In this end of July Occasional, you'll hear about the Jumbo Sand Trap, otoliths, the Streamer, dead dolphins in the Gulf, McElligot's Pool, the Law of Infinitesimals, toxic sludge, and Asian Carp. If that isn't enough, there are sink holes, the 6 reasons and 5 tips, the Dilbit Disaster, BPA, Jacques Benveniste, Dr. Seuss, and Uranus. You'll even learn about spin down filters, who invented fracking, the dangers of cheap tea, the concept of less is more, and the exciting countdown to National Garden Hose Day. And, as always, there is much, much more.
The Pure Water Occasional
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of Denton, Texas. We also serve up the Pure Water Gazette,
which offers new articles about water and water treatment daily, providing “vast piles of information in the Gazette’s
tangy, irreverent style” (Gainesville Herald
). We sincerely invite you to visit PureWaterProducts.com
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While you were getting started on the first of all those books you planned to read this summer, a lot of interesting things happened in the ever-changing world of water. Read on to hear about some of them.
A New Online Tool from the Department of the Interior called Streamer
The US Department of the Interior has recently released a nifty online tool that they call Streamer
. Depending on your objective, it can be a valuable research device or a lot of fun.
Streamer's purpose is simple. It is an interactive map that allows you to trace a stream in either direction—upstream to its source or downstream to where it ultimately empties. It also shows statistics for the stream, such as its length, the political entities it passes through (states, counties, and cities), origin elevation, and other information. A more detailed report also shows all the US Geological Survey’s stream gages for the stream.
Following a stream in its entirety gives new meaning to the term watershed, which is a difficult concept for most of us to grasp. Below is a Streamer map of the mighty Mississippi, with all its tributaries. It shows all the 7,000 streams and 1.15 million square miles of surface area that drain into it.
- The complete Mississippi
As good as it is, the Streamer is not complete. McElligot's Pool,
for example, is omitted, and I could not find Cement River, which is what I call the drainage canal that carries a raging torrent near our business on rainy days in spring.
To trace the torturous wanderings of the waterways that lead to McElligot's pool, you'll have to rely on Dr. Seuss's text. It isn't included in Streamer.
BPA Plastics Study Yields Yet Another Disturbing "Less Is More" Finding
Is Our Whole Way of Measuring Water Contamination a Bogus Science?
by Gene Franks
Baby mice exposed in the womb to low doses – but not high doses – of bisphenol A were fatter and had metabolic changes linked to obesity and diabetes, according to a new study published today. Building on previous studies that link the hormone-altering chemical to changes in body weight and glucose tolerance, the new research fuels an ongoing controversy over whether federal testing of chemicals is adequate to protect people from low doses. “What’s scary is that we found effects at levels that the government not only says is safe, but that they don’t bother to test,” said Frederick vom Saal, a University of Missouri, Columbia, professor and senior author of the study. Many of the effects were reported in the mice fed daily doses – just during pregnancy – that were one-tenth of the amount that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says is safe for daily exposure throughout life. Used in polycarbonate plastics, canned food liners and some thermal receipts, BPA is found in almost everyone’s body. Some earlier studies have linked it to obesity and diabetes in people
The report goes on to explain that current water regulatory practices are carried out under the assumption that high doses are more potent than low doses, so if a chemical does not prove harmful at a dosage of 5 parts per billion, there is no reason to test it at a concentration of 1 part per billion.
Modern Science, like all belief systems, holds certain principles to be sacred and beyond challenge. One of these is the notion that when a substance is present in a large amount it is more powerful than it would be in a smaller amount. In other words, more is always more, and less is always less. On the occasions when less seems to be more, as with the current BPA research, the scientific establishment simply dismisses the finding as heresy. If the heretic refuses to recant, he is burned at the stake. Witness the case of the French scientist Jacques Benveniste, who in 1988 challenged the "more is always more" commandment and was excommunicated by Orthodox Science. Benveniste's sin against scientific orthodoxy was to publish experiments demonstrating that water has the ability to remember substances whose physical presence has been entirely removed from it. (See The Lost Genitals of Uranus, or How Is an Elephant like a Glass of Water?
Less is more, of course, is not a revolutionary idea, although orthodox Science treats it like one. Less is more is a cornerstone principle of the science of Homeopathy, which calls it the Law of Infinitesimals, There are countless well documented exceptions to the more is more dogma. The truth seems to be that more is most often more, but sometimes less is more.
Low doses of BPA spurred weight gain and other metabolic changes in baby mice. Of the doses fed to the pregnant mice – 5, 50, 500, 5,000 and 50,000 micrograms per kilogram – 500 caused the most metabolic changes. The number of fat cells doubled at the 500 dose. No effects were seen at doses higher than 5,000.
The entire belief system on which modern water treatment practices are based depends on upholding the principal that more is always more. Without it, there would be chaos. How can we regulate water contaminants if we have to contend with the absurd notion that reducing their quantity may actually make them more potent threats to human health? And even it a contaminant is removed to a non-detectable level, how can we be sure that humans are not being affected by water's memory of the contaminant?
More new items from the Pure Water Gazette:
by Kathleen Zelman
We don’t know why his article has only 6 reasons to drink water, since most of the thousands of articles that tell you to drink water have at least 10. Likewise, it has only 5 tips to help you drink more water, while many articles have fifteen or more. Since they are good reasons and good tips, though, we decided to offer it. Although recommending the drinking of water should fall into the same category as recommending the breathing of air, it is surprising that many people drink little if any water. These are usually high consumers of soft drinks. They should read all six reasons and all five tips. Those who drink no water at all, in fact, should look for an article that has at least 18 reasons and 15 tips. If you already drink a fair amount of water, you might skip this one. –Hardly Waite.
The AP Report below is one of many we could print that make a circumstantial link between hydraulic fracturing and water contamination. How long are we going to go on reporting the damage and recommending “more studies?” –Hardly Waite.
New British research shows that the tea plant accumulates fluoride as it grows, with mature leaves containing the most fluoride. When tea is harvested, the older leaves are used to produce lower quality, stronger teas such as economy teas. The bud and newer top leaves are used in the higher grade and specialty tea products. It is suggested that an adult consume no more than three mg of fluoride a day. The new study showed that on average, four cups of cheap supermarket tea provided six mg of the substance. Excessive intake of fluoride can cause a variety of health problems including joint pain, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, brittle teeth, and kidney problems. Excessive fluoride has even been linked to cancer.
The well was invented nearly 10,000 years ago–long before the wheel. Countless subsequent inventions, some brilliant, some frivolous, and some downright fiendish, have changed the way we interact with water. Some of today’s innovative technologies seem to promise hope for the future. This article takes a look at new methods to process, conserve, and recycle water.
Water News from Around the World:
A tiny white sliver inside the heads of fish could hold evidence of a century’s worth of human assault on the environment: atomic bombs, overfishing, even climate change. Fish ear bones, also known as otoliths, are like tree rings for the ocean. A layer of calcium carbonate laid down each year offers a snapshot of both the fish’s yearly growth and its surrounding ocean conditions. Full story.
Ever wonder who “invented” fracking? He died recently at his home in Galveston, Texas. Full Story.
An unprecedented die-off of dolphins is taking place in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil dispersants are the prime suspect. Full Story.
Water and Politics. Great Lakes programs in danger.
— Federal programs designed to make headway on some of the Great Lakes' oldest ecological problems, from harbors caked with toxic sludge to the threat of an Asian carp attack, would lose about 80 percent of their funding under a spending plan approved this week by a Republican-controlled U. S. House panel. The measure would hammer the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has enjoyed bipartisan support since President Obama established it in 2009, based on a priority list endorsed four years earlier by President George W. Bush. Also targeted for a drastic reduction is a low-interest loan fund that helps local governments upgrade ageing sewage treatment systems. Full Story.
A farmer in a Chinese "coal city" turned his house on the edge of a sinkhole into a restaurant that offers fishing and homemade fish dishes.
Ten years ago, Jining, one of China’s coal cities, was a vibrant farming community on the North China Plain. But sinkholes are devouring 20 million square meters (7.7 square miles) of land here a year, according to the Jining Land Resource Bureau, and have displaced an estimated 100,000 people, mostly farmers and their families, over the past decade. By 2090, the bureau predicts one third of the city -- an area as large as Los Angeles -- will fall into the earth, and an estimated 5 million people will have been forced out of the region by the problem. Full Story.
It was near Marshall, Michigan that an aging oil pipeline burst on July 25, 2010 and spilled more than one million gallons of heavy Canadian crude oil into the Kalamazoo River. It was the largest inland oil pipeline spill in U.S. history, and its effects can still be seen today in the river and in the lives of the people who live near it. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates as much as 180,000 gallons of oil still lie on the river bottom and some of it is moving toward a Superfund site. For the status of the Kalamazoo River three years after the disaster, read the Full Story
of the Dilbit Disaster.
Rice is one of the main sources of dietary arsenic. This is an important water issue because rice is contaminated with arsenic mainly by contaminated irrigation water. Full Story.
Breaking news on the ever-popular water on Mars issue. Scientists say that recent NASA pictures prove that the Red Planet had a “humongous ocean” only “billions of years ago.” Full Story.
It is now less than a week until National Garden Hose Day
. Full story.
New from Pure Water Products
We've expanded our offerings in spin down filters and now have three sizes and additional filter screen options. See the new page.
And if that isn't enough excitement, we've also added a Jumbo-Sized 12" X 60" Sand Trap unit
to take care of high turbidity and higher flow rates.
Thank you for reading, and please stay tuned next Monday for another heart-stopping Occasional.
Places to Visit on Our Websites in the meantime
: “The World’s Greatest $77 Water Filter”