The High Cost of FOG
by peterdonaldson50 on December 30, 2017 at 8:12 PM
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Deveshi Thakur | Sustainability Ambassador
NOTE TAKING TOOLS: We have developed a wide range of ready-to-use note taking tools, as well as follow up questions, and a public speaking rubric to help you get the most out of each expert talk. All of the options are posted as word.docx’s so feel free to download, adopt or adapt for your own purposes.
LINKS FOR LEARNING:
Fatbergs! How Bad Are They? In case you missed it, the word fatberg is officially part of the English language. A fatberg, so named by the water company that discovered the thing, is a sewer-clogging monster of fat, grease, and cleaning products. In August, Thames Water unclogged a 33,000-pound beast from the London sewer system. The discovery makes one wonder about the terrifying fatbergs that lurk beneath American cities, and what we can do about them.
London Fatberg: Restaurant kitchens blamed for ‘fatberg’ as heavy as 11 double-decker buses
Don't believe the label 'flushable': Disposable wipes clog sewers. Grownups are now using the same wipes once reserved for babies, leading to millions of dollars of sewer problems.
Popular bathroom wipes blamed for sewer clogs: Increasingly popular bathroom wipes, thick, pre-moistened towelettes that are advertised as flushable, are creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the nation. The problem has gotten so bad in this upstate New York town that frustrated sewer officials traced the wipes back to specific neighborhoods, and even knocked on doors to break the embarrassing news to residents that they are the source of a costly, unmentionable mess. An industry trade group this month revised its guidelines on which wipes can be flushed, and has come out with a universal stick-figure, do-not-flush symbol to put on packaging.
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Toxics in Stormwater Pollution
by peterdonaldson50 on February 23, 2017 at 2:16 AM
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Jenifer McIntyre | Washington State University Stormwater Center
SUMMARY: Jenifer McIntyre, Research Scientist with the WSU Stormwater Center, describes the current science on the toxic chemicals entering Puget Sound from polluted storm water runoff with a focus on the susceptibility of aquatic animals like salmon. Current research on rain garden soil filtration points to solutions for reducing these toxics, leaving cleaner water with less impact on fish.
BIO: Jenifer McIntyre is an Aquatic Ecotoxicologist working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Puyallup Research and Extension Center for Washington State University. She is passionate about science that brings about change. In 1997, her BS in Environmental Biology at Queen’s University led to the ban of a pulp mill effluent used as a road dust suppressant. She continued her education and in 2004, received a Master's from the University of Washington on contaminant bioaccumulation that led the Washington State Department of Health to issue a fish consumption advisory for several fishes in Lake Washington. Her Ph.D. research in 2010 at UW on olfactory neurotoxicity of copper in coho salmon helped pass legislation in Washington and California that phases out copper and other metals in brake pads. Jen’s current work focuses on the ecotoxicology of stormwater runoff and the biological effectiveness of green stormwater infrastructure.
LINKS for Learning More…
Zebrafish and clean water technology: Assessing soil bioretention.
Coho Die-offs: Recurrent die-offs of adult coho salmon returning to spawn in Puget Sound lowland urban streams.
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Wastewater Treatment Engineering - Brigh...
by peterdonaldson50 on May 9, 2016 at 11:26 PM
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Kristin Covey | King County Waste Water Treatment Division
SUMMARY: Describes the step-by-step journey of wastewater as it moves through Brightwater, a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility in Woodinville, Washington. Many people have no idea what happens to the water they use at home after it goes down a drain or gets flushed away. This process and its complexities are revealed by showcasing Brightwater to demonstrate how we can create resources from wastewater by using a combination of basic and advanced science, technology and engineering.
Learn more about SustainabilityTALKS here.
BIO: Kristin Covey is a water quality specialist with the King County Wastewater Treatment Division. Her role is to provide education and outreach programs for the community on topics ranging from science of wastewater treatment to best practices in water conservation. The past four years, she has served as the manager of an environmental education center at Brightwater, the new wastewater treatment facility in Woodinville. She leads tours of the treatment plant for high school, college, community, and professional groups. Prior to joining King County, Kristin has been a public school teacher and a program manager at an ecological restoration nonprofit. Given the opportunity, Kristin will gladly talk about the complexities of managing sewage for hours at a time.
Brightwater Treatment Plant – contains further information on the facility, including many links to other resources
Recycled Water: The Right Water for the Right Use – information on King County’s recycled water program
Loop For Your Soil: King County’s biosolids program – detailed information on the soil amendment made from the treatment process
South Treatment Plant – King County’s treatment facility in Renton
West Point Treatment Plant – King County’s treatment facility in Seattle
CSO Basins and the Future of Streets
by peterdonaldson50 on May 20, 2015 at 2:40 AM
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Kristine Cramer | King County Wastewater Treatment Division
SUMMARY: Kristine Cramer, Community Relations Planner, with the King County Wastewater Treatment Division, describes how two-thirds of Seattle is served by a combined sewer system designed to carry sewage from inside homes and stormwater runoff from streets, rooftops, and parking lots in a single “combined sewer” pipe. During dry weather, all raw sewage flows to the treatment plant. When it rains, the pipes can become overloaded with polluted stormwater. This mixture of stormwater (about 90%) and raw sewage can overflow into lakes, streams, and the Puget Sound. Because of these impacts to water quality, the federal Clean Water Act and state regulations require that we take action and reduce overflows to an average of no more than one per outfall per year. How are King County and Seattle collaborating to meet this challenge?
BIO: Kristine Cramer works as a Community Relations Planner for King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division. King County’s goal of being a good neighbor is realized through the work of people like Kristine who engage directly with interested neighbors and other stakeholders to ensure that needed wastewater system improvements also work for the neighborhoods in which they are placed. Kristine’s favorite projects use green stormwater infrastructure to remove stormwater from the sewer system before it becomes a problem. Prior to joining King County, Kristine worked for 15 years as an educator at outdoor schools and later developing and implementing sustainability curriculum that focused on encouraging environmentally responsible behaviors in people of all ages.
Links for Learning More…
Controlling Combined sewer overflows: Learn how the city of Seattle and King County are working together to manage CSOs. A great graph shows the projects that have been implemented to manage CSOs since the 1950s.
Seattle’s CSO Reduction Projects: In order to reduce the amount of CSOs, Seattle is developing green solutions such as adding cisterns or beautiful rain gardens to infrastructure (this is where you can help!). Seattle is also looking at developing increased storage, retrofits to current infrastructure and long term planning. See Seattle's current projects.
Roadside Rain Gardens for Barton Basin CSO Control: Check out the engineering of 91 Barton Basin rain gardens placed on 15 streets in West Seattle to control the CSO. This is a model for what every neighborhood street could look like. See a map of the rain gardens.
Locations and Status of CSOs: King County provides an interactive map on the status of CSO outfalls so that residents can see where CSOs are and where the last over flows occurred.
Rainwise program: Learn how you can help manage stormwater from your home through Seattle’s Rainwise Program. Find everything rainwise from how to build a raingarden to installing a cistern.
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