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Old 03-08-2011, 02:15 PM  
mohel
 
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Revenge of the low-flow toilets

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http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/blogs/revenge-of-the-low-flow-toilets
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San Francisco's love of low-flow toilets has not been without consequence ? most notably a pungent summertime stench. Now, the city plans to use bleach to combat the odor.
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Home and business owners around San Francisco have also been proactive in installing low-flow toilets (a city-funded rebate program has certainly helped things along) to help conserve water. According to Tyrone Jue, a spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission, SanFran's low-flow toilet boom has cut the city?s annual water consumption by 20 million gallons.

But as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, not all is well in low-flow toilet land. The profusion of water-saving potties in Frisco has resulted in a ?multimillion-dollar plumbing stink? with sludge backing up inside sewer pipes and emitting a ?rotten egg stench? in certain areas of the city. Ahhh ? there?s nothing like the delightful smell of human waste on a warm summer day.
Over the past five years, the city has spent a whopping $10 million in sewer system and sewage plant upgrades to tame the stink. And, according to the Chronicle, the city has just spent even more, investing in a $14 million, three-year supply of a certain odor-combating chemical: bleach. The city plans to use highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite to alleviate the stench and disinfect the city?s treated water before it?s pumped into the San Francisco Bay. The Chronicle does the math: ?That translates into 8.5 million pounds of bleach either being poured down city drains or into the drinking water supply every year.?

While I applaud San Francisco?s efforts in looking out for health of both Mother Nature and its residents, this is one instance of the city?s somewhat aggressive tactics backfiring in a big way.

Adam Lowry, eco-blogger, chemical engineer, and co-founder/"Chief Greenskeeper" of green cleaning product line Method and Michael Braungart, a chemist and co-author of "Cradle to Cradle/Remaking the Way We Make Things,? suggest an alternative to bleach in an op-ed piece published in the Chronicle:

Hydrogen peroxide, that common chemical used in your home to disinfect cuts and scrapes or put to work when you add ?oxy? powder to your laundry to whiten whites, is equally effective and produces none of the downstream issues of chlorine bleach. It is being used cost effectively today to treat sewage odor in many places in the United States, such as Boston and Miami, as well as internationally in Germany and France.

An even better choice would to use a pro-biotic solution, that is, enzymes or bacteria that would simply ?eat? the smell then degrade harmlessly. Used correctly, they could even be used to prevent the problem from occurring again by restoring the healthy balance of microbes in our sewer system.

Using sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as bleach, is the equivalent of using a sledgehammer to crack an egg; it's the wrong tool, and it will cause irreversible collateral damage.
Revenge of the low-flow toilets-lowflowtiolet.jpg 

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Old 03-24-2011, 09:49 AM  
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That's horrible. I wonder how much water they are going to use to fix the issue, and if it will offset the lo flows?
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:30 PM  
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Sounds like it would be cheaper to just go back to regular toilets but, thats CA for ya....
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:14 AM  
mohel
 
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Yesterday "This Old House" had a toilet with a flat tank (2nd tank) sitting on the floor behind the toilet. I missed most of the segment but believe it's sort of a garbage disposal for the bathroom. It had a maserator.....

Southern CA is a desert without the diversion of major rivers. Low Flo works fine in Europe but the US will have to work the kinks out to catch up.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:20 AM  
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I really don't like all the low flow stuff.... If you have to flush twice, it isn't saving water. If it takes longer to rinse soap off in the shower it isn't saving water. It takes me MUCH longer to take a shower with the low flow junk. I just have to take the head apart and "modify" it....
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:09 PM  
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Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
I really don't like all the low flow stuff.... If you have to flush twice, it isn't saving water. If it takes longer to rinse soap off in the shower it isn't saving water. It takes me MUCH longer to take a shower with the low flow junk. I just have to take the head apart and "modify" it....
I've had the same issue. I hate taking showers at my apartment because of it.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:06 AM  
mohel
 
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Originally Posted by Austin View Post
I've had the same issue. I hate taking showers at my apartment because of it.

Running an Inn in PA and an apt. complex in Oregon teaches one odd facts. Many men will bring their own shower head. huh???

Seriously, there are more than a handful of guys who are very particular on the subject. That Inn was a job where I wore all the hats from mgr. to maid. Each week I cleaned the rooms and put on fresh bedding.
This led to the discovery that several guys still retained a "blankie" from childhood. One was the size of a napkin but it was always under the guy's pillow. Women had them too but it was most often men that still kept theirs.

An attached tea room was run by a lady whose hubby was a biker and former body builder. No neck, huge muscles but at night he would only sleep on sheets with an insanely high thread count.

I'm pretty much a pragmatist so a blankie while odd is cheaper than a shrink.

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