Water Contamination and Chemical Reduction

I was at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base today. http://www.lejeune.usmc.mil/ I love going to see the Marines because they are so sharp, well trained, and polite. Naturally I was talking with people about the water there. They have a story that is too common on all military bases and industrial areas. The drinking water is contaminated with chemicals that were thought to be safe in the past. http://www.tftptf.com/5801.html I wonder, how many chemicals we are using today will be banned in the future?

It would be better to reduce all the chemicals we use as soon as we can. We should also eliminate the chemicals that have safer alternatives where ever possible.

I know cheaper chemicals are better in the short term for business. But in the long run businesses and other tax payers have to pay the long term costs for every toxic chemical we have used.

How much have we had to pay for cheap and easy to use chemicals in the long run. In cooling water treatment no chemical ever worked better than chromates. Chromates were phased out in the 80's and 90's because of some niggling little problem about causing cancer. Another wonderfully useful chemical that was more popular was asbestos. This wonderful material was used in every industry. How much did it cost us to remove it or encapsulate it in all of our old schools. At the time there were alternatives to asbestos, but they were not thought to be as cost effective. We can't go back in time and give a bill for the cleanup and the cancer treatments to the people who made the short term economic decisions to use these chemicals in the past, but we can demand better thinking in the future.

Today, engineers and designers are looking are long term and Life cycle costs of the buildings and facilities they design. However there is still a strong business tradition of building it the cheapest way now and taking the lowest initial cost. The sooner we eliminate the initial cost consideration in our purchases and projects and start looking at the life cycle cost the sooner we can reap the returns on these investments.

Winston Salem Water Rate Hike

In the news today Winston Salem is raising their water and sewer rate to make up for the shortfall in their budget caused by last year's water restrictions and subsequent conservation. I believe the Water rate increase will be about 5% and the sewer rate increase will be about 9% for and average water bill increase of 7%.

That's a pretty stiff hike compared to last year's inflation rate, but it still gives them one of the lowest rates in the state for a large city. North Carolina has low water rates in most places so it is likely that we'll see more rate hikes in the future.

Water Costs Going Up

All over the country people are having to save water. This is causing the water providers to increase their rates to meet the cost of producing the water.

Here is a link to a news video in North Carolina about this topic: