The Pure Water Occasional for April 14, 2014

In this mid-April Occasional, you'll hear about water shortage in Myanmar, the effect of fracking on home values, America's ten most endangered rivers, and an expensive water tank in Wichita, KS.  Then there's rock snot, oil-chewing bacteria, infertile oysters, the shortcomings of the EPA, and the outrageous pollution from factory farms. You'll hear about a mystery pipe in Oregon, the sky-high benzene content of the water of Lanzhou, China, the amazing curative power of early morning water guzzling, the water percentage of a Catalpa tree, and the nanometer output of a low pressure UV lamp. And, as always, there is much, much more.

The Pure Water Occasional is a project of Pure Water Products and the Pure Water Gazette.

To read this issue on the Pure Water Gazette's website,  please go here.

Waiting for water: Myanmar villages left behind

By Esther Htusan

DALA, Myanmar (AP) — Every afternoon, the long lines start to form, hundreds of men, women and children waiting to dip their plastic buckets into the lotus-filled reservoir just outside Myanmar's biggest city, Yangon. It's their only source of clean drinking water, they say, and during the dry season, April and May, there is only so much to go around.

"It wasn't always this way," says 72-year-old Tin Shwe, one of the village elders, as he looks at the queue, some boys as young as 8 waiting their turn, yokes at their side. "It used to be only paddy fields. Only a few houses. There was enough water for all of us."

Myanmar only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. Nascent democratic reforms implemented by the new civilian government since 2011 have resulted in a development boom, with the World Bank and others pouring billions of dollars into the country of 60 million as it starts to open up to the world. But so far, it is the big cities that are seeing the benefits.

Even places like Dala township — just a 20-minute boat ride from Yangon — have so far been left out. Authorities tell residents that maybe next year the government will start installing pipes so that water can be delivered straight to their homes.

The water shortages began with a population boom in the 1980s, with the number of inhabitants jumping from a few dozen to more than a thousand in part because they wanted to be close to the big city.

With no restrictions on how much water each family could take, the natural, fresh-water pond started running low. Eventually, just a decade ago, it dried up entirely. With no offers of help from the government, men like Tin Shwe decided to step in, devising a rationing system as water started seeping back so that residents could rely on it year-round.

Villagers have only one hour — between 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. — to get their water during dry season to limit its use. They are charged a tiny sum — 10 kyat for each bucket, or 10 U.S. cents. With so many takers it's enough money for small upkeeps, like fixing the fence that surrounds the reservoir or stringing up electricity for lights.

People walk for up to five kilometers (three miles) with their empty buckets. They are allowed to fill up two each. If they need more, they can get back in line. When they are ready they begin the long, hard trek home.

"I usually get three buckets," said 19-year-old Aye Thu Zar as she neared the front of the line. "There are seven in my family, so that's enough for drinking and cooking. But the walk home hurts my shoulders. My legs, too. I can barely sleep at night the pain is so bad."

She and others hope the new Myanmar will eventually reach Dala.

But for now, says Ko Ko, one of the villagers waiting his turn, "we are like water shortage refugees."

Source: Seattle Pi.

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Drink Water Early in the Morning

Editor's Note: There are bushels of articles telling you how much water to drink and what kind of water to drink, but not a lot like the one below that tells you when to drink.  In fact, according to the uncredited source of the article, early morning water drinking can cure most human ailments.  

It is accustomed in Japan to drink water after waking up early in the morning. Furthermore, scientific tests have proven its value. For many illnesses the water treatment had been found successful by a Japanese medical society as a 100% cure for the following diseases:

Headache, body ache, heart system, arthritis, fast heart beat, epilepsy, excess fatness, bronchitis asthma, TB , meningitis, kidney and urine diseases, vomiting, gastritis, diarrhea, piles, diabetes, constipation, all eye diseases, womb, cancer and menstrual disorders, ear nose and throat diseases.


1. As you wake up in the morning before brushing teeth, drink 4 x 160 ml glasses of water

2. Brush and clean the mouth but do not eat or drink anything for 45 minute

3. After 45 minutes you may eat and drink as normal.

4. After 15 minutes of breakfast, lunch and dinner do not eat or drink anything for 2 hours

5. Those who are old or sick and are unable to drink 4 glasses of water at the beginning may commence by taking little water and gradually increase it to 4 glasses per day.

6. The above method of treatment will cure diseases of the sick and others can enjoy a healthy life.

The following list gives the number of days of treatment required to cure/control/reduce main diseases:

1. High Blood Pressure (30 days)

2. Gastric (10 days)

3. Diabetes (30 days)

4. Constipation (10 days)

5. Cancer (180 days)

6. TB (90 days)

7. Arthritis patients should follow the above treatment only for 3 days in the 1st week, and from 2nd week onwards – daily.

This treatment method has no side effects, however at the commencement of treatment you may have to urinate a few times. It is better if we continue this and make this procedure as a routine work in our life.

The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals not cold water. Maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating!!!

For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion.

Once this ‘sludge’ reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

Source:  News.Am

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Water News of the Week

 Benzene in China city water cuts supply.Tests conducted by environmental officials in the Chinese city of Lanzhou this week showed that tap water there contained 200 micrograms of benzene per liter — 20 times the national limit. Residents stocked up on bottled water.

Gansu tap water contamination blamed on oil pipeline leak. The contamination of drinking water in Lanzhou, Gansu province, was caused by a pipeline leak involving a subsidiary of China's largest oil company.

The failure of the EPA to protect the public from pollution. Can we trust the EPA to do what is in the public’s best interest? Not if history is any guide. “I worked at the EPA from 1979 to 2004, through five administrations both Republican and Democratic, and watched firsthand how industry expertly subverts the agency.”

Chinese economic growth at a cost: Pollution poisons lakes, rivers and skies. Beijing has 20 million residents, five million cars, and a huge pollution problem. And the thick soup that obscures the sun is man-made.

'Mystery pipe' in Oregon dumps human waste in Mill Creek. Since at least August 2012, a “mystery pipe” has been dumping extremely high levels of human waste into Mill Creek, and officials so far cannot find its source, despite extensive efforts.

Toxic estuaries in NSW making rock oysters infertile. High concentrations of metals in Port Jackson, Port Kembla and Botany Bay are having a major impact on marine life, researchers have found. Toxic levels of copper, zinc and lead from stormwater or due to past industrial dumping are making Sydney rock oysters infertile.

Discharge from North Carolina power plant affects water quality. The Belews Creek Steam Station has been causing trouble causing trouble for the downstream town of Madison and the city of Eden, as well as buyers of Madison’s and Eden’s drinking water.

New research reveals that a nasty, mucus-like algae bloom that emerged in Eastern Canada in 2006 may not be an invasive species after all. Instead, it appears to be a native species that was once subdued by cooler temperatures, but is now proliferating because of global warming. Didymo is a thick, slippery algae nicknamed "rock snot" for reasons obvious to anyone who has seen or touched it. The algae is a concern for fish populations such as Atlantic salmon, as it lines river bottoms, hiding food and making it more difficult for some species to forage. More information.

Pollution fears crush home prices near fracking wells. Whether or not fracking causes groundwater pollution, people fear the risk enough that property values have dropped for homes with drinking-water wells near shale-gas pads, according to new research.

Water rationing takes toll on health, environment. Residents of Malaysia's Klang Valley may whine and moan about the lack of water at home due to the rationing exercises, following an unusually long dry season said to be caused by climate change. But its impact goes beyond their daily discomfort.

America's most endangered rivers. The nonprofit American Rivers announced April 9 that it has named the San Joaquin River the most endangered river in America, and is calling on California to manage the San Joaquin's much-needed water more efficiently. Click on the map for a larger view.

EPA says the Norwalk River is a 'waterbody improved.' For much of the past 55 years, portions of the Norwalk River were greatly affected by the same sources of pollution as many Fairfield County watersheds. Until recently, fish populations were low, beavers had left, and birds of prey like ospreys were rarely found. “Even if it is just people who scoop dog poop on a more consistent basis, or think about what exactly they are dumping down a storm drain. It’s the outcome of all kinds of individual decisions. We have made a difference. Do the small things really matter? Yes, they do."

Scientists frustrated by factory farms. In Wisconsin's Kewaunee County, where cows outnumber humans by more than three to one, and where the porous karst topography cannot possibly support the massive amounts of animal waste that the industrial farms produce, citizens have been fighting an uphill battle to have their concerns heard.

Ohio finds ‘probable connection’ between earthquakes in Mahoning County and hydraulic fracturing. Ohio ordered an indefinite moratorium on fracking natural gas wells within three miles of the epicenter of earthquakes on March 10 and 11 in Poland Township southeast of Youngstown. There were five quakes of 2.0 or greater.

Oil-chewing bacteria may be the future for quickly cleaning toxic oil spills. There may yet be one small silver lining in the dark cloud of oil. As was reported at the time of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, there is a class of "hydrocarbon-chewing" microbes that feast on oil in the water after it spills.

City manager: Wichita would not have survived drought without aquifer project. Wichita, Kansas, wouldn’t  have survived last summer’s drought without a controversial $244 million groundwater recharge project, city staff says. But, some City Council members are balking at the $300 million price tag to finish the project.


Pure Water Gazette Numerical Wizard Bee Sharper Indexes the Numbers that Harper's Misses

Percentage of SeaWorld revenue that is spent for animal rescue and rehabilitation – 0.0006 %.

Number of the Earth's people who must walk at least three hours to obtain drinking water – 1,000,000,000.

Percentage of Delaware's streams and rivers that are now too contaminated for fish to thrive—94%.

Tons of salt used by the New Jersey Transportation Department to cope with winter storms during the winter of 2013-14 –460,000.

Number of years this amount of salt would provide seasoning for a daily large order of french fries for every citizen of New Jersey citizen – 368.

Percentage of South Vietnam households that are connected to the public sewer system-- 60%.

Percentage of that water that is treated before release into the environment – 10%.

If the internet were a country, its rank as an energy consumer among the countries of the world – 6.

By weight, the percentage of a Catalpa tree that is water – 48%.

Ultraviolet 101

by Gene Franks

Although ultraviolet light has several water treatment capabilities, such as reducing chlorine and chloramine, its main use by far is for microbe control.

Getting rid of microbial water contaminants can be done with chemicals, like chlorine or chloramines, by very tight filtration, as with ceramic filters, or by disabling the microbes with ultraviolet light.

Ultraviolet, UV, is not new. As early as 1877, the germicidal properties of sunlight were known.

Landmark events in the development of modern UV treatment include the use of mercury lamps as an artificial germicidal light source (1901), the development of quartz as a UV transmitting medium (1906), and finally the development of the first genuine drinking water application of ultraviolet as a disinfectant in France in 1910.

The technology is, therefore, a century old, and it is used world wide. Nevertheless, it is still unknown to many US state and local regulating agencies, who continue to view chlorination as the only acceptable way to purify water.

UV treatment works not by “killing” bacteria, protozoa, and viruses, but by altering their DNA so that they cannot reproduce or infect. If chlorination is like chemical warfare directed at microbes, UV is more like a spaying and neutering program.

UV Light

UV light in the 200 to 300 nanometer (nm) range is the most effective at treating bacteria and viruses. (Visible light falls in the 400-700 nm area.) For most practical UV applications in water treatment today, the light is generated by a mercury vapor lamp, or in a gas mixture that contains mercury. Mercury is the gas of choice because the light it puts out is in the germicidal wavelength range.

Lamp output depends on the concentration of mercury within the lamp, and the concentration depends on pressure. Low pressure lamps (called LP), the most common, produce UV light primarily at 253.7 nm, an ideal treatment wavelength. Some newer lamps are called “low pressure/high output" (LPHO) and some applications now use mixed vapor lamps called “amalgam” lamps. These require more electrical input and generate more UV output. LPHO lamps are roughly twice as powerful as LP, and amalgams may be about four times as powerful as LP.


UV Lamp

The Delivery System

The standard way to treat unsafe water with UV is to send it though an elongated chamber where it is exposed to the intense light from the mercury lamp. UV bulbs are long and narrow to allow prolonged exposure as the water passes the length of the lamp.

The lamp itself is inside a transparent tube called the“quartz sleeve,” which protects it from contact with the water, and on the other side of the sleeve there is normally a metal reflective chamber. The water enters one end of the chamber, flows past the lamp to exit at the other end, and is in the process exposed for some time and at close proximity to the UV dosage put out by the lamp.


UV Dosage

UV dosage is typically measured in units called "Joules," and it is most frequently expressed in terms of "mega Joules per square centimeter," or mJ/cm². (Microwatts per second per square centimeter, expressed as µWs/cm2, and mJ/cm2 represent the same dosage and the two systems are used interchangeably.) The higher the number, the higher the dosage.

The UV dosage received by the water increases as the flow rate of the water decreases, so a UV unit that puts out a dosage of 16 mJ/cm² while treating water at a flow rate of eleven gallons per minute (gpm) will be rated as 40 mJ/cm² if the flow rate is decreased to 4.5 gpm.

Put another way, a UV system rated by its manufacturer to treat water at 40 mJ/cm² at 4.5 gpm will be delivering a dosage of 16 mJ/cm² even if the user exceeds the recommended limit and runs the water at eleven gpm.

The tendency now in UV dosage is to follow the “more is better” view we've all been indoctrinated in. If ten nuclear bombs will destroy the world, to be safe we need ten thousand. The most common concerns, e Coli, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium, are effectively eliminated at less than seven mJ/cm². The minimum dosage now recommended by NSF, however, is 40 mJ/cm².

Factors That Affect UV Effectiveness

First, there is the age of the lamp. UV lamps lose strength with time, and almost all manufacturers assume a once-a-year replacement when they design their units. It is a mistake to believe that if the lamp is still burning all is well. UV lamps should be replaced once a year, and when replaced they should still be burning strong.

Then there is flow rate. The unit should be sized to provide adequate protection at the highest possible flow rates, but practicality should tell you that in most residential situations, most water is used at a couple of gallons per minute and a great deal of the time—most of the time, in fact—no water at all is being used.

Also a factor is general absorption of the UV light for unintended purposes. UV makers usually require that the water have less than seven grains per gallon of hardness, less that 0.3 ppm iron, less than 0.05 ppm manganese, and that it be generally clear and free of particulate and tannins. All of these can create situations where the light is absorbed and, therefore, its anti-microbial activity is diminished. Hardness, for example, can form scale on the outside of the quartz sleeve which blocks the passage of light.

A related factor is called shadowing. It is primarily caused by particles in the water which can allow microbes to “hide” from the light and not receive adequate UV dosage. The commonly accepted practice in UV treatment is to put a sediment filter of 5 microns or less in front of the treatment chamber to screen out any particles that could allow shadowing. Even if the water looks perfectly clear to the eye, putting a five-micron filter in front of the UV unit is a good idea.

UV as a Germicidal Treatment. Pros and Cons

The good thing about UV is that in addition to being a very effective treatment for microbes, it is relatively simple and inexpensive to buy and to maintain. It adds no chemicals to the water and leaves no “by-products.” It is very safe, if you follow a couple of simple rules (like don't stare at a burning UV lamp because it can damage your eyes, and remember that treatment chambers can be hot to the touch). Compared to ozone, chlorine, or even hydrogen peroxide, UV is a very safe home treatment. Also compared with other treatments, UV requires little maintenance.

The main disadvantage of UV as germicidal treatment is that it has no residual effect. Bacteria are treated when they pass the lamp, but contamination that occurs downstream of the lamp is not treated. Chlorine and chloramine, by contrast, stay in the water from the point of treatment to the final point of use, preventing reinfection. The need for a constant supply of electricity can be seen as an additional disadvantage. If the power goes out, you shouldn't use the water. Modern UV units often included devices to warn of power failure or even to shut off the flow of water if the power goes off.


UV from Pure Water Products

Classic Plastic Pura Units. We've been in business almost 30 years, and Pura was one of our first products. We started selling plastic-housing Pura UV systems just a couple of years after Pura went into business in the late 1980s, so it's a product dear to our hearts. The Pura #20 lamp, used on all whole house plastic units, is, in fact, our most successful product in terms of sales. We stock all units and all parts, "every nut and bolt," of plastic housing Pura units. We have an entire website,, devoted to plastic-housing Pura units. We're the best source, anywhere, for plastic Pura units and parts. We have some expertise with the units and can help with service issues.

Stainless Steel Units. We have stainless units both by Sterilight and Trojan. We stock parts for both Watts and the now-discontinued Pura stainless steel units. Sterilight stainless units are now on our main website. We are factory-direct distributors for Sterilight and Trojan and can supply any replacement parts you need.

This article first appeared in the Pure Water Occasional for May 2011. The current version is updated and revised.




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