Monday, February 28, 2011
Low Flow Toilets Causing Major Stink
And this has turned the city into giant stinkhole!
Cuting the water allowed for each flush in half does save water, but it also results in more sludge backing up inside the sewer pipes.
According to Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission, this has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park and elsewhere, especially during the dry summer months.
Apparently, the low flow "flush" doesn't provide enough water to move sewage through the pipes fast enough. So some of the sludge sticks to the pipes. Like a septic "hardening of the arteries." And when you have enough of these low flow toilets in an area you end up with a horrible smell.
The city has already spent $100 million over the past five years to upgrade its sewer system and sewage plants, in part to combat the odor problem.
Now officials are stocking up on a $14 million, three-year supply of highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite - better known as bleach - to act as an odor eater and to disinfect the city's treated water before it's dumped into the bay. It will also be used to sanitize drinking water.
This means that 8.5 million pounds of bleach is either being poured down city drains or into the drinking water supply every year.
A "Don't Bleach Our Bay" alert has just gone out from eco-blogger Adam Lowry who says that the city would be much better off using a disinfectant like hydrogen peroxide - or better yet, a solution that would naturally break down the bacteria.
Are the environmentally friendly, low-flow toilets are worth the trouble? They have helped cut San Francisco's annual water consumption by about 20 million gallons.... if you can stand the smell!
Posted by Marty4650 at 11:31 PM