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!
Can you brush your teeth, including rinsing your mouth and toothbrush, with a 1/4 cup of water?
Yes, it is possible!
Americans waste up to eight gallons of water each tooth-brushing session. Simply turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save over 100 gallons per month.
Please click the links below for more information on how individual business can help prevent stormwater runoff pollution!!
1. True or False: Nebraska houses the most miles of river in the U.S.
2. True or False: Nebraska manufactures and uses the most center pivot irrigation systems in the world.
3. True or False: Nebraska contains the most groundwater of the fifty states.
1. True. Four major rivers, and many small rivers, flow nearly 23,000 miles across the state.
2. True. The top four center pivot system manufacturers are based in Nebraska and supply 85% of the global demand. Nebraska manufactures utilizes about 60,000 center pivot systems.
3. True. We sit on the High Plains Aquifer, which reaches eight states, the largest source of groundwater in the U.S.
Bottled waters seem to flow from all sorts of exotic places like arctic glaciers, hidden bubbling springs and the tropical waters of Fiji. The US Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) identifies water sources to help consumers determine the source of their bottled water.
- Artesian water, groundwater, spring water and well water all come from an underground aquifer which may or may not be treated.
- Well water and artesian water are tapped through a well.
- Spring water is collected as it flows to the surface or via a borehole.
- Ground water can be either tapped by well or captured at the surface source.
- Bottled water may also come from a public water source (municipal water) and may be identified as coming from a community water system.
Blue-green algae can house cyanobacteria that causes illness ranging from mild rash to death in both humans and animals. Blue-green algae forms a scum like pea soup or paint on the surface of the water during the summer and fall. While most blue-algae is harmless, the cyanobacteria is not.
Nebraska monitors 52 public beaches May 1 to September 30 each year, including Lake Minatare, and posts current warnings on the webpage below. Cyanobacteria cannot be seen with the naked eye, so it’s recommended to avoid contact with blue-green algae blooms and to prevent pets from drinking or swimming near them.
For more information on toxic blue-green algae please see:
NDEQ Toxic Algae Factsheet: http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/ENV042607
It’s mid-summer, Panhandle temperatures rise and both the landscape and drought map begin to turn yellow and gold. According to the Drought Monitor, Scotts Bluff County is now experiencing abnormally dry conditions.
The water we use now greatly affects the supply we have in the future – especially if drought conditions spread and continue. Scottsbluff’s water system relies on groundwater pumped through wells, instead of surface water, which replenishes very slowly. Dry or drought conditions cause less regeneration of the ground water supply. Please use water wisely and conservatively.
“..in the St. Lucie estuary, about half the sea grass, which is a food source for many marine animals, died off during last year’s algae blooms. Among humans who’ve been exposed to the algae, there has been an increase in antibiotic-resistant staph infections. Florida’s governor has declared a state of emergency in four counties,” according to Janice Kaspersen, editor of Stormwater: The Journal for Surface Water Quality Professionals.
Fertilizer in water runoff is boosting the growth of blue-green algae and hurting more than Florida’s $109 billion a year tourist industry. Cyanobacteria flourish with phosphorus and nitrogen, primary ingredients in fertilizers. The fertilizer boosts growth that create large algae blooms during summer and fall that deplete oxygen and diminish sunlight in the water. The bacteria not only affect aquatic life but also cause beach closures for health safety.
Fertilizer is one of the largest pollutants of stormwater runoff in urban areas. Please use fertilizers “sparingly and caringly” – apply according to the directions, when wind is still, and rain is not in the immediate forecast. You’ll be protecting more than just your plants.
Photograph: Toxic blue-green algae bloom in Klamath River in California taken by David McLain for National Geographic.
Stormwater runoff comes from precipitation events and when snow/ice melts onto impervious surfaces. An inch of rain on an acre of land is equivalent to 27,154 gallons of water with a weight of 113 tons. This water transports many pollutants, including but not limited to sediment, oil, grease, fertilizers, bacteria from pet waste, and litter/trash. Stormwater DOES NOT get treated prior to being flushed into waterways.
Green lawns require water, but not the adjacent sidewalk.
The excess water damages sidewalks, curbs, gutters, and pavement, costing residents extra tax dollars each year. Set sprinklers carefully to water lawn edges without sending precious water down the drain.
Photo: Indio, California