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irrig8r
11-09-2007, 12:23 PM
Did I get your attention?

Late last year I read a report on a study trying to identify sources of copper in run-off into the San Francisco Bay. Copper pipes are named as a source. I was surprised to see copper roofs and raingutters also named in the report.

Why is this a problem, you might ask? Apparently it's the effect on salmonids. It doesn't kill them, but impairs their immune systems, weakens their eggshells, and makes them more susceptible to stress.

Around here that's salmon and steelhead.


Here's the report:

http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/rwqcb2/basinplan/amend/copper/Cu_SSO_BPA_project_description_11-30-06.pdf

Here's more about specifics for reducing copper in wastewater:

http://www.sanjoseca.gov/ESD/PDFs/cu_designers_05_03.pdf

So, how does this effect us?

Not sure yet, but it was interesting about clean cuts on the copper reducing turbulence, and using less flux.

Obviously, irrigation water doesn't usually end up in the sewer. And most of the water we apply that comes from copper pipe ends up soaking into the soil and not running off into storm drains, right?

And the plumbing and homebuilding industries probably won't be forced to switch to any other pipe because a viable alternative just isn't available.

But I just thought I'd bring it up in case anyone else is running into this, especially in other sensitive watershed areas like, I dunno, maybe Chesapeake Bay.

hoskm01
11-09-2007, 12:54 PM
Interesting... How does using less flex in soldering help?

I wonder if roofs and gutters are worse because they deteriorate more in the sun than say a pipe underground or in a wall. Not that they crumble up like plastic, but the sun doesnt help any.

Kiril
11-10-2007, 10:26 AM
And the plumbing and homebuilding industries probably won't be forced to switch to any other pipe because a viable alternative just isn't available.

What about PEX and CPVC?

hoskm01
11-10-2007, 10:36 AM
Interesting... How does using less flex in soldering help?

I wonder if roofs and gutters are worse because they deteriorate more in the sun than say a pipe underground or in a wall. Not that they crumble up like plastic, but the sun doesnt help any.
Thats FLUX, you idiot.

Wet_Boots
11-10-2007, 10:47 AM
So we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because it's a pollution source? Suck it up, you by-the-bay boobs, and enjoy the benefits of copper.
And don't take any zinc pennies :p

CAPT Stream Rotar
11-10-2007, 10:59 AM
So we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because it's a pollution source? Suck it up, you by-the-bay boobs, and enjoy the benefits of copper.
And don't take any zinc pennies :p

OWNEDDDDD!

Kiril
11-10-2007, 12:04 PM
So we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because it's a pollution source?

Yes, but more because this country no longer represents what that statue symbolizes.

Don't stop at the statue, tear the whole city down.

irrig8r
11-10-2007, 12:28 PM
Well, I admit to being part tree hugger... comes natural up here.

But I'm also a fisherman. And the anadromous salmonid popualtions up here have been assaulted.... by the guvmint' allowing more water for farmers than fish, by the threat of more drought and more water users each time we go through another cycle of drought...

Bay water quality is a big deal. Now we have an oil spill to clean up too.

Meanwhile water conservation isn't taken seriously enough. And outdoor use is more than 50% of the water use in the 'burbs.

That's why I see water conservation education as one of my missions on the job.

Frankly, I think that Silicon Valley industries are probably the biggest source of trace metals flowing into the bay. Just thought I'd bring it up to toss around.

irrig8r
11-10-2007, 12:34 PM
Thats FLUX, ....

Well, look at some on a pipe you or someone before you didn't wipe clean. It's corrosive. I suspect bad connections between galvanized and copper are equally bad. Good for getting those trace minerals in drinking water though, right?:p

If you look at that PDF file they show a cross section of a corroded six y.o. cold water line. Ugly.

irrig8r
11-10-2007, 12:38 PM
What about PEX and CPVC?

I don't know PEX... Plastics are probaly used more in tracts, but my customers are mostly custom homes in the foothills.

There's also a big advertising push by plumbing outfits that do nothing more than repiping with copper in those homes that were built with galvanized pipe in the fifties and sixties.

Kiril
11-10-2007, 12:41 PM
PEX is becoming quite popular, been around for a while. Last time I checked, CPVC is not allowed in residential plumbing in CA, which is too bad IMO.

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-11-2007, 10:11 AM
Well, I admit to being part tree hugger... comes natural up here.

But I'm also a fisherman. And the anadromous salmonid popualtions up here have been assaulted.... by the guvmint' allowing more water for farmers than fish, by the threat of more drought and more water users each time we go through another cycle of drought...

Bay water quality is a big deal. Now we have an oil spill to clean up too.

Meanwhile water conservation isn't taken seriously enough. And outdoor use is more than 50% of the water use in the 'burbs.

That's why I see water conservation education as one of my missions on the job.

Frankly, I think that Silicon Valley industries are probably the biggest source of trace metals flowing into the bay. Just thought I'd bring it up to toss around.

Ditto. It's the cumulative affect. Take millions of home, get a little trace metal from each one, add the industry amount, what nature provides naturally, and wham-o a screwed up shore line and bay. I can't remember the numbers but a huge number of fish and marine life live near shore lines. Add to that that 80% of the U. S. population is within 50 miles of a shoreline and the ecology of the area is going to suffer. On another subject is our beloved golf courses. Talk about putting stuff into the water supply of the environment. Doesn't help that most of them are built in flood prone areas. (At least in Dallas)

Dirty Water
11-11-2007, 01:42 PM
PEX is all that is used out here now. I see copper stub ups through the wall, then it goes to PEX/WIRSBRO.

I was watching Flip that House yesterday. Some house flipper in New Orleans redid his plumbing with CPVC. Both the drain system and the hot and cold water.

I shuddered, too cheap for ABS and PEX? I'm pretty sure that dumping draino into CPVC pipes will cause problems.

gusbuster
11-12-2007, 10:18 PM
Did I get your attention?

Late last year I read a report on a study trying to identify sources of copper in run-off into the San Francisco Bay.

Gregg,
From what I have learned with regulating agencies is to question anything that is said by a regulating agency(by the way, your first link would not work).

A good study is a study that anybody else can replicate with similar conditions. Why has this not been brought up in other parts of the country?

I think it is fair to say that the problem in the first place is not the use of copper but the fact that man is encroaching in areas that were once isolated.

Unless water treatment has changed in your area, the problem with both San Jose and Santa Clara water treatment facilities was they were purifying the water too much which was causing problems with a marsh frog.

There's always 2 sides to a coin which is why i never take for granted what one study says.

EagleLandscape
11-13-2007, 01:06 AM
PEX is what im using now to build homes with. cheaper than copper thats for sure.
i think it can swell like 2-3x larger than normal, and shrink to 1/2 size and not break. its a cool material, tools are like 700 bucks for a good set though.

WalkGood
11-13-2007, 02:21 PM
Faster install for PEX too, which equals $$$$ to the installer. It's like snaking romex wire thru studs. No elbows needed, can be all home-runs from water manifold to point of use.

Unrelated to that water study... Some areas have bad water and/or sorta electrolisis going on which causes pinholes in copper. Big lawsuits.