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    Dealing with ice dams: What ‘not’ to do to avoid roof damage – KARE11.com - February 16, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The end of Arctic air and warming temps this weekend will start a freeze-thaw cycle that could wreak havoc with your roof.

    ST PAUL, Minn. The end of an extended Arctic blast featuring sub-zero temperatures for days on end should be something to celebrate, right?

    Not if you're a roof in Minnesota.

    A warming trend should push temps up above freezing this weekend during the daytime hours, while at night they drop back down into the single digits or teens. The ensuing freeze-thaw cycle is a classic recipe for ice dams, a winter phenomena that can cause significant damage to both the exterior and interior of your home.

    The Minnesota Department of Commerce says contrary to the beliefs of some, ice dams are not caused by roofing, ventilation or gutter problems. The real culprit is inadequate air sealing inside the home - gaps around plumbing vents, electrical wires, chimneys, etc. - that allows warm, moist air to escape into the attic. Once there, it melts the underside of the snow layer on the roof, causing water to run down shingles until it reaches a cold spot, where it freezes.

    Over time, that ice can build up into a dam that stops water from running down the roof slope, causing it to pool and eventually seep into the home. The resulting damage to insulation, ceiling drywall and other areas can cost thousands of dollars in repair.

    Once an ice dam builds up to the point it is causing interior damage, the commerce department says the best option is to hire a professional company that will remove it using steam. Doing it yourself most often involves getting up on a slippery roof, unadvisable at best and downright dangerous at worst.

    Because the primary cause of ice dams is warm air leaking from the attic, commerce department experts say the best way to prevent ice dams from forming is to seal leaks with caulking or expanding spray foam.

    A home energy audit, especially one that uses an infrared camera, can locate where warm air is escaping into your attic. An audit can be performed by your local utility provider, a non-profit energy group or local heating and air company.

    You can also add a layer attic insulation installed to a minimum of R-50.

    For more on the cause of ice dams and potential solutions, check out a dedicated pageon the Minnesota Department of Commerce website.

    Read the rest here:
    Dealing with ice dams: What 'not' to do to avoid roof damage - KARE11.com

    What’s Driving You Crazy? The intersection of Downing and Louisiana, at the corner of Wash Park. – The Denver Channel - February 16, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Mason from Denver writes, What's driving you crazy? The intersection of Downing and Louisiana, at the corner of Wash Park. If traveling East on Louisiana and wanting to turn left heading north on Downing, you run into an issue with cars turning right in their own turn lane. However, westbound Louisiana has a separate turn lane for going North with a Yield sign. Is this sign to yield to people turning left on eastbound? Stuck in a turn lane.

    That busy intersection on the southwest side of Washington Park is going through a transformation. It is part of Denvers goal to modify traffic flow and increase pedestrian/bicyclist safety as they access recreation activities in Washington Park.

    Denvers Department of Transportation and Infrastructure installed new traffic signals that hang on new signal poles at this intersection. They also made major infrastructure and utility upgrades. That was one phase of the changes. The other change you will see is in those turns you mentioned. Once construction is complete this spring, the westbound right turn traffic will have a dedicated lane. The 60-foot-long turn lane is already carved out and paved, but new striping needs to be completed.

    The yield sign located at that right turn lane is to make sure drivers yield to pedestrians who are crossing. Those right-turning drivers are also supposed to yield to the vehicles traveling northbound on Downing past Louisiana. DOTI tells me the drivers turning left from eastbound Louisiana to northbound Downing must yield to oncoming traffic, including the vehicles turning right. To help with that turn, the city added a northbound left turn green arrow.

    MORE: Read more traffic issues driving people crazy

    There is still work left to do at that intersection. DOTI crews are still working to rebuild the curb and gutter around the signal. They also need to finish the improvements to the sidewalks that are much wider and easier to use. That work will be complete when the weather warms up this spring.

    The improvements to this intersection are just one part of many improvements along the Downing Street corridor on the west side of Washington Park. You can read about them from Denvers Downing Pedestrian Crossings & Speed Study.

    Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 20 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes , Stitcher , Google Play or Podbean.

    See original here:
    What's Driving You Crazy? The intersection of Downing and Louisiana, at the corner of Wash Park. - The Denver Channel

    Highland Ave., Airport Rd., and 50-plus more blocks of city street work – The Capital Journal - February 16, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    When were in the midst of a February deep freeze, summer projects arent necessarily top of mind. But at the City were busy getting our 2021 construction season mapped out.

    Just this week, the Commission got a look at the street paving and curb and gutter projects planned for this summer. Aside from rebuilding both Highland Avenue and Airport Road, well make improvements to more than 50 blocks of city street.

    Those improvements will come in a variety of forms. Some will be completely rebuilt, some will be completely rebuilt and get new underground utilities, some will get a new surface, and others will get new curb and gutter.

    The Commission receives more contacts about street conditions than any other issue in the community. We absolutely consider those citizen concerns when were making decisions. Thats why, this year we added an extra million dollars to the budget for street repairs. Were committed to infrastructure improvements.

    Were also committed to making the construction piece of those improvements as painless as possible. Thats why we have been taking a different approach with our curb and gutter work. You see, curb and gutter work almost always accompanies street surface work. But coordinating schedules between contractors, weather, and the order in which all the improvements need to be made can be challenging and even lead to construction delays.

    So, the team has worked extra hard for the last two years to get ahead in the curb and gutter work. Essentially, this year and last, the curb and gutter team does a year and half of work in one year. By the end of this construction season, our curb and gutter work should be a year ahead of our street work.

    Heres why you care. It will make traffic disruptions shorter and streamline construction projects to the benefit of those living in the construction zone and those who travel through it. It may seem like a small operational change, but its one our team has invested a great deal of time and energy in to make work.

    While our budget allowed us to invest more in streets improvements, we dont control what the contractor bids will look like or how the weather will look. If bids come in favorably and the weather is cooperative, we will enjoy lots of new street improvements in 2021.

    You can find a map of all of our preliminary street improvement projects at cityofpierre.org on our streets page.

    Continued here:
    Highland Ave., Airport Rd., and 50-plus more blocks of city street work - The Capital Journal

    Smiley Refunds Thousands and Attacks GOP Over Ethics Complaint – GoLocalProv - February 16, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Thursday, February 11, 2021

    GoLocalProv News Team

    View Larger +

    Brett Smiley

    Smiley in October had promised the Rhode Island Ethics Commission that he would not solicit state employees or state contractors.

    Smiley tells GoLocal he is returning donations to state workers and contractors.

    In a statement in response to the announcement that the RI GOP filed an ethics complaint on Thursday, Smiley attacks the Republicans.

    Smiley on Offensive

    "I am not surprised that the same Republican Party that supports false claims of election fraud and embraces conspiracy theories is now launching baseless partisan attacks against me," he said.

    I have established high fundraising standards which were approved by the Ethics Commission, have returned any contributions that did not meet those standards and have suspended fundraising to focus on a smooth transition out of state government. My focus will always be working to find solutions to the real challenges facing the people of Providence and I will not be distracted by gutter partisan politics, said Smiley.

    Here's who Smiley is returning contributions to:

    Elizabeth Roberts $500.00 -- Former RI Lt. Governor and state employee

    Colin Kane $500.00 -- His firm has state contracts

    Joseph Vinagro $1,000.00 -- His company has state contracts

    CEO of Washington Trust Edward Handy $500.00 -- His company does state business

    Anthony Rosciti Sr. $1,000.00 -- His firm has a state contract

    Thomas Guerra $1,000.00 and Anthony Thomas $1,000.00 -- The state leases space from their company

    Preston Halperin $1,000.00 and John Savage $1,000.00 -- Their law firm has state contracts

    Ellis Waldman $250.00 -- His company does state business

    John Galvin $1,000.00 -- His former business partner.

    The total refunded is $8,750.00

    The GOP Claim

    "The Commission must launch a comprehensive investigation into all the donations Smiley received from individuals employed by state vendors to determine if he solicited donations from these individuals. The Ethics Commission has the power to compel production of documents and testimony from witnesses through the use of subpoena. The Ethics Commission should require all donors, who are associated with state vendors, to describe under oath any conversation they had with Smiley related to a campaign donation. Specifically, these donors should be asked under oath whether Smiley promised or threatened them in any way," said the GOP in their memoranda.

    "A full investigation of Smileys fundraising activities with the employees of state vendors is justified. Smiley promised the Ethics Commission he would not solicit or accept campaign contributions from any state vendors," they added. "Smiley lied to the Ethics Commission. The Ethics Commission must conduct a sweeping investigation of Smileys fundraising practices and fine him."

    Read more:
    Smiley Refunds Thousands and Attacks GOP Over Ethics Complaint - GoLocalProv

    Rain Gutters: Installation in 8 Steps – This Old House - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Project details Cost

    $2 to $6 per linear foot, average. (Over $20 for copper).

    6 to 8 hours

    For homes in most regions of the country, rain gutters and downspouts are necessary to collect and carry away rainwater. Without them, water would erode the soil around the foundation, splash dirt onto the siding and likely leak into the basement or crawlspace.

    Gutters are most often installed by professionals, but there's no reason you can't do it yourself. All the materials and accessories are readily available at home centers, lumberyards and through roofing-supply firms. And if you're going to replace your gutters and downspouts, you may as well upgrade the entire look and performance of the rainwater system.

    Here, we'll show how to install reproduction half-round gutters that are exact replicas of the size and style gutters found on older homes. This system features corrugated downspouts and decorative cast-aluminum brackets.

    Many homeowners nurse their battered, leaky gutters along because they just don't see the reward of new gutters outweighing the effort required to replace them. That's why we enlisted Agustin Crookston, owner of Classic Gutter Systems in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to show how attractive gutters can beand how easy to install.

    His company makes distinctive, half-round reproduction gutters, which have been featured on several This Old House TV projects. The dark-green aluminum gutters used here ($2.75 per linear foot, materials only) were attached to the fascia with cast-aluminum, closed-curl brackets ($8 each), which the homeowners spray-painted antique gold. At the ends of the gutters are 4-inch-diameter corrugated aluminum downspouts ($1.75 per linear foot), which were ordered in white to match the house trim.

    To ensure that gutters drain properly, make certain they slope ( inch for every 10 feet) toward a downspout. For gutter runs longer than 40 feet, it's best to pitch the gutter down from the middle to a downspout at each end. Or you can slope the gutters down from each end toward a single downspout placed in the middle of the run. Determine what works best for your house before ordering gutters and attachments.

    Tip: Check the fascia for rot and make repairs if necessary before installing the gutters.

    Tip: Rub soap on the lag screws so they'll be easier to drive through fascia and into rafter tails.

    For instructions, scroll down to the end of this article.

    Tip: Locate screws or rivets in the sides of the gutter, never in the bottom.

    Tip: Aluminum gutters and brackets can be spray-painted to match or contrast with the house trim.

    Tip: Use two downspout brackets on a one-story house and three brackets on a two-story house.

    See Gutter Rain Barrel Video Above for Demonstration

    More:
    Rain Gutters: Installation in 8 Steps - This Old House

    PHOTOS: Wold family sponsor new gutter bin to help keep North Platte River clean – Oil City News - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    By Brendan LaChance on December 11, 2020

    CASPER, Wyo. A new gutter bin was installed Wednesday near the southeast corner of Second Street and David Street.

    The gutter bins are designed to capture refuse that would otherwise get washed into the storm sewer system and potentially into the North Platte River.

    The gutter bins are an original design of FrogCreekPartners who have installed similar bins at other storm drains near David Street Station and in other communities.

    Article continues below...

    The gutter bin installed on Wednesday was sponsored by the Wold family of Wold Oil Properties, LLC. The gutter bin features Casper Colleges logo on the grate.

    Since Frog Creek is the only company offering these gutter bins, owner Brian Deurloo noted that this was the first gutter bin installed in the country to feature a college logo.

    Since the bins are designed to capture cigarette butts and other refuse, Deurloo said other colleges and universities may be interested in the concept.

    Deurloo participated in the 2016 Casper Start-Up Challenge. That challenge helped bring his innovative stormwater filtration system concept to fruition.

    The Gutter Bin is designed to remove pollutants like cigarette butts, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and plastics from stormwater.

    Further details of the concept and Deurloos story are available in this article.

    Related Stories from Oil City News:

    Report a correction or typo.

    More:
    PHOTOS: Wold family sponsor new gutter bin to help keep North Platte River clean - Oil City News

    ORDINANCE NO. 14,605 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF | Legal Announcements – The Baytown Sun - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    ORDINANCE NO. 14,605

    AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BAYTOWN, TEXAS, AMENDING CHAPTER 18 "BUILDINGS AND BUILDING REGULATIONS," ARTICLE II "BUILDING CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS," DIVISION 3 "BUILDING CODE," SECTION 18-93 "SIDEWALKS," SUBSECTION (C)(1) AND SECTION 18-95 "DRAINAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR NONRESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS," SUBSECTIONS (A) AND (B); AND DIVISION 4 "BUILDING AND DEVELOPMENT PERMITS," SECTION 18-126 "SURVEY OR SITE PLAN REQUIRED; ACCESS MANAGEMENT," SUBSECTION (B) AND SECTION 18-127 "FLOODPLAIN" OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, BAYTOWN, TEXAS; AMENDING CHAPTER 34 "ENVIRONMENT," ARTICLE VIII "WATERSHED PROTECTION," SECTION 34-423 "DEFINITIONS," SECTION 34-425 "PERMITS AND SITE PLANS," SUBSECTION (K); AND SECTION 34-426 "IMPACT STUDY" OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, BAYTOWN, TEXAS; AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, BAYTOWN, TEXAS TO ADD A NEW CHAPTER TO BE NUMBERED AND ENTITLED CHAPTER 109 "ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS"; AMENDING CHAPTER 110 "FLOODS" OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, BAYTOWN, TEXAS; AMENDING CHAPTER 114 "SEWER AND WATER LINE EXTENSIONS," ARTICLE III "DEVELOPMENTS," SECTION 114-66 "APPLICATION," SUBSECTION (A); AND ARTICLE IV "IMPACT FEES," SECTION 114-103 "DETERMINATION OF SERVICE UNITS" OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, BAYTOWN, TEXAS; AMENDING CHAPTER 122 "STREETS AND SIDEWALKS," ARTICLE I "IN GENERAL," SECTION 122-3 "OBSTRUCTION OF VIEW; VISIBILITY TRIANGLE," SUBSECTION (A) AND ARTICLE II "CONSTRUCTION OF SIDEWALKS, DRIVEWAYS AND CURB AND GUTTERS," DIVISION 1 "GENERALLY," SECTION 122-31 "CURB CUTS; CONCRETE DRIVEWAYS REQUIRED WHERE CITY INSTALLED CURB AND GUTTERS"; DIVISION 2 "LICENSE," SECTION 122-63 "PERMIT REQUIRED FOR EACH JOB"; AND DIVISION 3 "SPECIFICATIONS AND OTHER REGULATIONS," SECTION 122-91 "CONCRETE WORK"; SECTION 122-92 "RECONSTRUCTION OF SIDEWALKS ON CHANGE OF LINE AND GRADE BY CITY"; SECTION 122-96 "PRIVATE DRAINS"; SECTION 122-97 "INSTALLATION OF DRAINAGE CULVERTS"; AND SECTION 122-99 "GENERAL REQUIREMENTS" OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, BAYTOWN, TEXAS; AMENDING CHAPTER 126 "SUBDIVISIONS," ARTICLE IV "IMPROVEMENTS," DIVISION I "GENERALLY," SECTION 126-453 "INSPECTION," SECTION 126-454 "AS-BUILT OR RECORD PLANS," SECTION 126-455 "FINAL ACCEPTANCE," SECTION 126-458 "TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES"; SUBDIVISION II "STREETS," SECTION 126-507 "PRINCIPAL ARTERIALS, MINOR ARTERIALS AND COLLECTORS," SECTION 126-508 "RIGHT-OF-WAY WIDTH," SECTION 126-509 "CURVES," AND SECTION 126-510 "INTERSECTIONS"; SUBDIVISION III "LOTS," SECTION 126-546 "SCOPE"; SUBDIVISION IV "EASEMENTS," SECTION 126-581 "DRAINAGE EASEMENT" SUBSECTION (C) AND (D), SECTION 126-582 "UTILITY EASEMENTS," SECTION 126-583 "PRIVATE EASEMENTS"; AND ARTICLE V "ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS," DIVISION 1 "GENERALLY," SECTION 126-611 "ENGINEERING DATA"; DIVISION 2 "STREETS"; DIVISION 3 "STORMWATER DRAINAGE"; AND DIVISION 4 "UTILITIES" OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, BAYTOWN, TEXAS; PROVIDING A REPEALING CLAUSE; CONTAINING A SAVINGS CLAUSE; PRESCRIBING A MAXIMUM PENALTY OF FIVE HUNDRED AND NO/100 DOLLARS ($500.00) FOR EACH VIOLATION; AND PROVIDING FOR THE PUBLICATION AND EFFECTIVE DATE THEREOF.

    Read more:
    ORDINANCE NO. 14,605 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF | Legal Announcements - The Baytown Sun

    "Pyramid base of our pots ensures airflow to the roots and drains water at the edges" – hortidaily.com - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    While many growers may view the substrate, nutrients and water as the major determinants of crop success, we may overlook the very thing that holds it all together: pots. Aiming to provide growers with innovative potting solutions that favor root health, Plantlogic is constantly finding new ways to innovate upon the square and round pots of old.

    Established in 2013, Plantlogic specializes in the development and production of horticultural pots for substrate-based production of soft fruit, various tree crops, vegetables and, most recently, release of its Kratos slab base. "Our lineup is only limited by growers imaginations, as our products are driven by the demands of customers. Our designs support customer ideas and feedback. These custom solutions fit every goal and budget," says Ana Cristina Garcia, marketing manager at Plantlogic. "When one of our growers wanted a different type of 7L pot for raspberry production but with specific dimensions for cold storage, and to hold irrigation pipes, we found a way to make it work."

    Substrate production and root healthThe biggest difference between us and our competitors is the careful consideration for the needs of substrate production and root health such as careful consideration of how water flows through the pot resulting in the pyramid base, whose shape ensures airflow to the center of the roots and drains water at the edges - our trademark long legs temperature control and labor savings, says Ana.

    Proof of Plantlogics commitment to innovative product design is the companys Zephyr V2, which was meticulously designed to balance moisture and aeration in the root zone. With its jagged sidewall shape, the Zephyr V2 improves root architecture by preventing the compaction and spiraling of roots. Also unique is the Zephyrs bottom, which has non-draining central holes and a pyramidal base to increase oxygen uptake, force water to the edges and minimize the wetted area. We think about the optimal way to drain water, so we always keep that in mind, says Ana. The Zephyr V2 also has the tallest legs at 70mm, and wider base of any horticultural pot. We listed to our customers feedback on the previous designs and went back to the drawing table, and have developed a completely new product.

    Similarly, the Kratos slab base allows hydroponic growers using slabs to properly support the slab, improve drainage through its V-shape, utilizing a low cost yet open-flow gutter design with no legs standing within the gutter to obstruct flushing.

    Plantlogic's Kratos slab base (left) and Zephyr V2 (right)

    Plantlogics pot anchors are simply another response to growers concerns over plants being blown over by wind or during mechanical harvesting. Our pot anchors system has sufficient stability to remain upright under strong winds. The rigidity of the anchor enables holds the pot securely, allowing them to use machinery to harvest, without tipping the pot, and is easy to install, explains Ana.

    With its products being based on customer demands and strong customer relationships, Plantlogics products have been well received and are used across the Americas, Africa, Oceania, Europe and China.

    For more information:Ana Cristina Garca Plantlogicsales@getplantlogic.comwww.getplantlogic.com

    See original here:
    "Pyramid base of our pots ensures airflow to the roots and drains water at the edges" - hortidaily.com

    Preparing for winter in 30 steps | Health and Fitness | hickoryrecord.com – Hickory Daily Record - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Winter looks very different depending on whether you're above orbelow the Mason-Dixon Line. Below that imaginary line, which runs alongon the northern edges of West Virginia and Maryland,winter weather might mean highs in the 50s and snow on rare occasions. Above, youre talking about black ice, gusting winds, inches upon inches of snow, and road and school closures (particularly for those living in mountaneous regions or along the Snowbelt of the Great Lakes). If youre not used to it, your first real winter can be disconcerting. How do you prepare? Do you need an ice scraper (and what does it look like)? How are snow boots different from regular winter boots?

    A common misconception is that our recent spate of record-breaking winters runs counter to a global warming crisis. Others believe the crisis only makes warm summers hotter. The full picture, however, is that global warming makes both ends of the weather spectrum more extreme, and that means even harsher winters. Take this past winter, for example, when Arctic air blew across the country in a highly publicized Polar Vortex.

    Whether you believe in the science behind the impending brutal winter season or wish to ignore the cold while you still can during the fall months, were guessing youd still rather be prepared head-to-toe far ahead of time. When the next morning of waking up to another record low or record snowfall arrives, itll be better if youre stocked up on proper insulation, snow gear, warm socksand favorite canned soup.

    We know preparing for extreme winter weather can seem overwhelming. Thats why Stacker compiled the following recommendations from the National Weather Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other government organizations, in addition to meteorologists and experts. Follow these 30 steps and youll be prepared for anything the weather throws at you: freezing rain, sleet, snow, even full-on blizzard conditions. Once you have a good pair of gloves, snow tires, and an emergency plan, the weather report doesnt seem so dreadfulafter all.

    You may also like: States where people live the longest

    See the article here:
    Preparing for winter in 30 steps | Health and Fitness | hickoryrecord.com - Hickory Daily Record

    Commentary: Riparian plants and their humble little job – Sonoma West - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    It goes without saying that plants are some of the most beautiful and important organisms we have on our planet. As a child I was always interested in the world of plants. A world seemingly so familiar yet so estranged from common understanding. As kids we run barefoot and play on the soft grass, take refuge under the shade a tree provides amidst a hot California day, and take a deep breath of the fresh air the leaves so selflessly gift to us. All while the plants remain sessile, unassuming and ask nothing of us.

    In grade school we are taught of the important things that plants provide in terms of food and materials to build our world. It was not until continuing my education in college that I began to fully grasp the ecosystem services plants truly offer to us. As we built our world through the power of plants, engineered our cities, pushed our civilization to the likes of which this world has never seen before, we find every alteration requires a new remediation. And as we look to science to provide the next breakthrough it is often plants, unassuming, and quietly taking matters into their own hands.

    We built our cities and found ways to channel water, divert creeks and move storm water out as fast as we can to provide a suitable place to develop upon. Rightly so, we do not want our homes and our businesses flooding year in and year out. And yet, with this approach we have willingly surrendered so many services nature often provides us.

    Cities developed an underground storm drain system, a network of pipes beneath our streets and homes solely dedicated to diverting storm water, as a way to compensate for the impervious concrete surfaces we cast upon the land. Without the natural uptake of rain through pervious soils storm water quickly runs into our gutters, into our storm drains and into our creeks.

    Unsurprisingly, this increases the possibility of pollutants being conveyed from our city streets and into our waterways. Pathogens, for instance, have become a pollutant of concern in which our paved and engineered world has perpetuated from a water quality perspective. The Regional Water Quality Control Board has identified particular concerns associated with our urban developed world such as dog waste accumulation along pedestrian trails or back yard drains, accidental spills, potentially leaking septic tanks, illegal dumping in storm drains or waterways, and illicit discharges into street gutters. These sources can introduce pollutants of concern which may accumulate on impervious surfaces during dry weather months. During our first rains, rather than decompose and cycle into the soils, pathogens can flow into our storm drain system and directly into our creeks without any treatment. It is here, our wonderful riparian plants quietly grow and act as the last line of defense.

    Riparian species such as sedges, rushes, cattails and so many others have the amazing ability to uptake organic and inorganic pollutants. As storm water contaminated with pathogens passes through riparian species, the porous membrane called xylem tissue uptakes water from its roots to its shoots, acting as a filtration system which studies have shown can effectively filter bacteria such as E. Coli and Enterococcus up to 90%. As a function of species composition, species density, and water surface contact time, pathogen intake from riparian species can efficiently and cost effectively decrease pollutants in our waterways. Some species are more effective than others, and studies are constantly underway to find ways in best applying riparian species to constructed wetlands and waterways for the goal of pathogen intake. Here in Sonoma County we have basket sedge (Carex barbarae), nutsedge (Cyperus erogrostis), grey rush (Juncus patens), broadleaf cattails (Typha latifolia), smartweed (Polypogon hydropiperoides) just to name a few.

    As the rains fall, our gutters flow and our creeks begin to rise, I implore you to think about our silent saviors growing at the toe of the bank.

    Find a local creek trail and observe what is growing in the channel.

    Educate yourself and others on the importance of our native riparian vegetation.

    Join a volunteer group and help with a restoration project along a creek.

    Go yourself and plant a native species along a creek bank. Work with your city or town representatives to ensure plant species and creek bank location is appropriate.

    Get your kids involved, or your neighbors, or your friends.

    Take a look at the Streets to Creeks website (streetstocreeks.org) to learn about other ways you yourself can take steps in your daily life to reduce pollutants in storm water runoff.

    Perhaps look at installing a Low Impact Development (LID) feature in your home landscaping to capture runoff and naturally filter pollutants before they ever enter the City storm drain system.

    Next time you find yourself along a creek, take a look at the plants along the waters edge and send thanks to them for quietly doing their humble little job.

    This article was authored by Aaron Nunez, Environmental Specialist, City of Santa Rosa, on behalf of RRWA. RRWA is an association of local public agencies in the Russian River Watershed that have come together to coordinate regional programs for clean water, habitat restoration, and watershed enhancement.

    Read the original post:
    Commentary: Riparian plants and their humble little job - Sonoma West

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