While it’s unusual to get the amount of rain we had two weeks ago, it does remind us to take some flood precautions.
1. Basement windows or doors are common storm water entry points and should be sealed against leaks. Clear plastic covers or window wells that extend above ground level can help. Ideally, window and door sills should at least a foot above ground level.
2. Slope the yard away from the foundation to prevent water from pooling near the house and leaking into the basement. Create a rain garden or low basin landscaped with shrubs and flowers to encourage water to soak into the ground.
3. Eliminate paved surfaces where possible and consider alternatives that allow water to soak into the ground. Consider porous concrete or porous pavers for driveways. Gravel or woodchips for walking paths.
4. Aim downspouts toward the lawn and away from the foundation and paved surfaces. Consider using cisterns or rain barrels to catch rainwater for watering lawns and gardens in dry weather.
Photo: Creative Commons
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/saferchoice
Trees and plants may be parched and in need of water due to Winter being very dry, windy and warm here in the Panhandle.
– Water trees, shrubs, lawns, and perennials during prolonged dry fall and winter periods to prevent root damage that affects the health of the entire plant.
– Water only when air and soil temperatures are above 40 degrees F with no snow cover. Apply water at mid-day so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night.
– To water trees, apply water to the most critical part of the root zone under the tree canopy and let the soil soak to a depth of 12 inches.
Trees play a critical role in managing our city’s stormwater runoff. Enjoy this interactive poster from the Arbor Day Foundation highlighting the role trees play in urban stormwater management.
Got a slow moving drain? Skip caustic chemicals and flush the drain with vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar and baking soda can clear out grease and dissolve organic material trapped in your pipes.
Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain. Then sprinkle one cup of baking soda into the drain, quickly followed by a cup of vinegar. Insert the drain cap or a rag to keep the bubbles working in the pipe. Let the mixture sit in the pipes for 15 minutes to an hour Finish with one more flush of boiling water down the pipes.
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!