Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Information from the EPA

EPA focusing on industrial stormwater compliance, targeting a serious threat to Puget Sound water quality


As part of ongoing federal and state efforts to restore Puget Sound, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing enforcement actions against four Seattle-area companies for discharging industrial stormwater in violation of the Clean Water Act.
“By focusing our efforts on industrial stormwater compliance, EPA and the Washington Department of Ecology are tackling one of the top environmental threats to Puget Sound,” said Ed Kowalski, director of EPA’s enforcement program in Seattle. “These focused actions help bring us closer to restoring the health of Puget Sound.”

Follow this link to see the full article in the Seattle Herald

Monday, August 19, 2013

Do you know where your Stormwater goes?

Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. 

The Blue Planet There are more than 326 million trillion gallons of water on Earth. Less than 3% of all this water is fresh water and of that amount, more than two-thirds is locked up in ice caps and glaciers. Despite all of this, water is still not self-generating and one day we may not have enough. By 2025, it is predicted that most of Africa and West Asia will face severe water scarcity as a result of their increasing population and demands for water.
Freshwater supply is shaped by rainfall, snow melt  runoff and infiltration. There is growing concern regarding the quantity and quality of our water supplyDirty water is the world's biggest health risk, and continues to threaten both quality of life and public health in the United States according to the National Resources Defense Council.

Showcased below are examples of Portland's awareness of their enviroment.
Sophisticated Northwest Portland lifestyles includes an expectation environmental sustainability. With the paint barely dry on the walls  The Franklin Ide is already 24% leased. Touted as a low-environmental-impact apartment building it is LEED Gold certified and only a few points short of  a Platinum certification. The 6-story complex includes stormwater treatment planters and low-flow toilets among other Eco-friendly additions.

Portland has some of the highest combined water/sewer rates in the nation.  On The Brightside:  As other U.S. cities struggle to implement expensive stormwater controls we are ahead of the country in water quality now that the $1.4 billion project designed to keep stormwater out of the Willamette is complete.

Do you know where your stormwater run-off goes?  Green streets vs. underground combined stormwater and sewage systems as explained by the City of Portland's Kate Hibschman. Kate works for the Sustainable Stormwater Division.
Some easy ways to control your own stormwater. This last video is less about Portland and more about what you can do to control your own stormwater. I hope you enjoyed these glimpses into water a natural resource and ways to not waste it.