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Monday, October 04, 2004

Troubled Water

A new book about the world water crisis. I haven't read it. Here's a little quote for thought from the web site:
Once a year in Stigomta, Sweden, citizens observe "Pee Outside Day" during which they save 50% of the muncipal water used on a typical day.
One thing I've thought about doing in my house, and a capability which should be built in to new houses, is using "gray" water for flushing toilets. The water that goes down the drain from the bathtub or the dishwasher could easily serve this purpose. In cold, dry Michigan winters, the ideal solution would be for heated gray water to sit around in the house, sharing its heat and humidity with the air, until it reaches room temperature, at which point it gets used to flush toilets. I recall reading that standard toilet tank parts can be damaged or clogged by gray water, but this can be avoided by pouring the gray water directly into the bowl (and I'm sure someone could design a dependable gray-water toilet--probably already has). Using gas or electricity to heat water, running it over our bodies or dishes briefly and dumping it, still hot, immediately out of the house, and then using precious potable water to flush human waste away is so frivolous, so American.