Saturday, October 29, 2011

the thought process

if i told you 90% of what i write here is "solved" in my head before i post, would you believe me?
The complex equations of how ground water flows, i "see" clearly in my head, but to explain so others can understand it seems many times, difficult.
The why i reach the conclusion i do, is where i grasp.
i had this problem in High school and the teachers hated me.
The algeabreic concepts that fell into place so easily - the answers came with out a second thought.  Me reading a book or playing chess and they would call on me to see is they could catch me and they could not untill they asked me to go through the proof.  Writing down a proof systematically would show so many little errors that my mind, in an instant corrected.  A minus sign misplaced, addition of 1 + 1 = 3.  Writing down gave issue, but in my head i always had the correct answer.
so i stuggle with math that can not be explained easily to write it down, so you can understand and i make errors,  but the conclusions are , i believe correct.

Monday, October 24, 2011

pesticide variance again

Again i reviewed data from the state and my weather data and relized that i have answered my question from the last post on this subject many times...
there are 2 sources for every well with a septic system!
Once a well has pesticides in it, the septic system does also and since around here the septic is a major source of recharge for the well, you have very rapidly another source...not fun.
Now what does this mean?  When the weather is very dry - you will not get recharge from the septic.
From the data, i found a particularly bad time August 2010...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mold –the real dangers and its prevalence

A long time ago, I had heard that Connecticut along the coast had the second highest mold problem in the nation.  I am unable to verify this as a fact, but there is logic around this.

Why, you ask?

1)      Elevation rises rapidly from the coast line, in land, trapping moisture from the Sound,

(550 feet in10 miles).

2)      There are a lot of trees and therefore leaves on the ground, trapping moisture, (even with all the leaf pick-up, they go some where).

3)      Summers, generally are warm and humid, winters, generally are cold and damp.

4)      We are a wet coastline, this is not Southern California.

That all the logic I have.

Now all molds can be hazardous, allergies can kill you.  Mold can kill you; any mold not just the ones that make the news.  Now I happen to be sensitive to mold, I walk into a room with a high concentration and I stop breathing.  Really!

I follow a scientific site out of the UK,

This keeps me updated on all things mold.

Lately there have been a lot of calls on molds.  Many people have spent lots of money testing the air in their homes for molds.  Now, most knew there was mold and now they have a fact.

There is a simple reality that these testing companies do not want you to know:


You have a leak in your roof, the ceiling will get wet and grow mold.

You have a window that leaks; there will be black forming around it.  This is mold.

Mold, in order to propagate, produces spores, which are air borne.  You will breathe them in.

Mold is everywhere outside and for it to live inside it likes a nice damp, dark place (sunlight is molds #1 enemy, Clorox is another).

You can kill mold by exposing it to sunlight, removing the moisture and hitting it with Clorox (some precautions about Clorox use in a moment).

If it is growing, it will produce spores that will still affect you, even after it dies. Clorox does destroy those allergens, but produces hydrogen chloride gas in the process, which can be worse.

So when you use Clorox, YOU MUST VENT THE AREA!  Go outside and take an “air” break every few minutes (5 is maximum).  WEAR GLOVES!  USE A MASK! (Still take those air breaks (unless you have an oxygen fed mask, rare for most, not for me).

Make sure that water does not get back in and you will not have the problem again.

One person asked if it can from the drinking water, no it comes from the air.

Another asked about a specific mold type being worse than another, they all can be bad.

Another wanted me to test the black stuff growing around the window to see if it was mold, I would not because it is.

That is all the insight that I have on mold.

We have had a very wet year and mold is liking it!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

more questions pesticide variance

So why are pesticides found in wells?
This begs more questions on variance.
Save for what is put into a septic system or buried in a "disposal pit" or land fill or injected into 5 foot holes around for termite control, how does something get into ground water and then into a well?
We know CT has a decent frost line in winter, 1 to 3 feet, 3 being less likely now a days.
We know ground water in CT generally flows North to south because of the glaiers and the lay of the land.
If pesticide contamination reached a fairly deep level of porous rock, it should maintain a fairly steady level, decreasing over time, if there is a single source.
If it comes from more surface sources, it wll be affected by frozen ground and rainfall.
If it comes from multiple sources, then there sould be a variance over time with overlapping "plumes".

What is it, is the question.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

pestcide variance - an attempt to view

I had a brainstorm last night – it was concerning how pesticides vary in the amount in a well over time and how I could view that as a fact and what might the issues be.

The source is the testing done by the DEP (now DEEP) on filters they installed in Stamford on wells which tested positive for pesticides.

They did the testing quarterly and I have been recording the info, but really did not know what to do with it…until now.

Then I began reviewing the data and realized that I had not critically looked at the data – if I had I would have noted some issues.

There are times when the “raw” (without or before the filter) sample had no pesticides, but the sample after the first filter did.  Unless something happened and the filter was exposed to high (I mean above the boiling point of water) heat, pesticides should not have been released.  This means that samples were mislabeled or switched in the lab (it happens, you know, we are not perfect).  I could accept this and correct for it.  It almost meant that no one else looked at the information critically either.

I also, generally do not get a copy of the lab’s paperwork, only a summary report from DEP.  One time I did get the lab’s paperwork and the sample was not received at the lab at the proper “less than 6 C” and the lab had (rightfully so) a disclaimer about the results.

Additionally, the testing is done, by request, by the 508 method.  Now the reality about this method is that is identical to the 505 method except that it starts with a much larger sample volume.  I do not have a problem with this.

The final problem was not with the results, but with me.  As I have been struggling with my recovery, there are times that I make mistakes and do not enter thing properly (it is all about the eyes, all about the eyes).  I try to keep the paper work, but there are times that I lose it and file it in a pile.  There was something in this batch of numbers that I wanted to check and could not because I could not find the paperwork.  This of course is very frustrating, but what I have to deal with.

If variables such as temperature and rain and any other weather condition caused the variances then the difference between pesticide changes should be similar between the 4 homes reviewed.

They were not similar enough for me to say yes to this idea.

The other variables that i can think of are water usage, multiple contamination points or layers and soil type, this is information I do not have.

For your entertainment, the graphs I compared are included:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Beach meeting fall 2011

Twice a year, the state of Ct and local health and the US EPA get together to discuss the beach monitoring program in CT.
This year we had an additional bonaus, a review of the latest National beach confrence, which discussed information on direction of the national program.
A quick synopsis:
Heavy on epidemilogical studies - mostly discounting the improvement of PCR techniques.
Heavy on relating illness to what ever source might be out there - human and animal.
Strong encoragement on pre-emptive beach closures (which Stamfrd has been using since 1989).
Strong associasion of illness, current indicator bacteria and illness in Urban run off settings (again the kind Stamford has).
I actually felt a bitvindicating since my work comes under fire often from the public, the political machine and some  times surperiors.
It was a good meeting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

perigee tides

The  really high ones, i mean.  We just had one at the end of September and in my records (which come from NOAA) and by observations by long time fishermen, it was the highest, non-storm perigee tide we have seen.  The NOAA tide records seem to say the same with another one coming at the end of October.
Why the big deal?
We finished our final, close out beach sampling during the peak of one of those tides and the numbers were astronomical (bacteria wise).  This is something that is in my sights as far as predictive modeling - washing out storm drains by high tides.
This was the highest we have seen and the only one which indicates it might b real.
We will be vigilant for future perigee tides.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Cure, worse than the problem?

Bed Bugs, a scourge, a nuisance, a pest...
living off the blood of humans.  Inflicting them with severe bites,
but strangely enough do not transmit disease.
They tried - they used Hepatitis B (a virus that is known to still be active for 3 weeks in a dry pool of blood), fed bed bugs the infected blood, but it did NOT transmit.
A recent edition of MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) disclosed problems associated with the control of bed bugs.
Am i surprised?  No, they are talking insecticides and oil spray delivery systems  all of which can cause real health issues.
What to do?  Suffer? 
There are other ways to control - they are not easy, bed bugs have been around a long time.  They survived chlordane.
They are susceptible to extremes of heat and cold.  They will be killed by alcohol vapor, both isopropyl and ethyl - i proved that in the lab and wrote on it here.  there are even companies which use it.
Same effect the bed bugs are killed, they will come back, just like with regular pesticides.
it might be something to consider.
Well searching, the US EPA has not certified any alcohols for bed bug eradication.  CDC and the US EPA do have a joint statement that is interesting.
The interesting non pesticide is diatomacious earth.