and it makes you think about your contribution to that mess, you start to figure out ways to reduce your output of trash.

    I know a lot of us want to recycle but are too lazy to do it. Maybe if we were all forced to dump our own garbage we'd have a better perspective of what waste is. Working with Title 1 families here in the rural parts makes me reflect on my wastefulness of the East Oahu lifestyle I enjoyed for 44 years.

    Their lives are simple because they can't afford the luxuries that we can. I see 13-inch tv sets with rabbit ears on cardboard boxes because that's all they can afford. Man I used to throw out tv sets because it was too old or taking up too much space. I turned old end tables into outdoor planter boxes because there was a water mark on the table's top. That same table could've ended up at the recycle center where a needy family would have replace their bowing cardbox with it. Trash to me, luxury for them. It's a matter of perspective and it made me very humble of the way I live.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Point to ponder: Do you take drinking water for granted?

    https://www.staradvertiser.com/2020/...-quickly-dies/

    People just too lazy to brush their teeth.

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