San Francisco To Fight Citywide Low-Flow Toilet Smell with Bleach
San Francisco's Low-Flow Toilet Push Has Been A Little Too Successful
The problem with San Francisco's uptake of low-flow toilets is that they were too popular. Each flush lacks the pressure to force solid waste through existing sewer pipes. In other words, the city's poop is backing up. You can actually smell it in the streets in some areas, particularly in the summer. "Stank" is the word you're looking for.
Using Bleach to Fight the Stench: Not Environmentally Sound
San Franciso is stockpiling bleach to treat the waste water before it flows into the bay.
You read that correctly San Francisco will dump 8.5 million pounds of bleach into San Francisco Bay to manage the rollout of low-flow toilets, which were touted as an environmental measure. The bleach option is being slammed as overkill, especially when less-toxic options (probiotics, hydrogen peroxide) are also viable.
It's bad enough that the bid to save water (which worked: the City flushes 20 million fewer gallons per year down the loo) led to neighborhood-wide stench clouds, but compounding the issue by poisoning the bay with millions of pounds of bleach should have been examined a little more closely under a standard common-sense lens.
Now officials are stocking up on a $14 million, three-year supply of highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite - better known as bleach - to act as an odor eater and to disinfect the city's treated water before it's dumped into the bay. It will also be used to sanitize drinking water.