Pure Water Occasional, December 23, 2019
Late December Issue

The Pure Water Occasional is produced by Pure Water Products and the Pure Water Gazette. Please visit our websites.

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Water News in a Nutshell

A trial project by a company called Scottish Water is examining a method of wastewater treatment that relies on earthworms and water fleas to treat wastewater in a natural way. The project manager explains:

“The first stage of treatment involves a tank filled with earthworms – the worms eat the larger particles of organic matter in the waste water, before it is added to a second tank containing water fleas and micro-algae which remove the finer bits of organic matter. At this stage, the water should be in a condition that would allow it to be returned back to the natural environment.” Full article.
The Kariba dam has plunged to its lowest level since 1996, raising further risks to the hydropower plants that Zimbabwe and Zambia depend on for nearly half of their power. Large parts of Zambia and Zimbabwe are experiencing the worst drought in at least four decades, forcing the nations to cut generation from Kariba after water flows fell sharply in the Zambezi river that feeds it. Each country has implemented power cuts lasting as long as 18 hours a day as a result. Bloomberg News.

Thousands of fat innkeeper worms, also known as “penis fish,” washed up on Drakes Beach in California. 
Access to clean drinking water is the top issue facing Wisconsin, according to a new survey of voters in the southwest region, where a high number of private wells are contaminated. A majority of respondents said they would favor candidates who support more regulation to protect drinking water, and two-thirds believe water quality will be an issue in the next general election, according to the study conducted for the Environmental Law & Policy Center’s Action Fund. Safe, clean drinking water was ranked very important by 82% of voters and fairly important by 7%. That’s more than infrastructure, health care or public education. Kenosha News.

Extensive studies at the University of Michigan led to the conclusion that water births are just as safe as land births. Science Daily.

A broken 30" water main in San Diego caused street flooding so severe that drivers had to be rescued from cars.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania says test results “do not indicate widespread PFAS contamination” in drinking water supplies. In spite of what he said, PFAS has been found in about a third of water samples tested. NPR Report.

Centipedes get around well on land, but few know that they are also excellent swimmers. You're probably wondering how they coordinate all those legs, especially when doing a back stroke. The answer is, they don't. The centipede walks on land by coordinating its many legs, but when put in water, it folds its legs and swims by bending the body trunk similar to an eel. Read all about how centipedes swim in Science Daily.

EWN: The Demise of Soap and Water?

Old fashioned hand washing with soap and water may be on the way out. Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health are suggesting a potentially more effective way to clean hands: using nano-aerosol mists, called engineered water nanostructures (EWNS), laced with antimicrobial agents. They say they have "fine-tuned a cocktail of various 'nature-inspired' antimicrobials, such as citric acid, hydrogen peroxide, and antimicrobial peptides," that could be sprayed as a super-fine EWN mist onto contaminated hands. Details.

Lack of Water Affects Air Quality and Soil Quality

About 90 percent of dust in Utah's Wasatch Front comes from the west desert, an area that was once covered by the prehistoric Lake Bonneville but that is now a dried lake bed. More recently, shallow lakes like Sevier Dry Lake and the Great Salt Lake, which are remnants of Lake Bonneville, have been exposed as water inflows are diverted for consumptive use.

Researchers predict this percentage is only going to increase as water levels decline and more dry lake bed is exposed. Lake beds are muddy, but as they dry out, they become a dust pan. Dry lake beds are becoming a significant dust threat to nearby communities, not only impacting air quality but also impacting soil and what can grow in it. Phys.org.
The drought going on in Zimbabwe is so serious that residents are being fined for flushing toilets at other than approved times. Amid the drought, some 200 elephants have starved to death in national parks along the Zambezi River. Wall Street Journal.
"An Overwhelming Failure to Remove Harmful Contaminants"

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) issued an order on November 12, 2019 banning the importation of refrigerator water filters that infringed patents owned by KX Technologies LLC and licensed to Electrolux Home Products, Inc. KX President Jerome Barrillon cited a recent study by the Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers, which concluded that “counterfeit refrigerator water filters pose a serious risk to consumer health and safety.” The study revealed these counterfeit filters demonstrate “an overwhelming failure to remove harmful contaminants” that could harm the well-being of American consumers. Many brands of proprietary refrigerator filters will be affected. Water Conditioning and Purification Magazine.
Testing Fire Fighting Foam on a Georgia Military Base.

This month, Congress dropped several key provisions from the National Defense Authorization Act that would have forced tighter regulation and cleanup of the "forever chemicals" (PFAS) that are polluting water supplies, especially near military bases. According to reports, the Defense Department knew of the potential hazards to human health posed by firefighting foam since at least the 1990s. Records uncovered during litigation show that chemical companies that manufactured PFAS, including 3M and DuPont, were also aware early on of the danger. The ongoing failure of Congress to demand regulation of PFAS underlines the fact that politics trumps science when money and public safety are in conflict. 


Number of dogs believed to be living in the United States–78.000,000.

Estimated percentage of these dogs that are in the country illegally– 23.9%.

Daily excrement output of these dogs, in tons–30.000.

Yearly excrement output of these dogs, in tons–10,000,000.

Number of 18-wheel tractor trailer trucks that would be required to haul away 10,000,000 tons of dog manure–267,500.

Length in miles of the caravan made by these 267,500 manure wagons if they were lined up bumper to bumper–3800.

Rank of the roundworm as the most common dog excrement parasite — #1.

Percentage of Americans who tested positive for roundworms in a CDC study – 14%.

Number of canines required to generate enough bacteria in three days to close 20-miles of beach –100.

Approximate percentage of Americans who don’t pick up their dogs’ feces–40%.

Percentage of US households that have at least one dog–60%.

Numerical rank of dog waste among the largest contributors of bacterial pollution in urban watersheds– 3 or 4.

According to a Seattle study, the percentage of watershed pollution that can be attributed to dog wastes–20.

Average daily output in pounds of feces per day per dog–3 to 4.

Pounds of excrement produced by 1000 dogs in a week — 750.

Percentage of the total residential waste stream that was found to be dog waste in a San Francisco study — 4%.


Plastics in bottled water

Time magazine reports:

Drinking from a plastic water bottle likely means ingesting microplastic particles, a new study claims, prompting fresh concerns — and calls for scientific research — on the possible health implications of widespread plastics pollution.

A study carried out on more than 250 water bottles sourced from 11 brands in nine different countries revealed that microplastic contamination was nearly universal, found in more than 90% of the samples.

The study found an average of 10.4 microplastic particles about the width of a human hair per liter. That’s about twice the level of contamination discovered in the group’s earlier study on the ubiquitous plastic contamination in tap water across the globe, with the highest rate found in the U.S.

Previous studies have found that a large portion of the microplastic particles found in our oceans, lakes and rivers, as well as in fish stomachs, can be traced back to the washing of synthetic clothes.

In the case of bottled water, Orb’s new study indicated contamination was partly the result of plastic packaging, and partly the fault of the bottling process. The survey included brands like Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestlé and San Pellegrino.

It’s unclear what effect, if any, this consumption of tiny bits of plastics has on human health. As much as 90% of ingested plastic could pass through a human body, but some of it may end up lodged in the gut, or traveling through the lymphatic system, according to research by the European Food Safety Authority.

Also unknown is what chemicals are contained in the plastic particles.

Why Don’t Tiny EOT (End of Tap) Filters Don’t Work Well As Standard Filters? Well, Because They Are Tiny


The Gazette’s Famous Water Picture Series: Step Wells


TAC or Water Softener: Pros and Cons


By popular demand, we're going to finish off the Occasional's year by reprinting Pure Water Gazette columnist Bea Sharper's holiday mega-classic, "The Number of Nights Before Christmas That 'Twas: 1." 

Thanks for reading, best wishes for a happy holiday season.


The Number of Nights Before Christmas that’Twas: 1

by B. Bee Sharper

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