Posts Tagged ‘Drinking Water’

New Drilling Methods of the Marcellus Shale Maybe Possible in Chemung County, NY

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Read the NY TIMES article HERE. New York State is pending new rules for the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Trenton Black River rock formation in Chemung County is an area where companies have been drilling for natural gas and may now experience an increase in gas production if the new rules are approved. The danger for humans is in the possible contamination of drinking water but there are environmental impacts as well such as ecosystem disruption and the use of millions of gallons of water per each drilling well. A lawsuit was filed for contaminated drinking water in Chemung County, but the New York Department of Environmental Conservation found that it was unlikely that the gas wells caused methane contamination of the water wells. Navarro, Mireya. “In Drilling Safety Debate, Hydrofracking’s Not the Only Target”. The New York Times. 28 December, 2011. Meghan Karlik Project Manager

The Future of America’s Drinking Water: Uncertain

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IMAGE from the NY TIMES: C.M. Glover for The New York Times, Repairing a Water Main Break in Norwich, Conn.

Click Here for the NY Times article The American Society of Civil Engineers has recently reported on the condition of the United States’ community-based-drinking-water systems and public wastewater treatment facilities. Unless the systems are improved and modernized serious problems could arise in future years. The drinking-water systems are aging and rusting while the wastewater treatment facilities fail so often that 900 billion gallons of untreated sewage are discharged each year. It is estimated by the EPA that to modernize the county’s water systems would cost $91 billion, but only $35 million is available. Not only does this pose a public health and environmental concern but also an economic problem. Thousands of jobs are directly related to the availability and quality of water such as wineries and chemical plants. Because water service infrastructure is located below ground it is easy to not notice the deterioration. But when the systems break it also causes huge damage to roadways and other public infrastructure. A possible solution? Put public municipal infrastructure in the hands of private companies who often can borrow money for repairs at more favorable interest rates than local or state governments. Barringer, Felicity. “Oh Danny Boy, the Pipes, the Pipes Are Failing”. The New York Times. 20 December, 2011. Meghan Karlik Project Manager IMRivers

Washington Sewage Treatment Plant Nominated as A “Top Ten Green Project”

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The American Institute of Architects has recognized the unique LOTT Clean Water Alliance Water Treatment Plant in Olympia, Washington as one of the “Top Ten Green Projects” of 2011.  It is unlike most sewage treatment plants by the fact that instead of being separated from the local community, it is meant to actively engage the public through its “WET Center” (Water Educational and Technology Center).  The treatment plant provides Class A reclaimed water which is “wastewater that has been treated to higher standards and can therefore be used for irrigation, toilet flushing, and industrial and manufacturing uses.” (Miller Hull).  The building uses reclaimed water for its indoor plumbing needs, to fill the man-made ponds which give aesthetic value to the building, and to irrigate the landscape around the building and on its green roof.  The pond’s perimeter is surrounded by multiple interpretive exhibits that explain the pond and reclaimed water. Photo: Sources: Miler Hull and The American Institute of Architects Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

Rutgers University Sponsors “RU On Tap”

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Rutgers University Athletics, along with New Jersey American Water, is holding a competition to promote the use of tap water over bottled water.  Plastic bottles take about 1000 years to biodegrade, and far too much waste is created by these one-time-use bottles.  With companies such as American Water working so hard to keep us supplied with fresh drinking water, why is it that it is under-utilized?  Participants are to create a video no longer than 90 seconds describing the benefits of drinking tap water.  There are going to be prizes awarded to the top videos, including an Apple iPad and a trip to a Rutgers football game in North Carolina. Videos are encouraged to be educational and creative, however only Rutgers students may participate.  The March 31, 2011 deadline is approaching quickly, so if you are a Rutgers student interested in the promotion of tap water, apply NOW! Sources: NJ American Water Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

India Prepares to Use GIS for Water Inventory

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Uttar Pradesh, a state in northern India, has a population of over 190 million making it India’s most populous state.  Water resource quality is a growing concern, and up until now has not been well documented in this area.  The State Water and Sanitation Mission (SWSM) will use GIS and GPS technologies to create a database of ponds, wells, and hand pumps which will be used to manage these water resources.  This mapping project is part of the National Rural Drinking Water Program.  The project is scheduled to begin by April 1 with an immediate focus on villages with very poor drinking water conditions in summer, and should last until around March 2012.  Community and organizational participation will be key after the initial inventory is done, to continuously monitor these resources. Source: Indian Express Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern