Miracle of miracles, here’s even more domestic waste in the news.
Perhaps the funnest lesson of environmental engineering goes like this: “The solution to pollution is dilution.” But not always. Check out Inkycircus and their precis of a New Scientist article about the dangers of diluting urine.
Well, not dangers, exactly. More like waste of time and energy. Some clever Europeans have come to the realization that it would be a lot easier to reclaim urine’s problematic excess nutrients (phosphates, nitrates – see previous post) if we didn’t first dilute them thousands-fold by flushing them into a drain with all our laundry, shower, garden, and dish water. I mean, our kidneys have been going to such trouble to concentrate those molecules in the first place, right? Like many brilliant realizations, this one is rather obvious now that someone else has thought of it.
The New Scientist article has the details, in an admirably long and well-researched piece. Although I think they may be getting a little carried away with urine’s nutritional powers when they advocate peeing on your flowerbeds. Regardless of the nutrient supply, I think there’s an unresolved pH issue that the author is overlooking. At least that’s what my, er, field experience tells me.
p.s. (completely unrelated) I just saw an American Express commercial set to “Gimme Some Money,” Spinal Tap’s 1965 hit. (I checked the volume on the TV and it was something like 17. Nigel would be proud.) video here
p.p.s. (get it?) I promise my next post will be about something other than sewage.