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Newsletter: Greywater Law, Gaviotas Eco Village,
Water Quality, Web Design

November 2002

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Dear Ecological living enthusiasts:

Welcome to the first Oasis Design newsletter!

Oasis design is a family-owned business with over twenty years of experience making original designs for living better, cheaper, and more ecologically. Through our web site you can check out a range of designs for water, wastewater and greywater systems, as well as information on bicycles and ecological living.

The 300 page site and our three books cover only a small percentage of our designs. This newsletter will alert you when new material is added, and give a glimpses of what's happening behind the scenes. (Note: you can now Vote for new content to be made available.

Please Email us feedback on the newsletter—you'd rather it be longer,
shorter, more personal, less personal, whatever—by replying to this

(Sorry—e mail volume probably precludes an individual
response; but we will use feedback to direct future issues).

New Mexico greywater law expedition

Last month the New Mexico State Legislature hired me to come out and advise them on the pending revision of their greywater law.

By a sliver of new moon light, I rode my bicycle out of our canyon, down the mountain, touched the pacific, then flew out to New Mexico.

My advice to New Mexico can be summarized thusly: Copy Arizona.

Arizona's greywater law was passed in 2001. It allows small (less than 400 gallons a day) greywater systems which meet a list of reasonable requirements to be built without going through a permitting process. This great advance in greywater law is described extensively at our new Greywater Policy Central.

Greywater policy center

In the course of my New Mexico research, we made a new subsite, the "Greywater policy center" which is loaded with info on greywater regulation, including a transcript of my testimony to the New Mexico legislature, the text of the three part Arizona greywater law, and several other pages of interest. If you have info on conditions in your state or country, especially including electronic copies or web addresses of codes, please  Email us  and we'll add your info.

Understanding water quality

Few people understand the commonly used measurements for microbiological water quality. What the heck does it mean that there are "52 fecal coliforms/100ml of water? Is it good to drink? To wash dishes in? To bath in? Irrigate with?

The average person, or even engineers and scientists who don't have a public health or microbiology background wouldn't have a clue.

In fact, these units are so obscure that even people who work with them every day for years and make important decisions based on test results often have little sense of how to relate contamination either to cause or effect in a quantitative way. Our newFecal coliform counts page casts light on this obscure subject.

Gaviotas Eco Village

While I was in New Mexico, I went to a conference on the Gaviotas Eco Village in Colombia.

The book Gaviotas : A Village to Reinvent the World (Amazon) reads like "Ecotopia"--except it is nonfiction. Super inspiring.

Web design

We've been overhauling our our web site. Web design and ecological systems design are quite similar in many ways. If you have any comments or suggestions (or notice any more typos) please  Email us .

We've posted a page with some of the outstanding Web design resources we've found.


Ecologically yours,