Waterwise Wednesday: Holiday Pile-up

Holidays often increase water use for meals, laundry, dishes, and bathing which also increases the risk of clogs. If you experience a clogged drain here’s the DIY green tips to try before calling the plumber.

1. Plumber’s snake: A plumber’s snake can be inserted into a clogged pipe to either push or pull through a blockage. Clogs are either pushed or pulled up can then be disposed of safely in the garbage.

2. Vinegar and Baking Soda: Simply sprinkle a little baking soda into the drain, follow with equal parts of vinegar and you will notice it fizzes up, dispersing any fatty deposits. Let sit for 10-15 then follow with a flush of hot water.

3. Plunge it. A change in pressure can often shift a stubborn clog. Create a strong seal round the edge of the plunger. Keep water over the cup of the plunger and move it back and forth a few times. Periodically check to make sure the blockage is coming loose. Then remove and dispose of the clog in the garbage (if it is in a solid lump).

4. Use drain cleaners with chemicals as a last resort. Drain cleaners contain a number of chemicals, including bleaches, lye, caustic soda and sodium silicate. When these substances react with water they can release fumes that cause breathing problems, running eyes or skin irritations. Drain cleaners can also change the pH of water, in turn affecting organisms living in our waterways.

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Waterwise Wednesday: Thanks! For Saving Water on Thanksgiving

Here’s some ways to save water as you celebrate the holiday . . .

1. The Big Thaw. Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator instead of cold water. Remember, to put it in pan to catch leaking juices.

2. Bathe instead of shower. Wash vegetables in a large bowl of water, instead of under running water. Then use the water to soak the roasting pan or dirty utensils before washing them.

3. Steam instead of boil – not only will you use less water, you’ll also preserve more nutrients and vitamins.

4. Track the glass. Use wine glass charms, ribbon, or different color yarn to keep track of your glass throughout the day instead of reaching for clean one each refill. K

5. Easy reach. Keep one pitcher of cold water on the table for water glass refills. Keep a second to collect the half-full glasses at day’s end for plant or pet water.

6. Scrape dishes into the compost or trash rather than rinsing food scraps down the garbage disposal, which clogs pipes with oil and grease.

7. Thank goodness for dishwashers – ENERGY STAR – rated dishwashers can use as little as three gallons per load. If you have to wash dishes by hand, fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.

 

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Free photo 82950340 © creativecommonsstockphotos – Dreamstime.com

Waterwise Wednesday: Fighting for a Cause Has an Effect

Photo: Instagram.com/alisonsadventures
Nearly two years ago Alison Teal, Time Magazine’s Female Indiana Jones, posted a video taped in a polluted Los Angeles river which spurred California to ban the plastic bag.

To see more of Alison’s creative global environmental accomplishments check out her website below.

https://alisonsadventures.com/

Waterwise Wednesday: A New Part of the Food Chain?

Photo © publicdomainphotographs

It’s official, microplastics have invaded the world – including the human body. As microplastics travel through our world’s waterways, they reach the remotest of areas – and people. National Geographic details more…

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/10/news-plastics-microplastics-human-feces/

Waterwise Wednesday: Have a Green Halloween!

Use these tips for a cleaner more environmentally friendly night.

1. Walk, bike, or carpool your trick-or-treating route.

2. Collect treats in a reusable treat bag.

3. Keep candy wrappers or other trash from littering the sidewalk and gutters as you hop from house to house.

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos – Dreamstime.com

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Waterwise Wednesday: Congratulations!

Antelope Creek, which runs through the heart of Lincoln, has been removed from the national list of impaired waters.

Antelope Creek’s E. coli bacteria levels were more than 25 times the water quality standard when it was added to the Clean Water Act list of impaired waters in 2004.

Fifteen stormwater quality improvement projects, two major flood control projects, rain gardens, and permeable pavers have not only cleaned the creek, but made a viable outdoor recreation area with about eleven miles of bike trail.

Photo: Antelope Creek November 2014, L. Sato

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Waterwise Wednesday: Leafy Tips

Precautionary tips since the leaves are falling …

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1. Check and clear the gutters for leaves, if you haven’t already. Leaves can clog both street and building gutters, quickly causing flooding and water damage.

2. Wet leaves can be a slipping or fall hazard on sidewalks and curbs, so move leaves back to the yard or garden from the gutter.

3. Piles of leaves are fun to jump in, but also great habitat for beetles, mites, and other insects – and the animals that feed on them. So look before leaping into the pile.

Photo © Janeh15 – Dreamstime.com

Waterwise Wednesday: Preventative Pipe Protection

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As temperatures start dipping into freezing range, use these tips to protect your pipes and pocket book from plumbing repairs.

1. Turn off and drain the  sprinkler systems before the first hard freeze.

2. Disconnect hoses from outdoor faucets and turn off, or drain, the spigot.

3. Winterize unheated or vacant buildings to protect the pipes from freezing and bursting.

4. Insulate water pipes that are vulnerable to the cold.

5. Know the location of your water shut-off valve for your home to prevent water damage if a leak does occur.

Photo © Yury Kosourov

Waterwise Wednesday: Showstopping Colors

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The showcase of colors and texture – it’s one more reason to plant native. Over the next few weeks, the Panhandle will be transforming into a showcase of rich burgundy, reds, yellows, and tans among flowing seed heads, a sign of Fall in the high plains.

 

Photo: Milkweed seed head at East Overland Entryway by L. Sato

Waterwise Wednesday: Wind Down Watering

A cooler forecast heralds the official start of Autumn. Take nature’s cue and wind down lawn watering to once a week. According the Panhandle Bluegrass Calendar, now is the time for broad leaf weed control (like bindweed) too. Since broad leaf weeds stockpile nutrients to their roots in the early Fall, the herbicide is absorbed there too and works more effectively to eradicate the plant.

For more info see: https://extension.unl.edu/stat…/panhandle/turfgrass_calendar

 

Photo © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

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