Pump out, or dump out? - Page 17 - SailNet Community
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post #161 of 165 Old 09-28-2015
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Re: Pump out, or dump out?

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The project was a small scale project when I was down there, and at the time it was still in the experimental stages. I think the same company also made the Destroilet systems and they were trying to introduce this on a larger scale. Made perfectly good sense to me at the time, and still does. To be honest, I never followed up on exactly how much of the wastewater was utilized as the project progressed, but I was thankful they stopped dumping into Hawk Channel. I interviewed Captain Tony when I did the story for a regional magazine. Captain Tony was running for Mayor of Key West at the time and provided me with much of the information. He was a neat guy, but I don't recall if he ever became mayor.

Waste Management was also involved in a big project in Maryland, Waste To Energy, a plant that was set up at Aberdeen Proving Grounds just inside the west gate. At this one, they burned trash, and used wastewater to generate steam, which was sold to Aberdeen Proving Grounds for heating the facility. It was closed a couple years ago, but I'm not sure why. When they were in full operating, they were burning hundreds of tons of trash daily, and recycling huge quantities of metal that was removed from the the refuse. It based upon a controlled burn system, and the stack scrubber removed tons of sulphur every day, which was also sold.

There's some really neat stuff out there, and it just shows we really don't have to dump poop into our waterways. Granted, it may cost a bit more to process, but I sincerely believe the saving of the waterways and their natural resources would provide far more revenues from recreational users and improved, sustainable, commercial fisheries.

Just me .02 cents worth,

Gary
Although not poop-related, Waste Management also uses the methane emitted from decomposing landfills to generate power in some places. Here is some info on one such project at the University of New Hampshire:

Cogeneration & EcoLine (Landfill Gas) | Sustainability Institute

When fully operational, UNH will get 85% of their electricity and heat from decomposing garbage.
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post #162 of 165 Old 09-28-2015
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Re: Pump out, or dump out?

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The City of Key west solved this problem two decades ago...
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The project was a small scale project when I was down there, and at the time it was still in the experimental stages.
You're backpedaling here. As a chemical engineer who has spent my whole career developing and scaling up products, I know that demonstrating a new experimental process at a small scale does not equate to "solving the problem." That's reminiscent of W's "Mission Accomplished" banner.

There are lots of really neat processes that just can't scale up for a variety or reasons. I am not familiar enough with the process that you described to immediately know what the pitfalls are. But I can speculate on a few:

Whether burning trash or poop, the tradeoff is often between water quality (streams or groundwater) vs. air quality. Even after you take out the bacteria and toxins, you still have elemental discharges (heavy metals, sulfur) and small compounds (CO2, H2S, and other acid rain contributor). You mentioned scrubbers, but then where does the scrubber water go? Eventually it all makes its way into rivers and streams.

Use of human waste sludge as farm fertilizer has a mixed history, too. Here's just one article from awhile back. I used to drive on the bridge over this plant every day on the way to/from work, and learned real quickly to put the air on "recirculate":

City sludge, country qualms Philadelphia's recycled sewage makes great fertilizer, some say. In rural areas, though, there are complaints that biosolids cause sickness. - philly-archives

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post #163 of 165 Old 09-29-2015
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Re: Pump out, or dump out?

Read the EPA report again! http://water.epa.gov/scitech/wastete...b_incinera.pdf

You may want to take a look at this as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39Q6teBv6KU

I respect that you have a significant background in this area, and chemical engineering, but you must admit, there are alternatives to dumping into the rivers and streams. These are just a few examples. In my case, I have a 1,000-gallon septic tank that has never failed in nearly 50 years. We do not use chlorine bleach or any products with chlorine that would be sent to the septic system. Consequently, when the tank gets pumped out, which is once every three to five years, the honey dipper guy repeatedly tells me that I'm wasting my money having it pumped. There has never been more than one inch of solids on the bottom of the tank, and most of the time there's none at all - just liquids. My 550-foot deep well is situated about 200 feet from the septic system, I have it tested every 5 years, and it has never been contaminated. I guess the bacteria in the septic system is doing a good job and the surrounding earth in the septic field my be one Hell of a good filtration system.

All the best,

Gary
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post #164 of 165 Old 09-29-2015
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Re: Pump out, or dump out?

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And I thought all sailors got along.

Is it safe to say that I am happy I live in Michigan and surrounded by fresh and unsalted (and no sharks) CLEAN water where everybody better have their waste seacock wired closed or removed completely.
TOO clean. Darned mussels.
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post #165 of 165 Old 09-29-2015
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Re: Pump out, or dump out?

Actually, Paul and I get along quite well, especially when we get together for a rendezvous, drink some booze and play music.

Gary
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