Comment 40777

By recycle (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2010 at 00:34:19

it really is sad that we don't yet have a sewer system capable of collecting our liquid waste in a way that renders it useful in some way as an end product. currently we just flush everything down the drain and hope we don't see it again the way we used to (and some people and industries still do) with solid waste.

imagine a system, like our current solid waste recycling system, that kept the useful components of our liquid waste stream separate so that it could be re used in some useful and relatively inexpensive way. it wouldn't be technically difficult, all it would require is three or four sets of pipes leaving buidings instead of the one or two now used. that and some awareness of what happens to the stuff we put down our drains and why we should think twice. as we have learned with garbage, NOTHING just goes away forever.

imagine a system that kept sewage, black water as it is called in the trades i believe, separate from everything else, and i mean everything including harsh chemical cleaners. just the toilet water basically. then you would have another set of pipes for the grey water, that is water used for washing things mostly. then another set of pipes for rainwater. and then, and this is a big one, we provide separate hook ups to a completely different commercial industrial sewer system that should be rather expensive to use, AND incentives for companies to not hook up to this system and deal with their effluent in house or seriously reduce their production of effluent.

right now no one has any incentive to not flush whatever they feel like down the drain. there isn't much awareness about what happens to all the stuff we "wash away" this could be the next big front that needs to be examined.

just as we are working on solving the long term land fill problem by reducing the amount we land fill through recycling reducing and reusing, we need to deal with the sludge problem by the same logic. reuse water through grey water systems or simply watering plants or the lawn with bath or dish water. reduce the consumption of water AND reduce the amount of chemicals we throw down the drain. and recycle the components of our waste water stream by keeping everything usable separate.

it sounds like a big challenge but look at the progress we have made with solid waste. we are almost back to where our grandparents started out in the time way back when when there wasn't a garbage day.

the end.

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