4 Aug 2008

Fecal Circulation

This article reports some shitty news, i.e.,
California had the nation's 17th most polluted beaches last year, and for the fifth straight year, the worst of those beaches were in Los Angeles County, the Natural Resources Defense Council reported Tuesday.

Among California beaches, those in Los Angeles County had the highest levels of fecal material in ocean water, according to the NRDC.
Fecal pollution results when sewage and treatment systems are inadequate or overwhelmed -- situations that are far-too-common.

Interestingly, there are alternatives to the centralized collection and purification systems that are the standard today. Read this paper [DOC] to get an idea of how to save money, reduce demand for water and deliver cleaner waste water services.

In it, the authors give detailed economic and engineering estimates of how "local" management of water is cheaper and safer than processing via centralized facilities.

Bottom Line: We've come a long way since the medieval ages if effluent everywhere. "Backyard sewage treatment" can be less-costly, more sanitary and less-water intensive.

5 comments:

TokyoTom said...

These situations will improve if swimmers or others downstream start to sue, and if sewage systems are privatized (so that environmental costs are not socialized).

David Zetland said...

Yep -- the Common Law solution. Much nicer than regulation -- if you can find the people to sue :)

Anonymous said...

I'd caution you in your solutioning to look at the Puget Sound. Failing septic systems are contributing to the Sound's dying.

That is: who enforces?

DS

Gede H. Cahyana said...

In Indonesia, a small system is more popular than centralized one. For small community like hotels, hospitals, or small beverage industries, we use Zontech Water Treatment, a modification of UASB, Anaerobic Filter, and wetland.

Some articles attached in my blog, here: http://gedehace.blogspot.com

TokyoTom said...

David, one of the reasons why there's no one who will sue is that the state owns the rivers, lakes and the firsheries resources. If these were privatized, we see the fishermen and others suing as asociations - this apparently happens in England with the fishing associations.

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