A Simple Idea to Improve Water

How can you keep rainwater in your yard?

It’s raining where I live. Do you ever wonder where all that rainwater goes? Our earth naturally manages rainwater, drainage, and wetlands, and it is able to naturally purify and clean our water. Unfortunately, we created an impossible situation with our concrete urbanization and all the chemicals we use. Instead of allowing the rain to fall and soak into the ground we get it away from our houses and buildings as fast as we can sending water rushing down our storm drains into our lakes and rivers. As this water cascades over concrete and asphalt it picks up chemicals, pollutants, trash, lawn clippings and leaves which wash into our lakes, rivers, and oceans.

This is a classic example if everyone were to do just a bit to give some of this natural cleaning back to the earth, it would make a big difference in our water quality.

No one wants a wet basement, so always keep water 10 feet from your house or apartment, but beyond the 10 feet you can do many water managements things with a few flexible downspout extensions which you can purchase at hardware stores.

Below is an excellent blog from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization on a very simple way to use some of the water running off your home, and making a big difference for water quality.

 

From the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization : “Your goal, as an eco-friendly house-dweller, is to soak as much of that water into the ground as possible. The soil will filter out the pollutants and the water will move downward until it reaches the water table. As a bonus, any plants, trees or other vegetation in the area will soak up a portion of the water to use as fuel.”  Read the entire blog here.

The Mississippi River Shed drains much of the United States

The same thing can be accomplished on agricultural land that uses buffer strips of trees and deep-rooted plants along ponds and streams.   These buffer strips absorb the chemicals!  The Gulf of Mexico thanks you! Read at Gulf

Things you should never flush!

Even if they say biodegradable, do not flush!
Even if they say biodegradable, do not flush!

We now have a federal government that will not protect us from water or air pollution. Many new burdens will fall on our cities to protect its residents.  All of us need to do everything we can to keep city resources focused on what is important.  By keeping the city sewers from getting plugged we can make a difference. There are many things that should NEVER be flushed down the toilet, and to send them to their death via the toilet drain is to risk significant plumbing problems as well as environmental pollution. The following list is from http://www.care2.com/

1. Bathroom and cleaning wipes – These “moist towelettes”  are marketed to be flushed like toilet paper, these wipes are creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the nation. Read the entire list of things that should NOT go down the toilet here

And read about the problem these wipes are causing to sewer systems . Please throw in the trash, not down the drain!

 

My Take On Regulations

Do we want lakes that look like this?
Do we want lakes that look like this?

I’m going to slash government regulations!”  Candidates for office

Who is their audience for this absurdity?

This is my simple take on a very complex issue.

999922_619252368141411_1083645899_n (1)Many candidates for office talk about cutting regulations.  What are they talking about?  Why doesn’t the media ask them what regulations they want to cut? One presidential candidate wants to cut food regulations?  Cut the Food and Drug Administration rules that govern food production, cleanliness, food packaging and temperature? Ridiculous!

Do we really want less regulation on financial institutions? What have we learned from Wells Fargo? Should we allow banks to cheat their customers like Wells Fargo did?  I had a problem with U.S. Bank selling my credit card number to a health club. It took months to get my money back after unauthorized charges were placed on my credit card. Banks need to be regulated!

David Brooks has said, that capitalism without  a moral compass is a failure.  As evidenced by this presidential race, we have lost our moral compass.  Capitalism/for-profit businesses should NOT be deciding what standards they want to follow. Does it work to let corporations set their own rules about polluting our water and dirting up our air when profit is a top priority? What do you think?

Regulations and standards are to keep the public safe.  Sometimes rules seem extreme, but they keep us safer regulating our workplaces, food, many products, and other necessary things.

Self regulation does not work.  Farmers in the United States were given a pass in the Clean Water Act.  They think they can regulate themselves.  Is that why the corn and soy bean belt in the United States has dangerous nitrate levels in their drinking water? Business and Republicans think regulations are too expensive.  But communities, such as Des Moines, with polluted water pay enormous amounts of taxpayer money to clean their water.  Smaller communities often must drink and use this dangerous water.

This is a wonderful story of farmers regulating themselves and trying new things to protect our water resources. Read it here.

Then there is the drug industry.  Is there anyone that thinks their self-regulation and monopolies are working? MORE regulation is needed of the drug industry!!

It is less expensive to keep from polluting our air and water in the first place, but of course business doesn’t have to pay for the pollution and sick people they create.  Five million people die from air pollution every year.

Never vote for a candidate who promises to cut regulations. They can’t be trusted with the health of people or the earth.  They are not for what is good for our children, wildlife nor for the good of human beings on this planet!  In the long run clean-up is more expensive than doing the right thing in the first place.

Clean Air Act

http://time.com/4219575/air-pollution-deaths/

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Do You Care About Clean Water, Clean Air?

What can you do?
What can you do?

The environment is where we all meet; where we have a mutual interest; it is the one thing we share.” Lady Bird Johnson

One presidential candidate has promised that he will eliminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if he wins, which means we can kiss the best, most important parts of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act goodbye, along with almost every other federal clean air and water safeguard.

And if you want even more evidence that this candidates extremism will mean havoc for our nation and our planet, look no further than his stance on the climate crisis: he has called it a hoax created “by and for the Chinese.” Read the entire article here.

And a voter’s guide to candidates.

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Plant For Clean Water

I am at the Minnesota State Fair talking to individuals about rain gardens and native deep-rooted plants. Native plants help absorb pollutants, keep rain water in our yards, save on watering, and are loved by bees, butterflies and birds.

Plant deep-rooted plants for pollinators and clean water.

prairie-grasses
Deep rooted plants absorb run-off

A Year of Water Action!

Love our lakes, rivers and streams. Take care of them!
Love our lakes, rivers and streams. Take care of them!

My not so funny joke for Water Wednesday. A conversation I had this past week!

Friend: I hear Donald Trump has invested lots of money in bottle water.

Me: Why would he do that?

Friend: He wants to get rid of all regulation to protect our drinking water.

In contrast, Minnesota Governor Dayton has called for a Year of Water Action. He encourages all Minnesotans to take a role in protecting our state’s most precious resource for future generations.  Read more about it here.

Deep rooted plants absorb run-off
Deep rooted plants absorb run-off

What are you doing to protect our water resources? Reduce chemicals, sweep sidewalks and streets, install rain gardens, plant deep-rooted plants, stop building campfires, recycle and compost, clean off boats and equipment, What else?