2 February 2007

The Greens oppose water recycling

| Jonathon Reynolds
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In a very strange turn of the cards we actually have Deb (I have [ED – Had perhaps?] a right to earn $100,000 a year and live in public housing) Foskey opposing the ultimate recycling of effulent water back to a potable state.

The ABC has the story here

I’m not sure what Deb means by the ACT Govenrment being alarmist by suggesting such a plan… cities like London have been recycling water to potable state for years. In fact the water in London is typically recycled seven times before it reaches the sea.

UPDATED: ED – The Greens feel they have been somewhat misrepresented and invite you to view their media release for a full explanation of their position.

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I worked at sydney olymic park for a short period and conducted tours of the water reclumation plant. The truth is that recycled water goes through a more strigent clenseing process than the water we currently drink.

The other major benifit of recycleing grey water, which seems to be over looked, is the reduction in effulent which is sent into the oceans.

Soda water as you say is just water that’s been carbonated

Indeed, and they are the same price at Woolies at the moment: 83 cents per 1.5 litre bottle.

On the ingredients label for the mineral water it states: Carbonated mineral water

This is ambiguous, but it leads me to believe they carbonate the water after extraction.

mineral water contains a lot more salts, the minerals in it that come out of the ground.

sparkling mineral water is *supposed* to come out of the ground carbonated but I suspect that’s pretty rare these days.

Soda water as you say is just water that’s been carbonated.

From this NSW Government website:

There is no requirement for approval of the source used to obtain mineral water, but its definition states that it must be obtained from a subterranean water bearing strata.

Which raises an interesting point.

Just what is the difference between carbonated mineral and soda water?

Best I can tell mineral water comes from a spring and is carbonated, and soda water is just treated tap water that is carbonated.

They’re basically the same price in the shop-brand.

Yeah Sammy your proposal is interesting and sounds fine. I guess I am more concerned about the current commercially available bottled waters.

surely it’s not very environmentally friendly to deplete natural springs (by drinking bottled water) either

Bottled water doesn’t have to come from springs. As I said, you could use Corin or Bendora dams, which are both upstream of the Cotter dam.

Sorry, artificially recycled water from sewage has the yuk factor for me and I’m as green and organic as I can be. And JC I hear you, London water is filth, locals advise boiling if you MUST drink, and add lemon or some other taste disguiser.
Seeing we are on green issues – surely it’s not very environmentally friendly to deplete natural springs (by drinking bottled water) either.

We just need to store *enough* clean water (from rain, preferably) for the population. It will actually rain at some point, there’s just so much hype and so many agendas cynically exploiting the current dry . . . .

First contribution. Hope it works. Really so many issues to be debated and discussed around water. One observation that confuses me heaps is that if we don’t have enough water here why do we keep watering the Northbourne median strip (usually when I am walking home from lateish)?

Vic Bitterman7:34 pm 02 Feb 07

Let again proves that the ‘green’ political parties are irrelevant and out of touch.

I am in London at the moment and the water tastes bad, like Adelaide water. Lime they say, so don’t base here as a basis of some comparision. But I cannot see any problem using recycled water, my fear though is as others have pointed out there is a water cycle. Once we start messing with that even more, using tanks, using recycled water etc, we start upsetting the balance downstream. That I think is the main problem with the whole idea.

Prof Troy (Pat to his mates) has this to say about the ACT Government’s recycling plan:
“child like”.

He said “…consumers should be helped to slash domestic consumption through a greater use of recycled water within the home for showers, washing and sanitary purposes while European ideas such as dry compost toilets installed in homes by governments might be considered.”.

Often simple solutions can be the most effective. Perhaps Jon should offer to buy each ACT household a brick to shove in its loo?

But Territorians being such impractical types, I guess he’d need to give instructions too!


Woody Mann-Caruso5:31 pm 02 Feb 07

You didn’t happen to lose a frog recently, did you smokey2?

“Open your mouth and I’ll piss into it.”

Isn’t that the title of a German movie?

Incidentally, I observed a system like this operating in Coffs Harbour over christmas. There is a servo in the main street that sells local spring water by anything from half a litre up to many litres.

I don’t drink tap water, as I prefer sparkling mineral (or soda) water.

The shop-brand (Woolies or Coles) costs me about 1000 times as much as tap water (60-70 cents per litre), but it’s a price i’m willing to pay. Presumably the majority of that cost is logistic cost — bottling, transport, shelf stacking etc.

What we need is for the Government to retain a small dam upstream of the Cotter (Corin, Bendora) that contains only catchment water (not recycled). If they pump into the Cotter, then this happens anyway.

They could then sell this water to commercial companies for drinking purposes. You drop into your local service station and refill your own bottle or drum, thus reducing transport and bottling costs.

A carbonation machine, possibly at point-of-sale, could carbonate water for those who like it fizzy.

I’ve tried home carbonation — with a soda bulb — but the water always has a taint.

London and much of Europe may have recycled water, but many of the locals do not drink it.

A leading proponent of getting on the piss (literally) is based sort of near Canberra … in Bermagui.

Recycled water would be great for your garden, with all that poo in it.

I tasted the water that came out of my “envirocycle” system, just out of interest .
Not like a glassful, just a wet fingertip.
It was for want of a better word ” fresh ” .
The maker of the system warns against this by the way.

I would assume that whatever system was put in place would get rid of that freshness .

The horses love the grass that it sprinkles on and off during the day.

VYBerlinaV8_now with_added_grunt2:56 pm 02 Feb 07

Open your mouth and I’ll piss into it.

I think the whole ‘debate’ around drinking recycled water shows just how stupid and fearful our society really is. Consider the number of animals, insects and fish that already urinate, defecate and die in our drinking water. This water has, of course, fallen as rain and washed into the rivers over yet more piss, poo and dead stuff. The water may have evaporated from the ocean, plant materials, or even from the open sewage treatment ponds.

It’s called the water cycle, and it’s a fundamental part of nature. Water is kinda like energy – it doesn’t really get created or destroyed, it just moves from place to place and it’s form changes.

If we can find an effective process by which to remove impurities from water such that the end product is sufficiently ‘clean’, where the hell’s the problem. That’s what nature does anyway!

barking toad2:52 pm 02 Feb 07

Ghandi happily chugga-lugged a glass of his steaming every morning – though he did tend to look a bit wizened and a strange colour.

I was hoping that we’d get to drink other people’s urine as a way of saving water.

I’ll be happy to first in line to drink recycled potable water… want to vote for me next time?

Even with their media release they are still on the back foot as it appears that they would rather be in a grip of a crisis before actually taking any proactive action. I will guarantee you it is cheaper to implement a full recycling solution now than go half arsed for a solution that is simply used for lawns and ovals and upgrade it later.

Woody Mann-Caruso2:12 pm 02 Feb 07

Am I? That’ll make my mother, who lives in Florida, very happy.

I presume you’ll be voting then by deed poll WMD, on account of you are in America.

As long as it passes health tests (which undoubtedly it would before it was available as potable water) who really gives a flying f&^K.

As for her comment “This is an alarmist approach because nobody really wants to drink sewage,” – Whilst this is technically true it really adds no value to her argument since the topic surrounds treated sewage water.

Woody Mann-Caruso1:43 pm 02 Feb 07

I’ll admit it – I voted Greens at the last election (well, them and the free-range chook folk). If they oppose water recycling for human consumption, it’ll be the last time.

I would think ‘alarmist’ would be suggesting drinking recylcled water is somehow dirty, when it is actually safe.

Wouldn’t it be more alarmist to poo-poo an idea that really does sit well with your parties philosphies? No, thats just stupid.

Again, the allegedly green representative showing her lack of ‘green’ to the point that its blatantly obvious.

Yes they are being alarmist, and yes they could do other things with it such as using it within industrial applications only, but Foskey has been smoking too much ‘green’. She’s no longer coherent.

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