Tag Archives: water testing

CANADIAN ROMANCING THE WIND ~ VIDEO GONE VIRAL!!!

WIND

When I began work on this blog I had a link to an absolutely fantastic YouTube video that I received in an e-mail, but unfortunately I can’t use it in this blog in Canada.  I hope that some of you in other countries may be more fortunate and will be able to watch it ~

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=nr9KrqN_lIg

The second video features the World Multiple Kite Flying Champion – Canadian Vancouverite Ray Bethell.
You will be amazed by his mesmerizing and seemingly impossible art of bringing life to his kites.

In the following video Ray Bethell shares a very personal insight into his life from approximately 60 years to the present.

Life in a DayBob and Ray in Vancouver – Ray’s favorite practice park

 

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.

STOP OBAMA ~ KEEP WHALES & DOLPHINS SAFE

I am forwarding information I received from Victoria Principal for Oceana wavemaker@oceana.org

Unless the Obama administration reverses course, the Atlantic Ocean from Florida to the New Jersey border will be opened up to high-intensity seismic air gun exploration for offshore oil and gas.

This means that dolphins and whales will be subjected to constant dynamite-like blasts about every 10 seconds, 24-hours a day, for weeks and months on end.

Even the government admits that the industry’s airguns could injure hundreds of thousands of marine mammals and disrupt marine mammal feeding, calving, breeding, and other vital activities more than 13.5 million times.

There’s no time to waste. Urge the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior to abandon the government’s proposal to allow seismic air gun testing in the Atlantic!

Dolphins and whales rely on sound for feeding, communication, and navigation. If we don’t act now, these sensitive creatures will be exposed to an intense acoustical assault.

Seismic exploration involves arrays of high-volume air guns that are towed behind ships, continuously firing intense impulses of compressed air — almost as loud as explosives.

Opening up the Atlantic Ocean to seismic exploration for offshore oil and gas would cause incredible harm to ocean wildlife like whales and dolphins and to multi-billion dollar fishing, tourism, and recreational industries that support hundreds of thousands of American jobs. All of this just to make it easier for oil companies to find new sites in our oceans for offshore drilling.

Please do your part to stop this devastatingly harmful act and sign the petition!!!

We simply cannot allow it. If you live in the United States, click below to tell the Secretary of Interior to abandon plans to allow seismic testing in the Atlantic.  I am writing to Oceana to ask if they will amend their info fields in the petition to allow people from other countries to help.

http://act.oceana.org/letter/l-seismic-vp/?akid=2584.962452.8zJuCr&rd=1&source=mailing&t=2&utm_campaign=seismic&utm_medium=mailing&utm_source=advocacy

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.

DANGER ~ RECYCLE YOUR UV LAMPS!

If you have been following our Rainsoft Ottawa Product description series you know that  ultraviolet (UV) light water disinfection systems are an excellent choice and much more effective than other systems in eliminating unwanted and dangerous microorganisms in your water (city or well).

For those of you who haven’t watched our videos, I am including our Rainsoft UV light water disinfection system video.

I would like to bring your attention to “Keeping Tubes Out of Our Landfills” article in the July/August 2012 issue of WATERCANADA magazine.

We know that: 1) a UV light water disinfection system is a popular choice for eliminating microorganisms, and 2) a UV light water disinfection system is a safer and more environmentally friendly system than a chemical system.

BUT…

It’s vital that you know that these UV lamps contain mercury so disposing of them in a responsible manner is extremely important. Otherwise the mercury will be released into our environment when the old or broken lamps are trashed.

Contact with mercury poses threats to human, animal and environmental health.

Please ensure you dispose of these lamps at a hazardous waste disposal site to keep everyone safe and healthy.  According to the WaterCanada article some provinces do not have a recycling programme in place and some manufactures accept the cost of having the bulbs returned to them for disposal.

If you have any questions regarding the Ultraviolet Water disinfection systems, or about UV lamp disposal please don’t hesitate to call Rainsoft Ottawa at 613-742-0058

 

“LET’S GET TANKED”, NYC’s WATER TANK PROJECT UPDATE WITH NEW VIDEO

 ~ ENJOY THIS SUPER VIDEO AND MUSIC ~  

Please visit my 3 previous blogs on New York City’s Water Tanks for plenty of background information and lots of photographs:
1) New York City‘s Water System  –  How Bizarre! –  April 3, 2012,  2)  New York City’s Water Tank Construction  –  Apr. 4, 2012 and 3) Word Above the Street’s, “The Water Tank Project – Apr. 5/12

Water Tank Project updates ~  

1)  The project is to last for twelve weeks during Summer 2013, and
2)   That the art work will be created off-site – artists participating in TWTP will donate original works of art, which will then be scanned and printed on vinyl material that will be installed on carefully selected tanks. These artist designed tanks will spark a global dialogue about the future of one of our most precious and endangered resources: WATER.

Video link ~

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/734752095/the-water-tank-project?play=1&ref=users

Here’s the latest artistic addition to the Manhattan skyline – with thanks to Architizer.com blog, June 5, 2012: http://www.architizer.com/en_us/blog/dyn/42914/reclaiming-the-water-tower-as-public-art/

Photo: Robert Banat

…”The latest in the trend is artist Tom Fruin‘s imaginatively transparent and colorful “Watertower” project, which he recently installed on a DUMBO rooftop. The piece, which opens this Thursday, June 7, maintains the proportions and size of a typical water tank, but has been rendered a glass tapestry of salvaged materials. Visible from Lower Manhattan, the sculpture is a De-Stijlesque jigsaw of upwards 1,000 polychromatic fragments of discarded and recycled Plexiglas Fruin collected from building sites all over the city. During the day, the sun sets the water tower ablaze, while at night, projection designer Jeff Sugg will illuminate the structure with a light show boogie woogie planned to play every nightfall throughout the year”

Mary Jordan
Founder/Creative Director, Word Above the Street

 PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ~ this is a mammoth and most worthwhile undertaking of Mary Jordan and Word Above the Street to raise global awareness about the future of one of our most precious and endangered resources: WATER.

HARPER GOV’T: SNEAK ATTACK ON OUR ENVIRONMENT

The following are excerpts from AVAAZ.ORG’s Harper Government – Sneak Attack on our Environment:

Avaaz is a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.

The Harper government is forcing a massive “budget” bill, C -38, through Parliament that secretly guts our environmental protection laws and threatens our forests, water and wildlife — we only have days to help stop this outrageous bill before it passes.

This sneak attack … giving Harper’s Cabinet complete discretion to approve oil pipeline projects regardless of their impact on threatened species or water. But a member of Harper’s own caucus has threatened to vote against it — we can create an unprecedented outcry calling on Conservative MPs whose districts would be affected by these pipelines to reject the budget. If just one MP breaks ranks, others could follow…

22,000 barrels of oil just leaked into Alberta’s wilderness when a pipeline ruptured, yet Harper’s so-called budget bill would systematically undo the environmental protection laws designed to prevent these spills. If this bill became law, Harper and his cronies would have free reign to snake pipelines across threatened habitats, gut the Fisheries Act, and unleash massive amounts of climate-cooking gases into the world’s atmosphere.

This bill, C-38, would also prevent some seniors from receiving the Old Age Security benefit, make deep cuts to the CBC and toughen requirements for Employment Insurance, all while the government lays off thousands of employees. Harper gave MPs just four days to debate this 400-page bill, despite the massive legislative changes it contains.

The stakes could not be higher — this bill would wreak havoc on Canada’s gorgeous natural environment, could have a devastating impact on a generation of seniors and the unemployed and makes a mockery of our parliamentary process. But with a huge public outcry we can show Conservative MPs that constituents across the country will fight Harper’s misguided budget.

Please click on the link below to add your voice to the petition:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/sneak_attack_on_the_environment/?clTFScb

OMG!!! GREAT WHITE SHARK VERSUS SEA KAYAKER

Before we get to the “OMG” video of this blog I thought I’d share  some amazing background information, featured on the Discovery Chanel video uploaded to YouTube, on the great white shark –  length, weight, speed of travel, nature, favorite foods -“triple hot fudge ice-cream sundae with 3 cherries on top” (SAY WHAT??  I’m sure glad to hear that I taste like a lima bean!

The following is a YouTube video ‘Great White Shark’, uploaded by on Aug 30, 2007 – great white sharks leap out of the water in pursuit of their favorite food.

Breaching (fish and mammals jumping out of the water)

Cape Town, South Africa, “Great White Shark Jumping”.  A shark attacks a seal at Seal Island  – airborne shark jumps out off water 12′ – another YouTube video uploaded by on Sep 22, 2007.

In the past I’ve posted a few blogs concerning: The Great Barrier Reef; and Our Coral Reefs are in Crisis.  I have just learned about the very important role that great white sharks play in the life of the coral reefs.

Having received permission of the Coral Reef Alliance, I would like to share excerpts of their article, “CORAL Campaigns to Protect Sharks” (link provided at end of blog) with you:

Sharks are commonly misunderstood and widely feared. These remarkable animals, however, are incredibly important for overall ocean health and, in particular, for coral reefs.

Sharks are often “apex” or top predators, helping to regulate species abundance and diversity while maintaining balance throughout an ecosystem. Studies have shown that coral reef ecosystems with high numbers of apex predators tend to have greater biodiversity and higher densities of individual species.

The loss of apex predators in a reef ecosystem upsets the natural food web and changes the composition of the reef community, eventually leading to the decline of critical reef species like herbivorous fish. With fewer herbivores, algae can become overgrown, suffocating the reef and reducing the number of available niches for fish species. In addition to being important for overall ecosystem health, sharks are also valuable to the tourism industry and to the economic health of coral reef destinations.

Despite their ecologic and economic value, shark populations are declining at an alarming rate. Roughly thirty percent of shark species are threatened or nearly threatened with extinction, and the status of another roughly fifty percent is unclear due to insufficient data.

NOW WHAT YOU’VE WAITED FOR – THE “OMG’ PORTION of this blog – click on link below photo

“A fishing trip off the coast of Australia takes a frightening turn when a great white shark starts harassing a sea kayaker” Discovery Channel “Outdoor Thrills” – Untamed and uncut.

http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/outdoor-thrill-videos/

Link to the Coral Reef Alliance (a most worthy cause!) web site –

http://www.coral.org/sharks

CORAL REEFS ARE IN CRISIS!!!

“Losing Our Coral Reefs

Excerpts from the article published in The Earth Institute, Columbia University, State of the Planet‘s blog, by Renee Cho, June 13, 2011

Before reading this you might like to watch the video included with my blog, “Great Barrier Reef” published March 6, 2012.

I urge you to read Renee Cho’s full article by clicking the link at the end of this blog.  Thank you.

Coral reefs, the “rainforests of the sea,” are some of the most biodiversity and productive ecosystems on earth. They occupy only .2% of the ocean, yet are home to a quarter of all marine species: crustaceans, reptiles, seaweeds, bacteria, fungi, and over 4000 species of fish make their home in coral reefs. With an annual global economic value of $375 billion, coral reefs provide food and resources for over 500 million people in 94 countries and territories. But tragically, coral reefs are in crisis.

Coral reefs are endangered by natural phenomena such as hurricanes, El Nino, predators and diseases; local threats including overfishing, destructive fishing techniques, coastal development, pollution, and careless tourism; and the global effects of climate change… 90% of coral reefs will be in danger by 2030, and all of them by 2050.

Coral reefs are colonies of individual animals called polyps, which are related to sea anemones. The polyps, which have tentacles to feed on plankton at night, play host to zooxanthellae, symbiotic algae that live within their tissues and give the coral its color. The coral provides CO2 and waste products that the algae need for photosynthesis. In turn, the algae nourish the coral with oxygen and the organic products of photosynthesis. The coral uses these compounds to synthesize calcium carbonate (limestone) with which it constructs its skeleton—the coral reef…

Of local threats to coral reefs, overfishing and damaging fishing techniques such as deep water trawling and the use of explosives and cyanide, are the most destructive… The global effects of climate change are also having critical impacts on coral reefs, and “the evidence is overwhelming that the ability of corals and the reefs they build to keep pace with the current rate of climate change has been exceeded” according to a recent study… When El Nino occurred in 1997-1998, widespread and severe coral reef bleaching occurred in the Indo-Pacific region and the Caribbean, killing 16% of the world’s coral reefs in 12 months… bleaching leaves corals vulnerable to disease, stunts their growth, and affects their reproduction, while severe bleaching kills them…

Today, coral reefs are experiencing warmer ocean temperatures and more acidity than they have at any time in the last 400,000 years. Acidification reduces the water’s carrying capacity for calcium carbonate that corals need to build their skeletons…It’s estimated that by 2050, only 15% of coral reefs will have enough calcium carbonate for adequate growth… Coral reefs provide us with food, construction materials (limestone) and new medicines—more than half of new cancer drug research is focused on marine organisms. They offer shoreline protection and maintain water quality. And they are a draw for tourists, sometimes providing up to 80% of a country’s total income. Losing the coral reefs would have profound social and economic impacts on many countries, especially small island nations like Haiti, Fiji, Indonesia, and the Philippines that depend on coral reefs for their livelihoods.

What can be done to save these precious and beautiful ecosystems?

The Coral Restoration Foundation protects and restores coral reefs through creating coral nurseries and transplanting corals into degraded reef areas. Concerned individuals can adopt a coral through the Coral Restoration Foundation or a coral reef through the Nature Conservancy, which uses the funds to conduct research, promote marine conservation and support the creation of MPAs. MPAs, which are being created worldwide, protect biodiversity and help communities manage resources sustainably.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest and richest coral reef in the world because it has been protected since the early 1970s. The creation of an MPA off St. Lucia in the Caribbean has resulted in a tripling of the fish population…. by Renee Cho

http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/06/13/losing-our-coral-reefs/

NUDIBRANCHS – “SAY WHAT?”

 I really don’t know what I’d do without my e-mail account.  I’ve just discovered interesting information that I’d like to share with you about another amazing colourful mollusc-like marine creature, known as a “nudibranch” (pronouced NEW-dih-bronk) 

“Just what are nudibranchs?”, you might ask.

The nudibranchs are ocean bottom-dwelling, shell-less mollusks featuring featherlike gills and horns mostly found on their backs and are part of the sea slug family. They are noted for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms.

Nudibranchs are usually oblong in shape and measure anywhere from ¼ inch to 12 inches.

Nudibranchs are carnivores that graze on corals, anemones, algae, barnacles and sponges. To identify prey, Two extremely sensitive tentacles (‘rhinophores’) on top of their heads help them locate their food sources., called rhinophores, located on top of their heads.

The colour of the nudibranchs is retained from the food they digest.  This colouring and poisons they keep from their prey help the nubdibranchs protect themselves from predators.

Nudibranchs lifespans vary with some living under a month, and others living up to one year.



Related links –

SMH article ‘Underwater Wonders on Mail Run’:

http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/underwater-wonders-on-mail-run-20120507-1y7vw.html

Aquatic Community.com:

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/sw/nudibranch.php

Article in National Geographic:

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/nudibranch/