[permaculture] Types of plumbing pipe and tubing used in compost tea brewers, aquaculture, aquaponics, which is safest to use.

venaurafarm venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Wed Mar 27 14:38:22 EDT 2013

-------- Original Message --------
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 18:16:02 -0000
From: Tim Wilson <thegoodjob at hotmail.com>
To: compost_tea at yahoogroups.com

--- In compost_tea at yahoogroups.com, "Bryce Ruddock" <bruddockjr at ...> wrote:
> This is an interesting conversation and I have stayed out of it till
> now to see how it develops. I spent 32 years of my work career in the
> paint industry using many chemicals in a variety of ways so have
> managed to pick up a few precautionary practices along the way. Here
> is my opinion on PVC. The hard pipe PVC used in construction of water
> drainpipe lines both interior and exterior is supposedly okay to use
> since the chemical of most concern used in its manufacture is dibutyl
> tin oxide which industry tests claim is bound up in the plastic
> itself with no degradation over time and no leachate. I would think
> that use of the proper schedule of the plastic pipe for exterior use
> would ensure that any breakdown would not occur and any contamination
> of a water supply be prevented. Of course I still do not trust
> industry tests regarding leachates of chemicals and that is from
> years of watching the health data get updated from safe to toxic on
> MSDS sheets. Sometimes in the media the types of  butyl tin oxides
> get confused. Tributyl tin oxide for instance is used in the wood
> products industry as a fungicide. The stuff is inherently toxic and
> is classed as a biocide that is toxic to all life. It is not used as
> a stabilizer in the manufacture of PVC pipe. We used TBTI a lot in
> paints. PVC is normally a rather brittle plastic so to stabilize it
> the DBTI is added to make for a stronger pipe product. DBTI is
> however not used in the manufacture of flexible PVC packaging ,
> tubing, toys , etc. That would make those flexible applications as
> hard a the pipes. The issue with flexible PVC  is with the chemical
> agents used to soften the plastic, phthalates. Phthalates are toxic
> and damage the endocrine system. Many of them are carcinogenic. Many
> of them readily leach from the plastic. With such a bad rep it is
> safe to assume that phthalates would not be friendly to organisms we
> might to culture in a compost tea. I do not recommend flexible PVC
> tubing but with so few real alternatives that are priced to fit a
> budget we do need to sometimes compromise. A suggestion to those
> using PVC flexible tubing is to thoroughly wash the it before first
> use in tepid, not hot, water, with a mild non alkaline soap. This way
> one could hopefully remove any residual surface contamination of
> phthalates without degrading the plastic and releasing more of the
> same. When using the tubing for compost tea preparations it would be
> best to keep the temperature at the lowest level that will still
> enhance biological activity and to keep the pH as neutral as possible
> with the intent of reducing leachate from the tubing. If anyone is
> thinking of using a polycarbonate tubing- don't. Polycarbonates are
> as bad or worse than PVC and has BPA in them. I worked with it nearly
> every day in paints. It's nasty in the long run. So PVC tubing is
> maybe okay but with caveats as stated above. If anyone has had any
> luck with non plastic tubing, perhaps glass, or stainless,  it may be
> an option available from lab supply houses.     Bryce Ruddock
> ----- Original Message ----- From: jason_z at ... To:
> compost_tea at yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:33 AM

> I agree with Tim. PVC is certainly not the ideal material in that its
> not sustainable, however its cheap, easy to clean, used for potable
> water and durable.
> Hemp sounds good I'm sure bamboo could be used also?
> From my little bit of research it seems the Bioreactor at microbe
> organics.com or the 5 gallon KIS brewer would be great choices for a
> smaller farmer and the Microbulator for a larger farm.
> Natural farming in my opinion is all about sustainability and there's
> nothing sustainable about paying 4 or $5,000 for a tea brewer. I
> personally built my 5 gallon bucket with PVC air tubing and a eco
> plus commercial air pump. I have my eye on creating my own Bioreactor
> once I source a tank.

> --- In compost_tea at yahoogroups.com, "Tim Wilson" <thegoodjob@>
> wrote:

>> I would love to use some less harmful materials but then the price
>> would put the brewers out of reach of common folks.

>> The PVC we do use is marked potable for drinking water and it lasts
>> for a long time. The time when it is bad for the environment is
>> when it decomposes or burns.

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