Waterwise Wednesday: Trees Tame Stormwater

Trees play a critical role in managing our city’s stormwater runoff. Enjoy this interactive poster from the Arbor Day Foundation highlighting the role trees play in urban stormwater management.

https://www.arborday.org/trees/stormwater.cfm

Waterwise Wednesday: Cold Weather, Hot Water

We tend to compensate for cold temperatures with hotter showers and running water longer to make sure the water is definitely warm before sticking our hands under the tap.

Collect the water that runs while waiting for the warmer water for plants, pets, cooking, or drinking. Chances are, you’ll be saving two to eight gallons – plenty to take care of several tasks that don’t require hot water.

Photo: nikkytok

POROUS PAVEMENT

Porous Pavement

Porous pavement allows stormwater and snow melt to pass through voids in the paved surface and infiltrate into the subbase. This type of drainage allows for less chance of ice on the roads to to quicker dispersal time. Porous pavement may be constructed from four basic material types:

  1. Asphalt
  2. Concrete
  3. Paver Blocks
  4. Plastic Grid Systems

For more information on porous pavement please visit www.werf.org

Waterwise Wednesday: The Twelve Wells of Scottsbluff

Twelve wells supply the City of Scottsbluff’s drinking water. We have no need to add chlorine or chemicals because of the high quality groundwater. The wells pump an average 4 million gallons a day to supply residents, businesses, and industry within the City.

Because we rely on groundwater it is important to avoid contaminating our supply. Materials like fertilizers, pesticides, gasoline, oil, road salts and chemicals move through soil and seep into groundwater supplies making it unsafe and unfit for human use. Please preserve our water supply with proper use and care of chemicals, cars, and other substances that can contribute to ground, and groundwater, pollution.

POCKET WETLANDS

Pocket Wetland

Pocket wetlands in urban areas filter, clean, and store water from multiple sources. They’re a place for rain and snow/ice melt to drain to. Wetlands act like sponges by holding flood waters and keeping rivers at normal levels. Multiple types of designs for pocket wetlands exist, with the volume, dry storage, and pond depth being the deciding differences. For more information on pocket wetlands please visit www.werf.org

Waterwise Wednesday: Natural Clog Buster

Got a slow moving drain? Skip caustic chemicals and flush the drain with vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar and baking soda can clear out grease and dissolve organic material trapped in your pipes.

Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain. Then sprinkle one cup of baking soda into the drain, quickly followed by a cup of vinegar. Insert the drain cap or a rag to keep the bubbles working in the pipe. Let the mixture sit in the pipes for 15 minutes to an hour Finish with one more flush of boiling water down the pipes.

Water Quality Wednesday: Drops to Watts

Ever considered the electrical cost of water?

“Homes with electric water heaters, for example, spend one-fourth of their total electric bills just to heat water,” according to EPA. It takes energy to pump, treat, deliver and heat the water we use. Running a faucet for five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours.

Pay yourself, literally, by using Water Sense and Energy Star qualified devices like water heaters, dishwashers, sprinkler systems, shower heads, toilets and faucets. They’re designed to save both water and electricity.

 

 

Waterwise Wednesday: Policy Works

Researchers, led by Estelle Chaussard from the University of Buffalo, link ground water recovery in Santa Clara Valley California to the state’s newly instated water conservation efforts—policies that diverted surface water to refill aquifers

In 2013, interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSARa) measured a 2-centimeter decrease in ground-level elevation, followed by another 3 centimeters in 2014. The research team estimates a groundwater loss of about a tenth of a cubic kilometer caused the ground to shrink or lower.

Ground surfaces began to expand and rise in September 2015, rising nearly 2 centimeters over the next two years and were at pre-study levels by the end of 2016. This reflects the same time surface water diversion policy went into effect.

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MEET OUR STREET SWEEPERS

Meet Our Street Sweepers

Street sweepers are an effective tool against pollutants on the street getting into the storm sewer system. But to be effective they must move slowly. Studies have shown the optimum speed for a sweeper is 5 miles per hour. Fortunately, they are big-white- and have flashing lights to alert you of their slower speeds. Please proceed with caution when you see these slow moving vehicles.

Waterwise Wednesday: Levees of Leaves

  Falling leaves signal the official arrival of Autumn. Put leaves to good use as insulating mulch in a garden bed, make them into compost, or shred them across the lawn as a natural fertilizer. Left to lie in gutters, leaves quickly clog storm drains leading to flooding in a Fall storm and nutrient pollution as the leaves degrade in the storm sewer. Pile ’em up and enjoy the benefits of leaves next spring!