Waterwise Wednesday: Bottled from Where?

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.

COMPOSTING PROCESS

Composting Process

Heat generated from bacteria causes the compost pile to stay warm and active, no matter which season you’re in. Ideally, new material should be added to the composting system during turning and mixing to keep the pile the most active. Visit www.earth911.com to find more information on different composting methods including hot, cold, sheet, and trench composting. Also, to find out what items are good types of compost click here for lists of acceptable and unacceptable materials.

 

 

 

 

 

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Waterwise Wednesday: Beware of the Toxic Algae

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

EPA: https://www.epa.gov/nutrient-…/health-and-ecological-effects

DEQ.NE.GOV

Waterwise Wednesday: The Heat is On

 

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.

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/…/current/current_high_plains…

Waterwise Wednesday: Feeding the Blue-Green Algae Monster

 

Image may contain: ocean, water, outdoor and nature

“..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

Stormwater Runoff

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.

Waterwise Wednesday: Cold Water Tips for a Hot Day

1. Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running water through the tap until it’s the right temperature can waste several gallons of potable water.
2. Leftover ice cubes from your drink? Give them to a houseplant, it provides a nice slow watering.
3. When the kids want to run in the sprinkler, set the sprinkler where the lawn needs it most.

Waterwise Wednesday: The Water’s On

It’s nearly July and the gardens are green and full of early summer blossoms – using just rainwater.

Late last week the City of Scottsbluff finally turned the water on the downtown gardens, about three months after lawn watering began around the city. Native and well adapted plants use much less water than traditional turf once established.  They’re also drought hardy, provide needed habitat for pollinators and create a distinct sense of place with a plant palate tailored for the Nebraska Panhandle.

Infiltration Practices

INFILTRATION PRACTICES

Infiltration practices are designs that enhance water percolation through the soil and remove pollutants in the process. A ‘Rain Garden’ is a common residential design, and an aesthetically appealing project! As snow melts, it’s runoff accumulates in these depressed/trenched areas. Captured water generally leaves to the neighboring soils within 48 hours. Directing water from roof downspouts or paved areas enable the removal of pollutants prior to discharge into receiving waters. For more information visit the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation.