The month of August has been designated as National Water Quality Month to remind us of the importance of protecting our ground water supplies. The ways in which we tend to our lawns and gardens, construct and maintain our homes, and dispose of our trash and solid wastes significantly impacts on our water quality. Water plays a vital role in everyone's daily functions, and it is imperative that we maintain the cleanliness and purity of our drinking water.
Excessive algae growth on ponds and lakes used for livestock, storm water detention ponds, and public use can be a nuisance. While most of these excessive growths are not harmful, some of the growths in our area have been determined to be blue-green algae. Certain species of this particular algae can produce different toxins that are harmful to humans and animals. Animals can become extremely ill, and even die after swallowing contaminated water. Humans can also experience serious health effects from these toxins. You can find out what’s in your pond August 11th from 9:00 a.m.
With dry conditions and drought conditions covering 80 percent of the contiguous United States, now is a great time to analyze water use on your property. Every day in the U.S., more than 7 billion gallons of drinking water is used to irrigate landscapes, at least half of which may be wasted. We can reduce water waste with an in-ground hose system that reaches plant roots and prevents evaporation. You can buy soaker hoses and weave them in and out of your plant beds several inches below the surface. Drip irrigation has solid hoses you add holes to, permitting more precise control.
On Monday, July 30th the Honorable Kuninori Matsuda, Consul General of Japan, will join federal, state, county and local officials to launch the “Operation 1000 Cherry Tree Project” in Dayton Ohio. The project was developed by Alex Hara, a Japanese-born businessman living in Dayton. Hara was inspired to initiate the project after seeing the devastation to his homeland, Japan, following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that claimed almost 16,000 lives and left over 3,000 missing in March of 2011.
The sun emits radiation in the form of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation is at its highest when and where the sun’s rays are the strongest. This means that UV levels will be highest around noon on a clear sunny day, as well as during the summer months. UV levels will also be highest near surfaces that reflect sunlight, such as water, snow and sand. Exposure to UV can cause sunburn, skin aging, skin cancer and eye damage. Between 2002 and 2006, the rate of melanoma skin cancer diagnoses in Kentucky was 14 percent higher than the national average.
According to Cincinnati’s Metropolitan Sewer District, every year, about 14 billion gallons of raw sewage mixed with storm water overflows from our sewers, contaminating local streams and rivers and flooding basements. When water becomes too foul, fish die, wildlife habitats are destroyed, and our drinking water is compromised. Large volumes of contaminated runoff and wastes that enter the storm system are a considerable part of this problem.This can be helped! Just labeling the storm drains in your neighborhood as “no dumping” zones can reduce the occurrences of pollution.
One way to cut down on paper and energy use is by opting out of home or business phone book delivery, and do all searching online. According to a recent Harris Survey, the majority of American adults have already stopped using paper phone books and don’t want them. Unfortunately, it’s also true that most don’t recycle the phone books they receive and about 70% of states still require them to be published. To request that your name be removed from phone book distribution lists, register at the
In an average year, Americans cut enough grass and other clippings from their yards to equal the weight of 91 Empire State Buildings. All that waste has to go somewhere and more than 40 percent ends up in landfills. Some waste makes its way into our waterways where its nutrients become food for algae blooms that close beaches and recreation areas, produce toxins and create “dead zones”.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation will soon put the final stamp of approval on a plan to require better gas mileage for new vehicles. A new campaign is under way to show support for the new mileage standard – 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The benefits include saving money at the pump, creating jobs in the auto industry, reducing our dangerous dependence on oil, cutting harmful carbon pollution and educating the public about what it all means.