Trickle Down Thursday: Only Rain Down the Drain

Do you live near a storm drain? When you help keep it clean, you are helping to keep our rivers and lakes beautiful! Grass clippings and leaves contain nutrients; when the nutrients get to the water they feed algae. Algae takes over and kills off fish. Clean drains = clean water.

Waterwise Wednesday: Fire(works) and Water

Photo: S. Schanaman

Fireworks contain Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic chemicals (PBTs) like copper, lead, perchlorate, and lithium to create their effects and remain on firework debris. PBTs remain in the environment for very long periods of time, are highly resistant to degradation, easily enter and quickly accumulate in the food chain and can be toxic to both humans and animals.

– Please pick up firework debris. Let spent fireworks sit only until they’re not longer hot or burning then move them to a bucket with water.

– Water used to soak spent fireworks should be flushed in a toilet so the water can be treated at the wastewater treatment plant. Please do not pour the water down the gutter or on the lawns to avoid contaminating ground and water with PBTs.

– Sweep small firework particles and put them in a plastic bag for disposal in the trash. The particles are prone to travel in the wind or in water runoff spreading PBTs to soils and waterways.

Waterwise Wednesday: Plastic Rain in the Rocky Mountains

Over 90% of Rocky Mountain rainwater samples gathered for a United States Geological Survey contained microplastics, plastics less 5 mm or less. While urban samples contained more plastic, samples from remote sites indicate microplastics may be more pervasive.

Some microplastics are released as tiny particles like fibers from synthetic clothing or car tire fragments. Others fibers come from the breakdown of larger plastic items like bags and bottles. The particles migrate and have been found in the remotest parts and people on the planet.

To see the report: https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2019/1048/ofr20191048.pdf…

Waterwise Wednesday: What’s Hidden in the Melting Snow

Photo by L. Sato
Avenue B Outfall                  Photo Credit:  L. Sato

As warmer weather melts the snow piles around town, the runoff makes its way to the city’s outfalls where the contaminants can be seen. The swirled sheen on the water’s surface is oil that was trapped in the snow. Snow traps oils, salts and sediment that are released into the runoff as the snow melts. Snowmelt runoff is one of largest sources of urban water pollution.