First, do no harm

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First, do no harm

Postby mgmills » Dec 13, 2006 9:49 am

Recent threads about spray paint removal and a weekend activity have got me thinking.

Last Saturday I participated in a sinkhole clean-up where we were dragging lots of old trash out of a sinkhole. . . car parts, tires, old appliances, paint cans, old batteries, clothing, lots of old houshold trash (cans and bottles). Some of it had been there a long time (beer cans with the pull of tabs - you older folks remember when pop tops first came into being :-) )

The reason for the clean-up was to clean the area to improve ground water quality and of course to improve asthetics and discourage future dumping.

During the clean-up one of the participants made a comment that perhaps by disturbing the old trash we were initially increasing the contamination of the water because we were disturbing the stuff that had sat undisturbed for many years.

I'm just curious, dose anybody have any data on this aspect of clean-ups?
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Postby graveleye » Dec 13, 2006 10:44 am

initially, I would say yes that would be true, but for every moment that the trash sits in there, the water is slowly percolating down. Removing the trash might create a spike in contamination, but I would thing that the longterm benefits would be worth the momentary spike.

Lot of us "older" folks would make a pot of coffee, then when that is done, make another pot using the old grounds. Coffee is a little weaker, but nothing wrong with getting all you can out of the coffee. Remove all the grounds and you get clean water after you dump out the grounds... bad analogy, but my point is that I think its still best to go on and get it out.

Yup, I remember the pop-top beer cans. Found a few of those in White River the other day. Stepped on a few in my time as well... getting rid of those things and introducing the modern pull-tops was a good move. I remember when those things were everywhere!
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Postby erebus » Dec 13, 2006 12:17 pm

Not to derail (much), but those old-style pop-tops are still used in China, and probably elsewhere.
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