Monthly Archive: May 2017

In US, Water Pollution Worries Highest Since 2001

In US, Water Pollution Worries Highest Since 2001
by Justin McCarthy

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 63% worry a great deal about pollution of drinking water
  • 57% worry a great deal about pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs
  • Low-income and nonwhite Americans more concerned about water pollution

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans are more concerned about water pollution than they have been since 2001. The latest percentages of Americans who are worried “a great deal” about the pollution of drinking water (63%) and of rivers, lakes and reservoirs (57%) have inched past the elevated levels of concern seen since 2014.

Americans' Concerns About Water Pollution, 1999-2017

The latest data are from Gallup’s annual Environment poll, conducted March 1-5, 2017.

The continued elevated levels of concern about both types of water pollution come as President Donald Trump signed an executive order to roll back environmental regulations put in place by his predecessor to protect American waterways from pollution. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency under Trump has committed $100 million in federal funding to address the ongoing drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The discovery of elevated lead levels in Flint’s public drinking water in 2015, and subsequent news about a range of other contaminants in the Flint water system, has put a national spotlight on the issue of water pollution. Read Full Article..

Source: Gallup Poll

H2o Concepts International Inc.

Home filtering systems provide best protection for drinking water

As news reports about pharmaceuticals in water circulate, here are several facts for consumers to consider:

  • Filtering systems in the home provide the highest technology available for treatment of drinking water. Less than two percent of all water consumed is ingested by humans, making these “point-of-use” systems the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
  • While utilities are required to meet safety standards set by the U.S. EPA, home filtering systems act as a final contaminant barrier and can further purify water for drinking.
  • While specific product performance standards have not yet been developed for pharmaceuticals, many point-of-use technologies have proven effective for some of these emerging contaminants. Nano-filtration and reverse osmosis systems removed drugs tested by the Colorado School of Mines at full-scale facilities in Arizona and California. Activated carbon, distillation, ozonation, and advanced oxidization have likewise shown promise in removing many of these contaminants. Individual manufacturers can also test products for specific pharmaceuticals if they choose.
  • According to Utah State University Extension, up to 90 percent of oral drugs can pass through humans unchanged. These often then move through wastewater into streams and groundwater. It is generally cost prohibitive for utilities to use systems such as nano-filtration, long contact activated carbon, and reverse osmosis. However, these technologies have proven successful at removing many contaminants in home water treatment systems.
  • In addition to pharmaceuticals, water quality experts are examining other emerging contaminants, such as those found in personal care products and pesticides. These are often referred to as endocrine disrupting chemicals. Home filtering systems have also been proven to treat threats such as lead and mercury.
  • WQA provides Gold Seal certification for products that remove a variety of contaminants.
  • Consumers can learn about different treatment systems and find locally certified dealers by visiting the WQA Web site’s Gold Seal and Find A Professional features.
  • More information is available at WQA’s Water Information Library online, which includes a search feature.

WQA is a non-profit association that provides public information about water treatment issues and also trains and certifies professionals to better serve consumers. WQA has more than 2,500 members nationwide.

H2o Concepts Web Page: Pharmaceuticals in water

Study Estimates Potential for Major National Water Savings

Apr 26, 2017

Water-efficient toilets could save up to 170 billion gal per year

water, conservation, efficiency, toilets, savings, plumbing

The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) and Plumbing Manufacturers Intl. (PMI) released research that shows that water-efficient toilets could potentially save up to 170 billion potable gal of water per year across five states facing water scarcity.

The “Saturation Study of Non-Efficient Water Closets in Key States” focused on Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia and Texas—all states that have experienced serious water shortages. The savings projected by the study (170 billion gal of potable water yearly or 465 million gal saved per day) could be achieved if non-efficient toilets in residential properties are replaced with water-efficient ones. This five-state savings can be extrapolated to an estimate of up to 360 billion potable gal of water per year saved nationally.

This research produces important direction for water managers nationwide, as 40 out of 50 states anticipate water shortages in the coming years, according to a Government Accountability Office survey of state water managers published in 2013, with most of these states already experiencing periodic shortages. The five states researched represent 28% of the national population and 47% of all housing units in 2015, so the report examines a large part of the residential water consumption in the U.S. Toilet flushing is the largest single indoor use of water, representing 24% of total use in single-family homes. Replacing non-efficient toilets with efficient ones is an important strategy to stretch available water supplies.

“This study affirms the important and sometimes overlooked role that water-efficient plumbing products, and programs such as the EPA WaterSense label, play in assuring water sustainability for our nation,” said Mary Ann Dickinson, AWE president and CEO. “We are nowhere near the potential of water savings we can achieve through water efficiency.”

Barbara C. Higgens, PMI CEO/executive director, said plumbing manufacturers are proud of the water-saving innovations they have brought to the marketplace. “Great water-efficiency innovations have already been made and are readily available. Now, it’s time for consumers and businesses to do their part to replace non-efficient toilets, showerheads and faucets with water-efficient ones,” she said.

The five-state water savings estimate was calculated after the study’s research determined that more than 13 million non-efficient toilets, with gallons per flush (gpf) of more than 1.6 gal, remain installed in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia and Texas residences. These 13 million toilets comprise about 21% of all toilets installed in these states; therefore, about 79% of installed residential toilets in these states are already efficient at 1.6 gpf or less.

Using the AWE/PMI study estimate of 170 billion gal of water, these examples show how much water can be saved within residential properties located in the five states included in the study:

  • Enough water saved to take 10 billion showers—more than one for each person on the planet;
  • Enough water saved to serve the indoor home water needs of a city of 100,000 for 45 years;
  • Enough water saved to fill 250,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools;
  • Enough water saved to fill 1,000 Rose Bowls; and
  • Enough water saved to equal the water that goes over Niagara Falls in 2 ½ days.

The AWE/PMI study demonstrates that current plumbing technology can make a tremendous water-saving impact, especially if toilet replacement programs can be accelerated. At the current 4% annual toilet replacement rate, the potential savings illustrated in this study will not occur for another 15 to 30 years unless replacement programs are accelerated.

Source:

Alliance for Water Efficiency


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