Friday, October 12, 2007

Wastewater Ideas

A brief discussion of other ideas besides conventional wastewater treatment provides a brief introduction to the options, intended for citizens of Orange County but relevant nonetheless.

A not for profit organization designing and distributing water pump systems designed for remote areas lacking electrical capability. The pumps are powered by childrens merry go rounds:

Oberlin College operates a Living Machine in its Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies. Their website is quite interesting:

This sort of system seems the easiest, although a capacity of 120 people would require 20+ units:

An Environmental Engineering Professor, Lars Angenant from Washington University, is currently receiving NSF funds to research "large scale bioelectric wastewater treatment". Essentially, microbes can produce energy that could potentially be used to run the treatment plant processes. He may make a knowledgeable to adviser for our ideas in this field.

Ecuador Water News Item 1:

Global warming is drying up mountain lakes and wetlands in the Andes and threatening water supplies to major South American cities such as La Paz, Bogota and Quito, World Bank research shows.

Rising temperatures are causing clouds that blanket the Andes to condense at higher altitudes. Eventually this so-called dew point will miss the mountains altogether, said World Bank climate change specialist in Latin America, Walter Vergara.

The World Bank will publish details later in the year, Vergara was lead author of World Bank research published last month that found Ecuador would have to spend $100 million over the next two decades to cope with glacier retreat - by for instance drawing drinking water from the Amazon basin. Glaciers act as a regulator, providing a water supply during dry periods, when they melt, and absorbing water during wet periods. ...

Several glaciers, such as Ecuador's Cotacachi, have already disappeared ...The disappearance of the Paramo would pose an even more serious problem than glacier retreat because more people depend on it for water, Vergara said.

Ecuador Water News item #2:
It is a well kept secret that Bechtel won a contract to privatize the
water in Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil, just months after the
massive citizen protests that threw Bechtel out of Bolivia. In October
2000, Bechtel signed a 30-year concession contract to run the water and
sanitation services in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Now, more than six years
later, the residents of Guayaquil are demanding damages from the company
for water contamination, an end to water cut-offs, and a return to
local, public control. On September 28 citizens gathered in front of the
offices of the under secretary of the Economy to protest the contract.
The Observatorio Cuidadano de Servicios Publicos is seeking to stop the
water cut-offs through legal action. A letter signed by thousands of
Guayaquil residents documenting the abuses of the water company will be
delivered to Ecuadorian President Correa.

In solidarity with these activities, we request that you sign-on to the
letter below addressed to Mr. Riley Bechtel, the CEO and chairman of the
Bechtel Corporation. The letter will be copied to members of the U.S.
Congress, the Ecuadorian President and the World Bank agency that
supported the contract.

Please send your name, organizational affiliation, and country to the
email address by October 15.

Thank you for your support.

Read more about Guayaquil on:

CONCLUSION: Our sustainable site design must pay attention to hydrologic features: precipitation, drinking water supplies, sewage, irrigation, safety systems, flood events. Wastewater treatment systems are quite complex in accordance with many variables. Professional consultation is likely to guide us best.



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