Sunday, July 30, 2006

WARNING: this post has been recycled...


The weekend vote by the residents of Toowoomba, rejecting a plan to add treated sewage to the town's water supply, has forced me to recycle this post for the betterment of all mankind.


Apparently, Sydneysiders are not prepared to drink recycled sewage, even if it is 'treated to drinking water standard and safe', the Utilities Minister, Frank Sartor said recently as he defended plans for a desalination plant. Mr Sartor based his claim on a telephone survey of 600 people by UMR Research on behalf of the NSW State Government. This was strangely at odds with the results of an online SMH poll on the subject, to which more than 10,000 people responded.
The Greens predictably accused the Government of asking loaded questions in the survey to get the results it wanted.
Judge for yourself.


"Hello, Fingers...this is Sally from UMR Research calling on behalf of the NSW State Government. Do you have a couple of minutes to answer a short survey on Sydney's drinking water?”
"Yes, sure...water is an important issue. How can I help you?”
"We were just wondering if you’d like to drink recycled sewage, including toilet water that is treated to drinking-water quality.”
"I'd rather not."
"May I ask why?”
"Well, because it's sewage."
"Would you feel better about the idea if we told you the drinking quality of our recycled sewage would be assured by the NSW Government, which as you know is also responsible for the state’s magnificent rail network?”
“You mean the same government that keeps redefining the word ‘punctual’, so that a train running 2 hours late is deemed to be on time?”
“Yes.”
“Then no, I wouldn’t, unless you are prepared to redefine the word ‘better’ so that it means much, much worse.”
"What would you say if we told you this approach is taken throughout Europe, where recycled sewage is put back into major rivers and then used further downstream to meet the next city's drinking-water requirements?”
"I would say that if I had to live there, it would be as far upstream as was Europeanly possible."
"Would it sway your opinion if we re-branded and re-marketed our recycled sewage under the name…‘Renewable Water’?”
"No, not even if you called it 'Sparkling Effluescence' and promised to supply it using fluted, cut-crystal pipes."
"So it’s not necessarily the term 'recycled sewage' that causes you concern?”
"No, it's the contents of the 'recycled sewage' that causes me concern."
“Are you aware of the successful campaign in Singapore, which is now adding 1% recycled sewage into its reservoirs, and would you be more open to drinking our recycled sewage if it was mixed with rainwater from Warragamba Dam?"
“You mean like a sewage shandy?”
“Precisely.”
“What sort of mix is the government considering?”
“Well, given the current level of Warragamba Dam, we’d be looking to add 94% recycled sewage to the existing rainwater. Of course this would reduce slightly if we got a good downpour soon.”
“I see.”
"Now, how would you feel about paying a lot more in the future for our recycled sewage than you do presently for fresh, clean drinking water?”
"The same way I feel now about paying a lot more to watch recycled sewage at the movies, than I used to pay to watch fresh, clean ideas."
"And finally, please describe your feelings on the proposal from the following response list: very comfortable, mildly comfortable, mildly uncomfortable or very uncomfortable..."
"Well, if the universe is very big, then I would be very uncomfortable."
"OK. Thanks for your time."
"Cheers."

27 comments:

mushroom said...

Can i recycle my comments then?

Georgia said...

I may recycle a man tonight.

fingers said...

I couldn't remember where this thing was posted ??
I know it became a standing joke trying to get Dom to put it on RADAR.
I thought Mal put it on WWW but I couldn't find it so I just sort of tacked it up here...

Georgia said...

You e-mailed it to me at least two years ago. I may have still been working on Slimming magazine at the time under Bloody Mary's reign of terror. But it is tres amusing.

IndianGirl said...

A magazine that slims you while you read it, that is ingenious

WJ said...

It was a matter of time, Georgia. I hear a good man in Dubai is rarer than a wadi in the desert.

"Slimming magasine" sounds like a cyberpunk drug-taking activity...

fingers said...

You actually lost weight by eating the magazine rather than reading it, which was by far the better use for it...

Georgia said...

Eating the mag would probably be far tastier than some of the yucky diet food products that advertised with us too.

There are men galore here in Dubai but the quality varies. Weirdly, I keep dating men called Matt.

fingers said...

Yet ironically it's usually them wiping their feet on you as they leave...

actonb said...

I remember it on www - didn't it get posted on sts
http://www.welcometowallyworld.com/display/ShowPost?moduleId=331952&discussionId=7520&postId=87244
Radar's downfall.

I thought it was funny then too!

fingers said...

Good work, Mc Garrett.
I was looking for a title along the lines of 'Cheers'.
Anyway, I'm just finishing a new, original, topical post.
This was just blog-filler...

Anita said...

I didn't get the joke at first. I was thinking, "Wow! Those Aussies could learn a lot from us! We gave up on the government and everyone buys water from a much more trusted source - Corporations! Because corporations are concerned with product quality and ceeertainly not the bottom line."

I just don't drink water anymore. I'm learning to enjoy dehydration.

W said...

Still funny the second time fingers.

welcome to wallyworld said...

Red and green should never be seen except on a gypsy queen.

Ms Smack said...

I love your sense of humour.

Blonde Vigilante said...

That's just rather disgusting. I'm sure it's drinkable, but the thought of drinking my own shit is just down right nasty.

Mountjoy said...

I'd suggest if you are "drinking" your own shit, then medical help is required... or at least 200g of cheddar/colby/jarlsberg.

IndianGirl said...

I'd try shit with sugar on top sandwiches first....

Odly Amore said...

mmmm, nothing like a hot recycled poo shower to start the day on a happy note...

IndianGirl said...

tubgirl?

Anita said...

Maybe drinking shit is fun and we're all just closed-minded. Fun like tossing the salad fun.

You guys are just a bunch of prudes. Except indiangirl. She seems down with it.

fingers said...

As the T-shirt I wore inside The Sistine Chapel said, "EAT SHIT !!! 1000 billion flies can't be wrong !!"...

Georgia said...

Hard to believe you are still single, Fingers... Do you also have one of those oh-so-hilarious T-shirts with the bow tie and ruffled shirt printed on the front?

fingers said...

Well, not anymore.
I think I ditched the bow-tie shirt at the same time as the skeleton shirt...

mushroom said...

Dont forget the piano key necktie

Georgia said...

And the ever-stylish matching piano key braces to hold the trousers up...

p-off said...

The problem with the recycled sewage plant proposed for Toowoomba is that it just would not work.

It is not possible to produce 11,000 ML of recycled water from 8,000 ML of sewage. Toowoomba City Council also had nowhere for the RO waste stream to go. Acland Coal did not want it. Singapore pumps its RO waste stream into the sea.

The plant could never have been built for $68 million - closer to $150-200 million would be more accurate when you take into account the hundreds of acres of evaporation ponds required which were not included in the budget.

Regardless of your view on recycled water use, the no vote in Toowoomba was correct because the proposal was a dud.