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    Duluth’s urban trout streams hanging on, but need help – Duluth News Tribune - July 4, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    From Mission Creek on the west to the Lester River on the east, the city is crossed by streams that start high over the hill and tumble down to the St. Louis River or Lake Superior.

    Jeff Jasperson of Duluth likes to snorkel in these shallow, cool streams and look behind old logs in the water. Hes finding not only small brook trout babies but also some bigger, breeding stock fish, in places that dont necessarily look like the trout streams we see in fly-fishing magazines or movies.

    I don't think many people in Duluth realize how many of these local streams still have wild trout in them, said Jasperson, a biologist for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in Duluth. Its not just the bigger rivers. Were finding trout in tiny, cold-water tributaries you could jump across in one step.

    When Jasperson isnt snorkeling for fun or monitoring streams as part of his day job, he likes catching trout with his kids. Hes even captured some great underwater video of urban trout on his Go-Pro.

    The fact we can walk from our house in Duluth and catch a few trout and cook them up for dinner, the kids think thats so cool. So do I, he said.

    Owen Jasperson of Duluth releasing a brook trout on Tischer Creek in Duluth. Jeff Jasperson photo.

    But most of Duluths urban trout streams are impaired, in some sort of trouble caused by the trappings of city life: Too much sediment from runoff, salt from winter road clearing and E. coli bacteria contamination from people and animals.

    All that concrete and blacktop in town means water runs off, doesnt soak in, and is often too warm and too dirty, or turbid, to meet trout standards. Some Duluth streams are already too warm at times for trout to live. Worse, most are forecast by mid-century just 30 years from now to warm to levels that are fatal to trout, thanks to a warming climate.

    Thats why the PCA has developed a report on the status of those streams and released a plan on how to make 11 of them more hospitable to fish. The 11 are the streams with enough long-term data available to show what impairments are an issue.

    The name is a mouthful the Duluth Urban Streams Total Maximum Daily Load part of the sometimes-obtuse federal mandate to apply the Clean Water Act to ground-level waterways. The effort establishes the amount of each pollutant, the load, that each stream can accept and still meet water quality standards. The process provides a snapshot of where streams are today and lays out a road map on how to improve water quality over the next 10-30 years. But its going to take more than a plan to get there. Local governments, watershed districts and especially residents will have to spend time, money and effort.

    Its not saying that by 2030 or even 2050 everything is going to be fine. But its identifying the issues and offering a plan on how to improve, said Karen Evens, who is leading the effort for the PCA. And it gives us a way to measure the progress along the way.

    There are no trout police to enforce the effort.

    "Its not prescriptive. We cant order the community to do these things, Evens noted. It has to be collaborative.

    A brook trout caught on Tischer Creek in Duluth. Jeff Jasperson photo.

    Fixes included more and better street sweeping by cities to keep polluted sediment from flushing into the streams with each rain; better stormwater storage and management; cleaning sediment traps in storm sewers; protecting small, cold-water tributaries that keep the bigger streams cold and oxygenated enough for trout; limiting or at least better planning for development near streams; and preserving vegetation along the waterways.

    E.coli bacteria in streams washes in not just from humans, but also pets and wild animals. On the human side, fixing leaking sewer pipes and replacing failing septic systems are key. Adding more and better restrooms in city parks would help. Reducing pet waste remains a huge issue. There may be areas where nuisance wild animal populations raccoons, deer, beaver, etc. need to be reduced or where birds like geese and ducks need to be encouraged to stay away.

    While many people perceive brook trout to be a hyper-sensitive species that needs pristine waters to survive, Jasperson says Duluth brook trout have adapted over the last century of intense development, with the strongest fish passing on their genes.

    The surviving fish know where the cold water springs and tributaries are; Ive seen fish really packed around those. They also know where to go in August, or in a drought year like right now, to hang out when the flows are really low, he said.

    That's how Miller Creek can flow right through the uber-developed Miller Hill Mall district and still have a viable population of wild brook trout. But fluctuations in the creek's population from as high as 448 trout per 1,000 feet in 1993 to just 34 in 2005 show problems remain: Salt, sediment, a lack of cold-water hiding places and runoff from the massive parking lots and ribbons of road in the area.

    When people realize that these arent just drainage ditches running through town. When you show them they are a functioning, living systems with real fish maybe not functioning as well as they could be most people are willing to help, Jasperson said. But a lot of people dont know. Ive talked to landowners who didnt even know they had a cold-water stream on their land, let alone a population of wild brook trout. Some of them are just floored when I tell them.

    Over 30 years, to do all the suggested work in the PCA plan could cost the community between $100 and $130 million to save its trout streams, Evens said. But its not an all-or-nothing proposition.

    We want to target efforts to where they are going to have the most bang for the buck, she said. Thats why we want to incorporate stream (protections) into projects that are already going to happen.

    That means UMD plans ahead to improve campus stormwater control efforts as part of its new dormitory construction project. City officials incorporate stream protection efforts as they rebuild city streets and sewers. Slowing and storing warm, dirty water on developed sites is a big step toward cleaner streams. So is protecting wetlands and springs high on Duluths hill, the sources of each stream, using conservation easements and tougher construction rules.

    Jeff Jasperson likes to snorkel in small Duluth streams to find out where the fish hang out, such as near old logs. Here he found several small brook trout near where a coldwater spring seeps into the stream. Jeff Jasperson photo.

    Deserae Hendrickson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Duluth area fisheries supervisor, said reclaiming more natural stream channels also is key for trout, and restoration projects that followed the massive 2012 flood have done wonders. Chester Creek, for example, has seen a transformation from a dammed, channeled stream slowed by a pond to a more natural, free-flowing waterway thanks to a project by the South St. Louis County Soil and Water Conservation District. The effort also has helped the stream stay within its natural floodplain during major flood events.

    The flood itself has some surprising benefits. When a man-made debris barrier blew out of Mission Creek in western Duluth during the flood, it opened up the upper stream for fish. Now, steelhead trout from Lake Superior are spawning far upstream for the first time in half a century, Hendrickson said.

    The flood did a lot of damage, certainly. But where it blew out (small culverts and small bridges) it allowed us to get larger passages replaced in those areas. So we saw a lot of re-connectivity there, opening up new areas for trout, she said.

    In a few western Duluth streams, the DNR found cool water but no wild trout remaining. So they stocked the creeks and now the trout are reproducing on their own.

    But problem areas remain. Tischer Creek just below Hartley Nature Area now is a warm water dead zone for trout, Hendrickson noted, in large part because the creek is dammed to create Hartley Pond. Removing the dam would help trout but destroy the pond, a favorite spot for local residents. There are possible solutions, such as separating the creek from the pond so the stream water can flow faster.

    We have stretches of streams that are impaired and need attention," Hendrickson said. But we also have a lot of stream runs that, despite what weve done to them over the years, somehow hang on and support trout.

    The PCAs Evens agreed.

    These trout, even if you dont fish for them, are part of Duluths identity, part of the quality of life, she said. Having trout streams in our city is part of why people want to live here.

    Keene Creek E. coli bacteria

    Kingsbury Creek Poor invertebrate population

    Miller Creek Salt; poor invertebrate population; warm water; E.coli

    Sargent Creek E. coli bacteria

    Stewart Creek E. coli bacteria

    Merritt Creek E. coli bacteria

    Tischer Creek E. coli bacteria

    Chester Creek E. coli bacteria

    Amity Creek Sediment turbidity

    Amity Creek East Branch Sediment turbidity

    Lester River Sediment turbidity

    The PCA is asking for public comments on the TMDL report, which is available on the projects web page at or at PCAs Duluth office. You can get more information or send written comments to Karen Evens 218-302-6644, PCA, 525 Lake Avenue South, Suite 400, Duluth, MN 55802, by July 22.

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    Duluth's urban trout streams hanging on, but need help - Duluth News Tribune

    Flushing of certain objects causing problems in sewer system – The Henry County Times, Inc. - May 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Henry County Water Authority is dealing with a potentially big problem stemming from the countys COVID-19 situation.

    The vast majority of citizens have been stuck at home due to shelter-in-place orders. People are focusing more than ever before on cleaning and disinfecting their homes to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading. That combination has led to a higher volume of wet wipes, rags and grease in the sewer system, which HCWA officials feared would happen since the pandemic began.

    The extra waste is causing damage to equipment and infrastructure, which means increased maintenance hours and costs. And the more this keeps happening, the more serious the problem will become, with one potential outcome being sewer backups in homes.

    To maintain the integrity of the entire system, as well as residential plumbing and septic tanks, HCWA officials continue to warn the public, The toilet is not a trash can. That means people should avoid flushing any type of wet wipe down the toilet, even those which are marketed or labeled as flushable.

    When wet wipes are flushed down the toilet, they enter the system and clog sewer lines (or, they enter the septic tank and clog septic system field lines). This causes sewer spills and overflows, not to mention sewer backups in homes that require the attention and added expense of a plumber for a homeowner. Worst cases have resulted in damaged equipment in the field or impaired operations at HCWA wastewater treatment plants, requiring repairs that are far more expensive than a residential plumbing issue.

    In short, throw your wet wipes in the trash can after you use them.

    Another big problem of late is the rise in fats, oils, and grease entering the sewer system, which is likely the result of people cooking at home more than usual. This has a damaging effect on residential plumbing and septic tanks as well as the overall system, because these substances coagulate within the sewer lines and clog them up leading to more backups, more spills and more costly repairs for homeowners and the HCWA.

    Grease is more of a problem now, with everyone at home and with more cooking taking place, said Ray Sanders, HCWA manager of water & sewer operations maintenance. Unfortunately, as long as its not backing up in their house, people dont see the problem. A better solution for the disposal of grease is to allow it cool and then pour it into a container that can be sealed and thrown away. Scraping food from plates and wiping dishes clean prior to washing also help to preserve the integrity of sewer lines and plumbing.

    We all are adjusting to a different way of life during the pandemic, but we are doing everything necessary to continue to provide safe, reliable water and sewer services for our customers, said HCWA general manager Lindy Farmer, who has virtual briefings with his senior management staff at least three times per week to monitor developments related to the pandemic. One of the ways the public can help is to be mindful of the things they put down the sink and flush down the toilet, because they have a direct effect on the integrity of our system. Wet wipes and grease may be out of sight and out of mind for our customers, but they are among our most challenging issues to deal with as a utility.

    Excerpt from:
    Flushing of certain objects causing problems in sewer system - The Henry County Times, Inc.

    Letters to the Editor: Dec. 2, 2019 – TCPalm - December 5, 2019 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Having your car repossessed is not in same universe with Nazi genocide

    How dare Frank Mina equate his own financial irresponsibility with the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany!I'm sure the more than 1million murdered children would disagree that not paying your bills is the same as being torn from their mothers and incinerated.

    Adam Dobrin, Port St. Lucie

    In a March 3, 2016, letter to Florida East Coast Railway, Karl Alexy of the FederalRailroadAdministration said Liquefied Natural Gas offers a new opportunity for railroads, presents a new challenge for safety regulators, and transporting large quantities in a single train presents unique safety risks. He also noted that LNG freight would eventually share the routes with high-performance passenger trains, traveling at speeds up to 110 mph.

    Top speed for LNG is 40 mph through densely populated communities.

    The Florida East Coast railroad bridge is seen spanning the St. Lucie River, parallel to the Roosevelt Bridge, on Wednesday, Oct 30, 2019, in Stuart. Virgin Trains USA has announced their intentions to replace the aging bridge, a single track span, with a double-track span costing around $100 million and taking around two years to build.(Photo: ERIC HASERT/TCPALM)

    New Fortress Energys Miami affiliate, American LNG Marketing, is authorized by the Department of Energy to export LNG from the Ports of Miami, Everglades, Palm Beach, Jacksonville and Canaveral. American began exporting LNG in 2016.

    On March 13, 2017, the FRA authorized Florida East Coast Railway to haul 10,000-gallon ISO containers of LNG produced at the Miami plant to ports of Miami and Everglades. Energy Transport Solutions, also a subsidiary of NFE, is now seeking authorization to transport LNG in 30,000-gallon rail tank cars.

    The Floridian Natural Gas Storage LNG facility, proposed for Indiantown, plans an addition for loading rail cars. Floridian will export LNG from ports of Miami, Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Tampa, Everglades, Canaveral and Manatee (from Department of Energy Docket No. 15-38-LNG).

    Unlike LPG (liquified petroleum gas), a breach in an LNG container cannot be capped, and exposure to thermal radiation (heat) from an LNG pool fire or flash fire could result in fatalities, serious injuriesand property damage. Transporting LNG by rail over deteriorating infrastructure, including bridges, such asthe St. Lucie River railroad bridge, increases the risk.

    Rail tank cars will form a virtual rolling natural gas pipeline on wheels, but taxpayer monies and costly rail infrastructure improvements will be required before any gas starts flowing.

    Cecile Scofield, Palm City

    A recent letter by a live-aboard boater questioned the citys effort to enforce regulations to prevent sewage discharge from boats as small potatoes. It was good to see a knowledgeable and law-abiding boater speak up. She is correct that there are many other sources of the nitrogen and phosphorus polluting the lagoon. It is a case of death by a thousand cuts.

    The lagoon has been on a downward slide since the 1950s, when population began exploding in Florida. A clear lagoon with a white, sandy bottom, healthy seagrass beds and abundant marine life is a vivid memory for very few current Floridians. We, the people, have severely changed the land by digging canals, paving green space, fertilizing lawns and using septic systems that can leak and flush waste into the ground.

    Cities and counties along the lagoon are spending millions of dollars to convert septic systems to municipal sewer, upgrade sewage treatment facilities and build stormwater parks that clean canal water before it enters the lagoon. We also need individuals to reduce fertilizer use, pick up their pet waste and connect to sewer when it is available.

    The good news is that we know what the problems are and we can fix them! And one of the problems is that some boaters discharge their raw sewage directly into the lagoon.Enforcing the local, state and federal regulations that were written under the Clean Water Act is an important part of cleaning up the Indian River Lagoon.

    Fortunately for Vero Beach, plans are being implemented to enforce the no discharge rule, thanks to efforts by the city manager, Vero Beach Marina, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Clean Water Coalition.

    Judy Orcutt, Indian River Shores, is vice president of the Clean Water Coalition of Indian River County.

    Regardless of the battle taking placebetween the two political parties in the basement and halls of Congress, the decreasing level of sanity of Adam Schiff has to be apparent to everybody watching the proceedings.

    His apparent hatred of the GOP is understandable, but his rambling, his lies, his unstable behavior and his paranoia are scary. What he is saying and doing is way beyond the realm of sanity. I am not being facetious, but I am talking as a registered nurse who has worked in many fields, even psychiatry.

    Schiff is the one person on this committee who is dangerous to Americaandall its traditions and freedoms. He is heading a group that holds the country in its hands. I am sure that all meetings he and his liberal group attend each day are continually escalating in its level of vitriol and hate.

    I understand political differences, but never in my 84 years have I seen such hatred, lying and paranoia as that expressed by these liberals. There is absolutely no fairness, no sense of really caring for America and its people on the part of the Democratic leaders. Whatever respect I held all these years for the two-party system in America has been totally wiped out.

    This inquiry literally turns my stomach.

    Nancy Celano, Sebastian

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    Letters to the Editor: Dec. 2, 2019 - TCPalm

    Middle set to increase sewer rates – Press of Atlantic City - November 30, 2019 by Mr HomeBuilder

    MIDDLE TOWNSHIP Township ratepayers will see a cost increase under an ordinance introduced Monday, Nov. 18, the first since 2012.

    According to Mayor Tim Donohue, residential users will pay about $80 more each year, a move he described as necessary to cover increasing costs for processing at the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority.

    If you extrapolate that by the month, its not a lot of money but people are on fixed incomes. We understand it will hurt some people but its a necessary step, he said at the meeting.

    Township officials have discussed the increasing cost of sewer treatment at the county level, and looked for steps to address it, including improvements to its own sewer system. According to Donohue, the township sewer departments budget has remained level for years, while the county-level costs has skyrocketed.

    Part of the reason is because Middle Townships population has increased while other towns have dropped, he said. Rainwater infiltration is also an issue. Cracks in the sewer pipes allow rain and groundwater to enter the system, which means the township ends up paying to treat clean water at the county system.

    The last increase to residential sewer rates was in 2012. Since that time our costs from the county MUA have gone up substantially, Donohue said.

    Through much of this year, Middle officials have focused on the issue, including meeting with MUA staff. In September, the committee approved a $211,475 contract with the engineering firm Mott MacDonald to evaluate the pumping stations.

    Some of the 22 existing stations in the township are more than 30 years old and will need repairs or even replacement. Bringing the older stations up to standard may cost about $200,000 each, and about $50,000 more for the newer stations. He would expect the work would add another 20 years to the useful life of the pump stations, engineers estimate.

    The township also plans to use cameras to explore the oldest section of the sewer system in Cape May Court House, which was built in 1937 and includes lengths of terra cotta pipes.

    I want to make sure people understand were not just jacking up the sewer rate. Weve taken several pro-active steps of over the last year to analyze our current system, to budget capital funds to inspect and improve all our pumping stations, Donohue said at the meeting.

    He said the township department has kept the system together for years with scotch tape and chicken wire.

    Its time to address it, and part of that has to be an increase in the rate, Donohue said.

    Susan Quinones, Middle Townships chief financial officer, addressed Township Committee at a workshop meeting earlier in the day.

    Since the last rate increase, she said, during the sparsely attended work session, the annual cost for sewer treatment has grown from $1.62 million to a projected cost of $2.97 million for 2020, she said.

    She said the department used surpluses and sought to control costs to avoid a rate increase for years. Quinones and Donohue said the increase is driven by the increased costs from the county MUA.

    Those costs have increased from 40 percent of the township sewer budget to 60 percent of the cost this year.

    Not everyone in Middle Township is a sewer customer. Some sections of the township continue to rely on well water and septic systems, and some use well water and also have a sewer connection. The township sewer department charges a flat rate, rather than using meters to determine a cost for each customer.

    The current cost is $560 a year, set to increase to $640.

    A public hearing and final vote on the ordinance are planned for 6 p.m. Dec. 16 at Township Hall, 33 Mechanic St. in Cape May Court House.

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    Middle set to increase sewer rates - Press of Atlantic City

    You absolutely should not put these Thanksgiving foods in your garbage disposal – Citizen Times - November 30, 2019 by Mr HomeBuilder

    ASHEVILLE- Forget about Black Friday.

    Plumbers know the day after Thanksgiving as something else altogether: "Brown Friday," so-named for the increase in service calls.

    Plumbing giant Roto-Rooter, which has about 620 locations across the United States, reports a 50% increase in customer calls the day after Thanksgiving over regular Fridays, making it the busiest plumbing day the company faces all year.

    Asheville's Blue Planet Plumbing also feels the annual crunch,with plenty of those service calls coming from broken, snarled or backed up garbage disposals.

    So how do you avoid becoming part of that unsavory Brown Friday statistic? Make sure you're thinking about what you're dumping down your pipes, even if you have a disposal.

    When a disposal is working properly, it macerates your leftover food into pulp, which then mixes with water, passes through tiny holes in the base of the device, then enters the waste stream.

    At least that's how Asheville's Blue Planet Plumbing ownerGeorg Efird describes it. "Most of the time, these food particles will evacuate the plumbing system and never be a problem," he said.

    But when plumbing lines aren't properly pitched, food, grease and other waste can accumulate, eventually causing a blockage.

    It's also worth noting that the food you dump down the drain doesn't just disappear into the ether.

    Roger Edwards, director of operations and pretreatment at the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County, does not have an official stance on disposals, but he has a personal opinion and it's not a good one.

    Never pour fats, oils or grease in your disposal. They congeal and can gum up the works.(Photo: -Oxford-, Getty Images)

    "They solve the initial user's problems," he said diplomatically. "They grind food up and send it to the sewer, and we just end up trying to take it back out of the wastewater once it gets here to the plant."

    That's right: The food you dump down the disposal just gets skimmed out at the wastewater treatment plant, where it's eventually shipped to the landfill. So basically, you've only made your food waste someone else's problem, and given it a more circuitous route to travel.

    The most environmentally sensitive way to handle food waste is to compost what you can, and throw meat products in the trash. Of course, when you have bears in the neighborhood, that does complicate things.

    On a septic system? Don't even bother with a garbage disposal. Though you may find some disposals on the market marked"septic safe,"there's really no such thing, Efird said.

    More on food waste:

    (Story continues below)

    A look inside the Metropolitan Sewerage District's Water Reclamation Facility where Asheville's wastewater is processed. Angeli Wright,

    Solids are removed from sewage arriving at the Metropolitan Sewerage District's water reclamation facility beginning the treatment process on Oct. 9, 2018. (Photo: Angeli Wright/

    Garbage disposals are convenient, but they have their limits. Never try to stuff large quantities of food down the drain. Also, skip anything stringy or particularly hard. As a point of reference, if you'd have a hard time chewing and swallowing something, chances are so will your disposal, according to Efird. These are just some of the food items you shouldn't put in your disposal:

    While some of those food items can wrap around and snarl your disposal blades, others can accumulate and effectively narrow the diameter of your piping, eventually causing your plumbing to back up.

    "Even worse, a lot of these items can make their way into the city sewer system, causing blockages on main lines, especially coagulated grease and animal fats," Efird said.

    Those oily foes, which the folks at the MSD call FOG fats, oils and grease are particularly pernicious.

    Roger Edwards, Wastewater Reclamation Facility Operations Manager, shows how clean the water leaving the facility has become after treatment as it is released back into the French Broad River as he gives a tour on Oct. 9, 2018.(Photo: Angeli Wright/

    FOG may take a while to coagulate, but once it does, it can block pipes anywhere from near the point of entryall the way to the wastewater treatment plant.

    "And then it can solidify in our piping and can lead to blockages,"Edwards said.

    With the MSD managing morethan 1,000 miles of public sewer pipes andprocessing about 20 million gallons of wastewater per day, there's a lot of room for error, especially with the oily food that tends to dominate Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    More: Thanksgiving 2019: Book your reservations early! See Asheville restaurants open for the holiday

    "We know there's a lot of cooking going on around the holidays, so we want to remind people not todump any of the drainage from their cooking process down the drain," Edwards said. "It all contains a certain amount of oil and grease."

    And, as is always the case, Edwards said people should not use their toilets as trash cans.

    "Don't put Q-tips and dental floss and cotton balls, or anything other than body waste and tissue paper in your toilet."

    It may sound elemental, but the job of educating the public is never done.

    "Always be mindful of what you're putting down your drain and down your toilet," Edwards said. "If you have something to dispose ofjust put it in your trash can, because it's going to end up in the landfill anyway."

    The official word from Blue Planet Plumbing: No. Here's more, from the plumbing company's blog:

    "The chemicals in many over the counter drain cleaners have high toxicity levels and create fumes that arent healthy to inhale. These cleaners are also damaging to metallic pipes, often completely destroying them underground or under slab."

    Toxic fumes can hang around long after cleaners have gone down the drain, and the harsh chemicals can also eat away at the finishes in your tubs and sink.

    Even worse, hydrochloric acid, the primary chemical used in many drain cleaners, can corrode underground pipes, leaching toxins into the soil.

    The solution? Call a plumber, or don't put weird things down your drain in the first place.

    You've been warned.

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    You absolutely should not put these Thanksgiving foods in your garbage disposal - Citizen Times

    Grim Working Conditions Of Millions Of Developing World Sanitation Workers – OOSKA News - November 30, 2019 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A new report authored by the International Labour Organization, WaterAid, World Bank and World Health Organization focuses on the well being of sanitation workers; their safety, health and dignity.

    The report was launched on World Toilet Day, November 19 with the aim to direct attention to the working conditions of some of the most marginalized, poor and discriminated against members of society. The sanitation jobs include cleaning toilets, emptying pits and septic tanks, cleaning sewers and operating pumping stations and treatment plants.

    The report focuses on those workers in the developing world who have no equipment, protection or legal rights and is the most extensive research on the subject to date.

    The workers are often in direct contact with human waste and are exposed to a wide variety of health hazards and disease arising from exposure to toxic gases such as ammonia, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide. While there are no global statistics available, it is estimated that in India alone, three workers die every five days.

    The workers plight is not just health related. Pay ranges from non-existent to occasional, often paid in barter arrangements. There are no rights or social protections and often the work carries a social stigma.

    The supporters of the project have spoken out claiming that the situation cannot be allowed to continue and that working conditions have to improve in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6. Jennifer Sara, Global Director, World Bank Water Global Practice, emphasizedthat this is the first time such a report has been issued and calledfor all sector actors to come together and improve the quality of the lives of sanitation workers.

    Originally posted here:
    Grim Working Conditions Of Millions Of Developing World Sanitation Workers - OOSKA News

    River Redux – North Bay Bohemian - November 30, 2019 by Mr HomeBuilder

    It seems the Bohemian's coverage of the excessive levels of bacteria in the Petaluma River Watershed made some waves.

    Over the past few weeks, river recreationists have thanked us for highlighting the issue and local officials have sought to clarify certain points highlighted in our initial reporting.

    Still other river users asked us to weigh in on whether it is safe to swim in or eat fish from the Petaluma River Watershed.

    This article will cover all of those issues below. First, here is a brief recap of the situation.

    In order to determine whether fecal matter has seeped into the water, scientists test water for Fecal Indicator Bacteria (FIB). Though the FIB themselves are not dangerous, scientists use these strains of bacteria to test the level of fecal contamination in a water body, which can potentially be dangerous.

    That fecal matter can come from a range of warm-blooded creatures, including humans, cows, horses and dogs. Some level of these bacteria is natural, but state and federal agencies have identified unsafe levels.

    The main stem of the Petaluma River was first listed as "impaired" by excessive levels of fecal indicator bacteria in 1975.

    Over the past several years, scientists from the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, one of nine regional boards around the state tasked with overseeing water quality, have tested for indicator bacteria in the Petaluma River Watershed.

    The conclusion? In short, the levels exceed allowed amounts of indicator bacteria throughout the Petaluma River Watershed.

    On Wednesday, Nov. 13, the regional board unanimously approved a plan, known as the Petaluma River Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). The board intends the TMDL to define the level of bacteriain this case, levels of FIBand provide a roadmap for solving the problem.

    Weighing In

    In separate letters to the Bohemian, the City of Petaluma and Friends of the Petaluma River expressed concern that our previous coverage highlighted the city's sewer treatment plant as a possible source of fecal matter.

    The city staffers clarified that the sewage treatment plant itself is not a possible source of contamination, since they treat the sewage there to "exceptionally high standards."

    My original article ['Waste Deep,' Nov. 6] included references to possible contamination coming from the city's sewage facility, rather than the sewer collection systemthe pipes that carry the raw sewage to the treatment facility.

    As the water board's report notes, "Wastewater discharges from the [City of Petaluma's] Ellis Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant are not likely to contribute to FIB impairment of the river because they are disinfected to levels well below the applicable bacterial water quality objectives."

    The Bohemian regrets the error in terminology.

    Still, as city staffers acknowledge in their letter, some of the laterals and mains that make up the city's sewer collection system do sometimes overflow, mostly due to aging infrastructure coping with heavy storms.

    The city staffers went on to highlight ongoing efforts to clean up the river and the surrounding watershed.

    Those efforts include infrastructure upgrade projects, like "a major sewer replacement project in the City's older downtown area"; the city's Sewer Lateral Replacement Grant Program, which offers "financial assistance to property owners for the replacement of their private sewer laterals"; and public education campaigns aimed at curbing pollution from pet waste and stormwater runoff.

    In a separate letter, Andy Rodgers, director of the nonprofit Friends of the Petaluma River, encouraged readers to take a broader view of the sources of bacteria, rather than focus on treatment facilities, as I did erroneously.

    "Instead of looking at [public sewage treatment] facilities, we need to focus on the non-point sources: homeless encampments, domestic and agricultural animals, failing septic tanks and leach fields, urban runoff and especially elevating the awareness of our citizens and visitors to behave responsibly," Rodgers wrote.

    TMDL Concerns

    And that brings us to one criticism of the regional water board's current plan.

    In a letter to the board in early September, staff members from San Francisco Baykeeper, an environmental nonprofit, contended that the board's proposed plan to clean up the river, known as a TMDL, does not meet the definition laid out in federal regulations.

    In short, Baykeeper argues that, although the SF Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board calls its plan a TMDL, the current plan does not meet the requirements needed to use that name.

    For instance, Ben Eichenberg, a staff attorney at San Francisco Baykeeper, tells the Bohemian that the current plan does not properly differentiate between the multiple possible sources of fecal matter.

    Without that information, it makes it hard to hold any potential sources of bacteria accountable.

    "They're just guessing about what's causing the pollution," Eichenberg says. "Based on those guesses they've thrown together some ideas to randomly try to fix the pollution without any plan to measure how well the ideas are working."

    Due to that weakness and others in the TMDL, it could "take decades longer to solve the problem," Eichenberg says.

    In their responseto Baykeeper's concerns, Regional Water Board staff repeatedly wrote that they "disagree" with the nonprofit's interpretations of the requirements of a TMDL.

    "This TMDL includes requirements for all sources of bacteria throughout the watershed," staff wrote in part.

    Still, although the regional water board approved the TMDL unanimously on Wednesday, Nov. 13, the current plan isn't necessarily a done deal.

    Eichenberg says the California State Water Resources Control Board and then the Environmental Protection Agency will both review the TMDL before it officially goes into effect. Either agency could potentially make changes.

    Community Concerns

    Several readers have asked whether or not it is safe to swim in or eat the fish from the waters of the Petaluma River Watershed. This reporter asked the Sonoma County's Health Officer, Dr. Celeste Philips, to weigh in. Her answers, edited for length, are below:

    Is it safe to swim in the river?

    "Swimming is not recommended when e.coli levels surpass the [state] exceedance threshold. We advise people to follow these instructions when coming into contact with water in the river," Dr. Philips says.

    Dr. Philips' other advisories include: Do not swallow water; Do not drink river water or use it for cooking; Adults and children should wash hands/shower and towel dry after swimming; Rinse off pets after they come into contact with the water and do not swim when sick.

    Is it safe to eat fish from the river?

    Dr. Philips notes that the California Office of Environmental Health Assessment does not list the Petaluma River on its California Fish Advisory Map, which offers "current information regarding fish consumption advisories for freshwater bodies throughout the State."

    "That said, we advise that for fish caught in the Petaluma River that people throw away the guts and clean fillets with tap water or bottled water before cooking," Dr. Philips adds.

    See original here:
    River Redux - North Bay Bohemian

    Drain Cleaning | Kansas City | A-1 Sewer And Septic - October 29, 2019 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Serious clogs and blockages in your sewer line or pipes can result from daily use, tree roots, and damaged pipes. Blockages can also be caused by putting inappropriate items down your drains. These clogs are often preventable by following A-1s recommendations for preventing clogs. At A-1 Sewer & Septic Service, Inc., we have options to help with any size blockage, large or small.

    If your home or business is experiencing regular clogs from misuse, roots or daily use, we suggest having your drains cleaned regularly to help prevent further damage and blockages. If you have noticed any issues with the drainage in your home or business, it is best to call us right away. You can reach out to us day, night, and weekends for emergency assistance in clearing your pipes.

    In order to better assist you, A-1 Sewer & Septic Service can set up a maintenance schedule. This schedule will be based on the amount of time you want between preventative cleanings. Well reach out to you when its time for service so you can focus on the things that matter to you most.

    See the original post:
    Drain Cleaning | Kansas City | A-1 Sewer And Septic

    Identifying the Main Sewer Clean-Out in Your House - October 12, 2019 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A drain clog in an individual plumbing fixture, such as a tub or sink, is one thingit's a problem that is usually fairly easy to fix. But it is another matter entirely when you have a main drainline stoppagea clog in the large, main drain line that serves your entire house and delivers all wastewater to the civic sewer system or to a septic drain field. When a main drain clog happens, raw sewage no longer flows as it is supposed to, and it can back up into your entire house with results that can be disastrous. Until the clog is removed no drains in any of your plumbing fixtures can be safely used. It is an unpleasant and potentially very expensive problem.

    Clearing a main sewer line stoppage is best approachedfrom a fitting known as the main clean-out. Every house should have one, although unfortunately, some houses don't. It is the best place for you or a plumber to use a drain snake or motorized auger to dislodge the clog in the main drain line and return your house's drain system to proper function.

    Finding the main clean-out isn't always easy, though. Its location within a home will vary depending on the house style and the geographic climate where you live. Here are some tips for locating your main drain.

    In warm climates where homes are built on slab foundations, the main clean-out fitting is often outside, usually near the exterior walls of the home. Look behind bushes, or in a metal or plastic box recessed into the ground. The main clean-out fitting is usually a large-diameter pipe with a threaded plug in the top. It may be extending above the ground near an outside wall or may be contained inside a ground box covered by a metal cover.

    In other homes with slab foundations, the main drain may be located in a bathroom, usually on the floor near the toilet, or in a garage or utility area, usually near a floor drain. In these locations, the threaded plug may be flush-mounted into the floor or may be threaded into a short length of large-diameter pipe extending up from the floor. It can be opened with a large pipe wrench in order to provide access for drain-clearing tools.

    Finally, in houses in colder climates where the standard construction practice is to build homes over basements, the main clean-out is usually found in the basement floor, usually near the foundation wall. A threaded plug will fit into a short length of large-diameter pipe that extends up from the floor. If you have trouble finding the clean-out, follow a direct line from the vertical soil stack to the foundation wall, following the shortest paththe main clean-out will likely be located along this line. If not this kind of fitting, there may be a Y-fitting at the bottom of the main drain soil stack where it disappears under the concrete slab.

    In larger homes, there may be two or even three clean-out fittings, one for each of the main drain pipes running from separate soil stacks out to the street.

    Main drain line cleaning can be done by most plumbers, but there are also companies specializing in this work. An annual inspection and cleaning by a sewer specialist is a good idea, especially if you have a landscape with large trees. Tree roots can easily penetrate sewer lines, and a regular routine of sewer drain line cleaning may prevent a disastrous blockage.

    Cleaning the main drain blockage can be done by a homeowner, but it may require special tools, such as a motorized drain auger available for rental at tool centers and major home improvement stores.

    View post:
    Identifying the Main Sewer Clean-Out in Your House

    Sewer Line Repair & Replacement | Mr. Rooter Sewer Repair - October 12, 2019 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Cracked sewer pipes can be more than just a costly repairthey can result in extensive and pricey property damage and lead to serious health risks. Sewer line repair is the first line of defense when a sewer line fails. If the sewer line cant be repaired, sewer line replacement is the only other option. Luckily, Mr. Rooter Plumbing is your local source for quality sewer repair and replacement at any time.

    You can start by calling our team today at(855) 982-2028 orrequest an estimate online.

    In general, any type of piperegardless of the materials its made ofcan break due to extreme inner (water) and outer (ground) pressure.

    The plumbing and sewer line repair experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing can assess your sewer pipe cracks and damage. Mr. Rooter Plumbing wants to take steps to avoid sewer line replacement at all costs. While your property layout and sewer system are unique, there may be some basic issues that we can address. These are some of the most common repairs and replacements we perform:

    If repair is not possible, it may be time to schedule a sewer line replacement. Fortunately, at Mr. Rooter Plumbing, we take the time to explain your options, review the problem, and show you exactly how we are going to fix it. You can trust us to meet your needs and not oversell you on an unnecessary product during any replacement procedure. Our trenchless repair and replacement methods are less invasive than traditional methods and wont tear up your lawn or landscaping. Theyre also more cost-effective than other methods! We have repaired and replaced hundreds of sewer lines and work diligently to save you time and money on sewer line services.

    Worried that tree roots may be destroying your sewer lines? Have your pipes begun to leak unhealthy sewage under your property? Dont wait a moment longer to call on the team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing! We fix cracked, broken, deformed, and collapsed sewer pipes in a fast and efficient manner. While it may be easy to tell a serious sewer pipe problem has happened in some cases, other cases may not be so obvious.

    You can start by calling our team today at(855) 982-2028 orrequest an estimate online.

    Follow this link:
    Sewer Line Repair & Replacement | Mr. Rooter Sewer Repair

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