Thursday, July 26, 2012

Water Cafe Serves Tap Water

Molecule, Water-Only Cafe, Sells Filtered NYC Tap Water In East Village Store

By Serena Solomon, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer
EAST VILLAGE — A new café recently opened up on East 10th Street — but don't expect to find customers sipping on lattes.
Molecule, aka the Water Café, is filtering New York City tap water down to its purest form and serving it for $2.50 to thirsty local patrons using a custom-made device worth more than $20,000.
"It's about treating water a little more consciously, mindfully and respectfully," said co-owner Adam Ruhf, 32, who has a background in music and activism.
But the store is not only planning to peddle its gallons for in-home use, as passersby can stop in for a quick gulp — complete with an option to add vitamin supplements to their H2O cocktails.
The store has been in the works for 18 months, with Ruhf taking the concept of self-service water shops in Los Angeles and building on the theme.
"This is like a water store 2.0," he said of the opening, which was first reported on EV Grieve.
Ruhf knows first hand the healing properties of purified water, claiming that drinking it regularly helped eased the pain caused brought on by two serious car accidents that left him without a spleen and a leg held together with metal pins.
"It's more of an intuitive thing about cleanliness," he explained of how water helped him recover. "Not wanting toxins [from unfiltered water] to further inhibit my recovery."
His store, located between First Avenue and Avenue A, first takes city water heavy with chlorine, fluoride and compound metals and sends it through its towering 8-foot filter behind the counter.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Heat Poses Breathing Health Risks

Hazy days of summer can boost air pollution, health risks for many

Ground-level ozone and forest fire smoke are common in summer
OLYMPIA - In Washington, we welcome warm sunny weather, ready to spend more time outdoors in the garden and on hiking trails. Summer is also wildfire season and a time when ozone levels rise, making it more difficult to breathe for people with heart and lung diseases.
“It’s important for people who have conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and heart disease to pay attention to air quality reports,” said State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes. “Air pollution makes it hard for everybody to breathe. And poor air quality affects people with heart and lung diseases earlier than others. If you live in an area that has forest fires, make sure to protect yourself from smoky conditions.”
Older adults are vulnerable because they often don’t know they have these diseases. New research suggests that breathing air that has high “particulate” matter, or fine particles, can also be risky for people who are obese or have diabetes. Children are vulnerable to polluted air because their lungs are still growing and they spend more time outdoors.
Different things cause summer air pollution. Several consecutive days of sunny, hot weather will increase ozone. Wildfires like the ones that have broken out in central Washington recently produce smoky air that contains fine particles and toxic chemicals. Cars and trucks generate exhaust. On calm days when the air is still, air pollutants build up. Ongoing climate changes are projected to cause additional bad air quality by increasing wildfires and ozone pollution.
Everyone can lower their exposure to air pollution by checking air quality conditions before taking part in outdoor activities, especially people in high risk groups. When air pollution is high, people should limit outdoor activity and choose less strenuous things to do — such as going for a walk instead of a run. Pollution levels are often highest at midday or in the afternoon, so exercising earlier or later may be wise. Indoor exercise is another option.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tap Water Quality Affected by Wildfire Rain Runoff

'Chocolate Milk Shake-Like' Debris Mixture Overwhelms Treatment Plants, School Of Mines Study Says

Rain runoff following a wildfire can compromise drinking water quality and overwhelm water treatment plants with a "chocolate milk shake-like mix" of debris, according to a new study by the Colorado School of Mines.

This can affect tap water that might have a smoky taste and could fail to meet federal drinking water standards, says engineering graduate students whose study suggests ways cities government can protect drinking water after a wildfire.

This is a real-time risk for communities like Colorado Springs, where the Waldo Canyon Fire has scorches 15,324 acres of hillside terrain, and the National Weather Service had issued a flash flood watch for the wildfire's "burn scar" Wednesday afternoon.

In the study, School of Mines graduate researchers worked with the city of Golden on scenarios exploring how a fire in the Golden area would adversely affect the water supply in Clear Creek, the city's source of drinking water.

"This project simulated a range of detrimental wildfire run-off conditions utilizing a surface water treatment pilot plant at the Colorado School of Mines in close collaboration with the City of Golden's drinking water treatment plant," said Professor Jörg Drewes.

The study found that rain runoff mixes leftover wildfire debris and sediment that can thwart purifying mechanisms inside downstream water treatment plants.

"While impacts of wildfires have been studied by scientists from forestry, biology and hydrology, this study is the first that combines these experiences with water treatment engineering and focuses on adverse effects on drinking water quality and appropriate response strategies," Drewes said.

Here's a link to the study: