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Monitoring Pollution

Remotely Enable/Disable A Thermostat

I wanted a way to remotely enable and disable my thermostat for turning the system on when returning from vacation, or turning it off when I realize I will not be home when originally planned.  It should save energy and increase our comfort.  The wiring itself was actually fairly easy.Here is a link to a post with pictures describing the project:

Thermostat... read more

What's in that Bottle?


It's the time of year when local water utilities are legally required to send out their Consumer Confidence Reports, detailing how safe the local water supply is and highlighting any substances that might have been found in it.

Interestingly, bottled water companies are not legally required to disclose anything about their water supply, despite the $2.00/bottle they charge consumers to buy their product. In fact, NBC reports that a study found that less than 2% of bottled water companies list their water source on the bottle, while 25% of them are actually bottling tap water and re-selling it.

Recently, members of the US House of Representatives have taken notice of the situation and Congress is now considering whether or not to make it so that bottled water companies are legally held to the same level of openness and safety as water utilities are. There are some logistical issues as well, given that tap water is regulated by EPA and bottled water is regualted by the FDA, but the overall argument seems sound. It's a bit early to see how this is all going to turn out, but it does seem responsible to hold all water distributors - municipal or bottled - to the same level of accountability.

 ... read more

The Value of Tap Water

The AWWA's 'Only Tap Water Delivers' story is a great look at what our water systems deliver to us and what will happen to water in the future.  So many of us that have never been to third world countries have come to take our water infrastructure for granted.  It is clean, reliable, consistent and cheap.  How many days would you and your families survive without tap water?  Its time to start thinking about water in the context of how much value it brings to our lives.

The Value of Tap Water... read more

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