Why is it difficult to turn seawater into drinking water?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Saint, May 31, 2012.

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  1. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Unless there is a toxic mineral like arsenic in the ground (terrible problem in Bangladesh) well water is usually very healthy IF well is properly covered to keep bird shit etc. out.

    PS a “hard taste” may be good for your bones as usually is due to Calcium content. Public health agency etc. in most US areas will test your well water for free.
     
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  3. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    As long as you observe proper spacing between your well and your septic tank disposal field (and neighbouring disposal fields).
     
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  5. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    It's not my well, and I don't mind calcium supplements. But thanks for the advice.
     
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  7. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    I still remember that thread about ocean pollution we were in shortly after I joined this forum, at least I think I remember you being quite expert in the field and you talked about poorly maintained septic systems which caused considerable pollution problems. I'm really not sure where the well is in relation to any septic system because it served a residence on this lot before the place I'm staying in now was put in (Prefab). So the one well serves two residences now.
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    The Pacific Gyre "Island of trash" didn't come up did it?

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    (Urban legend talks about an "island of trash".

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    Reality check: In fact, the "island" averages 1 particle (about the size and weight of a seed of grass) - per 3 square metres. That is one speck in an area the size of a small swimming pool.)

    Sorry, way off-topic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  9. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Naw, if he's talking about the thread that I think he's talking about, the origons of the deadzone in the Gulf of Mexico were being discussed, and I made the 'mistake' of mentioning septic tank maintenance as being a contributing factor which, naturally, led to a debate regarding the significance and relevance of septic tank maintenance to the nutrient loading of the Mississippi.
     
  10. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Thanks :*)

    If you're on a septic tank system, it would probably be a good idea to find out where the tank is, and where the disposal is.

    Even if you're not worried about it entering the well, you need to be wary of things like vehicle access, as a vehicle can damage your tank and your disposal pipes.
     
  11. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    I know where my septic goes and it's not close to the driveway.

    I have a question about how would one of those oil spills affect a desalination plant in the affected area, like the Gulf?
     
  12. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Not sure, off the top of my head. I imagine it depends on a bunch of factors, like what fraction of volatiles have already been worked off, the average droplet size, and the method of desalinization used.
     
  13. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    The reverse osmosis method. I'm thinking the filters would plug up fast and basically shut the whole system down. If there was a city that is dependent on that system, what could they do on short notice?
     
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    That is indeed true of the phenomenon on the average. It's invisible to satellites and aircraft, and in general most of its components aren't quite large enough to spot from the deck of a ship. However, it is visible from smaller craft:
     
  15. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    One seldom noticed but very long lived ocean pollutant is the insoluble, not biodegradable, fibers in the filters of cigarettes. Think about that next time you flip a cigarette butt into the gutter.
     
  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    I'm not sure, I'm not intimately familiar with the ins and outs of how an RO unit would work.

    Presumably they could flush the filters (blow some clean water back through them) to clean them.

    Presumably they have to do this periodicaly anyway to them clean.
     
  17. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    ICP is the best and close to being (if not already) the most cost effective large or tiny scale desalination system. It is still new technology so perhaps a lot of people here might not believe in it yet.
     
  18. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    Your going to have to be a little more forthcoming if you want anybody to know what IPC is other than Insane Clown Posse, or a whole list of other abbreviations for IPC.
     
  19. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    Apparently they don't use back flush on the membranes but pretreatment as described below. Any oil contamination is going to be a problem of some concern IMO.

     
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    That's his "Ion Concentration Polarization" thing, described in a previous post.
     
  21. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    The filtration steps might be sufficient to remove the oil though. I guess that would depend on the droplet size as much as anything else.

    But I'm speculating here. You've almost piqued my curiosity now, I might have to have a look when I get home from work.
     
  22. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    That post was was a while ago, I would have spelled it out rather than use the very common 3 letter acronym. But yes the ICP does look promising for many applications. Although OR can also be scaled down, I've actually had 2 different under the sink OR filters installed at two houses I lived in, and they worked very well. But they did cost several hundred dollars to buy and install. But I always thought it was money well spent.
     
  23. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Someone tell me if harvesting polar ice caps into giants cement boxes and burying them in the ground while they melt into fresh drinking water is a bad idea.
     
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