Tag Archives: conservation

Great tips to save $$$ on water bills

SAVE ON WATER BILLS

Article from digitaltrends.com – CUT DOWN YOUR MONTHLY WATER BILL WITH THESE HANDY TIPS by Emily Schiola — February 1, 2014

SAVE EARTHWhether you are doing it to save the earth or simply to free up more BEER MONEYbeer money each month, there are numerous ways to reduce a water bill. Of course, there are methods we’ve all heard about, such as taking shorter showers, turning off the tap while brushing teeth, and if it’s yellow, let it mellow. These options aren’t as catchy as that last one, but they are easy and they will save you money. There are more methods than these age-old standbys, however. Here’s our list of methods to reduce that pesky water bill.

WATER IN FRIDGE1. Keep bottles of drinking water in the fridge so you don’t have to run the tap to get it cold. Or put it in the freezer and let it melt. Or better yet, use ice. The ice you put in your gin and tonics can also be used to cool water.

2. Likewise, heat up water for washing dishes in theBOIL WATER microwave or on the stove. This can be tricky for a couple reasons. You don’t want to heat it too much or you will burn yourself and sometimes it is hard to know how much water it will take, so it might take some patience.

LEAKY FAUCET3. Fix leaks. This might seem obvious, but sometimes it is hard to tell that a faucet is leaking, especially if it doesn’t make a sound. It is good to replace washers in faucets every few years, especially if you live in an older place.

DISHWASHER4. Use your dishwasher. It takes less water to run a full load — the key here is full — of dishes than it is to hand wash them. You’re welcome, lazy people.

INSULATE PIPES5. Insulate water pipes. Go to a hardware store and get some foam that is already cut in the shape of a pipe. Tape that to the pipes. This will help heat up your water faster, so you won’t lose as much while you’re waiting for it to heat.


MELLOW YELLOW AND BRICK IN TANK6. MacGuyver your toilet to use less water. There are a few ways to do this. You can install a low pressure toilet, similar to those popular in Europe. You can also fill two water bottles with an inch or two of sand or gravel and put them in the tank of the toilet. This will raise the water in the tank and trick it into using less per flush. See, we still are smarter than the machines.


SINK DISPOSER7. Use your disposal sparingly. Yes it is handy not to walk two feet to the trash when rinsing dishes, but disposals use water, so only use it as needed.


COLD WATER WASH8. Wash clothes in cold water. It will get your clothes just as clean as hot water, it will preserve colors better, and it will save water and energy. There are no downsides to this tip. In fact, there are no downsides to conserving water, so just do it.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/home/reduce-water-bill/

Here are a couple of Youtube videos that apply to saving money on your water bills –   

P.E.I.’S NEW WATER AUDIT PROGRAM

PEI WATER AUDIT

Switching to low-flow shower heads can cut water-use by half and save thousands of dollars from a hotel’s water bill. It’s just one of the suggestions the City of Charlottetown floated to hotels in a recent water audit. Laura Chapin explains in this CBC audio, ‘Conservation, policies and PEI’s water-use laws’, May 16, 2013 ~
http://www.cbc.ca/islandmorning/episodes/2013/05/16/conservation-policies-and-peis-water-use-laws/

The following article, Be My Guest ‘Hotels participate in a new water audit program in Prince Edward Island.’ by Clark Kingsbury appears in the May/June issue of WaterCanada magazine.

Charlottetown’s Water and Sewer Utility Department has launched an innovative project aiming to improve water efficiency in the city’s hotels. The Hotel Audit project offers to identify easy, cost-effective way for hotels to reduce water waste by both guests and staff. The project will be executed in partnership with Holland College’s Energy Systems Engineering Technology program. Three hotels are currently involved.

“This pilot supports the tourism industry while also reducing the amount of water used in our city during the busy summer months,” says Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. “Involving Holland College in the process allows us access to the expertise of its energy systems engineering technology program managers and provides students with an excellent educational opportunity.” The project requires students to perform the audits with water and sewer utility staff members.

Despite public concern about the amount of water consumed by cruise ships docking in Charlottetown’s harbour, the city’s hotels actually consume more water than the Harbour Authority uses in an entire year.

“It seems lately that the focus has moved from conservation to trying to assign blame to a particular industry for high water usage, but the reality is that it’s not one industry or sector that is to blame,” says the water and sewer utility’s chair, Edward Rice. “Conserving water and finding ways to keep water use down during the summer months is the collective responsibility of all businesses, sectors, and industries, as well as governments and residents.”

The audit includes testing of all water use in the participating facilities, and provides recommendations with payback periods based on anticipated savings on water and energy bills.

 

WATER IN EARTH’S NEXT EPOCH ~ ALARMING!!!

EARTH GRAPHIC COVER THE ECONOMIST JUNE 2011

Beautiful YouTube video,  ‘Water in the Anthropocene’, post on geek.com by May. 26, 2013 It’s not easy to visualize the global impact of modern man on our Earth. Fortunately, there’s this great video to fill in whatever gaps you may have.  It’s impossible to argue with the fact that modern man has impacted the world, but seeing, explaining, and understanding remains difficult. One way to do so would be to focus on the changes we have made that affect one of our most important natural resources, our water supply

EARTHWhen you think about everything in our world that needs water, and then think about how mankind has affected that resource on a global scale, the chances are high that you lack the whole picture. Fortunately, this short video on how we as humanity has affected water in the world today is here to help paint the global picture.

ANTHROPOCENE CHART

It is currently being debated whether we are currently living in or on the verge of the next epoch, the Anthropocene. Before now, the Earth was affected by natural forces and organic structures. It still is of course, but in our lifetime we have created structures and organized ourselves as civilizations that are now changing many of those natural forces and organic structures. It’s interesting to be able to see that kind of thing on a global scale, and wonder how the next generation of humanity will interact and change the planet.

STOERMERThe geological epoch we are currently in is formally known as the Holocene. Anthropocene is an informal term coined by Dr. Eugene F. Stoermer, who found Holocene to seem incorrect given the impact of man on the Earth. The Holocene is widely accepted to have started about 12,000 years ago, so it’s quite understandable that the developments humans have made over the past few hundred years alone would be sufficient to be considered the dawn of a new era, even a geological one.

2013 BONN CONFERENCE Links related to article:
More info at –
 

GREAT IDEAS FOR MOVING WARM WATER AROUND THE HOME

WATER PIPES

The following is an excerpt from the Nov./Dec. edition of Water Canada‘s magazine.

“Rethinking pumps and pipes” – Hot ideas for moving warm water around the home, by Michael Anschel and Kerry Freek.

Even though hot water can be the first or second largest use of energy in many homes, not a lot of thought is given to moving it through buildings efficiently. Add domestic hot water use, filtration, and distribution networks, and the energy value of water becomes significantly larger than generally acknowledged. Think about turning on a shower. In many homes, it takes three or four minutes for hot water to reach the point of use. Meanwhile, a large volume of treated, potable water, pumped at a great cost through aging municipal distribution networks to residential taps is lost down the drain. When you turn up the thermostat, hot water flows through the entire radiator system, not just the rooms which need heat. From the simple to the extreme, here are a few possibilities for saving water and energy while maintaining a steady supply of hot water in a home.

Picking efficient water heaters and pumps:  The first step in any home is to secure an efficient water heater. Generally speaking, there are four options: tank, tankless, combi, and hybrid. A tank heats water and stores it for when it’s needed.  At its best, it is 54 per cent efficient. Tankless and combi units can reach 98 per cent efficiency and eliminate the risk of combustion gas spillage in the home. Combi units have the added benefit of replacing your boiler, making them attractive from a cost perspective. Hybrid tank heaters are marginally more efficient than tank heaters at more cost, headache, and negative side effects… Over the years, pump technology has become increasingly more efficient – today’s pumps use a fraction of the energy that older models do. A smart pump could make a significant difference, radically improving an old system… A smart pump can also learn patterns and makes predictions. For example, if you wake up and take a shower at 7 a.m., the pump will run the line at 6:55 a.m. and, by the time you get to the shower, hot water is ready and waiting. The same pumps can send heat to your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen in the morning selectively, rather than to the entire home…Re-circulating systems can provide some of these same benefits. The pumps that control these systems can be operated by switch, motion detector, or remote control. Pushing a small button on the way to the bathroom in the morning, for instance, could trigger a small pump that silently runs the hot water line, returning the cooler water in the line back to the tank and drawing piping hot water up to the shower valve so that it’s hot when you get there…

An efficient system is half the battle:  Switching from a tank to tankless system or replacing old model pumps with smart pumps may not make as much of an impact on energy bills if the delivery systems – that is, the pipes are inefficient. Switching an old 50 per cent efficient tank water heater to a high-efficiency tankless system will save energy, but in many cases even greater savings can be found by replacing or modifying inefficient delivery systems: the pipes. In many homes, the hot water heating station is a healthy distance from the point of use, such as a faucet. Residential systems may be better off with a new design approach – particularly in new construction. Here, the opportunity to completely rethink the layout of water pipes can yield the greatest amount of efficiency with the least amount of energy and resources…

Picking our battles: Understanding the value of a systems approach to hot water delivery and the opportunities that exist with high-efficiency smart pumps on our heating systems is an important first step. With minimal expense, we can easily modify existing systems and install new systems to be exponentially more efficient. We have an obligation to each other to make these changes a priority in our retrofit and new construction process.

LOW FLOW TOILET – WATER SAVINGS ?

TOILET1

Bowled Over – Do low-flow toilets pose a risk to municipalities with aging water infrastructure? written by Stacy Bradshaw in the November/December issue of Water Canada magazine. 

Excerpts from the article ~

It’s easy to prove the environmental and financial benefits of low-flow toilets.  According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), switching from a traditional toilet can reduce water usage by as 70 per cent per flush, for example. But, like any relatively new innovation, the low-flow toilet has been met with both enthusiasm and skepticism. Urban myths overheard at municipal conferences have wastewater treatment plants in rural prairie towns dealing with a flurry of rebates, installations, decreased flow, and backlogs of slow-moving sewage. While experts say the possibility of system failure due to low flows is farfetched, the slow introduction of the low flow toilet does prompt a valid question: What happens when new technology meets municipal wastewater infrastructure that is designed to accommodate the older, high-volume models? Start with the standards. Not all toilets are built the same. With low flow, consumers have a range of choices, including volume (6, 4.8, or 3-litres). To help consumers make informed purchasing decisions, CMHC, the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA ), and other housing and municipal partners across Canada and the United States developed the Maximum Performance Testing Program (MaP), a test that uses soybean paste and toilet paper to mimic the real-world demands put upon toilets…  “In Canada you can now buy a toilet with a MaP-certified or WaterSense logo, or both,” says Cate Soroczan, a senior researcher at CMHC, who warns consumers against any non-accredited models… Does lower flow affect infrastructure? Once flushed water enters the system, supplemental flows have the capacity to clear out the lines, says Kevin Reilly, demand  management coordinator and deputy sewage control manager for the Capital Regional District (CRD) in British Columbia. Reilly is also the chair of CWWA ’s water efficiency committee. “Yes, you’re putting less water through the system [with low-flow toilets], but you have lots of residual flow that’s not carrying waste, like showers, dishwashers, and clothes washing machines. I don’t really see any issue with the city  infrastructure,” said Hennessy… When asked about the potential effects on septic systems, Soroczan explains that if you want to expand the longevity of a septic system, you actually want to pump less water through the system. “As far as septic systems go, I think a low-flow toilet will actually benefit them,” said Reilly. The commercial factor However, one good toilet choice may not a happy municipal system make. In February 2012, MaP issued a release stating that until further studies of drain systems in larger buildings are completed, it recommends taking caution in the use of toilets with an effective flush volume of 4.8 litres or less in “non-residential-type” installations, such as factories, schools, and warehouses. Reilly explains that the residential plumbing standards are smaller, and have a steeper pitch, which means they drain faster than a commercial application.  “So really, the big issue is the slope, as well as the pipe diameter,” he says… “Just look at Toronto. They even stopped the rebate program for low flow toilets last year because so many people have already have done it,” says Hennessy. “If the problem was going to rear its head, it would have already happened.”

Link for information on low flow toilets ~ http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,213021,00.html

WATER VERSUS COLA ~ MAY SURPRISE YOU!

Truth or Falsehood? ~

         Exaggeration or simple truth?

Water

                         or

    Coke?

Very interesting information!

WATER 

#1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half the world population)

#2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.

#3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 30%.

#4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study. 

#5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

#6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. 

#7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page. 

#8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?

COKE

#1. In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident. 

#2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in two days. 

#3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the ‘real thing’ sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china. 

#4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola. 

#5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion. 

#6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Apply a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes. 

#7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake.  Thirty minutes before ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy. 

#8. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coke into the load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield. 

FOR YOUR INFORMATION:

#1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase of osteoporosis. 

#2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial trucks must use Hazardous Material Warning Cards reserved for highly corrosive materials. 

#3. The distributors of Coke have been using it to clean engines of the trucks for about 20 years!

Now the question is, would you like a glass of …

Water?

  or 

                              Coke?

WATER POLLUTION THREAT TO CHINA’S POPULATION

Metro Basin Blues

Water pollution poses a real threat to china’s northern, urban population. Could constructed wetlands help? 

The following excerpts are taken from Water Canada Magazine, September/October publication.

Around the globe, there is concern about the effects of china’s rapid economic development on the air, land, water, and energy resources, as well as the ways that the country’s complex and sometimes less-than-efficient bureaucratic system may impact environmental policy implementation. the most serious of these challenges have been linked to the country’s declining water supply, which not only suffers from considerable pollutants, but also is insufficient for the country’s massive population and rapidly growing economy.  Water pollution is rampant nationwide, while water scarcity has worsened severely in north china. the problem is not only environmental— insufficient water is already limiting industrial and agricultural output in some areas. If solutions are not found and implemented, scarcity threatens to negatively impact china’s high economic growth rate and food production.

Treating China’s wastewater: Centralized wastewater treatment systems are the prevailing solution for water pollution control in many industrialized countries. to a large degree, this approach solves the problems of sanitation very efficiently. However, at the end of 2002, the official rate of municipal wastewater treatment in china was approximately 36.5 per cent, which is far from adequate given China’s serious water pollution.  Constructed wetlands (CWs) for wastewater treatment have great potential for application in china. the biogeochemical cycles of wetland plants can help transform and mineralized organic matter found in wastewater.  over the last 100 years, we’ve learned how these processes work, and recognized that many could be replicated with CWs. they’re now viewed as a viable treatment option for many different waste streams, including municipal, mining, dairy and wine-making. they’re also an attractive and stable alternative due to cost and energy savings. additionally, there are the advantages of multi-purpose reuse of the resulting high quality effluent, as well as self-remediation and self-adaptation to the surrounding conditions and environment.

Case study: Tianjin Airport Economic development Zone:  Two mega cities of china, Beijing and Tianjin, as well as the Hubei Provinces are within the region of the HaiHe river basin. the HaiHe river basin contains 10 per cent of the entire population of china, which is about 118 million people, as well as being the main source for providing fresh water to Beijing and Tianjin (Domagalski et al., 2001). this basin is facing a decrease in water levels during low precipitation leading to drought and water shortage during the dry season. It also faces serious contamination problem—the annual amount of wastewater discharged into the rivers is about four billion megagrams, and is also a major contributor to pollutant loadings in the nearby Bohai sea (Domagalski et al., 2001).

Located southeast of Beijing, Tianjin is the sixth-largest city in China (greater metropolitan population of 13,000,000). considered the economic hub of Tianjin, the Binhai new area is a new zone designated to host a number of key industrial zones, waterfront development areas, and commercial and residential properties, for nearly two million people. the region is a representation of china’s objective to modernize its coastal cities while promoting economic development.

Due to the severe impacts of urban development on water quality in Binhai new area, Tianjin, and the HaiHe river basin, the proposed solution is the implementation of two CWs at TaedZ. In collaboration with Tianjin University (TJU), Lindsay, Ontario’s Centre For Alternative Wastewater treatment at Fleming college (CAWT), Queen’s University in Kingston, and aqua treatment technologies, this location has been selected as a demonstration site for wetlands technology in a rapidly developing urban area, to address the issues of surface water degradation… China’s diverse climate and sources of wastewater allow for unique research conditions and a variety of parameters to be addressed simultaneously that would not be possible in another location.  In addition, China’s economic growth conditions add to the innovative nature of the project, and allow for new developments while taking into consideration social issues. after extensive applications in similar geographic and climatic regions in Canada such as the prairie region and southwestern Ontario, the technology may eventually benefit Canadian communities as well. 

Annie Chouinard is a graduate student in the department of civil engineering at Queen’s University.  She is conducting research in China at TJU.