Trickle Down Thursday: Pet Waste

Poop is gross. Pets may be cute but their poop is still gross. When their excrement is left on the ground, the bacteria and waste remnants wash easily into the storm drain during a rainfall and are delivered to the lakes and rivers we play in. Don’t go boating in a poop river. Please, pick up after your pet.

This study in the National Institutes of Health database discusses the types of pathogens found in dog waste and their resistance to our most common antibiotics:

Tuesday Tidbit: Sump Pump Summary

Do you have a sump pump in your home? What is it connected to? If it kicks on when you run the laundry or flush a below-grade toilet, you may have an ejector pump. These pumps are used when the appliances that create dirty water are positioned lower than the main sewer line leaving the house. Ejector pumps are very common with septic systems.

Ejector pumps look similar to sump pumps and function in a very similar way; the big difference is the water they output. Any ejector pumps need to be connected to the sanitary sewer where they can discharge water from sinks, washing machines, and basement toilets. Sump pumps put out clean water which needs to be discharged into your lawn or the storm sewer system. This frees up valuable space in the sanitary sewer pipes for dirty water and reduces your chances for a sewer backup in your home.


Trickle Down Thursday: Sprinkler System Smarts

In-ground sprinkler systems can save time and be helpful. They can also be very expensive. Reduce your costs by watering wisely:

  • avoid over watering
  • adjust your sprinklers so you aren’t watering the house or the sidewalk
  • water in the early hours of the morning for the greatest benefit
  • shorten the water run-time to allow for better absorption
  • repair any leaks, clogged heads, or stuck solenoids

Information provided by:

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P.S. April is Stormwater Awareness Month. Omaha Stormwater celebrates each week with a “Did you know” fact on their website.

Trickle Down Thursday: April Fools

No Fooling! 193,000,000 gallons of used oil each year. That’s roughly equivalent to 17 Exxon Valdez oil spills. See what else the EPA has to say here:

Trickle Down Thursday: Construction Sites

The individuals working on a construction site are a first line of defense for our rivers. Fixing leaking equipment, using silt fences and designated construction entrances, and cleaning up as you go can keep your worksite clean. A clean worksite helps keep dirt, chemicals, and trash out of our streets and storm sewers. View the EPA’s guide to federal requirements here:

Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination: Household Hazardous Waste

Common household products (i.e.. batteries, cleaners, paints, medications, light bulbs) contain heavy metals and/or chemicals that are toxic to aquatic and human life. Don’t just throw them in the trashcan or pour them on the ground; dispose of them properly. Take them to our Household Hazardous Waste Facility or an appropriate disposal site. Click here to learn more:

Trickle Down Thursday: Groundwater

Groundwater in Grand Island isn’t a new thing. The city was established in the Platte River Valley in the 1860’s; early pioneers noted how high the groundwater was then.

Are you curious about groundwater levels near your property? Head to the Grand Island City Website- -our GIS Data & Mapping Viewer has all of our groundwater monitoring wells available at the click of a box. Turn on the Groundwater Layer by selecting the Infrastructure half-full pipe icon in the top right corner. The blue circles indicate monitoring wells; clicking on one will allow you to access the Groundwater Report for that well in the right-hand menu.

Groundwater Reports have statistics for the life of the monitoring well. You can see the record low groundwater level, record high groundwater level, current levels, and the ground elevation for comparison.

Illicit Discharge Detection & Eliminiation: Floor Drains

Illicit connections include floor drains. Do you have one in your building? Where does it go? Any floor drain connected to the storm drain needs to be plugged and removed. These drains were popular in the 1970’s and have been putting engine fluids and soapy washwater in our rivers and lakes for decades. These drains are long over-due to be fixed.

Trickle Down Thursday: Sump Pump Summary

Sump pumps are common tools in our area to keep basements dry. They work by acting as a collection point for the clean groundwater around the foundation of your property and then pump the water out into the yard or storm sewer.

If you have a sump pump on your property, make sure you are familiar with your pump. It is a good idea to do basic maintenance twice a year to ensure the sump will work when it is needed.

-Make sure the screen at the base of the pump isn’t clogged with sand or slime.

-Inspect the check valve, remove any buildup, and test it by pouring water into the sump.

-When you pour water into the sump, does it kick on at the correct water depth?

-Consider inspecting the discharge pipe for cracks or clogs to ensure the water is pumped far away from the foundation. Ideally, a discharge pipe should put the pumped water over grass so that it can soak in OR into existing underground storm sewer.

This is a good image of “What not to do

  • Don’t block the sidewalk with a solid pipe
  • Don’t discharge to the gutter. Instead: look for a storm drain, hire a plumber to connect directly into the storm sewer, or discharge on your property into a permeable surface like grass, rock, or a garden

Know that having a sump pump connected to the sanitary sewer is gambling with disaster. The sewer pipe may be close to capacity- your clean ground water could fill the pipe and cause a sewer backup into the closest available outlet: your home drains.

Need a little more instruction? This plumber made a video for sump pump owners: