Sunday, May 17, 2015
There’s currently no sign of California’s dry spell abating. With much of the state’s sources of water bone dry, authorities have turned to the Pacific for their water need. All eyes are currently on the Carlsbad desalination plant, which will provide San Diego County with seven percent of its water needs. A second plant in Huntington Beach has been proposed but awaiting approval. While desalination plants have created oases in the most arid places, some believe desalination shouldn’t be the long-term solution. In a letter to David Pisarra and his article on desalination in the Santa Monica Daily Press, Matthew King, communications director of the nonprofit Heal The Bay, argued that a more natural course is needed.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Last April, the city council of Fremont, NE convened to look at their numbers regarding the city’s flood mitigation projects: a viaduct and a levee. Currently, the city is funding the construction of the viaduct, which began a few years ago after voters approved it. Meanwhile, the levee would help significantly especially with rapid response by emergency crews. Both projects would cost the city close to $28 million. Unfortunately, according to Jody Sanders, the city’s director of finance, the city would still be $2.6 million short even with the reserves. Mayor Scott Getzschman sees no other way to acquire the deficit but through taxes, which isn’t always a popular option. The council is expected to vote on the final budget on September this year.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Weather conditions can often be very burdensome on stormwater facilities for a variety of reasons. First, if regular maintenance is neglected, it can result in stormwater system damages, as well as trash, debris, and sediment accumulation. Therefore, inspection and maintenance are tasks that should be done properly and regularly. Of course, the schedule of your inspection will depend on the type of stormwater solutions you employ—wet or dry surface basins such as ponds and sand filters respectively—will require shorter inspection intervals due to their location and their potential for risks.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Stormwater ponds and wetlands are designed to collect polluted stormwater that would otherwise flow into rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water during a precipitation event. For these systems to function properly, they need to have a dam, or some other form of stable embankment to keep water contained within the system. There are many measures that can be taken to maintain the integrity of a pond or wetland stormwater system, unfortunately, even the most well-maintained of these systems can be prone to compromising issues at times. The issue with stormwater ponds and wetlands: The natural behavior of groundhogs, nutria, and muskrats is detrimental to the structural strength of dams and embankments that hold a pond or wetland stormwater system together.
According to statistics compiled by the National Flood Insurance Program, floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States. In fact, total flood insurance claims from 2003 to 2012 averaged nearly $4 billion per annum. The top three states with the highest number of insurance claims are New Jersey, New York, and Louisiana. The presence of floodwater in any residential area is a huge cause for concern. After all, the health risks associated with flooding are well documented. Exposure to debris floating in floodwater can result in infected wounds. Consuming products contaminated by pollutants and bacteria in floodwater can cause diarrheal diseases. Furthermore, stagnant floodwater encourages the proliferation of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne viruses.
As snow continues to melt in different parts of the United States, the chances of flooding increase. This possibility is especially applicable to low-lying areas that are expected to see additional rain over the course of the next few weeks. The situation can only worsen if the area does not have a robust storm water BMP (best management practices) system in place. At first glance, it would seem that flooding is an everyday risk that comes with living in these areas. Although some people see it as such, this outlook does not make the health risks brought about by flood water any less serious.