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27

The main answer is logistical. Building a network of pipes to bring water to houses is a major effort, and most places where that's been done found it extremely expensive. Providing a second set of pipes to bring salt water to houses would probably cost about the same. Except that cities go to considerable lengths to put their water reservoirs above the city ...


18

You are asking to choose between two bad systems, and the least bad choice will depend on the surplus capacity of the sewage system vs space in the landfill. Vancouver B.C. has now passed a building code against garburators. Reason: It doubled the amount of solid waste in the sewer system. The additional solids also made for more problems with blockages. ...


17

Catalina Island does use salt water for toilets. It's a small community, however, and they seem to be shifting towards freshwater due to corrosion issues inherent to salt water utilization. From Catalina Island & Drinking Water: Saltwater used for toilet-flushing and fire suppression purposes is simply filtered as it is not intended to be potable. ...


12

If you twisted my arm to choose between those two options, I would say the garbage disposal is more sustainable. Sewage goes through physical and biological process to remove contaminants and the treated water is returned to the ecosystem. Even though not all the sludge byproducts are reusable — some are only suitable for disposal — it's pretty ...


10

There are drainwater heat recovery systems in production. It is mostly made of copper and in principle it's a passive, opposite flow heat exchanger. The freshwater coming to the house circulates through thin pipes wrapped around a bulky waste-water pipe. Any obstructions in the way of waste-water could cause clogging, that's why there is (probably) only one ...


9

Try Bokashi composting: Done in the kitchen in an air-tight container--this is an anaerobic composting method or fermentation, not aerobic like conventional composting--surprisingly little odor is produced because nothing rots as happens in conventional composting. Can take a greater variety of wastes than conventional composting (including meat, bone, ...


9

Many in the sanitation treatment industry feel the garbage disposal was among the most troublesome inventions in the history of the modern home. Treatment facilities are designed to remove bacterial and viral contaminants, not solid wastes (grinding it and sending it into the sewer system does not change the fact that it is solid waste). Most plants have ...


8

If you kept the coils clean, filtered the air blowing over them, and captured the water immediately before it had a chance to pool and potentially grow bacteria, then yes, the water is very clean and pure. Probably as pure as distilled water (if not for all of the dust and other contaminants that blow through it). Legionnaires Disease is an example of a ...


5

I found this page that contains a link to a MSc dissertation on the Pulser pump. The dissertation describes 2 experiments with Pulser pumps and shows that the efficiency is around 1% at best (page 56) and that the author found ...inflow, pumping height and the number of riser pipes to be critical variables. It was also discovered that there is potential ...


5

Part of it may be the stage in composting. In moving the pile, you had to aerate it well which would speed things up. Remember that much plant material is cellulose and lignan. Cellulose has the same molar forumula as sugar -- it's really just thousands of sugar molecules chained together, so in essence it's CHO. The net reaction is 4 CHO + 3 O2 => 4 ...


3

I know that tea tree oil is poisonous when ingested, just like you said, but it is also toxic for animals upon contact. It must go into the blood stream by penetrating the skin. Because it exists in the composition of insect-repellents and plant fungicids, I presume that it is toxic to insects too. There are discussions at the European Union parliament as ...


3

It might even be more environmentally friendly to dispense with using flush toilets altogether by switching to using negative pressure toilets. Vacuum toilets are used on planes and also help to remove the unwanted odours as well as prevent the toilet plume aerosol caused by flush toilets. Vacuum toilets are available commercially for domestic use and use ...


3

Life cycle assessment has been done on this! This report is by InSinkErator, so they obviously have some commercial interest. Here's the summary, which (to me) seems sound: http://www.insinkerator.com/en-us/Documents/Disposer/ISE-Life-Cycle-Summary.pdf I will search out the original study report, which will define more of the assumptions they're making and ...


2

Many Aquaponic farmers will grow duckweed to supplement the food they provide to the fish. Since they are interested in the fish waste to feed the plants, the duckweed will not grow fast enough to be the only thing to feed to the fish. I am in the phase of my aquaponics project where we are just getting the Nitrate and Nitrite levels to start to increase. ...


2

Consider this answer a draft till I found some numbers. Additional waste in wastewater will generate energy costs in two ways: additional aeration: Biomass is degraded by pumping air into the wastewater, thus providing aerobic bacteria with the oxygen to digest the waste. The pumping of air is energy intensive additional sludge: The aerobic digestion ...


2

Yes, root zone treatment only works really well where you have space. Here in Jakarta everyone has septic systems in a city twice the size of New York. I wouldn't drink the well water even if you boiled it. The major concerns include things like organic chemicals/solvants, and the like. many of these things take time to break down in the soil, and they ...


2

I was faced with a similar question a couple of years ago. The best solution I could come up with was to feed the grey water into an area occupied by plants that consumed 'large' quantities of water and continuously dropped leaf litter. The leaf litter would layer on top of the particulates in the grey water and provide protection to the micro-organisms ...


2

Regardless of where you live, one or more of the following most likely applies: Damaging ecosystems by removing scarce water. If you live in an arid place, the water you waste would have been used somewhere else. Note this may also apply in areas that don't meet the definition of arid, but are experiencing drought conditions. Damaging ecosystems by ...


1

Your parents taught you not to "waste water" because they paid the water bills. Thus the negative connotations associated with "wasting water" are purely (or at least overwhelmingly) economic. It does not logically follow that "wa$ting water" is bad for the environment. Your question "why is it bad..." is thus loaded. You've assumed something that ...


1

If you don't add additional detergent to your wash (nor do additional wash loads because you believe your cloths come out without being cleaned as well) to compensate for any effects (real, imagined, or otherwise) of the added oils then you cannot be wasting detergent. You are using the same amount of detergent whether you add the essential oils or not. ...


1

Another strategy with human & animal waste involved is growing algae from the effluent to purify the water, recycling it then cheap and easy, uniits are insulated, LEDs via fiber optics climate controlled for 24x7 growing. This supplies biodiesel to the village, enough for heat & to replace diesel use, vehicles to snowmobiles. Nobody makes the ...


1

Navy/Marine ships usually have two systems to handle water, in separate tanks: CHT: Collection, Holding and Transfer tanks (more detail on the standards by the SBIR here) MSD: Marine Sanitation Device tanks Ships use salt water from the fire main for flushing, and to clean out the CHT (shit, which is used when sewage can't be dumped, or to process before ...


1

I had a painful full-body hives reaction to Tea Tree Oil when applied topically. I suppose this was an allergic reaction or some kind of hyper-sensativity. Also, there has been some research indicating tea tree oil is an endocrine disruptor, even when applied topically, which means it has unpredictable effects on the human hormone system. (http://www.nejm....


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