Stormwater is not treated before it flows into the North Platte River, so contaminants that enter the storm sewer system can also contaminate the river.
According to regulation, anything other than rain or snowmelt in the storm sewer is an illicit discharge. However, clean water discharges to the gutter – like pumped groundwater, air conditioning condensation, or irrigation water/lawn watering – are typically excused.
If you see or find evidence of substances other than rain or snowmelt in the gutter or near a storm drain please call the stormwater department 630-8011. If the spill is over 25 gallons or you know the substance is hazardous, please call 911.
Capetown’s crisis is in the spotlight now, but other metropolitan areas could soon follow:
1. Catch the hair! Cover drains with screens or filters to prevent hair from flowing into the drain while cleaning or bathing.
2. Dispose of fats and oils properly. Bag fats and oils and throw them in the trash instead of allowing them to run down the drains.
3. Avoid planting trees close to your main line or sewer line. Tree roots seek and penetrate drain pipes for water.
4. Flush drains with vinegar and baking soda to help clear grease and dissolve organic material. Sprinkle baking soda into the pipes followed by vinegar. Let the mixture sit for several hours then flush with hot water.
KEARNEY STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN
Safer Choice labels identify products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance. The EPA’s voluntary Safer Choice program reviews product ingredients, product performance, pH, packaging, and VOC content.
Every ingredient must meet strict safety criteria for both human health and the environment, including carcinogenicity, reproductive/developmental toxicity, toxicity to aquatic life, and persistence in the environment.
Products pass category-specific performance standards as defined in the Safer Choice Standard. All products must perform comparably to conventional products.
One of six sustainable packaging measures must be implemented for the product.
pH: Labeled products must meet pH standards that minimize the potential for skin and eye irritation or injury.
Safer Choice restricts VOC content to minimize indoor air pollution and associated respiratory concerns.
For more information: https://www.epa.gov/
Cloudy winter days make the snow melt faster, says a study from the University of Utah. Snow is designed to stay cold in three ways: by deflecting the sun’s heat with it’s bright white color and crystalline structure, the bright white reflecting heat back at night, and sublimation, evaporating from snow to vapor, similar to the way sweat evaporates from our skin to keep us cool.
Cloudy humid days, however prevents snow from deflecting, reflecting and sublimating warming the snow. That is why a few humid days with temperatures hovering around the freezing point create large melt events and even minor flooding.
Do your own experiment by watching snow that remains in shadows even on warm sunny days. Then watch what happens to that same snow during gray days and nights — quickly, though, before it’s all gone.
“I cannot stress it enough: all residents must save water and use less than 87 litres (23 gallons) per day.” – Patricia de Lille, Mayor, Capetown, South Africa
Three consecutive years of drought have brought Capetown, South Africa to the end of it’s water supply. All taps serving the city’s 3.74 million residents will be shut off April 21 – “Day Zero” – when the water is gone. Should the taps be turned off, each resident will be allocated 6.5 gallons of drinking water per day shipped from neighboring provinces.
The average U.S. resident uses 100 gallons per day – 4 times the current recommended use for Capetonians. How much more could we conserve?
Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images, FILE