Join Us
join our mailing list
* indicates required





Design Inspirations  Green Talk


Entries in potable water (7)


My Green Toilet Water 2.0

OK, we’ve been here before, February of 2010 to be exact.  That is when I announced my big plan for harvesting the rainwater from my roof, putting it through a filtering system and using it for flushing my toilets.  All disguised as a waterfall.  A good idea, I thought.  Well, back in 2010 I ran out of money to finish the project and the tanks have been sitting my back yard since.

Much has changed in the last four years and Seattle is on board with rainwater harvesting.  (If you remember, rain barrels used to be the only option.)  In 2013 the city of Seattle created a program called RainWise where large rain barrels (called cisterns) are encouraged to be used for watering your gardens, and/or directing rainwater to the sewer or conveyance channel.  There are REBATES available for homeowners who participate in this program and live within a specific area.  There are some requirements:  a minimum of 400 sf of roof area must be directed to one cistern, you must used a licensed bonded contractor from the list of authorized contractors, etc.  These are easy requirements to fill and I encourage everyone that qualifies for the rebate to participate.   In fact, even if you do not qualify for the rebate you should participate.

My project was always a bit more comprehensive, the big tanks have to be placed under ground and I will have meters to monitor the water useage, etc.  It helps to remind everyone why I am doing this in the first place – because it makes me crazy that we use treated, drinkable water to flush our toilets.  Many of my home projects wind up being more than the initial design….the gutter waterfall has turned into a rockery waterfall/small pond, and I’m thinking about building an ADU (attached dwelling unit) that incorporates the harvesting system.  Hopefully, with the help of the city of Seattle I may be able to start this project up again!

Going Green, Christine       


Water is Life - Life is Water

Water is a big part of our body – water and electricity.  Our body is made up of cells that communicate and ‘live’ through electrical and chemical charges (synapses.)*   Dr Robert Becker of The Body Electric* wrote ‘Electricity is vital to life.’  And of course, we all know that electricity needs water to exist.  So if our body, and our planet, are intrinsically dependent on water, we should value this resource as it affects our body, health and existence.

So let’s talk about the water you put in your body

We are still purchasing bottled water to drink both at home and away from home.  Although the plastic bottles of water with BPA in them are known to be hazardous to your health, (FDA declared BPA safe in 2008, but in 2010 modified their position, then 2012 banned the chemical in baby bottles) it turns out the BPA-free plastics are just as bad or worse than the BPA bottles.* Currently, the ‘safest bottle’ is a glass bottle wrapped in a silicone sleeve for protection.* The water that we purchase in bottled waters claim to be ‘filtered’ or ‘natural’ but when tested for their affects on your body in relation to ph* levels and orp*, they fall below tap water.

Tap water, as we know, is not perfect, and contains chlorine as well as other contaminants.  Many people purchase and install water filters in their kitchens in an attempt to better the water that they consume.  My latest research has shown that Ionized water machines are providing health benefits that other types of water do not.  The theory (behind the testimonials) is that through the process of electrolysis, water is ionized to produce ionized alkaline water.  Ionization breaks up the molecule clusters, making it easier for the water to penetrate your cells. ‘The other way an ionizer alters water is to TURN REGULAR WATER INTO A POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT, measured as ORP* (Oxidation Reduction Potential.)’  This is turning your water into a source of healing.  The better ionizer machines will also have two carbon filters that remove the chlorine but retain the minerals.

The other crazy information that I witnessed about ionized water is the cleaning aspect.  The dramatic demonstration shows two glasses of cherry tomatoes, one being ‘washed’ in tap water and the second being ‘washed’ in 11.5 ph ionized alkaline water. Apparently oil based pesticides replaced water based pesticides which were too easily removed with rainwater.  SO, when you ‘wash’ your fruits and vegetables in tap water, the pesticides are not removed.  When soaked in 11.5 ph ionized alkaline water the water turns a sickly yellow color.  This is what we are putting in our body!  I spoke to a researcher at the University of Washington who is studying the effects of pesticides in people and besides the commonly known facts of cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental disorders, there is a proven decrease in cognitive abilities.  OUCH!  Fruits and vegetables that have pesticides on them are HARMFUL to your HEALTH.

The apparent benefit of ionized water machines are twofold, one creating healing/healthy/antioxidant water for you to drink and the second to successfully remove the poisons that are in our ‘fresh’ vegetables and fruits.  I cannot think of a more important investment in your health than the investment of an ionized water machine.  There are many testimonials about the healing aspects of certain waters, some throughout the centuries.  Scientists are now discovering that the difference in the waters are in the ORP levels.  People are being healed with ionized water, this is something you need to look at.

Going Green, Christine


Environmental Guardianship Failure 

Our earth has provided safe food and water for us for millions of years.  Unfortunately, we have contaminated our earth in some areas to the point that the food and water is harmful to our health.  The water in nine counties in West Virginia is undrinkable, closing restaurants, hotels, schools and other businesses.

The January 9th chemical spill contaminated the Elk River with crude MCHM, a chemical mixture used in the coal production process. MCHM is toxic if ingested.   A ‘Do Not Use the water’ order left 300,000 West Virginians without potable water.  The water coming out of their taps was poisonous brown and liquorice-scented.

After 10 days, the water was declared safe to drink.  However West Virginians remain skeptical.  "If one smells the odor, people know the chemical is in the water," said Dr. Rahul Gupta, the director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.  Governor Tomblin has told residents that the decision of whether or not to use the water is a personal, individual matter.  After he made that announcement, news broke that crude MCHM can break down into formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

Sadly, on February 7th, weeks after the water was declared safe, two of the chemicals were detected in the water supply of George Washington High School. The tell-tale licorice odor was back, and students and staff reported symptoms that included burning eyes, light-headedness and headaches. 

Why are we allowing this to happen to our world?  When will it stop?   Can we end this contamination? Or will it end us? 

Always green, Christine


My latest obsession with water

I just realized something other people may have already known - that I have an obsession with water.  Years ago I pursued a business where I would visit home owners, do an energy assessment of their home focusing primarily on water usage and show how much water they were using and purchasing.  Then I would show them HET (High efficiency toilets) and faucets that use less gpm (gallons per minute) and give a comparison on how much water (and money) they could save by changing out their fixtures as well as educating them on water saving habits.  I really wanted to change our community, one toilet at a time. 

Then I became obsessed with the use of colored light and music in a showering experience.  (Kohler DTV programs colored lights and showering experiences).  I designed a very unique shower complete with a stone garden wall overlooking a waterproof mural of the Spanish countryside on the walls, stone floor mimicking a terrace, preset with colored lights, body sprays, and music (Battlestar Gallactica) to make the ULTIMATE showering experience. 

In 2010 I started my Rain Water Waterfall / rain water harvesting to be used as toilet water project.  I purchased a couple underground water storage tanks and designed (with help) a system to collect rainwater by punching holes in my gutter creating a waterfall in front of my music room windows.  The rainwater would collect in a ‘pool’ that filtered the water and directed it into storage tanks which were to be piped to my home and pumped up to the plumbing wall of my home.  And I would have clean toilet water that had been recycled from my roof.

My concern with the lack of potable water in most of the world directed me into learning about sustainability and becoming a LEED AP.  My family history of manufacturing medical machines that use electricity on our body engrained in me the basic understanding that our body is made of water…. I have been talking and writing about water for a very long time.

So it should not have been a surprise that my newest venture is to design and build and operate a hydro Spa featuring a sauna room, a steam room, a warm ‘floating’ pool with a 12’ waterfall, complete with soft music & lights, in the building that also houses a Wellness Center and a hot Yoga school.  I am REALLY excited about this venture and look forward to the day that I invite all of you to my grand opening!

Keeping Green,   Christine


Global Village

Global Village was the name of a presentation that Ray Andersen presented to thousands of people in both large and small groups.  It visually demonstrated realities of our world community, the amount of people who do not have potable water, the amount of people who have cell phones, who own cars, who die from starvation.  It was after experiencing this presentation, myself and hundreds of others were inspired to ‘do something’ to ‘make a change’ to help humanity.  We felt as ‘one’ with the others in the world.  If nothing else, it made us realize that we are the lucky ones, not because we are special or smart or hard working.  We were just born in the right place and time.  Our brothers and sisters across the world are no better or worse than us.  They were just born into less than preferable environments/communities. 

The 10th anniversary of 911 revived a sense of unity, a remembrance that there is more to life than the price of gas or political fighting.  We remembered to appreciate life.  To appreciate PEOPLE - people who help other people.  On September 11, 2001 the world community mourned with us and we felt as ‘one.’

August 8, 2011 Ray Andersen, founder of Interface Inc., passed away.  He was one of our beacons to follow, to aspire to.  At the age of sixty, he went back to Interface to steer it   “on a new course – one designed to reduce our environmental footprint while increasing our profits”…(he) “wanted Interface, a company so oil-intensive you could think of it as an extension of the petrochemical industry, to be the first enterprise in history to become truly sustainable.”

Ray made a difference in the world.  He made a difference in our environment.  He reminded us that we are all on this earth together.  He reminded us to appreciate life, to appreciate people, and to respect our environment.  May we continue this quest.