Tuesday Tidbit: Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are fairly common in area homes. Do you have a sump pump in your basement? Do you know what it pumps? If it is connected to the laundry, toilet, or other household “dirty” water source, the pump should discharge to the sanitary sewer. You can test your system to find out what you are pumping by running your below-grade water sources. If your pump kicks on, it might be an ejector pump. Call a professional before attempting to remove the lid and look into your pump as sewer gasses may escape into your home.

Remember: Grey water = sewer; clean water = stormwater.

Trickle Down Thursday: Rain Gardens

Spring rains can highlight many low-lying areas in our yards that don’t drain well. A rain garden can help turn that pond in your yard into something beautiful and useful. By utilizing native plants that return each year (perennials), rain gardens can attract pollinators and add to the curb appeal of your home. The Groundwater Foundation has tips for Rain Gardens here: http://bit.ly/34ZJh8u

Trickle Down Thursday: Sprinkler Systems

This little trick can save you $$$!

Have an in-ground sprinkler system? Are you overwatering? To find out, grab an empty tin can (like this tuna can) and set it in your lawn. Let your system run for about 15 minutes and then measure the amount of water collected in the can. 1 inch of water each week is adequate for an established lawn during a dry spell. Call your lawn care professional or click here to learn more: http://bit.ly/2WZ5peO

Waterwise Wednesday: Wildflowers and Water Quality

This week we celebration Nebraska Wildflower Week and all the benefits wildflowers provide for our environment, including clean water.

– Wildflower’s extensive and deep root systems slow down runoff, reduce soil erosion, and absorb dirty water before it gets into the nearby waterways.

– Wildflowers provide critical habitat for pollinators, beneficial insects, and wildlife.

– Wildflowers are native to where they grow, conditioned to thrive there. That means they use less water and fertilizer, resist disease and are more tolerant to pests.

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Trickle Down Thursday: Groundwater

Groundwater flows under all of Grand Island in a slowly moving river. This hidden resource follows the path of the Platte from southwest to northeast. It refills the Platte and Wood Rivers when the surface water is low and can draw from the rivers when surface water is high. Groundwater also feeds many of the waterbodies around town: L.E. Ray Lake, Suck’s Lake, Pier Park, Eagle Scout Park, Brentwood Lake, Rainbow Lake, Kuester Lake, and Hidden Lakes.

Groundwater levels are influenced by land elevation, rainfall, irrigation, pumping, river depth, and well use. Since the City began monitoring groundwater depths in 1967, groundwater has been shown to rise and fall in cycles. Depths have ranged from less than 5 feet to 30 feet below the surface.

Waterwise Wednesday: Sparingly and Caringly

Fertilizer is the largest pollutant in stormwater runoff and spawns large algae blooms, nutrient overload, and hypoxic (or Dead zones) in ponds, lakes, and rivers. Protect water from fertilizer:

– Apply fertilizer according to instructions

– Use only the amount needed

– Sweep stray fertilizer back onto the lawn or garden to keep it out of the gutter.

– Switch to native landscaping which require less fertilizer and water for their upkeep.

Graphic: AskHRGreen.org