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Design Inspirations







Entries in potable water (10)


Truths behind the Lies

Lately I feel I have been living a dream.  A dream where water fountains in schools are safe, family members do not steal from each other, government regulations are enacted to protect you, politicians are as honest as they proclaim and Bill Cosby is the ideal father figure.  Boy, have I had a wakeup call – and so has our country.

Last month I heard on the news that Tacoma schools found lead in the drinking fountains.  Seattle Public Utilities immediately said that there was nothing wrong with Seattle drinking water ‘but that all residents should run their water for two minutes before drinking it JUST IN CASE’ (emphasis added).  It turns out that the ‘gooseneck’ fittings are corroding, where there are gooseneck fittings there is lead. 

The TRUTH is, there are many opportunities for LEAD to enter your drinking water and each home/building is unique in its potential liabilities.  Has anyone suggested that it may be in the publics self-interest to test their water at each faucet?  NO, that would cost too much money and the public outcry when they found out how many of their faucets produced water with lead in it would be crazy.  Politicians may lose their jobs!  Let me ask, how many of you run your water 2 minutes before drinking it?

The TRUTH is, that in 1978 the EPA determined the Lead in the paint was extremely dangerous and made it illegal to sell (after 1978).  But did anyone TELL the PUBLIC that every time you hammered a nail into the wall to hang a picture you were exposing yourself and your family to lead poisoning?  (Remember even the smallest minute amount of dust with lead poisoning can cause permanent brain damage in children).   NO, the government waited until 2010, 32 years, to regulate/protect the public from remodeling produced lead poisoning.  Have you hung a picture up in your home in the last 32 years?

The TRUTH is that I do not believe anyone any more, and that is a very sad place to be.  Truthfully, Christine


Politics Poisoning & Prevention 

Lead in your Home

We’ve known the health effects of lead poisoning for a long time and now know that there is NO safe threshold for lead exposure.  Because of political pressure, many countries, cities and states have allowed and sometimes mandated that lead pipes be utilized for water distribution, that lead be added into gasoline, and have allowed lead based paints into homes.  These products/installations are now illegal. HOWEVER, these lead pipes, lead solder connecting copper pipes, and lead based paints are STILL in our homes, potentially poisoning ourselves, our children and grandchildren.  The information on lead poisoning is so vast that I am presenting only statements and quotations in a timeline fashion with references for your research.

Lead poisoning (also known as plumbism, colica pictorum, saturnism or painter’s colic) first written about by the Egyptians is said to have contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire.  *6

1850 Scientists began fingering water pipes as the source of a growing number of lead poisoning cases. *9

1866 New York Herald published the article “The Dangers of Lead Pipes” #9

1900-1920 Homes built in this period usually have lead based pipes *1

1910-20 When municipalities began banning the use of lead pipes in the 1910s and 1920s, other sources of lead poisoning – paint, for example – also came under scrutiny.  In response, the lead industry fought back.  The National Lead Company ran ads proclaiming that ‘lead helps to guard your health’ *9

1920 Environmental pollution by lead caused by the introduction of tetraethyl lead in gasoline became an alarming public health problem.  The use became restricted in the 1980’s:  its effects on blood lead levels are now evident. *6

1921 the International Labour Conference organized a meeting in Geneva to adopt the White Lead Convention.  The convention led to the prohibition of the use of white lead in indoor painting in the several countries…Sweden and Czechoslovakia…Austria, Poland and Spain…Finland and Norway. In the United States, the Lead Industries Association succeeded in blocking the signing of the ILO convention. *6 

1921 Surgeon General convened a meeting when 8 workers died in straitjackets from dramatic central nervous system involvement from tetraethyl lead poisoning. *6

1928 To maintain sales of lead pipe, the LIA (Lead Industry Association) lobbied the government at all levels and targeted the people who both designed and installed water distribution systems with outreach and educational material and other resources.  The association carried on its promotional campaign into the 1970’s *10

1928 LIA’s Plumbing Promotion Program succeeded in Massachusetts where bans on certain kinds of lead pipe were lifted, in Pennsylvania lead pipe was formally required by the plumbing code to the exclusion of alternativesThe LIA even managed to have lead pipes inserted into regulations governing federal construction projects, as well as building codes and building specifications. *9

1950 Federal guidelines and specifications sanctioned lead pipes into the 1950s

1920-1965 Homes built in 1920-1965 generally have galvanized plumbing *1

1960 when artificial softening of drinking water began,   lead began to dissolve from the pipes.*6

1965-1980 These homes are considered risky if they were built between 1965 and 1980 when copper pipes and lead-based solder were common place in plumbing *1

1970 LIA (Lead Industry Association) lobbied the government at all levels into the 1970s. *10

1970 Only four US states and 10 municipalities had laws or ordinances prohibiting indoor use of lead paint.  In 1970 it was estimated that the annual incidence of symptomatic and asymptomatic lead poisoning in the U.S was as high as 240,000 cases.*6

1970-1980 National model plumbing codes APPROVED LEAD into the 1970s and 1980s and most water systems based their regulations on those codes.  During this time period there were more than 22 million new homes built in the United States *1  The primary source for lead in most drinking water sources is the piping used within a distribution system or the household plumbing…YOUR household plumbing may be the cause for lead in your drinking water.*4

1978 World Health Organization convened an expert meeting to scrutinize the present knowledge on lead, mercury and cadmium, creating a booklet called “Recommended Health-Based Limits in Occupational Exposure to Heavy Metals.”  The WHO officers who were involved in editing the document have privately stated that industry representatives lobbied heavily, both in the WHO and in the then CEC Health Protectorate, to prevent the publication.  These activities delayed the publication of the report and degraded it to a “technical report.” *6

1978 Federal government banned the use of lead based paint. 

1980 Seattle banned lead-based plumbing materials *1

1980 Nearly all homes built prior to the 1980s still have lead solder connecting copper pipes. *8

1984 EPA conducted a survey of 153 public water systems finding that 73% had installed lead service lines (a service line is the pipe from the street to your house) *10

1985 King County banned lead-based plumbing materials *1

1986 passage of Safe Drinking Water Act prohibited installation of lead water pipes.

1987 Washington State banned lead-based plumbing materials*1

1990 In the US practically no leaded gasoline was sold after 1990. *6

1990 Testing of children with lead poisoning showed a decrease in IQ of 6 points leading some scientists to suggest that slipping school performance in the US to a large extent can be attributed to past subclinical childhood lead poisoning. *6

1997 Seattle Public Utilities random sampling found 90% of houses came back with lead levels at nearly 20ppb

1997 CDC  estimates that as many as 5% of all American children suffer from subclinical lead poisoning. *7

2001 Seattle began adding soda ash meant to reduce most of the lead leaching from problem pipes. *1

2003 20% of all lead exposure in young children comes from drinking water *7

2004 Seattle Public Schools find high levels of lead in the drinking fountains *1

2004 Plumbing in many city homes poses lead risk.  *1

2004 EPA’s standard for lead contamination of drinking water is ZERO.*1   There is NO safe level for lead exposure *4   Standard for immediate action is 15 ppb. *1

2010 EPA RRP (Renovation Repair & Painting) ruling came into effect penalizing residential contractors up to $35,000 per incident if work done on homes older than 1978 is not within the RRP guidelines.  This ruling is to attempt to protect residents, owners, and workers from lead poisoning from lead based paint.  A minute amount of lead dust can cause lead poisoning. EG, Nailing a picture hanger into the wall could cause lead poisoning.

2014 PRIOR to 2014 the legal definition for “lead free” was plumbing fixtures with a lead content of less than 8%.  In 2014, the term was redefined to include only fixtures with a lead content of .25% and newly installed fixtures must use the “lead free” materials, but this did not apply to fixtures currently in use. *4

2016 EPA considering a more ‘proactive approach’ to replacing lead pipes. *2

2016 Some major US cities still have 100 percent lead piping bringing water from the utilities to homes and businesses. *8

2016  Hundreds of tons of the lead in paint that covered the walls of houses, apartment buildings and workplaces across the United States remains in place almost four decades later…*2

2016 EPA officials addressing Plumbing Manufacturers International said that the EPA has reason to believe that faucets are being imported into the U.S. that contain lead in excess of the SDWA requirements of 11 parts per billion. *8

It is a shame if action is not taken when all the ingredients for successful prevention exist.  *6

Be Safe, Christine

*1 Candace Heckman, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter

*2 Arthur Delaney Huffpost

*3 Wikipedia

*4 Brian Oram PG, Special report #3,

*5 Alexandra Ossola

*6 Sven Hernberg, MD PHD

*7 Werner Troesken & Patricia E Beeson

*8 PMI Plumbing Manufacturers International

*9 Stephen Mihm

*10 Richard Rabin, MSPH




Water is Life

Water is life, life is water.  Our bodies are made of water and the type of water we put into our bodies is important.  Not only clean, non-toxic water, but we now have the option of drinking alkaline water.  Alkaline water, like high alkaline foods, works as a natural anti oxident in your body, fighting diseases and illness. This alkaline water filter can be placed next to your kitchen faucet or anywhere that you have a water line. Using electricity, it ionizes the water to create your choice of 7.0, 8.0, 9.0 or 10.0 ph water.  It also has the ability to create acid water used for cleaning and sterilization.  This is the water that is able to remove pesticides from your fruits and vegetables.  This one unit provides an abundance of health benefits.

Our journey to natural water filtratration, harvesting and storage has led us to commit to an aesthetic that matches our spirit.  This water feature, created by Vidal Bitton, is part of a larger rainwater harvesting system that we are working on.  Besides 

the beauty and the 'zen' of the design, first pond is going to be filled with water plants that naturally clean the water.  The visual of natural materials and plants unites with the sound of water to create a peaceful relaxing area to be in.

Finally, our water journey leads us to a river rock style floor that, as in the water fall, commands instant relaxation as you enter the Wellness center.  Our center has a 'shoes off' rule at the door so everyone gets the pleasure of walking on this wonderful floor.

All related to water, all related to healing and wellness, all features that benefit our lives.  




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