If you are concerned about water conservation than please take the time to consider my proposal. It will save water for the environment, for agriculture and city use in the long and short run. Most of all, the low flow toilets and those toilets that have an alternative flush, for one use or the other, can not conserve enough water to help us meet our future needs.

In Los Angeles the city stores recycled water underground where it is mixing with fresh water that has always naturally filled the groundwater supply in Southern California. That stored water, which is one part fresh and another part reclaimed, can find its way to your cooking, drinking and showering water someday.
Considering the current wasteful habits of our cities regarding water, low flow toilets are great for saving water but normally these toilets are flushed more than one time. If the 1.6 gallons of water that a low flow uses is flushed 2 to 3 times, the gallons begin to add up and besides it is still 1.6 gallons of fresh water wasted. Using recycled water means that we can use toilets that flush 3 to 5 gallons of recycled water because fresh water is not wasted. However, neither is the recycled water wasted because the same water is repeatedly cleaned and sent through the system.

The city does use reclaimed or recycled water but that use is very limited. Discharging reclaimed water into the coast or rivers and keeping parks green is a great idea but why discharge all of the reclaimed water? There are additional ways of using reclaimed water to consider. Using reclaimed water for toilets is another one of those ideas which is what is being suggested here.

Thank you for giving me a moment.

Below is an explanation of why I feel we should consider adopting a new approach to water conservation and quickly created an animation to help clarify my point. This system I propose can save water and create jobs and revenue for the state and the private sector.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why has leadership lost their Imagination and the will to solve a problem like water shortage?

The crucial question to ask leadership is what are we doing to increase the water in the reservoirs and the rivers. Water conservation, as currently designed, will not be enough to make up for the shortages expected in the near future. The technology and the expertise needed to do much more than what leadership is currently doing to deflect impending disastrous water shortages, they and their experts have warned us to expect around the world, is available. Since cities, for example Los Angeles and San Francisco, California or all of England or Germany, currently clean their wastewater, why not use that reclaimed water to our advantage a little more. One toilet uses thousands of gallons of water per month. Why not use reclaimed wastewater instead of fresh water for this purpose? After all, not many people are currently willing to cook, shower, and brush their teeth with recycled water but I would bet my bottom dollar that people would not mind using reclaimed water for toilet use or watering their lawn with reclaimed water. The potable water those toilets are pulling from the fresh water reservoirs would decrease by millions of gallons per year leaving any city better prepared for drought.

So if we use our imagination then, a toilet water reuse system (if you hit the hyperlink scroll down to view a post titled "The Royal Flush" and an animation that explains the system) is what cities, which have water shortage concerns, need to endorse because it is a large-scale concept for a project that has the potential of quickly having a measurable affects on our water supply. Southern California is currently so desperate to save water that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has put together a website to warn people about the seriousness of the situation and the steps citizens can take to help save water. The idea of citizens using water wisely is a good idea but shouldn’t that apply to leadership? By adding a second set of pipes to carry recycled water to toilets, millions of gallons per year of fresh water is left in the reservoirs and flowing in rivers waiting to help us in case of extended drought but the work needs to be done now. Sending recycled water down a second set of city pipes would also disconnect the fire hydrants from the fresh water sources as well allow people to water their lawns or wash their cars with recycled water.

It is true that citizens would have to make the investment to send new piping down city streets and into homes but after the initial cost, a flat fee would take care of the cost for maintaining the system. Since the amount of water per household would decrease by thousands of gallons per year, their water bills would decrease as well.  The water is already being cleaned just send that recycled water back to toilets and we will see the water reservoirs fill.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wastewater Treatment In The Bay Area

Here is a video I found on YouTube that explains how cities reclaim water and what they do with that reclaimed water. Discharging the water into the coast is a good idea but why can't we use a portion of that reclaimed water for our toilets?

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Royal Flush

I NEED YOUR HELPPlease help me put an end to the Royal Flush
The example in this animation is just one toilet in one home but if a city incorporated its use, the potable water saved is exponential.
The system will only help us conserve water for other important needs. So stop flushing clean, potable water and lets put an end to the Royal Flush, it's un-American.
This issue is not getting much attention so that is why I am asking for your help
Contact me at

Current water conservation programs will not be enough to save the amount of water needed in the event of an extended drought. In Southern California, for example, the amount of water that people or the city of Los Angeles pull from the reservoirs for their needs is out of balance with environmental needs. There is just not enough water to meet the need of both groups. So, that is why people are encouraged to conserve: right!

Consider that the current water conservation program will not save enough water for both people and the environment to properly balance their needs. This imbalance coupled with drought and the threat of global warming means that citizens should consider taking preventative steps. Why let matters get worse? The less water there is in our reservoirs the more leadership raises taxes, fees and so on.

This project will create thousands of jobs or I should say has the potential of creating many jobs.

A combination of private and public funds promises benefit for both groups. The amount of water that is possible to save is millions of gallons each year and is more than enough to meet the needs of the environment, the city, industry and agriculture. These entities can all receive a portion of the fresh water saved each time one toilet flushes and substitutes recycled water for fresh water. The state gives industry a discount for the potable water it uses in order to repay its debt to industry for remodeling the cities use of water.

Currently each time a toilet is flushed fresh water enters the system. The wastewater is then reclaimed and stored underground in Los Angeles, poured out onto the coast and to some extent reused by the city. The city also uses the water to keep city parks supplied and gulf courses keep their lawns green with the cities recycled water but is that enough?
Let me expain.
The Toilet Water Reuse System (TWRS) is a system, that I am suggesting, of water reuse aimed at ending the practice of using potable water (fresh water) for toilets in Southern California or in any city which is also referred to as putting an end to the Royal Flush. The urgency of conserving water increases when the effects or strain that global warming and drought will put on water reserves is considered.

Also consider that city and state leaders will continue to increase taxes to encourage water conservation. The threat of drought is a never ending fear looming over the heads of citizens. Finally, consider that the environment could use more water right about now because her rivers and lakes are running low.

The TWRS takes advantage of current water treatment or water reclaiming technology that cities are accustomed to using for recycling water. By disconnecting the city potable or fresh water from supplying toilets, the TWRS saves potable water and keeps it in our reservoirs. The TWRS works by collecting wastewater from toilets, reclaiming that wastewater and then sending that wastewater back for reuse repeatedly.

This system requires redirecting wastewater from all city toilets to a wastewater treatment plant dedicated to processing only toilet water. This plant would reclaim water and then send it to a reservoir. The reservoir would then redirect that reclaimed water back into homes for use in toilets only. This water is termed Blue Water (BW). Using BW means the city saves potable water.

Each month the city uses a specific amount of potable water for just toilet use. By capturing two months of water and reusing that water continuously, the city saves the ten (10) months of water it otherwise would have used for toilet use.

Think about this suggestion as an additional concept to water conservation as apposed to an alternative approach. This however, is a self-contained system of recycling water and not one that requires replenishing the toilet tank with potable water each time it is used.

The Average toilet uses 3 to 5 gallons of water and the low flow about 1.6 gallons with every use. The average amount of times the toilet is used is estimated to be nine times a day per person. Using the lower number of 3 gallons multiplied by the average use (9) the average is 27 gallons a day per person. Twenty seven gallons multiplied by seven days a week is 189 gallons, per month 756 gallons and 9072 per year.

For example, if we consider one home, by continuously cleaning and pumping the recycled water for two months of toilet use back into the home, only 1512 gallons of water is needed to keep the system going.

The alternative is to redirect wastewater the city already cleans into a reservoir. The reclaimed water is then pumped back into homes for toilet use only. This eliminates the need to send the waste water from just toilets directly to a dedicated wastewater plant.

The Issue
The Public Policy Institute of California put together a study on the issues surrounding the supply and quality of water titled Adapting California’s Water Management to Climate Change by Ellen Hanak and Jay Lund. This report is part of a larger PPIC study, Preparing California for a Changing Climate. The institute is adamant that water conservation will be as necessary in Southern California as ever before in the coming years. The report explains the challenges and options that leadership should consider before moving forward on adopting any policy related to water supply and quality. Below there is information put together by the PPIC that describes the expected trajectory of water related issues for California for the next decades. The focus here is to highlight an alternative option for water conservation that the report did not mention.

The good news is that water is being reused successfully in Southern California but the effectiveness of that reuse can be increased to conserve fresh water to a greater extent than is currently believed possible.
In 2000, the Department of Water Resources, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and 10 Southern California water and wastewater agencies, undertook a study to continue the work begun during the Southern California Comprehensive Water Reclamation and Reuse Study. “The Initiative is composed of a project specific work component, which identifies recycled water planning projects for implementation, and a regional component, which develops a public education program, identifies funding opportunities, and addresses water quality issues.
The Initiative will continue the regional coalition and work begun during the Southern California Comprehensive Water Reclamation and Reuse Study cooperative effort. Through the Initiative, Southern California water and wastewater agencies have made a significant water recycling commitment. Local water and wastewater agencies will receive financial planning assistance from the USBR leading to implementation of specific projects. The Initiative will address regional water quality, public perception, and education issues and will identify recycled water project funding opportunities.”
The Bureau of Reclamation, and eight state and local agencies, participated in the Southern California Comprehensive Water Reclamation and Reuse Study from 1992 through 1999. A final Congressional report summarizes the findings of the project. The three major components of the report can be found at:Executive Summary of the Final Report (PDF format, 3.2 MB)
Final Report, that discusses the tools, processes, analyses, and results for the SCCWRRS (PDF format, 3.5 MB)Short Term Implementation Plan, Appendix C, which presents detailed implementation plans for multiple water recycling projects developed in the course of the SCCWRRS (PDF format, 6.6 MB)

An Alternative Approach

Shovel and Pluming Intensive Work
The TWRS relies on rerouting the same recycled water back into toilets repeatedly. Rerouting recycled water requires new piping throughout the city in every office, building and home in order to send the recycled water back into the toilets. The process can repeat itself until authorities believe the water should be replaced. The
Sanitation District of Los Angeles website does a great job at explaining how water is cleaned and reused.

The reports all give sound advice and very good methods to meet the challenges of water needs in the arid areas of the country. The following then is an additional concept to water conservation as apposed to an alternative approach. Basically the fresh water or potable water that is flushed down a toilet every day is replaced with recycled water. This however, is a self contained system of recycling water and not one that requires replenishing the toilet tank with potable water each time it is used.

This is a project that would benefit both the public, government and business interests. Potable water saved by ending the Royal Flush saves water for wild life use. If business interests, such as agribusiness, invest in the initial cost they can benefit from the extra potable water saved instead of flushing it down the toilet like is currently the habit.

Below is information put out by the Public Policy Institute of CaliforniaWATER SUPPLY AND QUALITY

Although state and federal agencies play a role in all aspects of water management, local utilities and governments are the frontline institutions. Some 400 large water utilities supply most California homes and businesses. Nearly 600 wastewater utilities are responsible for meeting the clean water standards for municipal wastewater discharge. Hundreds of agricultural water districts manage water resources for California’s farmers. Agricultural districts and city and county governments have become responsible for managing runoff – a major source of water pollution.

In 2000, a year of normal rainfall, California’s farmers used 34.3 million acre‐feet (maf) of water, roughly four times as much as California’s residential, commercial, and industrial users combined. (An acre‐foot, enough to cover one acre of land with one foot of water, equals 325,851 gallons). Although agricultural use is expected to decline 5 to 10 percent by 2030 due to various market forces, California’s population is expected to increase by 14 million (40%) from 2000 to 2030. This implies a 3.6 maf increase in urban demand at current levels of per capita use (232 gallons per day). However, conservation measures could lower demand growth considerably.


California has a large portfolio of cost‐effective options for expanding supplies by 2030. These include underground storage in groundwater basins (up to 2 maf), recycled municipal water (up to 1.4 maf), and desalination (up to 0.5 maf). Urban conservation by current residents could generate the most savings, making more than 2 maf available to support new demands cost‐effectively. New surface storage options may also play a role, although financial and environmental considerations make them more debatable.


The Sacramento‐San Joaquin Delta’s 1,100 miles of levees face high risks of catastrophic failure by mid‐century because of seismic risk, sea level rise, and increased flood flows due to global warming. Such a failure could cut back water supplies for the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, and the Bay Area. Since late 2007, water supplies moving through the Delta have been reduced to help meet the needs of endangered fish species whose populations are declining.

Utilities fund most investments with water and wastewater charges, and these charges are still fairly low, leaving room for rate increases as new investments are needed. The state faces greater challenges in paying for environmental water needs, which do not have a reliable revenue stream. Over the last decade, state bonds have been the major source of funding for ecosystem restoration.

Water and Wastewater Charges as a Share of Median Household Income, 2004–2006
Note: Water rates are for 2006; wastewater rates are for 2004. Sample includes 443 water service areas and 560 wastewater service areas. For 96% of households, total fees are 2% or less of household income.
Sources: PPIC calculations using data from Black & Veatch and U.S. Census. California Water Plan Update, Department of Water Resources, 2005.

Table 1. Water Supply System Management Options

Demand and Allocation Options
General Policy Tools
Subsidies, Taxes
Regulations (water management, water quality, contract authority, rationing, etc.)
Water markets, transfers, and exchanges (within and/or between regions/sectors)*
Insurance (drought insurance)
Demand Sector Options
Urban water use efficiency (water conservation)*
Urban water scarcity (water use below desired quantities)*
Agricultural water use efficiency*
Agricultural water scarcity*
Ecosystem restoration/improvements (dedicated flow and non-flow options)
Ecosystem water use effectiveness (e.g. flows at certain times or with certain temperatures)
Environmental water scarcity
Recreation water use efficiency
Recreation improvements
Recreation scarcity
Supply Management Options
Operations Options (Water Quantity and/or Quality)
Surface water storage facilities (new or expanded)*
Conveyance facilities (new or expanded)*
Conveyance and distribution facility operations*
Cooperative operation of surface facilities*
Conjunctive use of surface and ground waters*
Groundwater storage, recharge, and pumping facilities*
Supply Expansion Options (Water Quantity or Quality)
Supply expansions through Operations Options (reduced losses and spills)
Agricultural drainage management
Urban water reuse (treated)*
Water treatment (surface water, groundwater, seawater, brackish water, contaminated waters)*
Desalination (brackish and sea water)*
Urban runoff/Stormwater collection and reuse (in some areas)
Note: Options represented in the CALVIN model (see text) are denoted by an asterisk (*)

So please help me by contacting your city and state leaders and asking them to consider the TWRS.
The system will only help us conserve water for other important needs. So stop flushing clean, potable water and lets put an end to the Royal Flush, it's un-American.
This issue is not getting much attention so that is why I am asking for your help
Contact me at rafaelbuelna2003@yahoo.com