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  • All things Water Treatment in Edmonton

    Just starting a thread to cover all things water treatment in Edmonton.

    Some random stuff:

    Years ago I posted to Wikipedia's Edmonton article information on Edmonton's state of the art treatment with UV. I've never heard how that's worked out.

    However I'll start within a couple dramatic issues just for the fun of it.

    First fluoridation (like vaccines, a near taboo subject to criticize because the science seemed "settled"), then lead.

    For some reason the old 2099 thread on fluoridation in water was closed. Personally I was raised to think it was a great thing. So the following seemingly sensible and reasonable article is very interesting.



    Adding fluoride to water supply may have no benefit, say experts
    Critics call for end to scheme designed to prevent tooth decay in children, saying its effectiveness remains unproved
    25 December 2015


    Stephen Peckham, director and professor of health policy at Kent University’s centre for health service studies, said: “Water fluoridation was implemented before statistics had been compiled on its safety or effectiveness. It was the only cannon shot they had in their armoury. It gets rolled out, becomes – in England – policy and then you look for evidence to support it.

    debate [whereby fat used to be the big enemy in food before that was revised] is an example of evidence getting built up to support a theory. It’s a dental health policy that’s got up a head of steam and people have been reluctant to see it criticised.

    “You can’t really confidently say that water fluoridation is either safe or effective. There is a problem where the evidence is seen as either totally in favour or totally negative and it’s more murky than that.”

    Earlier this year, the Cochrane collaboration, a respected not-for-profit organisation of 14,000 academics, reviewed the evidence but failed to settle the debate.
    ...
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2...ed-tooth-decay

    Now this is scary!
    Cher was saying something about putting someone in front of a firing squad for this...

    All of Flint's youngest kids poisoned with lead
    By Kristi Tanner, Detroit Free Press Staff Writer 7:33 a.m. EST January 16, 2016



    http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/c...lead/78818888/
    Last edited by KC; 16-01-2016, 08:09 AM.

  • #2
    Pretty sad when the bean counters rule.

    Flint water crisis: 6 things to know about the toxic taps

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/flint-m...ated-1.3410855

    Comment


    • #3
      There's nothing bad about the water treatment in Edmonton; we have one of the better municipal systems in North America. The only time there is a dip in quality is during the spring runoff and even that hasn't been a problem in recent years.

      Have we run out of things to complain about in this forum so that we have to pick on parts of the City that actually do a good job?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Foolworm View Post
        There's nothing bad about the water treatment in Edmonton; we have one of the better municipal systems in North America. The only time there is a dip in quality is during the spring runoff and even that hasn't been a problem in recent years.

        Have we run out of things to complain about in this forum so that we have to pick on parts of the City that actually do a good job?
        Who complaining?

        C2e isn't, by far, a place for just complaining about al things in life, and if that's your perception of the forum something is very wrong. Maybe you need to visit and start threads on c2e's Great Ideas forum for some inspiration.

        In fact, as I mentioned in the first post, years ago I was the one to put several references on Edmonton's Wikipedia page about the globe leading, advanced nature of Edmonton's water and waste treatment and recycling systems.

        The post about Flint (lead) and fluoride mean that there's always a need for further education and research and I suppose vigilance to keep what's working well vs. allowing misguided non-professionals to degrade past achievements.

        Comment


        • #5
          The rule of thumb is that if it works, people don't talk about it; if it doesn't, people don't shut up about it. Drawing undue attention to things is simply asking for it.

          Edmonton's water management in general is excellent in terms of research, training and technology and well worth exporting. It isn't. In the meantime, our professionals know their business and are thankful to be out of the public eye (and meddling political hands).

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Foolworm View Post
            The rule of thumb is that if it works, people don't talk about it; if it doesn't, people don't shut up about it. Drawing undue attention to things is simply asking for it.

            Edmonton's water management in general is excellent in terms of research, training and technology and well worth exporting. It isn't. In the meantime, our professionals know their business and are thankful to be out of the public eye (and meddling political hands).
            Sounds like the famous last words of a failed parent.

            It's sad but maybe true, our "rule of thumb" is a very unscientific, un-professional negative bias.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KC View Post
              Sounds like the famous last words of a failed parent.

              It's sad but maybe true, our "rule of thumb" is a very unscientific, un-professional negative bias.
              What is science but a formalized system of 'rules of thumb'? I'll just be thankful that EPCOR is a separate entity and hasn't been bungled in the name of reorganization like DSD has been.

              Closer to home: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...sued-1.3416348

              Comment


              • #8
                It's sounding like there might be a big coverup about to be exposed regarding U.S. water

                Every Major US City East of the Mississippi is Underreporting Heavy Metals in it's Water

                Just when the news about lead poisoning the drinking water of Flint, Michigan, couldn’t get any worse. A report from The Guardian says many US cities are systemically and purposely downplaying the amounts of lead and copper in municipal water systems.


                A scientist who was part of an Environmental Protection Agency taskforce disclosed documents to the Guardian which shows how water boards are distorting tests to make their water appear safer, a practice confirmed by an anonymous source:

                The controversial approach to water testing is so widespread that it occurs in “every major US city east of the Mississippi” according to an anonymous source with extensive knowledge of the lead and copper regulations. “By word of mouth, this has become the thing to do in the water industry. The logical conclusion is that millions of people’s drinking water is potentially unsafe,”he said.
                http://gizmodo.com/report-every-majo...i-i-1754573026
                http://www.theguardian.com/environme...g-flint-crisis
                Last edited by Kitlope; 23-01-2016, 02:33 PM.
                Time spent in the Rockies is never deducted from the rest of your life

                Comment


                • #9
                  This as a rather shocking interview. A academic telling it like it is.


                  Its also interesting that this city is a case study for what happens when democracy is punted. Moreover, I imagine this case pales in comparison to what's happening in the industrial cities of the communist and autocratic world.


                  Sounds like a fascinating book...

                  Friday January 22, 2016
                  Flint's water crisis reflects history linking lead levels to race and poverty


                  ...

                  Rosner is a professor of history and public health at Columbia University and has written extensively on the history of lead in the U.S. including the book, Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America's Children. He says Flint's water issues reflect part of a long U.S. tradition, exposing more African-Americans to lead.

                  Lead poisoning has been an all-too common problem, not just in Flint, but in cities across the U.S.
                  ...


                  http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/t...erty-1.3415059



                  Last edited by KC; 23-01-2016, 05:28 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Out of sight but not out of mind - IN your mind...

                    Lead Exposure on the Rise Despite Decline in Poisoning Cases
                    Leaded gasoline and lead paint are gone, but other sources are keeping the danger high
                    By Mark Fischetti on February 17, 2013

                    BOSTON—Exposure to lead—so toxic—is a problem of the past, right? Wrong. Since the U.S. took lead out of gasoline in 1976 and banned lead paint in 1978, most health scientists, regulators and the public have considered the problem largely solved. But ongoing testing shows that even though the average concentration of lead in the American bloodstream has dropped by a factor of 10 since the late 1970s, the levels are still two orders of magnitude higher than natural human levels, which have been determined by studying skeletal remains of native Americans dating to before the industrial revolution.

                    Equally problematic, recent health studies have shown that exposure levels previously thought to be “safe” were too high. Scientists from various disciplines are advising the Environmental Protection Agency and health departments to lower the concentration deemed acceptable in the bloodstream, which today averages 1.3 micrograms per deciliter but can be much higher for many individuals. The change is warranted because the latest set of long-term tests done over decades has revealed that many of the health complications from lead arise even at low exposures. Higher levels are not necessary to instigate damage to the body or brain, Joel Schwartz of the Harvard School of Public Health told a somewhat surprised crowd on Feb. 16 here at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting. Excessive lead exposure correlates with a host of ills, including impaired cognition, attention deficit disorder and lower academic test scores for children, psychiatric disorders, and increased blood pressure, hypertension and arrhythmia.

                    Lead is also increasingly implicated in dementia in the elderly. As we age, our bones..."


                    Lead is still present in drinking water in many communities, where it can leach from lead pipes in homes, apartment buildings and municipal water system, or from brass fittings or solder used in plumbing. Another 25,000 to 30,000 tons of lead enters the U.S. environment each year from hunting and shooting-range ammunition, fishing-line weights, discarded batteries and electronic waste, said Mark Pokras at Tufts University.
                    ..."

                    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...e-on-the-rise/

                    Poisoning the Well: How the Feds Let Energy and Mining Companies Pollute Underground Water
                    Aquifer exemptions give industry permission to pollute underground freshwater reservoirs
                    By Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica on December 11, 2012

                    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...e-underground/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Again, not Edmonton news, but makes us appreciate our professionalism a whole lot more.

                      Michael Moore: 10 Things They Won’t Tell You About the Flint Water Tragedy, But I Will

                      Michael Moore | January 30, 2016

                      http://ecowatch.com/2016/01/30/michael-moore-flint/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My view is that most often asbestos is a relatively low risk threat compared to lead in one's drinking water - especially when children and babies are involved. Yet asbestos attracts quite fearful reactions and actions from those that are exposing themselves to it. So since this is also an invisible threat to young children, maybe every such home should be required to post a sticker on the front door announcing that it has lead pipes and if no filter is present, no one shoiuld drink water without running the water for a calculated period of time. Just the requirement for an audit and a sticker would spur a lot of the remaining homes to solve the problem permanently. I'd also see no problem with the city or EPCOR financing a replacement program and collecting back the loan via property taxes or water billing.

                        Now, if I heard it correctly, in a CBC radio interview this morning it was mentioned that EPCOR asked that the water be run for 30 minutes before the test ad that the results showed lead being twice the acceptable level. So, I've long heard that you should run your water in older homes for a minute or two before drinking the water. I'm not sure who else has ever heard that advice though.

                        So, say, someone visits one of these homes and feeds a baby from a bottle of tap water filled out of a basement tap or something that hasn't been used for a long period of time... (It's like people that let wine sit in old leaded-glass wine decanters and ended up consuming toxic levels of lead. Visitor has no idea what they were drinking. Lucky they were adults.)


                        Edmonton woman warns of lead pipes after finding the toxin in her water
                        January 29, 2016, By Fletcher Kent, Global News

                        "If your home was built after the mid-1950s, that service line would be made of either copper or plastic.

                        EPCOR estimates the service lines connecting about 3,500 older Edmonton homes are still made of lead."



                        “It’s quite possible that, having discovered now I have lead pipes in the house and I have been drinking very contaminated water for the past 11 years, that may have contributed to my hyperthyroidism,” said Pedersen.


                        ..."Since 2008, the utility company has operated a program that gradually replaces remaining lead pipes.

                        Financially, EPCOR is only responsible for the pipe between the water main and the property line. The homeowner must pay to replace the pipe from the property line to the house. ...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you're concerned about having lead service pipes, contact EPCOR. All of the lead services are flagged in the system & they can let you know if that's the case up to the curb stop valve.

                          If you're concerned about lead pipes on the other side of the curb stop up to your house, you'll need to contact a 3rd party as that's outside EPCOR's purview.
                          Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by noodle View Post
                            If you're concerned about having lead service pipes, contact EPCOR. All of the lead services are flagged in the system & they can let you know if that's the case up to the curb stop valve.

                            If you're concerned about lead pipes on the other side of the curb stop up to your house, you'll need to contact a 3rd party as that's outside EPCOR's purview.
                            Good information. I'm not concerned because I live in a 1970s suburb and grew up in 1950s developments.

                            Also, this is all subject to correction, but based on my understanding that the water causes lead to dissolve or leach into the water, so I can't imagine that main lines made of lead ever posed much of threat because the water didn't sit for any length of time as it fed a large number of residences and so would have been extremely diluted. However, having a lead pipe feeding a home appears to be a much, much bigger issue if one can run the water for 30 minutes and still exceed the testing level by a 100%. Now having lead pipes and solder at lightly used pipes would allow leaching and accumulation over time. Just how high could some of that tap water get?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, I guess any home built before the late 1980s has potential issues. People with basement bar taps that don't get used for extended periods until visitors arrive or kids are over for play dates, etc. should maybe run their tabs for a minute before guests arrive.


                              Does your water pose a lead risk? The Portland Water Bureau will help you test it
                              Carrie Sturrock, March 26, 2010


                              "...interference in red blood cell production and a lowered IQ in children. Infants, children and pregnant women are at greatest risk. ... Once a child is poisoned with lead, the damage has largely been done, says Gail Shibley, administrator of the Office of Environmental Public Health in the Oregon Health Authority.

                              "There's no putting the perfume back in the bottle," she says."...


                              ...Whew, I thought. And then I talked to Shibley.

                              "There's no such thing as a safe amount of lead," she says. "Lead is a very potent neurotoxin."

                              She points out the maximum contaminant level goal established by the EPA under the Safe Drinking Water Act is zero parts per billion. So why does the agency recommend action at 15 parts per billion?

                              That's because it's nearly impossible to remove all the lead from all home plumbing. Even if I replaced my plumbing, which would be incredibly expensive, I may still get a 2 ppb reading because the pipe leading from my home to the street could contain it. Federal law currently allows "end-use" brass fixtures, such as faucets, to contain up to 8 percent lead and be labeled lead-free.

                              But there are some easy steps I can take to reduce my family's exposure. Lead levels are highest after water has been sitting in and corroding the pipes for a few hours. So running the faucet for 30 seconds to a minute -- until the water gets cold -- will help flush out the lead.

                              But wait. What about the don't-waste-water campaign?

                              Reducing exposure to lead trumps all that, Shibley says.
                              ..."


                              http://blog.oregonlive.com/pdxgreen/...a_lead_ri.html
                              Last edited by KC; 04-02-2016, 08:04 AM.

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