Thursday, October 2, 2014

A side trip to disinfecting an over looked part of raising plants and animals

Time to take a side trip on High Calorie Gardening.

I remember being a Spit Rat in my college days. I lived in a tent on a long Spit of land. My days were taken with working in a fish cannery. Sanitation was a big deal. The cannery had showers that we used before shift. We had a place close by to do laundry. Potable water was available not far from the beach where all our tents were. With all these precautions we still have people who would come down sick with some type of water borne illness.
I also remember helping out a friend who was guiding some tourists. They were told not to drink the water, only drink water we provided them. But the day was hot and the water cold and crystal clear. Two people decided to drink the water before we realized it. Both came down with beaver fever (Giardia).
There was also the time I had to get diphtheria shots so I could work out in the remote villages. It seemed that diphtheria was common in some areas. This was due to the use of honey buckets. Humans being humans people tended to let the five gallon buckets get more full than they should. The made it more likely that human waste would get spilled before the waste could make it to the dump site. This created a perfect breeding ground for diphtheria.
Another time I was with a group of hunters. We were debating shooting the cooks.  Because everyone but me came down with the runs and we found out that the cook was sick. Not only did not tell anyone he did not setup a proper cleaning station to wash his hands and sanitize the cooking gear after use. Thank god for IMODIUM® A-D. I took over cooking and used bleach water in the final rinse of all cook gear for the remainder of the trip. Everyone recovered before the trip ended.

On the garden side I have bleached seeds before germinating to lower my risk of disease. There are many methods to do this. But disinfecting my seeds, seeding planting gear, etc. saves a lot of problems in the long run. This brings me to the fact that there are different standard for disinfecting. Anything I am going to ingest has to be safe to ingest. So disinfecting water calls for a higher standard than what I use to disinfect areas and surfaces that my come in contact with food. I also have extreme disinfection when I am putting chicken waterier and feeders in very strong chlorine solutions to help strip everything off them. I have done that using lye with fish buckets. The five gallon fish buckets went into very strong 55 gallon tub of lye water. So a key is to know what you need to remove the risk you are trying to address. This removes a lot of work. For example I can have high chlorine rinse water that would be unsuitable for drinking water. I can use straight untreated rain water or shower grey water to flush my toilet. I may have a pool full of water just outside my door that I can only use for washing and flushing toilets because of the chemical added to it. Due to the chemical it may not be useable to water my garden. I may be collecting rain water from my roof and diverting the first runoff. But what happens if a raccoon took a dump on the shingles? Raccoon round worm anyone?

So there is a hierarchy of risk based on water use and types and sources of contamination of anything that comes in contact with things you may ingest. A key is to identify the most likely risks and determine means to mitigate those risks.

 Finally disinfecting tools, seed flats, etc. can go a long way in preventing problems. I use a lot of used materials. I want to reuse someone else pots but not their diseases.


Filtering the water before disinfection methods is used.

There are tons of commercial water filters on the market. I am only looking at simple filters you can create.

Five-Gallon Bucket Filter for Rooftop Harvested Rainwater

Design of Water Filter for Third World Countries.
Potters without boarders

Tree branch filter - How to Build a Plant Xylem Water Filter




Boiling is the surest method to make water safe to drink and kill

disease-causing microorganisms.

Boil water notice general information

Non-scented, household chlorine bleach that contains a chlorine compound to disinfect water.

Emergency Drinking Water Disinfection Procedures

Calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water – beware pool shock with added chemicals.

World Health Organization – Calcium Hypochlorite

Chlorine tablets to disinfect filtered and settled water.

Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets – example of one brand. Many brands to choose from.

Tincture of iodine to disinfect filtered and settled water.

How To Purify Water Using Iodine Tincture. Basic instructions, water should be filtered first.

Iodine tablets to disinfect filtered and settled water.

Polar Pure Water Disinfectant With Iodine Crystals. Example of iodine tablets, many to choose from. Filter water first.

Sodium hypochlorite poisoning

Commonly found in pool shock and pool treatment is not safe for treating drinking water.

Sodium hypochlorite is a chemical commonly found in bleach, water purifiers, and cleaning products.

Swallowing sodium hypochlorite can lead to poisoning. Breathing sodium hypochlorite fumes may also cause poisoning, especially if the product is mixed with ammonia.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or a local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Iodine poisoning

Iodine is a naturally occurring chemical. Small amounts are needed for good health. However, large doses can cause harm. Children are especially sensitive to the effects of iodine.

NOTE: Iodine is found in certain foods. However, there is normally not enough iodine in foods to harm the body. This article focusses on poisoning from exposure to non-food items that contain iodine.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or a local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Solar Disinfection of water (SODIS)

Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage in Developing Countries

TiO2: A New Kind of Water Treatment

Removing Heavy metals from water.

Cilantro - It’s a kitchen staple for curry enthusiasts, but new research suggests there could be more to coriander than its tangy flavor. A team of US undergraduates have shown the herb has excellent heavy metal binding properties, which they say could help provide people in developing countries with safer drinking water.

Impact of Low Cost Biosorbent Potatoes Peels for Biosorption of Lead

The Use of Plants for the Removal of Toxic Metals from Contaminated Soil
(Metals are absorbed in ionic state in water from soils).

Well Disinfection

Indiana Department of Environmental Management Well Disinfection
How to Shock Chlorinate or Disinfect Your Private Water Supply or Water Well

Overview of disinfectants and disinfection

Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008 CDC

Sterilization and disinfection

Characteristics of Selected Disinfectants – Iowa State University

Disinfectants and Disinfection: A Guide to Reducing Disease Buildup

Lye – sodium hydroxide

Lye (soda lye) contains approximately 94 percent sodium hydroxide, a very effective disinfectant. For disinfectant purposes, lye shold be applied as a 2 percent solution in hot or boiling water (one pound of lye to 5.5 gallons of water. Always add lye to water and remember it is highly corrosive!

Lime as in quicklime

Lime (calcium oxide, quicklime) is one of the least expensive disinfectants and is reasonably good for use
around livestock. Powdered lime may be scattered about yards or lots or swept over concrete floors for general disinfection. Since it tends to dry the skin and hoofs of animals, sometimes causing cracks that invite foot rot, avoid using excessive amounts of lime on concrete floors.

Soaps and detergents

Soaps, in general, are mild disinfectants. They are antibacterial against certain gram-positive organisms such as the common skin-inhabiting species, but are much less effective against the gram-negative microorganisms associated with fecal contamination. The primary value of soaps as disinfectants is in facilitating the mechanical removal of contaminated organic matter. Most chemical disinfectants require the removal of organic matter to really be effective. Soap is use to remove this organic matter before chemical treatment.

Halogens used as disinfectants

Talking chlorine and iodine, and halogen compounds have potent antibacterial effects. In the presence of organic matter, iodine is more active than chlorine.

Using alcohol as disinfectant

Ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol is commonly used as a dilution of 70 percent by weight or 78 percent by volume for cleaning and disinfecting. This would be 156 proof booze so your normal 80 proof stuff just does not cut it. This concentration has grater germicidal activity than either more concentrated or more dilute solutions.
Isopropyl alcohol has the same antibacterial properties and is used in the same concentration. It is generally cheaper than Ethyl but toxic to ingest.

Using Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide as a disinfectant

Study showing Bleach (6%), Hydrogen Peroxide (3%), and distilled white vinegar (5%) at killing bacteria at different temperatures.

Making Cider Vinegar at Home

Alkalies as disinfectants – caution required when using them.

Alkalies have been used as germicidal agents since antiquity. A pH greater than 9 will inhibit most bacteria and is destructive to many viruses.

Sulfur Candles

Sulfur often was used USA in the past as a fumigant for bed bugs. Ready-made candles were a convenient form for use by householders in those days. Sulfur is still used to fumigate green houses in UK. Sulfur candles are sold in UK as a disinfectant for those hard to reach areas of empty greenhouses. The burning of sulfur produces sulfur dioxide and lesser amounts of sulfur trioxide. Both are toxic compounds and corrosive !

You can find greenhouse Sulfur Burners on Amazon
“Gro1 Greenhouse Sulfur Burner Vaporizer”

Wood Ash Lye - potassium hydroxide

Potassium hydroxide can be indirectly made from wood ash by the addition of calcium hydroxide,[7] and in this form is known as caustic potash or lye. Because of this property, wood ash has also traditionally been used to make wood-ash soap.

Several ways to extract wood ash lye. What is interesting is that the best lye comes from very hot fire. That is exactly what you get from a rocket stove. You are looking for the white ash. This is what you are leaching the Potassium hydroxide from.  As I side not It seems you can use a good batch of wood ash lye to make bio-diesel.

Ionic Silver as a disinfectant – requires power source

Antibacterial Activity and Mechanism of Action of the Silver Ion in Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli

Some things to think about before buying a ionic silver generator.

Disinfectants Copper-silver ionization – some history

Salt as a disinfectant

Salt water mouthwash rinses are an excellent short term treatment when you have wounds in the mouth, for instance, when you’ve had teeth removed.

Salt water chlorination
Salt water chlorination is a process that uses dissolved salt (2,500–6,000 ppm) as a store for the chlorination system] The chlorine generator (also known as salt cell, salt generator, salt chlorinator) uses electrolysis in the presence of dissolved salt (NaCl) to produce hypochlorous acid (HCIO) and sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), which are the sanitizing agents already commonly used in swimming pools. As such, a saltwater pool is not actually chlorine-free; it simply utilizes a chlorine generator instead of direct addition of chlorine.

Misconceptions about Preserving Foods with Salt

HEAT and Pressure

All American Non Electric Sterilizer – this is the same guys who make the great pressure cookers

Non electric Autoclaves and Sterilizers available for sale

Ionized Plasma – requires power source

Ionized Plasma water treatment

Ambient Gas Plasma: A sustainable and viable tool for infection control in the developing world

Long-term antibacterial efficacy of airplasma-activated water
Ozone generator – requires power source

Prozone Water Products PZ4 110v Ozone System Generator for Residential Pools

Cistern – roof washers – sand filter – chemical treatment of water

Plans for Developing a Rainwater Cistern or Hauled Water Supply

Plans for Developing a Rainwater Cistern or Hauled Water Supply in Ohio.

RainHarvest Systems - Offering the largest and most complete inventory of rain harvesting systems and filtering supplies.

Comparison of the antibacterial activity of essential oils and extracts of medicinal and culinary herbs to investigate potential new treatments for irritable bowel syndrome.
The observed antibacterial activity of ethanolic extracts of coriander, lemon balm and spearmint leaves suggests a mechanistic explanation for the efficacy of a mixture of coriander, lemon balm and mint extracts against IBS in a published clinical trial.

The ongoing battle against multi-resistant strains: In-vitro inhibition of hospital-acquired MRSA, VRE, Pseudomonas, ESBL E. coli and Klebsiella species in the presence of plant-derived antiseptic oils


Disinfecting Soil, Seed Flats and Trays

Recycling and Reusing Seedling Trays and Pots in the Backyard Garden
Create a Garden Sterilization Area by Inoculating Soils with Bokashi
Manure Bokashi using lactobacillus to sterilize
Solar Soil Sterilizer Youtube with plans

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