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水4.0:饮用水的过去、现在与未来 (双语Ch 6节选)

已有 1792 次阅读 2015-9-8 01:54 |个人分类:Water 4.0|系统分类:科普集锦|关键词:Water,4.0,,Chapter,6| Water, chapter


The Chlorine Dilemma



After the publication of Silent Spring and the much-publicized fire on the Cuyahoga River, all eyesturned to Washington, D.C., where concerned politicians pushed forward pollution-control legislation. Increased public attention and the lobbying efforts of environmental groups led to the allocation of federal funds to upgrade sewage treatment plants and to standards being set to control smog-producing gases emitted by factories and cars. But the energy andinfluence of the environmental movement did not stop there. The late 1960s was a time when idealistic people put their energy into making the world a better place—and among these idealists was a brash young lawyer and a group of scientists in New York who pioneered a new way of fighting pollution.



Alarmed by the effects of DDT described in Silent Spring, Victor Yannacone, a thirty-one-year-old lawyer, initiated a lawsuit against a Long Island mosquito control district claiming that in 1966 its use of the pesticidehad caused a fish kill in a pond near his house.1 Armed with his motto “Sue thebastards,” Yannacone teamed up with an assistant professor of biology at nearby Stony Brook University and an ecologist from Brookhaven National Laboratory inan attempt to prove that the mosquito district’s application of  DDT was not in the public’s best interest.2 The group’s approach of using the courts when a government agency failed toprotect the public was a still untested legal concept. While it too twelve years for them to achieve their goal, the success of Yannacone and his associates gave environmentalists a new tool with which to fight pollution: the class-action lawsuit.



Shortly after the group’s high-profile DDT case went to court, they formed the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund. Over the next few years, this non-governmental organization engaged in an ambitious campaign of class-action lawsuits against the users of DDT and other pesticides suspected of harming wildlife. They also hired a team of full-time scientists to support their efforts to branch out into new areas such as land, water, and energy conservation.3




(Last two paragraphs of Chapter 6)

We now face a dilemma. Chlorine protects us from waterborne pathogens present in rivers and lakes as well as those that penetrate our water systemsafter the treatment process. It also maintains a protective coating on lead pipes, which are expensive and difficult to remove. But the use of chlorine results in the production of disinfection byproducts that cause cancer and possible other health problems, even if steps taken over the past thirty years have lowered the concentrations of these disinfection by products. The public’s recognition that cutting back on disinfectants could increase the rate of infectious disease, as well as citizens’ hesitancy to add new treatment processes, has meant that we may not be protected from the carcinogens that inspired Congress to pass the Safe Drinking Water Act.



The solution to the chlorine dilemma will require an upgrade of our drinking water treatment systems. We can think of it as Water 3.1. The least expensive upgrade probably would involve the removal of humic substances—the precursors of chlorine disinfection byproducts—followed by continued use of chlorine. Activated carbon, a treatment process that is already being used insome cities, offers a viable means of accomplishing this goal. New technologies like ultrafiltration also could be used to remove humic substances. Alternatively, we could switch to chloramines or ozone and operate our distribution systemswithout residual chlorine, though this change would require large investmentsin maintaining our distribution systems and removing lead from difficult-to-reach locations. Although an increase in the monthly water bill of a few dollars per month would likely be acceptable to people worried about the health of their families, there is not yet a cry for change from the public, because utilities and regulators continue to insist that our drinking water is safe and healthy.



ps. I typed up the English myself, so errors are possible.


[美]戴·塞德拉克 著

徐向荣 等    虞左俊 校





Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World's Most Vital Resource

Paperback:March 31, 2015

by David Sedlak (Author)

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