Waterwise Wednesday: A Slight Delay

Autumn officially started on Monday, but turning of the leaves will be delayed until mid-October according to the Weather Channel.

Cooler temperatures coupled with less daylight prompts leaves to change color; however, warmer evening temperatures haven’t slowed chlorophyll production yet.

As a bonus, the extra moist summer should encourage brighter more vibrant colors once the leaves do change.

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

LEAVE IT ON THE LAWN

The City of Kearney has multiple street sweepers that run regular routes. These street sweepers are NOT designed to pick up only leaves. To get to their regular routes the street sweepers will be avoiding areas where it is obvious that the property owners have purposely moved leaves off their lawn onto the street.

Composting Ideas

Compost is ready to use when it is dark, brown and crumbly with an earthy odor. It should not be moldy and rotten. Compost should be somewhat fluffy and does not have to be powdery. The original materials should not be recognizable in the compost. Incompletely decomposed materials used in gardens will compete for nitrogen with the soil.

Waterwise Wednesday: Black Water

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Cities flush fire hydrants to make sure the hydrants work properly and rid the system mains of corrosion, rust, and sediment.

If faucet water is dark or discolored after a City hydrant flush simply run the tap until the water is clear again. The black sediment is naturally occurring maganese that has reacted with sodium hypochlorite that is used to protect water from contamination as it travels through the pipe system.

Rain Barrels on Display

By diverting the runoff from our roof, there will be a reduction in stormwater runoff into nearby waterways- such as the Wood River and Platter River. An average barrel costs between $50 and $120. You can make your own out of any used water tight container.

Waterwise Wednesday: Water Harvesting

Capture and reuse rain runoff to supplement regular watering and reduce demand on the public water system with these ideas.

1. Gently mound dirt along a plant’s dripline to hold and infiltrate runoff.

2. Re-use household wastewater from dehumidifiers or air conditioning condensers for irrigation.

3. Install a rain barrel or cistern. Rain barrels can store the water until the weather turns dry and is needed.

4. Plant a rain garden – the basin will hold runoff while providing the yard with color and pollinator habitat.

Photo via gilintx via Flickr CC

Stormwater Landscaping Ideas

This form of Stormwater Best Management Practice needs a few things to keep in mind: the infiltration rate must be slow enough to lose pollutants but fast enough to avoid prolonged periods of ponded water. It’s usually thought that 24 hours draw down time is optimal.

Waterwise Wednesday: Persistent Perchlorate


Photo © Laura Arredondo

Enjoy the Fourth of July fireworks. And please take time to carefully sweep firework launch and debris landing areas and properly dispose of the debris afterwards.

Perchlorate, a compound used as an oxidizing agent in fireworks (i.e., fuel to make the firework burn), persists in soil and water.

How persistent? Well, Mt. Rushmore National Memorial’s firework shows stopped in 2009. In a 2016 US Geological Survey high levels of perchlorate were still reported in the park – 38 micrograms in a groundwater sample and 54 micrograms/liter in a stream, both in excess of the EPA’s 15 micrograms per liter, and 274 times higher than samples taken outside the memorial park’s borders.