Waterwise Wednesday: Pet Blizzard Protection

Most animal deaths in winter storms are caused by dehydration. Take precautions to insure the safety of your animals and pets.

Pawprint in snow
Photo © Dmitry Maslov

– Move animals to sheltered areas with a supply of non-frozen water

– Ensure their shelters can withstand wind, heavy snow and ice

– Provide access to high ground unimpeded by fencing or other barriers for when the snow and ice melt and flooding potential increases

Waterwise Wednesday: The First Flush

The First Flush is the initial stormwater runoff that picks up pollutants as it flows over surfaces. The photos below show what the first flush looks like at two Scottsbluff outfalls.


The swirl sheen indicates oil and grease washed off the roads by the stormwater runoff.
Murky gray water of the first flush carrying sediment, oils, heavy metals and other pollutants.
The clear water on top is clean groundwater that typically flows from this outfall. The murky gray water is first flush stormwater mixing with the clean groundwater as it travels to the North Platte River.

Waterwise Wednesday: Water Cost

Water is essential in the production of our food. And with greater awareness of water conservation those processes are changing our processing and consuming of food.

-Ag research looks for higher yields with less water
-Food factories develop less water intensive production methods
-Consumers shop local, eat whole/fresh foods, and reduce meat consumption

For reference, one liter equals about one quart in the graphic below.

No photo description available.

Water Wise Wednesday: Another Way to Tell Time

A drip a second from a leaky faucet sends five gallons of water down the drain in a day. An hour could be measured as 3,364 drips or about 3 3/4 cups of water.

According to the US Geological Survey, a typical drip is between 1/5 and 1/3 of one milliliter. Using 1/4 of a milliliter as an average, the USGS estimates that roughly 15,140 drips from a faucet equals one gallon of water.

In the end, it’s probably easier (and cheaper) to just set the clock ahead for Daylight Savings Time this Sunday.

Copyright: Dreamstime.com

Waterwise Wednesday: Water $avings

Photo © Vladimir Kindrachov

“If all U.S. households installed water-saving features, water use would decrease by 30 percent, saving an estimated 5.4 billion gallons per day. This would result in dollar-volume savings of $11.3 million per day or more than $4 billion per year.” – USGS 2015 Water Census

Waterwise Wednesday: Water Business

Water conservation ranks as a “top five” priority for the next decade for 99% of business managers surveyed according to WaterUseitWisely.com.

Try these tips and see how much your business can save:

1. Learn where your company uses water – landscape, restrooms, break rooms, and create usage goals for those areas.

2. Shut off water to unused areas to eliminate waste from leaks or unmonitored use.

4. Create a goal of how much water your company can save and publish the company’s monthly water use to show progress toward those goals.

5. Educate employees on good water habits through newsletters and posters.

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Waterwise Wednesday: Ghost Apples

Another interesting winter phenomena . . .

A “Ghost Apple” occurs when freezing rain coats rotting apples before they fall, the apple turns mushy and eventually slips out, leaving the icy shell still hanging on the tree.


February 6, 2018 Ghost Apple in the Fruit Ridge area of Keith County, Michigan. Photo: Woodtv8

Waterwise Wednesday: Thanks, Ellen

Ellen Swallow Richards

Ellen Swallow Richards is more well known as the Mother of Ecology and founder Family and Consumer Science or Home Economics, but we credit her with modern municipal sewage treatment too.

In 1887, Richards and her associates conducted a water quality study of Massachusetts’ inland waters which were polluted with municipal sewage and industrial waste. This led to the to the first state water-quality standards in the nation and the first modern municipal sewage treatment plant, in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Richards served concurrently as official water analyst for the Massachusetts State Board of Health and as an instructor in MIT’s sanitation chemistry program for ten years, 1887-1897.

Photo: Science History Images

Waterwise Wednesday: Hot and Bothered

Heating water uses about 18 percent of a home’s energy consumption according to the Energy Department. Save money, energy, and frustration by employing these simple tips for hot water:

1. Lower the temperature and reduce the amount of energy required to keep the water hot. The Energy Department recommends 120 degrees.

2. Install pressure-compensating aerators on taps. These inexpensive devices regulate the volume of water that comes from the tap, reducing hot water demand.

3. Low-flow fixtures also reduce the demand for hot water.

4. Insulate hot water pipes to keep unused hot water warmer for longer.

5. Employ high-efficiency appliances. They use less water; therefore reducing the need to heat it.