Sunday, March 8, 2009

Being a Friend of the Water

I was inspired enough by Tillermans post last month regarding his 'confessions of a serial polluter' that Ive decided to expand this blog into something more meaningful than just me ranting on about windsurfing and racing.
As many of you might know, I created a site a few years back called Friends of the Water which gives some tips on reducing water pollution, the SF watershed and other water conservation and pollution prevention resources. The idea was if sailors don't look after the water they sail in, who will!
Ive always tried to be an advocate of being aware and conscious of the decisions we make in regard to pollution prevention- especially as it deals with the water I sail in. There are simple things like washing your car on the lawn, so that the grass can filter some of the runoff phosphate that can make a huge difference in water pollution (or better yet- use environmentally responsible cleaners with no phosphate!)
More recently, Ive begun to study for the LEED exam- which deals with green building techniques, sustainability, and environmental and energy responsibility in construction. In my studies, Ive come across some great some great suggestions on how buildings can use resources like water more efficiently.
Moving back to California this month really opened my eyes as the state is facing is biggest drought in decades and imposing water rationing and asking its cities to reduce their water consumption by up to 20% or face fines.
I think everybody realizes these days, we've got to do more with less so my first entry in this new chapter of has to do with water conservation techniques.
By reducing potable water use, the local aquifer is conserved as a water resource for future generations. Furthermore, water conservation techniques can lead to a reduction in waste water.Techniques can be as simple as using rain water or grey water as a source of non potable water supply to meet irrigation needs. This can easily be achieved by utilizing a rain barrel as a source for irrigation water.

Other techniques include re-using grey water as a source for irrigation water but involve significant more planning and are easier achievable with new buildings. Additional water conserving techniques use alternative plumbing fixtures, such as dual flush water closets, composting toilets and non water using urinals.
If we can reduce the amount of water we use, we can reduce the amount getting treated by municipalities and further reduce the amount of pollution in our waterways.
Let me know what you guys think- but rest assured- the windsurfing post will continue, I just thought Id diversify things a bit.
Additional water conservation resources can be found at

10 comments: said...

Nice job Steve. We need all the water warriors we can get! Aloha and mahalo.
Robert Masters

Anonymous said...

The chief source which has contributed to the water pollution is the human beings. Human beings needs the water at par and though a big contributor in the water pollution. The sweet water in the form of rivers and ponds are so polluted that it has come to the level of extinction. Industries are the biggest source of water pollution. Who are releasing large amount of hazardous waste into our water resources. In order to do proper treatment of this waste water consultant like JNB must be contacted

Anonymous said...

All good ideas. Unfortunately, we have to get the politicians to go along. I live in University Hts, Ohio. I tried to install a rain barrel last summer. The city informed me that they are not allowed. The zoning laws don't permit them. The county advocates them, but wasn't able to help when I asked.
Yesterday, I noticed building inspectors in my yard. I wonder whether they are going to object to the above ground vegetable garden I built last fall. It is on the front lawn in the only area that gets sun. Hope I didn't start sprouting seeds for nothing earlier this week. After the rain barrel discussion, I didn't pursue permission for the garden.


Anonymous said...

Toilets account for approx. 30% of water used indoors. By installing a Dual Flush toilet you can save between 40% and 70% of drinking water being flushed down the toilet, depending how old the toilet is you are going to replace.
If you are serious about saving water, want a toilet that really works and is affordable, I would highly recommend a Caroma Dual Flush toilet. Caroma toilets offer a patented dual flush technology consisting of a 0.8 Gal flush for liquid waste and a 1.6 Gal flush for solids. On an average of 5 uses a day (4 liquid/ 1 solid) a Caroma Dual Flush toilet uses an average of 0.96 gallons per flush. The new Sydney Smart uses only 1.28 and 0.8 gpf, that is an average of 0.89 gallons per flush. This is the lowest water consumption of any toilet available in the US. Caroma, an Australian company set the standard by giving the world its first successful two button dual flush system in the nineteen eighties and has since perfected the technology. Also, with a full 3.5″ trapway, these toilets virtually never clog. All of Caroma’s toilets are on the list of WaterSense labeled HET’s and also qualify for several toilet rebate programs available in the US. Please visit my blog to learn more or go to to learn where you can find Caroma toilets locally. Visit to see how we flush potatoes with 0.8 gallons of water, meant for liquids only. Best regards, Andrea Paulinelli

USA-4 Steve Bodner said...

Thanks for the comments potty girl-
There's also the composting toilets that use no water!
Check out NYTIMES article about making your home green- specifically the suggestion on reusing grey water:
It’s a toilet-topped sink called SinkPositive ( You replace the toilet’s heavy porcelain lid with this sink basin, which has a built-in faucet. When you flush, fresh water comes out of the faucet and you wash your hands with it. The soapy water collects in the toilet tank for the next flush.
It looks like something you might find in a dentist’s office.
The rest of the article can be found here:

Anonymous said...

I think due to increasing water pollution everyone should aware of the importance of water treatment. Weather it is on a local level or Industrial level. I think if industries properly handle their waste water, we can solve many water pollution problems. Industrial water treatment consultant should be helpful in this regard.

Swppp said...

SWPPP is for Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans. All construction sites in the US are required to have a plan. This plan is used to keep polluted water from going down the drain during a rainstorm. The water becomes poluted because the construction job removes vegetation.Then the storm picks up the loose dirt and carries the dirt away. This polutes the water systems.

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