The coffee ring could be a new test for drinking water quality. Tap water leaves distinct patterns and whorls its dried residue, like a coffee ring. The markers indicate water hardness and alkalinity, as well as the presence of dissolved solids and metals.
Researchers at Michigan State University hope the ‘Coffee – Ring Effect’ will provide an inexpensive and accessible way for people to identify traits in their drinking water.
Photo: Yuto Ooi et al. CC- Modified from http://www.tandfonline.com/…/…/10.1080/14686996.2017.1314776
For many people, taking care of the environment is common sense. It’s also required by law.
Scottsbluff operates under the National Pollution Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) General Permit. The permit
encompasses six general areas:
– Public Education and Outreach
– Public Involvement
– Illicit Discharge, Detection and Elimination
– Construction Stormwater
– Post-construction Stormwater
– Good Housekeeping/Pollution Prevention for Municipalities
The city’s stormwater surcharge not only pays for MS4 infrastructure but also the programming that educates residents and become active in pollution prevention and preserving water quality.
Photo: Scottsbluff outfall SO-164 in June.
A good soil is just like a good recipe, they both need key ingredients to be successful. The two main ingredients in soil are sand and clay. Various other minerals like limestone, sulfer, and others are added to it in smaller doses. A “good” soil is considered a medium loam and roughly consists of:
- 10% coarse sand
- 45% fine sand
- 20% silt
- 15% clay
- 10% organic material
Please visit landscaping.about.com for more information on soil amending.
Bottled waters seem to flow from all sorts of exotic places like arctic glaciers, hidden bubbling springs and the tropical waters of Fiji. The US Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) identifies water sources to help consumers determine the source of their bottled water.
- Artesian water, groundwater, spring water and well water all come from an underground aquifer which may or may not be treated.
- Well water and artesian water are tapped through a well.
- Spring water is collected as it flows to the surface or via a borehole.
- Ground water can be either tapped by well or captured at the surface source.
- Bottled water may also come from a public water source (municipal water) and may be identified as coming from a community water system.
Heat generated from bacteria causes the compost pile to stay warm and active, no matter which season you’re in. Ideally, new material should be added to the composting system during turning and mixing to keep the pile the most active. Visit www.earth911.com to find more information on different composting methods including hot, cold, sheet, and trench composting. Also, to find out what items are good types of compost click here for lists of acceptable and unacceptable materials.
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It’s mid-summer, Panhandle temperatures rise and both the landscape and drought map begin to turn yellow and gold. According to the Drought Monitor, Scotts Bluff County is now experiencing abnormally dry conditions.
The water we use now greatly affects the supply we have in the future – especially if drought conditions spread and continue. Scottsbluff’s water system relies on groundwater pumped through wells, instead of surface water, which replenishes very slowly. Dry or drought conditions cause less regeneration of the ground water supply. Please use water wisely and conservatively.