Monthly archive for November 2010

How does planting trees and grasses help?

     Siltation/erosion/sedimentation is the #1 pollutant in our watershed.  The grasses will help to settle out suspended sediment in the water to help hold down the soil that could be washed away because there is nothing to hold down the barren soil when the water comes rushing down during a rain event.        Grasses filtrate sediment by holding water for a longer period of time so the sediment settles to the bottom instead of traveling downstream.        Removal of nutrients from the water before it passes downstream.          Plants produce enzymes which will absorb and “eat” bacteria         Natural removal of chemical pollutants like fertilizers and waste materials removes nitrogen, phosphorous and toxins from surface water.         Creating more shade will help to create Dissolved Oxygen that is needed in the water for fish and other wildlife to “breathe.”         Floods problems can be alleviated – grassy knolls and trees can capture, store and slowly release water over a longer period of time         Protect shorelines through reduction of destructive energy from fast moving/ rising water         Alleviate pools of standing, stagnant water so West Nile will not have the opportunity to

Read more

60 Million Fish Dead/Year; New Permits now in place! GOOD NEWS

Recapping this article; The FirstEnergy’s Bay Shore plant kills more fish than all others in Ohio combined and is one of the largest sites for fish kills in the region. Bay Shore kills up to 46 million adults and 14 million juveniles a year whenoperating at full capacity & estimates 209 million fish eggs and 2.2 trillion microscopic fish in the larval form being pulled through screens and killed inside the plant each year.  What a shame, but permits now in place, should be at least better! http://toledoblade.com/article/20101120/NEWS16/11190362/-1/OPINION04 State EPA renews Bay Shore’s permit Lower fish kills factor in decision By TOM HENRY BLADE STAFF WRITER FirstEnergy Corp. is getting the chance to prove that its dual strategy for reducing fish kills at its Bay Shore power plant in Oregon will work. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Friday announced it will renew the utility’s wastewater-discharge permit at the plant for 4 1/2 years, from Jan. 1 through July 31, 2015.  The permit calls for the same reduction in fish kills that had been proposed in a draft document that went out for public comment last spring – at least 80 percent fewer impinged, or killed from being trapped against the

Read more

Mercury Contamination in 96% of Wastewater Discharge Samples from Public Treatment Facilities (USGS)

High Mercury Levels Found in Water Throughout Indiana http://www.wqpmag.com/High-Mercury-Levels-Found-in-Water-Throughout-Indiana-newsPiece22021 USGS study shows that rain and wastewater discharges are sources November 18, 2010         Mercury contamination in water and fish throughout Indiana has routinely exceeded levels recommended to protect people and wildlife, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). About 1 in 8 fish samples tested statewide had mercury that exceeded the recommended safety limit for human consumption. The causes include mercury in the rain and mercury going down the drain, according to a recently released federal study. The most significant source of mercury to Indiana watersheds is fallout from the air. Much of the mercury in the air comes from human activity. In Indiana, coal-burning power plants emit more mercury to the air each year than any other human activity. In urban areas, wastewater discharge contributes a substantial portion of mercury to waterways. These are among the key findings of a comprehensive study of mercury in the state’s watersheds during the past decade by the USGS in partnership with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). “Indiana has been a national leader in understanding its mercury problems through a long-term statewide network of monitoring,” said USGS hydrologist

Read more

20 Things You Didn't Know About Water

DiscoverMagazine.com 2009 by Rebecca Coffey 1. Water is everywhere – there are 332,500,000 cubic miles of it on earth’s surface.  But less than 1% of it is fresh and accessible, even when you include bottled water. 2. And “fresh” can be a relative term.  Before 2009, federal regulators did not require water bottlers to remove E. coli. 3. Actually, E. coli doesn’t sound so bad.  In 1999 the Natural Resources Defense Council found that one brand of spring water came from a well in an industrial parking lot near a hazardous wasted dump. 4. Cheers! The new Water Recovery System on the International Space Station recycles 93% of astronauts’ perspiration and urine, turning it back into drinking water. 5. Kurdish villages in northern Iraq are using a portable version of the NASA system to purify water from streams and rivers, courtesy of the relief group Concern for Kids. 6. Ice is a lattice of tetrahedrally bonded molecules that contain a lot of empty space. That’s why it floats. 7. Even after ice melts, some of those tetrahedrons almost always remain, like tiny ice cubes 100 molecules wide.  So every glass of water, no matter what its temperature, comes on the

Read more

Did you know, why plastic bags blow?

I took 2 weeks to make my Halloween costume.  I collected 4 women’s household plastic bags and about 20 of my own. All the bags were sewn onto a trench coat to make “Bag Monster.”  My Bag Monster had 688 attached bags that I wore for Halloween…and passed out this fact sheet.  If you thought I looked ridiculous, think of how ridiculous bags truly are… bag-monster.doc    Why plastic bags blow? *Plastic bags start as crude oil, natural gas, or other petrochemical derivatives. *The first plastic “baggies” for bread, sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables were introduced in the United States in 1957. Plastic trash bags started appearing in homes and along curbsides around the world by the late 1960s and handed out by the millions in 1977. *A quarter of the plastic bags used in wealthy nations are now produced in Asia. *Only 0.6 percent of plastic bags are recycled – NOT EVEN A WHOLE PERCENT *News sources cite a 500-year estimate for a plastic bag to decompose in a landfill, while others prefer a more conservative 1,000-year lifespan. In full sunlight plastic bags can take as little as 20 years…but when plastics break down, they don’t biodegrade; they photodegrade. This

Read more

What to plant in yard, what NOT to plant?

Even though these plants are prohibited from being planted in natural areas or riverbanks, many of these plants are sold in nurseries to homeowners.  When planting the undesired foliage in our yard, they end up in natural areas and riverbanks.  The homeowners do not realize these plants are invasive.  Plants and trees are good…plants and trees that choke out diversity and natives are not so good.  Choose wisely! The following is a list: Scientific Name ~ Common Name ~ Why the tree or shrub is undesirable/invasive/susceptible to problems http://www.louisvilleky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/7BE8968C-8440-4002-8BAC-DA1206CBDD52/0/Appendix10BMarch06.pdf Fort Wayne and NE Indiana is Hardy Zone 4 – It is important to use plants adapted to our climate so they do not need to be watered after 1 year, because they will be watered naturally! This tells you many of the preferred trees http://www.uri.edu/ce/factsheets/sheets/sustman.pdf (start at pg. 7 if you would like the LIST) The following is a well written article that explains and documents how “Foreign Plants and Animals Conquering Native Species” ~ Why to plant the preferred trees rather than others http://www.courier-journal.com/article/2010309270009 This is more information on WHY to plant natives (University of Minnesota) and includes” submerged plants -http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/components/DG7447a.html

Read more