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    Category: Sewer and Septic – Install

    $3.37 million Kill Buck sewer project in need of grant funding – Olean Times Herald - February 23, 2020 by admin

    GREAT VALLEY As plans for a potential sewer district project in Kill Buck continue coming together, the Great Valley Town Board recently held a second public hearing explaining more of the projects development and what is to come.

    The potential $3.37 million project would see a sewer system built on the north side of Route 417 from the Great Valley Creek east to Hardscrabble Road that would take the sewage, grind it up and pump it to a nearby Salamanca pump station.

    Weve been working for almost two years to get as much information as we can to go after as much grant money as we can to make this system feasible, Town Supervisor Dan Brown said.

    At the boards Feb. 10 meeting, Caleb Henning of MDA Engineers said they have spent several months preparing a report based on a study in the Kill Buck area for the project.

    We identified an area to study because of the failing septic systems and the need for a solution to address those problems, he said. The projects area includes about 100 homes and several businesses on Route 417 and portions of Kill Buck, Hardscrabble and Halsaver roads.

    Funding for the study only covered the portion of Kill Buck not located on Seneca Nation Territory primarily south of Route 417, Henning explained. He said a future project could include properties on Nation territory, but the report is only based on land off territory.

    The pipe could stay on the north side and one or two connections could be made to service everybody, he said. The study showed that much of the soil is not ideal for septic systems, which is why many are failing and would be difficult to replace, Henning said.

    The project would include laying pipe and hooking into the houses and businesses and installing a grinder pump at each property to process and move the sewage towards Salamanca to the pump station.

    The capital cost would be funded through a zero percent, 30-year loan, Henning said. Breaking that down, that comes up to an estimated first-year cost of $1,012 per year per user. Thats a very high cost, and thats not going to be feasible with only a zero percent loan. You still have to add operation and maintenance onto that.

    Once built, the project would cost about $61,200 a year to operate and maintain, Henning said, which would be divided among the property owners, in addition to the initial capital cost.

    It really ends up being $1,500 to $1,600 per year per user, which is some of the highest costs Ive ever seen in my experience, he said. Henning said a target charge would be about $950.

    The other two project alternatives MDA Engineers developed cost $3.5 million for a gravity collection system and $4.4 million for a septic tank collection system, Henning said.

    TO HELP OFFSET costs, the town board is pursuing some grants that could cover a large portion and lower the residents bills as much as possible.

    This report does identify a project that doesnt seem feasible, but it also gives a document to use to apply for funding to make it more cost-effective, he added.

    For the planning process, Catherine Rees, a water resources specialist with RCAP Solutions, said the town held meetings with Salamanca and Seneca Nation officials, communicated with the state Department of Housing, submitted the applications for preliminary planning and held a public hearing for the study.

    Last year there was a hearing that said youre looking to get money and the decision was made that you would spend it on the study, she said. This is the required second public hearing that says what is the result of that money you spent.

    During the preliminary design phase, Rees said the town selected MDA as its engineering firm, which developed the district boundary map for the project. She said those designs and the results of the study were sent to various entities including the Department of Agriculture, SHPO, SEQR and DEC as well as the Seneca Nation.

    Because youre so close to the Seneca Nation, my concern is if theres going to be tribal concerns, she said. You are staying off the reservation, but youre only across the road, so we dont know historically if there are any artifacts or anything theyd be concerned about.

    Now that the projects preliminary design process is nearly complete, Rees said the town will begin looking and applying for various funding sources. A major aspect of getting the funding will be an income survey, which had begun last year but with little feedback from households in the sewer district.

    There is one funding agency in particular if you want to even be eligible to apply, and it would be up to a million-dollar grant, we have to get a good response on this survey, she said.

    Rees said some additional funding applications are due in a few months, but without enough residents submitting the survey to RCAP Solutions, the town wont get the grants and the project costs wont be funded. A second mailing was sent out earlier this month, she said.

    This second round, we need more, Brown said. This is really dependent on the more income surveys (RCAP Solutions) gets back.

    Were looking to keep trying with all the funding sources until you can get to that level, and it might take a couple of years, she said. Until you get the funding, youre not going to go to final design.

    Henning said other options to offset cost include negotiating with the city of Salamanca to come up with a mutually agreeable treatment cost and bringing more homes and businesses into the district, particularly along Route 417.

    If the system is there, the potential for growth is much greater than what were seeing right now, Brown said.

    Henning said if the south side of Route 417 were to hook into the system in the future, the pipes would have enough capacity to handle the extra amount of sewer, and more property owners in the system would help pay for the costs.

    (Contact Salamanca Press editor Kellen Quigley at

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    $3.37 million Kill Buck sewer project in need of grant funding - Olean Times Herald

    A better way to treat waste and reduce nitrogen – Cape Cod Times - February 10, 2020 by admin

    The Jan. 20 My View encouraging the populace to "Support regional wastewater treatment plant" was really an infomercial. But No Sale.

    I urge readers to Google "Least costly passive nitrogen-reducing residential septic systems." There they will find a listing for Nitrex a proven system that reduces nitrogen levels between 87% and 97%, as tested on Cape Cod and in other parts of the country. A system for a three- to four-bedroom house with a life span of more than 50 years installed with a leaching field would cost between $22,000 and $30,000. It would also substantially reduce phosphorous and all other contaminants.

    Then, Googling "Best residential wastewater treatment systems to eliminate nitrogen," one finds a listing for a Norweco system by A.J. Foss, with nitrogen reductions of 87% and costing about the same.

    The writer noted that installing innovative alternative systems at each of the 10,000 homes causing much of Yarmouths pollution, at a cost of about $30,000 per home, would come to $300 million in one-time costs, good for at least 50 years. That's $100 million less than the $400 million initial estimate for the 40-year regional wastewater treatment plant planned for Yarmouth (a true savings).

    Wouldn't it make more sense to take the 0% state loans and create a financing plan for home and business property owners to borrow, and/or to pay for residents living near, at or below the poverty line, to install near-lifetime backyard systems that take care of the pollutants infiltration problem better than a main batch plant could, and have almost every property converted within 10 years while having infiltration reduced with every conversion and pay as you go?

    Or would we rather have: town water supply rates triple what they are now, as in Chatham? a sewer usage charge three times the water rate (as in the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority district around Boston)? a multithousand-dollar street sewer pipe connection fee? the cost of rerouting in-house waste pipe plumbing from going out to the backyard across the cellar floor to the street out front? the cost of capping over the old septic system out back or removing it entirely? praying till kingdom come that one town official's claim that "the project could be funded without raising property tax rates" pans out and holds true for 40-plus years? hoping the never-ending traffic tie-ups don't last long each time and that rescue teams can reach us in emergencies and get us to the hospital before it's too late?

    Wouldn't it be far better to immediately reduce the pollutant infiltration upon the first year, and time the residential property backyard conversions, instead of taking 10 years to put the batch plant and main trunk lines in place, with any substantial reduction of pollutant levels and improvement of the above-ground water and ecology taking 20 to 30 years from start? Perhaps the business development around town is declining because property, rental and tax costs are already too high. With little manufacturing on Cape, we will kill the goose that laid the golden egg on Cape: real estate (retirees moving here, the home improvement market, summer rentals).

    In 10 years we could be done, not 40; the waterways would clean and protected years sooner; housing would be more affordable for all residents (affordable towns and housing already being in short supply); and the ambiance and beauty of life on Cape would continue in an undisturbed, more affordable way. State lawsuit threats overboard home rule should apply in this case.

    Otherwise, the "Ironshop Rules" still apply: "Can do!"; "where there's a will, there's a way"; "your job is to make things better, not worse"; "you're paid to think!"; "the Golden Rules apply"; "teamwork"; and "no excuses, just results get it done, now!"

    Frank L. Montani, a former steelworker, lives in South Yarmouth. He has no financial stake in, or personal connection to, any of the systems mentioned.

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    A better way to treat waste and reduce nitrogen - Cape Cod Times

    Joyal: Great Bay cleanup could cost Dover hundreds of millions – Foster’s Daily Democrat - February 10, 2020 by admin

    DOVER The draft Clean Water permit for the Great Bay Estuary from the Environmental Protection Agency could cost the city of Dover hundreds of millions of dollars to meet, City Manager Michael Joyal told the City Council Wednesday.

    This is not just Dover, every community that has a wastewater plant that discharges into Great Bay will have to meet it, Joyal said during a workshop meeting of the City Council.

    In a change of approach from the past, the EPA is calling for a dozen communities around Great Bay to reduce the amounts of nitrogen going into the waters, rather than focusing on one community at a time.

    The permit allows the communities to keep nitrogen levels from their wastewater plants at current levels.

    But the draft permit then requires the communities follow a 23-year state plan that calls for a 45% reduction from so-called non-point source pollution, like stormwater runoff.

    Joyal said city staffers feel the amount of non-point nitrogen reduction the EPA is asking for is unnecessarily restrictive, not supported by science and may not be realistically achievable.

    He repeated when asked that reaching the permit levels over 20 years could cost Dover ratepayers and taxpayers hundreds of millions.

    John Storer, the citys Community Services Director, agreed, and added that if they are forced to comply with the EPAs new permit, city businesses could be facing substantial increases in their sewer costs.

    He estimated that Liberty Mutual could see an increase of $30,000 while Wentworth-Douglass Hospital could face a $50,000 increase.

    When we met with DES (the state Department of Environmental Services) and EPA they admitted we never said it was going to be easy, Storer said. They also suggested you have to get on to private property to reduce non-point nitrogen pollution.

    Joyal stated that could mean trying to compel private businesses to install advanced septic systems and regulate the way stormwater is handled on private property.

    He also noted the city has no way to regulate the amount of nitrogen that is used, for example, in fertilizers to try to cut down on nitrogen that ends up in Great Bay.

    We cant do any of that locally, that all has to be done by the state of New Hampshire, Joyal said.

    Both Joyal and Storer noted that Dover has made significant investments to its wastewater treatment plant, which has reduced the amount of nitrogen going into Great Bay by 70 percent since 2014.

    In addition, DES in 2014, 2016 and 2018 did not point to nitrogen as one of the causes of impairment to Great Bay, Joyal said.

    He and others encouraged residents and business owners to attend a public hearing the EPA is hosting on the proposed permit on Feb. 19.

    The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and will be held at DES office at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth.

    City Councilor John OConnor called the issue very serious, which could end up costing the city $200 million.

    I dont know what we would do, all the communities, because the financial impact, the potential impact to taxpayers ... if this comes to fruition, this is going to just blow the cap off all of that, he said.

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    Joyal: Great Bay cleanup could cost Dover hundreds of millions - Foster's Daily Democrat

    Lundy to present new plans for Thompson Park golf club – NNY360 - February 2, 2020 by admin

    WATERTOWN Developer Michael E. Lundy has come up with a way to resolve the controversy of Watertown Golf Club members parking on city-owned land in Thompson Park.

    Hes proposing an overflow parking lot that would not encroach on city parkland by creating it on his property and specifically for club members to use, said Michael A. Lumbis, the citys planning and community development director.

    Mr. Lundy submitted conceptual plans to the citys Planning Department for the improvements he plans to complete at the golf course at Thompson Park.

    He will make a presentation on Tuesday to get some feedback prior to his formal site plan application, Mr. Lumbis said.

    If the presentation goes well, Mr. Lundy will come back at a future meeting with detailed plans to go through the site plan approval process.

    According to his sketch plan, Mr. Lundy proposes a 50-space parking lot that would be near the clubhouse and along West Entrance Drive.

    In a Jan. 22 letter to Mr. Lumbis, Mr. Lundy wrote about his intentions for the golf club.

    He would develop just a part of the existing overflow parking lot thats on the golf course property but does not encroach on city parkland.

    For months, the overflow parking area was the subject of debate between council members, while they also faced the threat of legal action from Mr. Lundy and P.J. Simao, the owner of competitor Ives Hill Country Club.

    Theres no mention of the overflow parking lot on the plans or in his letter, Mr. Lumbis said.

    Creating a bigger controversy, council members put up a public parking sign in June that allowed the public and club members to park there and then reversed their decision and ordered it removed a few months later.

    Under these plans, Mr. Lundy indicated in his letter that he might not build a new clubhouse as he told city officials in the past. An aluminum event tent, anchored to the rock subbase with an Astro turf-type floor, that he used last golf season would remain at the same location.

    According to the plans, hell remedy a series of encroachments that the city had been criticized for allowing.

    He would install a leachate field instead of connecting into the citys sewer system on city property. The sewer hookup would be completed if he redoes the clubhouse.

    With the current political atmosphere with the city, we have decided against tying into the city sewer, Mr. Lundy wrote.

    A septic tank would be completed upon the citys review.

    A building to store golf carts would be located over the pad of the original pro shop.

    Plans also call for a building for an outdoor bar, restrooms and storage, and another structure at the first tee to greet golfers before they begin to play.

    The citys Planning Board meets at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the third floor council chambers of City Hall, 245 Washington St.

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    Lundy to present new plans for Thompson Park golf club - NNY360

    NOVEMBER 2019 PROGRESSIONS: RMC safety grade improves | Special Sections – The Times and Democrat - February 2, 2020 by admin

    RMC safety grade improves

    The Regional Medical Center improved in the area patient safety, according to fall 2019 survey by a national hospital safety watchdog group.

    The Leapfrog Group gave RMC a "D" in its fall 2019 survey of hospital safety across the nation. This is up from an F the hospital received in the fall of 2018.

    The 2019 fall results showed the hospital performed below average in 17 out of 28 patient safety measures and above average in 11 safety measures.

    This is improved from the 23 out of 28 below-average score the hospital received last year.

    RMC also received an award from the S.C. Hospital Association for achieving 30 months with zero knee replacement surgical site infections and 48 months with zero central line-associated bloodstream infections in the Intensive Care Unit.

    Law firm donates 250 turkeys

    For the sixth consecutive year, the law firm of Lanier & Burroughs donated turkeys to those in Orangeburg who may needed a little help for Thanksgiving dinner.

    Local families, churches and non-profit organizations gathered in the parking lot of the firm's office on St. Matthews Road to receive 250 frozen turkeys.

    Attorney Lewis Lanier noted, Its all worth it when you see people that might need a little help to give it to them, if you can.

    Attorney Shane Burroughs said, We are thankful for the continued opportunity to represent and help the people of Orangeburg, and for our ability to give back this holiday season.

    Orangeburg YMCA pools, more renovated

    The pools and several other areas around the Orangeburg County YMCA were renovated.

    The renovations included the resurfacing of the competition pool, therapy pool and the natatorium ceiling, walls and doors.

    A new dehumidification system and new rooftop HVAC systems will be installed. The facilitys sprinkler system will also be updated.

    The renovations and maintenance were scheduled to be completed Jan. 31.

    Sewer grant extends service to Edisto High

    Orangeburg County received a $1.4 million U.S. Department of Agriculture loan and a $1.5 million USDA grant to extend sewer lines in the Orangeburg County-West Edisto Sewer System.

    The project will extend sewer to Edisto High School and will mean between 80 and 100 residential customers will be able to tap into public wastewater if they so choose. Currently, the homes are on septic systems.

    The county hopes to put the project out to bid in the spring of 2020 and complete it in the spring of 2021.

    SCSU cyber defense recognized

    South Carolina State University was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

    S.C. State says it is the first and only historically black institution in South Carolina to receive this designation.

    The designation is for the university's bachelors degree in computer science with cybersecurity program and is valid through the year 2024.

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    Bamberg County dedicates 3 new fire trucks

    Bamberg County Fire Services dedicated the district's new trucks.

    The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development provided grants and loaned the funding for the trucks, which replaced the old, unreliable equipment in Ehrhardt, Olar and Little Swamp fire substations.

    Orangeburg barber school makes move to new building

    Barber Tech Academy, a post-secondary master barber school located at 1650 Russell Street, celebrated its grand opening at its new location Nov. 7.

    The school is located in the former Rhoad's Cleaners building across the street from the former Piggly Wiggly.

    Barber Tech expanded its services into the 4,200-square-foot building in an effort to educate more students with a larger number of amenities.

    The school had been located at 1521 Russell St. at the former U.S. Army recruitment office.

    Grant to preserve Trinity UMC legacy

    Trinity United Methodist Church received $500,000 tohelp preserve its historical structures that played a significant role during the civil rights movement.

    The Historic Preservation Fund grants were provided by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service.

    The grant will be used to restore and refurbish the windows in the sanctuary of the church, and address water intrusion problems with the churchs exterior walls, Lott stated.

    Tisdale honored for service to alma mater

    Claflin University honored its long-serving former president by naming a building after him: the Henry N. Tisdale Molecular Science Research Center.

    The building was chosen to honor Tisdale due to his background in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

    The center was constructed in 2010. It houses the Chemistry Department and a forensics science lab.

    Downtown building being renovated

    The three-story brick building at the corner of Amelia and Middleton streets is being renovated for potential use as office space.

    The building is owned by Orangeburg Realtor Kenneth Middleton.

    Middleton wants to expand his offices into the 1,350-square-foot building.

    Restoration work began in late September and early October. Estimates are that it will take between three to four months for the project to be complete.

    League of the Arts seeks to restore historic home

    The Orangeburg League of the Arts is looking to restore the former Dukes-Harley Funeral Home on Russell Street.

    The league would like to see it used for a variety of things, including an art and antique gallery, frame shop, a wedding chapel, dance studio, place for art instruction classes and event venue.

    Full restoration efforts began Oct. 21

    The building was destroyed by a fire about two years ago.

    The group was given the building in April 2016. Since then, a new roof has been placed on it and the building has been cleaned out.

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    NOVEMBER 2019 PROGRESSIONS: RMC safety grade improves | Special Sections - The Times and Democrat

    Op-ed: Yes, food is grown in sewage waste. That’s a problem. – Environmental Health News - December 26, 2019 by admin

    You may not realize it but some foods you eat may have been grown in soil containing toxic sewage wastes. Labeling is not required.

    In 2019, about 60 percent of sewage sludge from 16,000 wastewater processing facilities in more than 160 U.S. cities has been spread on our soils farmland and gardens, as well as schoolyards and lawns.

    The U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) allows this use of sewage waste, claiming it has beneficial use because it contains properties similar to fertilizercertain heavy metals, phosphorus and nitratesthat could enhance soil conditions.

    The agency does not require testing for other chemicals in the sewage waste. Yet, millions of tons of sewage are processed annually and the waste can contain upward of 90,000 chemicals plus and an array of pathogens, including mixtures of lead, mercury, arsenic, thallium, PCBs, PFAS, highly complex, superbugs, mutagens, pesticides, microplastics, radioactive wastes, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, steroids, flame retardants, dioxins, and/or their combinations.

    Sewage treatment plants separate the processed sewage into solids and liquids (effluent), where these pollutants and pathogens concentrate.

    The toxics-containing solids are often mixed with garden waste and sold for compost or recycled as fertilizers. These are spread on soils at farms, forests or recreational sites and can run off with stormwater into surface water bodies.

    Currently the U.S. recycles 587 million gallons of this toxic effluent water each day for irrigation on agricultural land.

    Florida, for instance, produces an estimated 340,000 dry tons of sewage solids annually, two-thirds of which are spread on land. California, arguably with the most sewage, "reclaims" at least 13 percent of its effluent; 31 percent is used for crop irrigation.

    Long term damage from spreading sewage waste on land has led to many problems. For example, a variety of cropsincluding leafy greens and soybeansused for food and animal fodder are known to have taken up sewage contaminants. The consequences? Contaminated food, loss of farmland and animals. Human illnesses and deaths have resulted from breathing the particulates.

    Warning sign on Lake Merritt, a large tidal lagoon in the center of Oakland, California. (Credit: Daniel Ramirez/flickr)

    The EPA is currently writing a national plan for the use of sewage effluent, which they will call "recycled," "reclaimed," and "purified."

    Effluent from sewage plants that is not "recycled" or "reclaimed" travels from pipes into nearby open water bodies. This not only contaminates aquatic waters and ecosystems, but the excess nitrogen can cause algae blooms and eutrophication, stealing needed oxygen from marine plants and animals.

    Just this month, the Florida Senate Committee on Community Affairs recognized this threat by passing the Clean Waterways Act, CS/SB 712, "for all the reasons algae keeps blooming and fish keep dying." The bill tightens restrictions on sewage spills and sewage solids by moving septage to sewer systems and offering local governments a 50 percent matching grant to do this. The Act also regulates and ensures future septic tanks are designed, installed, operated and maintained to prevent nitrogen and phosphorus nutrient pollution, and also ensures that sewage solids are only applied to land high enough and dry enough to prevent interaction with groundwater.

    In addition to excess nutrients, some plastic sources in the marine waters come from the release of sewage effluents. Microplastics that enter the marine waters can adsorb toxics, such as PCBs. Many of the microplastics are from personal care products and fleece fibers washed out from clothing in the laundry. The plastics and pollutants are now found in fin and shellfish and these travel up the food chain for consumption by higher animals, including humans.

    Sewage contamination of our oceans directly affects the health of our air, wildlife and human health. For example, the pollution of Washington State's Puget Sound, stretching about 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean to beyond the capital city of Olympia, is estimated to be 60 percent from sewage.

    Some states use effluent for augmenting and "enhancing" aquifers. This means injecting effluent into potential potable water systems.

    California, Ohio, and other states allow municipalities to recycle it for potable uses after additional cleansing. Some microbrew beer companies are experimenting with reusing processed effluent. Antibiotic resistant genes are disseminated through effluent reuse. The point is, cleaner is not clean and no entity can test for all the pathogens and thousands of contaminants, or even know what to test for.

    Rain garden in Lancaster County, Pa. (Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program/flickr)

    Lapeer, Michigan; Marinette, Wisconsin; and Arundel, Maine, have ended the practice of spreading sewage waste on land after finding that PFAS, a class of harmful chemicals, are in grazing lands and farm soils. These pollutants are turning up in drinking water and some foods across the U.S. PFAS have been linked to low infant birth weights, kidney cancer, and a range of other diseases.

    The EPA's Office of Inspector General's Water Division has several times warned EPA that its regulations are not effective in controlling the discharge of hundreds of hazardous chemicals to surface waters; that the EPA is unable to assess the impact of hundreds of unregulated pollutants in land-applied "biosolids" on human health and the environment; and that the public and researchers are not receiving complete and timely information about environmental conditions affecting human health.

    Safer alternatives for recycling sewage wastes exist. Some U.S. cities are using pyrolysisinternal high heat methods that destroy pathogens and destabilize bonds of toxics, then capture the excess heat for energy purposes or other uses. Australia is piloting another high heat sourceplasma arc. Remediation methods exist to lessen toxicity in soils and sediments. The EPA and states must insist municipalities investigate alternative methods for reuse of sewage wastes.

    To stop poisoning soils, marine ecosystems, wildlife and our food system, governments must regulate the current practices as unsafe and promote new technologies to replace current sewage management.

    Darlene Schanfald, Ph.D., has been active in environmental campaigns for more than three decades and has worked on sewage waste issues since 2000.

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    Op-ed: Yes, food is grown in sewage waste. That's a problem. - Environmental Health News

    IWSH Team Returns to Navajo Mountain for Renovation Project – PRNewswire - December 5, 2019 by admin

    NAVAJO MOUNTAIN, Ariz., Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --Representatives of the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) have returned to the Navajo Nation this week to support the installation of new toilet and washroom facilities for the Naatsis'n (Navajo Mountain) Chapter House. This key administrative hub for the Naatsis'n community is being relocated, while the existing Chapter House the base for the most recent IWSH Community Plumbing Challenge (CPC) project, in Piute Mesa, Arizona, in June undergoes major renovation.

    "This week, the team is installing a cistern system and a septic system at the Arizona warehouse office building, which we will be using for our temporary chapter office building," said Lorena Atene, Community Services Coordinator at Naatsis'n Chapter. "The new office is very important, to help us continue providing services for families in the local community."

    "Through our Chapter House, we provide services for bathroom additions, minor renovations, roof replacements, and we process paperwork to do with power line extensions and house wiring projects for families that are being hooked up to power lines," Atene continued. "So from the new site we are going to be able to continue this remote office work and important communications with Window Rock offices plus all the other entities we work with, to make things happen for our community."

    The team assembled for the project this week includes two IWSH representatives Jed Scheuermann and Randy Lorge plus volunteers from the Naatsis'n Chapter and DigDeep, hosts of the Navajo Water Project and IWSH's ongoing CPC collaboration in the Navajo Nation. Also joining the crew are four volunteers from UA Local Union 412 (Albuquerque, New Mexico): two apprentices, Sasha Sun and Aaron Heitman, Business Agent Adam Valdez and Business Manager Courtenay Eichhorst.

    "We have been given another opportunity to help the Navajo Nation, so we thought it would be a great chance to bring some new people out here as well as some older, familiar faces and do some good for our community," said Eichhorst, the recent recipient of the inaugural IWSH Award in recognition of his dedicated support toward the development of the first U.S. CPC program.

    During a busy first day onsite, the team started installation of drain, waste and venting systems as well as the layout of water distribution piping. Preparation work was completed for the septic system, and tunneling through the footing of the building for the building sewer to the septic tank was also finished. Excavation was also completed for installation of a water cistern.

    The project concludes Friday, and updates from the work site will be shared on IWSH Foundation social media channels throughout the week.

    Companies or organizations who wish to get involved with the CPC Navajo Mountain program, or any other future editions of the international CPC program, are encouraged to get in touch via One-time, tax deductible donations to support these efforts may also be made via

    SOURCE The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH)

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    IWSH Team Returns to Navajo Mountain for Renovation Project - PRNewswire

    The Hidden Racial Inequities of Water Access in America – GQ - November 30, 2019 by admin

    Most Americans do not give a second thought to what happens after they turn on a faucet handle or flush a toilet. This is because the result is always the same: Clean, potable water comes out, available to drink, wash hands, cook food, clean clothes, or tidily dispose of waste, whatever the case may be.

    Yet in many places throughout the country, running water is a scarce resource, or even an unattainable luxury. A report released earlier this week sheds new light on the scope of this phenomenon, and its conclusions are startling. More than two million people in the world's most prosperous democracy live without running water or modern plumbing. And although socioeconomic status correlates with water and wastewater services access, race is the single strongest predictor: African-American and Latinx households are almost twice as likely as white households to not have full indoor plumbing, while Native American households are about 19 times as likely, the report says. The researchers caution that given the challenges in obtaining accurate data from the groups most affected by the "water access gap," these figures may be undercounts.

    The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is perhaps the most infamous recent example of racial inequities in water access, where local officials' failure to adequately treat tap water exposed the city's nearly 100,000 residents, more than half of whom are black, to dangerous levels of lead and other contaminants. The problem is also acute in more remote or rural areas, including certain majority-black communities in the Deep South, majority-Latinx communities in California's Central Valley, and Native American reservations in the Southwest, among others. Nationwide, 17 percent of people in rural areas have had trouble obtaining potable water, and 12 percent have experienced problems with their sewage systems, according to the report. In some places, conditions are getting worse, not better. "In six states and Puerto Rico, we're going backwardsfewer people will have running water next year than this year," says George McGraw, the founder and CEO of DigDeep, a nonprofit that co-authored the report.

    These racial and socioeconomic disparities are not an accident. In an effort to cut down on the dangers posed by waterborne diseases, Congress passed the Safe Water Drinking Act in 1974, a landmark statute that empowers the Environmental Protection Agency to set and enforce national standards for drinking-water-contaminant levels. And throughout most of the previous century, the federal government invested heavily in infrastructure, making water and wastewater services available in some of the nation's previously far-flung corners. Especially in cities and towns with higher population densities, this was a no-brainer investment in public health and economic productivity, and allowed utilities to provide high-quality water to consumers at relatively low prices.

    This infrastructure boom, however, was not equal-opportunity. Cities and towns building out their systems would not always do so in majority-minority areas nearby. As the report documents, in the 1950s, the town of Zanesville, Ohio, did not build water lines in its African-American neighborhoods, and the following decade Roanoke, Virginia, did not extend its infrastructure to Hollins, a neighboring majority-black town. Discriminatory local government law practices also played a role: In the Central Valley of California, predominantly Latinx communities were discouraged from formally incorporating, which prevented them from accessing construction financing available to cities and towns. As a result, no one bothered to install a water system in the first place. Even today, there are places in the country where homes lack running water, within walking distance of neighborhoods that enjoy the full spectrum of water and sanitation services, says Zo Roller, senior program manager at the nonprofit U.S. Water Alliance, which also co-authored the report.

    The rest is here:
    The Hidden Racial Inequities of Water Access in America - GQ

    The State Wants To Turn Cranberry Bogs Into Wetlands. It’s Gritty Work – WBUR - November 30, 2019 by admin

    Alex Hackman picks up a shovel and digs in to what used to be a cranberry bog.Down through an inch or two of tough green cranberry vines, down into the sandy soil beneath. Down, down, down.

    "It's tough going," says Hackman, stopping to catch his breath. "This is, you know, a century of effort by the prior farmers to have this beautiful dense layer of cranberry vines."

    Hackman is a restoration ecologist with the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration. He runs a state program dedicated to turning cranberry bogs back into wetlands.

    The state program partners with the UDSA's Wetland Reserve Easement Program, which has been around for decades. But lately there's been an uptick of interest from local farmers, says Brian Wick, executive director of the Cape CodCranberry Growers Association. That's because the cranberry business has been tough in recent years, with prices driven down by competition from Canada and Wisconsin, and the trade war with China. One of the biggest challenges the bog-to-wetland program faces, says Wick, is finding enough money to meet the demand.

    "As the price of cranberries has been down, a lot of growers have been turning to that [program]as a possibility," Wick says. "This is a good option for the growers, because short of that its selling off house lots that surround the bogs. So youre left with very limited options of what you can do with that property."

    Its a potentialwin-win situation.Farmers get much-needed cash. The state gets a wetland, which can absorb water and prevent flooding an increasing risk with heavier rainstorms and rising sea levels linked to climate change. Wetlands also absorb pollutants, store carbon, and provide homes for fish and wildlife.

    But even though many cranberry bogs were built inlow-lying, swampy areas, turning a bog back to a wetland can be harder than you might think. That's because cranberry bogs are surprisinglydry. And that's why Hackman is digging a hole in a retired bog. He says that farmers add a layer of sand to their bogs every few years, which helps cranberries grow. Aftera 100 years, that leaves a lot of sand.

    He pries out a block of soil and holds it up. It looks like a layer cake of light sand and darker dirt.He shakes the soil and sand showers out.

    "The thing thats different about this soil than the native wetland soil is that this will not hold water well," says Hackman. "This is sand, and water will move through this and go underground. Wetlands need to hold water to be a wetland."

    There's another reason the bogs are dry, says Hackman: the "plumbing" that farmers install on the surface. Cranberry farmers use ditches and dams to steer water where they need it irrigating crops for the growing season, or flooding them for harvest. The ditches are useful for farming, but like the sand disrupt the wetland's natural ability to hold water.

    About a foot below the sandy top layers, Hackman hits rich, black peat the original wetland. Part of getting back to that wetland involves removing, or at least "roughing up" those top feet of soil. The other part is creating more natural waterways on the surface you rip out the plumbing, as Hackman says, and wait for the wetland to return.

    The amount of work required, he explains, depends a lot on the cranberry bog itself.

    "Some of these sites require very little intervention or even none to become wetlands again," Hackman says.For instance, low-lying bogs with a lot of peat underneath probably need less help; others may need more.

    "One of our challenges is determining where we need to do active intervention to restore wetlands," he said, "and where we can just walk away and let these lands self-heal."

    Nature's Filter

    There's another pressing question: How much can these restored wetlands improve water quality? This is an important question, given water pollution problems in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. Many households in these areas use septic systems, which leach nitrogen into groundwater. The excess nutrients pollute ponds and estuaries, causing algae blooms thatharmnative eel grass, fish and crabs.

    The groundwater pollution is so bad in Falmouth, for example, thatit affects almost every estuary in town. The town considered installing a municipal sewer system, but balked at the $600 million price tag. Town officials and residentsare hoping that restored wetlands can be part of the solution.

    Ecologist Chris Neill shares their hope. A senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center, he's studying a recently restored wetland on theCoonamessett River, which feeds into Falmouth's Great Pond. By measuring how much nitrogen the wetland absorbs before and after restoration, he hopes to quantify its impact.

    "And then hopefully the town could use that removal and calculate that into their overall strategy," Neill says. "So maybe by building 30 or 40 acres of restored wetlands, we can build less sewers and run pipes to fewer houses, and get the same nitrogen removal. That would save the town lots and lots of money into the millions and even tens of millions of dollars."

    Restoring a bog can be pricey.The state's first project, completed in 2010, converted a Plymouth cranberry bog into 40 acres of wetlands at the Eel River Headwaters Reserve. The projecttook about a year, and included some roadwork, removing a dam, roughing up the surface soil,and planting20,000 Atlantic white cedars a tree native to New England swamps. In total, the project cost about $2 million.

    "Thats well worth it," Hackman says. "You know, these lands provide important services, like water purification, water storage, fish and wildlife habitat. And so why wouldnt we pay for that?"

    Help For Farmers

    The cost also includes payments to farmers for their land. The going rate for the program is $13,600 an acre, which sounds pretty good to cranberry farmer Jeff Kapell.

    "Were kind of in a bad phase right now where theres a very low price for the fruit, and so people are trying to hang on in any way they can," says Kapell, who has been growing cranberries in Plymouth for 40 years.

    Kapell briefly considered selling one of his bogs to a solar farm. But hes decided to go with the wetland option.

    "I would feel very good about being able to put this into conservancy," he says. "All of the land around us is protected forever, and I think thats what this parcel should be."

    Kapell plans to retire the bog next year and reinvest the money into the rest of his farm. He'll keep growing cranberries on the other bogs he owns for as long as he can.

    See original here:
    The State Wants To Turn Cranberry Bogs Into Wetlands. It's Gritty Work - WBUR

    As told to Parliament (November 20, 2019): India’s unemployment rate in 2018 was 6% – Down To Earth Magazine - November 21, 2019 by admin

    Indias unemployment rate in 2018 was 6%

    Indias unemployment rate in 2018 was six per cent, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment, Santosh Kumar Gangwartold the Rajya Sabha on November 20, 2019.

    The minister stated this in response to a question on whether India's unemployment rate rose to a three-year high of 8.48 per cent in October according to data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy.

    Increase in deaths of manual scavengers

    In 2019, 83 people diedcleaning sewers and septic tanks in India. This is an increase of 26 per cent over 2018. In 2018, 66 people died across India, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawaletold the Rajya Sabha.

    Of the 83 people who died, the families of only 31 have received compensation.Manual scavenging is officially prohibited by law in 1993.

    Thousands of crores remain unspent under MPLADS

    Thousands of crores of rupees remain unspent under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementationtold the Lok Sabha.

    Out of Rs 50,462 crore allocated by the government, close to Rs 4,102 crore remained unspent as on March 31, 2019, the ministry said in its statement.

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    As told to Parliament (November 20, 2019): India's unemployment rate in 2018 was 6% - Down To Earth Magazine

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