Start Spreadin’ the News: Codepods

Who can blame New York Citians if they prefer their shrimp on salads and skewers instead of in their drinking water? This is why a loud and collective “Ewwww!” is rising over some recently posted photos of “tiny shrimp” codepods in New York City’s much-praised drinking water. (The issue of codepods has come up before in this blog in the 2009 post “The Codepod Army, Defending your Water). The teeny crustaceans are 1-2 mm in length and feed on mosquito larvae.

The Consumerist helpfully explains that “New York’s water is of such high quality that it isn’t required by the EPA to mechanically filter its H2O, which means you get to gulp down these cute little guys with every glassful.”

Codepods are completely harmless so keep repeating that to yourself as you feast on the fascinating photos. One possible glitch, pointed out by Gizmodo, is that this means NYC’s water might not be kosher. Oy vey!

Pet Poop Risk Assessment. Seriously.

Pet poop pollutes! So it makes sense that there have been increased efforts of late to educate the public on BMPPPs (Best Management Pet Poop Practices.)

Some campaigns are creative, some are forgettable, but this one is just unbelievable!  Courtesy of Cooperative Extension Service, College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa, is HAPPI-Home Flyer 16: Pet Waste Management. (In their defense: this is dated August 2000 and they might well be shocked to learn that it is floating around live on the World Wide Web in 2010.)

After some general background information, nasty facts about crap, and a list of do’s and don’ts comes the real meat of the document, the part that’s going to CHANGE OUR BAD BEHAVIOR: a worksheet to complete your very own Pet Poop Risk Assessment Analysis and Action Plan.


Complete the risk assessment table on page 2 to determine the water pollution risks from your pets’ wastes. For each category, choose the set of practices that best fits your situation. Then, at the bottom of page 2, develop an action plan to minimize water pollution hazard.

So how crappy are our pet practices? Let’s find out, as I share my completed Risk Assessment and Action Plan with all of you! (Click the image for a larger view.)

Best of 2009: Water Quality Research For and By Dummies

We’re taking it easy the last week of 2009 with reposts of some of our 2009 faves! in case you missed it: Our March 2009 post, Water Quality Research For (and By) Dummies, In which we scooped the New York Times by months with our own exclusive research into tap water quality!

—REPOSTED, Original Link Here
Taste: recent research conducted both in the U.S. and Europe has repeatedly shown that taste (along with safety and convenience) is a leading motivator for the use of tap water alternatives. But tastes like what, exactly? To find out, we’ve done some exclusive research of our own.

Because Thirsty in Suburbia has zero qualifications or credentials to conduct sound, serious research, this “study” is absolutely non-scientific. Plus, since our stimulus check bounced we’re unfunded too!

Never mind, we will press on. Presenting the Google-based Virtual Water Taste Focus Group.

Methodology: In February, 2009 the exact phrase “our water tastes like” was entered into Google Search. 35 total results were returned and 6 were disqualified for syntax, leaving 29 “participants.” (♪ ♫ Don’t know much about science books ♫, but do know our way around Illustrator–so we’ve made a snazzy chart for you!)

1. our water tastes like chlorine
2. Our water tastes like pure and delicious water
3. our water tastes like dirt.
4. Our water tastes like water
5. Our water tastes like the premier bottled drinking water it is
6. our water tastes like shiat
7. our water tastes like dirt
8. our water tastes like tap water
9. our water tastes like dirt
10. Our water tastes like sulphur
11. our water tastes like lake water
12. our water tastes like crap
13. our water tastes like nectar from the tap
14. Our water tastes like the chlorine from a swimming pool.
15. our water tastes like bleach
16. our water tastes like algae
17. our water tastes like chlorine
18. our water tastes like horse s**t
19. our water tastes like it was strained through an ashtray
20. our water tastes like chemicals from new pipes
22. our water tastes like someone dissolved a nickel in it
23. Our water tastes like butt
24. Our water tastes like disinfectant
25. our water tastes like carrots
26. our water tastes like a swimming pool
27. our water tastes like something George Washington himself might take a sip of and die from
28. our water tastes like liquid gold
29. our water tastes like golden nectar

Me want cookie, me drink cookie?

Om nom nom nom! Don’t we wish we lived in Washington State, where researchers have found traces of spices and food flavorings in the waters of Puget Sound.

Via, National Geographic News has reported this delicious water gossip in a November 12th segment of a new series exploring the global water crisis.

University of Washington associate professor Richard Keil said the spices and flavorings vary depending on the time of the year. For example, around Thanksgiving, researchers have detected a spike in thyme and sage; around the Fourth of July, waffle-cone and caramel-corn byproducts surge.

Keil and his research team have been tracking the “pulses” of food ingredients that enter the Puget Sound. They found that of all the food ingredients detected, artificial vanilla is most prevalent in the sound. The team found an average of about 6 milligrams of artificial vanilla per liter (mg/L) of water sampled; the region’s wastewater effluent contains more than 14 mg/L. According to the story, “This would be like spiking an Olympic-size swimming pool with approximately ten 4-ounce (113.4-gram) bottles of artificial vanilla.”

Puts a whole new perspective on the branding of “Dunkin’ Donuts!”