B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Archive for the ‘water’ tag

Summer Vision was uploaded to Flickr

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Montrose Harbor

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I took Summer Vision on June 18, 2016 at 01:00PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 27, 2016 at 07:06PM

Written by eggplant

June 27th, 2016 at 6:23 pm

Thought It Wouldn’t Matter was uploaded to Flickr

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fountain, Peggy Notebaert Museum, Chicago

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I took Thought It Wouldn’t Matter on February 20, 2016 at 09:55AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on February 24, 2016 at 06:27AM

Written by eggplant

February 24th, 2016 at 6:41 am

America And Lead Poisoned Water

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When Thinking Leads To The Unthinkable
When Thinking Leads To The Unthinkable…

Scary, and even more reason we should dial back our military adventures, and instead invest in our infrastructure lest we kill ourselves…

“Lead in Flint is the tip of the iceberg,” notes Dr. Richard J. Jackson, former director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Flint is a teachable moment for America.”

In Flint, 4.9 percent of children tested for lead turned out to have elevated levels. That’s inexcusable. But in 2014 in New York State outside of New York City, the figure was 6.7 percent. In Pennsylvania, 8.5 percent. On the west side of Detroit, one-fifth of the children tested in 2014 had lead poisoning. In Iowa for 2012, the most recent year available, an astonishing 32 percent of children tested had elevated lead levels. (I calculated most of these numbers from C.D.C. data.)

Across America, 535,000 children ages 1 through 5 suffer lead poisoning, by C.D.C. estimates.

“We are indeed all Flint,” says Dr. Philip Landrigan, a professor of preventive medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Lead poisoning continues to be a silent epidemic in the United States.”

(click here to continue reading America Is Flint – The New York Times.)

Declining Issues
Declining Issues

and this short-sighted austerity by Congress is just sickening:

Some 24 million homes in America have deteriorated lead paint, of which occupants are often unaware. If a toddler regularly breathes lead-contaminated dust, or sucks a finger that has touched the dust, that child may suffer lifelong brain damage.

Yet anti-lead programs have been dismantled in recent years because in 2012 Congress slashed the funding for lead programs at the C.D.C. by 93 percent. After an outcry, some money was restored, but even now these lead programs have only a bit more than half the funding they once had.

 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

I’ve owned a reverse osmosis water filtration system for a long time, but it only cleans my drinking/cooking water, not the water in my entire house. How about you?

If it is not possible or cost-effective to remove the lead source, flushing the water system before using the water for drinking or cooking may be an option. Any time a particular faucet has not been used for several hours (approximately 6 or more), you can flush the system by running the water for about 1-2 minutes or until the water becomes as cold as it will get. Flush each faucet individually before using the water for drinking or cooking. You can use the water flushed from the tap to water plants, wash dishes or clothing, or clean. Avoid cooking with or drinking hot tap water because hot water dissolves lead more readily than cold water does. Do not use hot tap water to make cereals, drinks or mix baby formula. You may draw cold water after flushing the tap and then heat it if needed.

You may also wish to consider water treatment methods such as reverse osmosis, distillation, and carbon filters specially designed to remove lead. Typically these methods are used to treat water at only one faucet. Contact your local health department for recommended procedures. If you want to know more about these filters, please contact NSF International, an organization for public health and safety through standards development, product certification, education, and risk management. Remember to have your well water tested regularly, at least once a year, to make sure the problem is controlled.

(click here to continue reading CDC – Lead and Drinking Water from Private Wells – Wells – Private Water Systems – Drinking Water – Healthy Water.)

Written by Seth Anderson

February 7th, 2016 at 11:53 am

Posted in government,health

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America’s Future Is A Future of Failing Infrastructure

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Like An Approaching Train
Like An Approaching Train…

America needs the political willpower to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, and soon. Tax cuts for the wealthy don’t help when you need to replace lead pipes serving drinking water, nor do tax breaks for wealthy corporations help rebuild bridges about to collapse.

The L-pocalypse is coming, the early effects of the L-pocalypse is here. The New York City subway train is the most direct route between Brooklyn and Manhattan, servicing some 300,000 people every day. News recently leaked that the city’s transit authority, the MTA, is considering shutting the train down as early as 2017 for between one and three years to repair floodwater damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. That prospect understandably has many of those who live, work, or own businesses in north Brooklyn quite upset; Thursday’s meeting of the “L Train Coalition” at Brooklyn Bowl made clear that the dialogue between concerned citizens, elected leaders, and the MTA is going to be contentious, at best.

The upcoming plight of a gentrified neighborhood in New York City is mainly a local story, sure, but as infrastructure crumbles around the United States, pollution worsens, and as climate change brings us ever-increasing and severe natural disasters, cities around the country are going to be faced with very expensive problems for which there are no good solutions.

Surely, similar town hall meetings are playing out around the country, where residents are upset that, through a combination of underfunding, tax cuts, climate change, and simple aging, services that are taken for granted such as functioning roads, subway systems, and lead-free drinking water are no longer a given.

(click here to continue reading Williamsburg’s Angry Town Hall Meetings Are the Future of Failing Infrastructure | Motherboard.)

A Screaming Comes Across the Sky
A Screaming Comes Across the Sky

and in microcosm: the water infrastructure of Flint, MI:

Poor political decisions caused the crisis, but it wouldn’t have happened at all if the lead pipes weren’t there to begin with. The current solution is a stopgap—spiking the water supply with an anticorrosive chemical. But if the powers that be want to eliminate the risk completely, they will ultimately have to replace all the lead plumbing. A September estimate, only recently released by Michigan governor Rick Snyder, puts the cost of replacing all the lead pipes in Flint at $60 million. And the project will take 15 years.

The basic challenge: dig up several thousand miles of poisonous pipe buried as deep as dead bodies. Oh, for Pete’s sake. People can only take bottled water baths for so long. “I don’t understand, are they only going to fix four pipes a day?” says Harold Harrington, business manager of Flint’s plumber’s union, the United Association Local 370. He says with the right kind of investment, the city—or state, or whoever ends up taking responsibility—could move a lot faster.

Most of the corroded pipes in Flint—20,000 to 25,000 in total—are what is known as service lines. These are one inch in diameter, and connect homes to the larger, main pipes running under the middles of streets. (The mains are cast iron.) Because Flint is in Michigan, and Michigan is a very cold place, the service lines have to be buried about three and a half feet deep, below the frost line. “But most of the main pipes are between five to seven feet deep, so the service lines are at a similar depth,” says Martin Kaufman, a geographer at the University of Michigan-Flint. So that’s the basic challenge: dig up several hundred miles of poisonous pipe buried as deep as dead bodies.

Before calling in the backhoes, somebody needs to figure out where all those pipes are buried. Not just which houses they’re in, either. Remember, the pipes are an inch wide, and buried under roads, sidewalks, and front lawns, beneath lattices of cables, fiber optic wires, and gas lines. Digging in the wrong place would be both dangerous and expensive. Kaufman is one of those in charge of figuring out where all the lead pipes are buried, but the pipelayers of yore didn’t do him many favors. “The recordkeeping of the city is not very good,” he says. “They kept information on three by five index cards, a lot of which are smeared.” The only definite way to check if a pipe is lead or not is to scrape the pipe’s interior as it comes into the house. “If the residue is gray and nonmagnetic, it is lead,” he says.

Replacing a typical service line takes three people. “You need an operator to run the equipment, one guy hand digging to make sure you don’t get into any other utilities, and another guy getting the floor busted out in the basement,” says Harrington. As long as they don’t run into any problems, the whole job should take the team about half a day. Harrington estimates that he could reasonably call in about 20 such teams to work full time until the job is done. Assuming the rate is forty pipes a day, roughly 249 days a year (nights and weekends, y’all), the Flint plumber’s militia could bang the job out in just over two years.

Harrington says digging up and replacing a forty foot length of lead pipe costs around $3,000. This does not take into account externalities like repaving streets and sidewalks, fixing any damage done to the home, and resodding lawns. Multiply $3,000 by 20,000 pipes and you get $60 million dollars—which suggests that the figure quoted in Michigan governor Snyder’s email is probably a lowball.

(click here to continue reading Here’s How Hard It Will Be to Unpoison Flint’s Water | WIRED.)

Water Pumping Station
Water Pumping Station

How many communities in America need new water lines? Nobody is quite sure, but it is a lot. 

It’s a problem that’s much bigger than Flint: there are millions of lead pipes all across America, putting children at risk of stunted growth, brain damage and a lifetime of diminished potential. Just this week, residents of Sebring, a town of 8,000 in rural Ohio, were told not to touch their tap water out of lead fears similar to Flint’s.

“This is a situation that has the potential to occur in however many places around the country there are lead pipes,” Jerry Paulson, emeritus professor of pediatrics and environmental health at George Washington University, said in an interview. “Unless and until those pipes are removed, those communities are at some degree of risk.”

Roughly 10 million American homes and buildings receive water from service lines that are at least partially lead, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Service lines are the pipes connecting water mains to people’s houses. Lead ones are mostly found in the Midwest and Northeast.

Despite the life-altering consequences of lead poisoning, there is no national plan to get rid of those pipes. A top reason for continuing to use lead service lines instead of immediately digging them up is that utilities can treat water so it forms a coating on the interior of the pipes — a corrosion barrier that helps prevent lead particles from dislodging and traveling to your faucet. But if the water chemistry changes, the corrosion controls can fail. 

(click here to continue reading Lots Of Cities Have The Same Lead Pipes That Poisoned Flint.)

What Infrastructure Crisis?
What Infrastructure Crisis?

In the old, can-do America, both political parties would agree that fixing dilapidated infrastructure would be a good national goal, and would seek consensus on how to ramp up the work force and financing for the project. In the sad, tired America of the 21st C.E., seemingly only Bernie Sanders even brings the topic up. Consider all the good paying jobs, in communities all around the country, that would benefit from fixing roads, bridges, sewer lines, power grids, water lines, bullet trains, and so on and so forth. Why is it a partisan struggle to even discuss the future? Sure, we are talking about hundreds of billions of dollars, or even more, but so what? Do Wall Street corporations and the oil industry really need more tax breaks to remain in business? 

Written by Seth Anderson

January 29th, 2016 at 7:18 pm

Posted in government

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Flint Water Crisis Shines Light on Lead Pipes Across US

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Sewer Improvement Project - Kinzie
Sewer Improvement Project.

Long time readers of this blog know we feel strongly that America would have much better served if we had invested money in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure instead of invading Iraq. American taxpayers spent trillions of dollars, basically pissed away in the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan, most of which did America no good. I guess if you were a defense contractor, you did ok, replenishing supplies of jet fuel, bullets and bombs for the military, but wouldn’t that money have been better spent fixing bridges, water pipes, sewer pipes and the like in places taxpayers live in?

The water crisis in Flint, Mich., has exposed the danger that lead could potentially leach into the drinking water of millions of Americans, showing what can go wrong if aging infrastructure isn’t properly monitored and maintained.

Lead is common in pipes across the country, mostly in service lines linking street pipes to people’s homes. Millions of pipes now in use were installed well before 1986, when federal law banned lead pipes and solder, and some date back to the 1800s.

The price tag just to dig up and replace as many as eight million lead service lines into homes and businesses could easily reach tens of billions of dollars. The task is complicated by the fact that utilities and cities often don’t know where such lines are buried. And tens of millions of other water lines have lead solder or fixtures that also can contaminate drinking water.

Nationwide, lead solder that seals pipes and joints exists in about 81 million homes, or roughly two-thirds of households, and leaded brass fixtures, another source of contamination, are in the vast majority of homes, said Marc Edwards, an environmental engineering professor at Virginia Tech.

“While Flint is an outlier, it confirms everything that we have been speaking out against for the last 10 years,” said Mr. Edwards, who tested Flint drinking water samples last summer, revealing high lead levels.

Experts generally agree that the lead service lines that connect water mains to homes are a leading culprit for lead contamination in water and need to be removed.

“It’s going to be a huge financial challenge,” said G. Tracy Mehan III, executive director for governmental affairs at American Water Works Association, a trade group representing 4,000 utilities across the U.S., not including Flint’s. Just 2% of water utilities surveyed by the group last year said they had all the financial resources to cover future pipeline upgrades, which would include replacing lead pipes and fixtures.

Replacing Flint’s lead lines, solder and joints could take 15 years and $60 million, according to a September estimate by an aide to Gov. Rick Snyder. On Wednesday, the governor said it was too soon to estimate the cost.

(click here to continue reading Flint Water Crisis Shines Light on Lead Pipes Across U.S. – WSJ.)

Written by Seth Anderson

January 29th, 2016 at 11:27 am

Posted in government

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An Image of Metaphors was uploaded to Flickr

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rain droplets on my back porch

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I took An Image of Metaphors on September 12, 2015 at 11:29AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on December 06, 2015 at 05:59PM

Written by eggplant

December 6th, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Metaphorical Zygote was uploaded to Flickr

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Solitary paddler, Lake Austin, aka Lady Bird Lake, aka Colorado River

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I took Metaphorical Zygote on October 29, 2012 at 04:59PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 05, 2015 at 06:12PM

Written by eggplant

October 5th, 2015 at 11:19 am

Steam Rising Beneath Washington Bridge was uploaded to Flickr

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January, 2014

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I took Steam Rising Beneath Washington Bridge on January 06, 2014 at 01:39PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on September 04, 2015 at 04:10PM

Written by eggplant

September 4th, 2015 at 11:06 am

Variations On An Unstated Theme was uploaded to Flickr

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Lady Bird Lake aka Town Lake aka Colorado River

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I took Variations On An Unstated Theme on August 22, 2015 at 09:21AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on August 26, 2015 at 03:40PM

Written by eggplant

August 26th, 2015 at 10:17 am

As The Night Conceives the River’s Sound was uploaded to Flickr

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Chicago River at dusk

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I took As The Night Conceives the River’s Sound on September 29, 2010 at 07:53PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 31, 2015 at 01:25AM

Written by eggplant

July 30th, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Death of Your Party was uploaded to Flickr

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swimming pool, Chicago

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I took Death of Your Party on November 13, 2010 at 03:39PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 15, 2015 at 07:05PM

Written by eggplant

July 15th, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Barges, River Thames was uploaded to Flickr

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added Lith Slenium/Gold tone in Photoshop

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I took Barges, River Thames on August 06, 2010 at 09:19AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 14, 2015 at 04:43PM

Written by eggplant

July 14th, 2015 at 10:11 am

Taking The Easy Way Out was uploaded to Flickr

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Lake Michigan

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I took Taking The Easy Way Out on April 25, 2010 at 03:47PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 08, 2015 at 06:49AM

Written by eggplant

July 7th, 2015 at 11:52 pm

You Are Part of Everything was uploaded to Flickr

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minnows, Lake Michigan

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I took You Are Part of Everything on May 23, 2015 at 05:45PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 26, 2015 at 03:26PM

Written by eggplant

June 26th, 2015 at 6:10 pm

Ready To Go Anywhere was uploaded to Flickr

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Ready To Go Anywhere

Lincoln Park, North Avenue Beachembiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/txPXktI took Ready To Go Anywhere on May 23, 2015 at 05:29PMand processed it in my digital darkroom on May 25, 2015 at 03:07PM

Written by eggplant

May 26th, 2015 at 8:40 am