The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Water Utility Collaborates With Farmers to Clean up Pollution
When heavy rain falls in northwest Wisconsin, fertilizer and manure can wash off farm fields into nearby waterways. This pollution contains phosphorus, which can cause algal blooms and foul surface water.
"We know we're going to see increased precipitation events. We know we're going to have more severe precipitation events," says Erin Houghton of NEW Water, Green Bay's wastewater utility.
State regulations require the utility to reduce phosphorus in the water it discharges. But instead of building a $100 million treatment plant, NEW Water decided to tackle the problem at its source.
The utility worked with crop and soil experts and farmers to minimize runoff. They experimented with planting cover crops, tilling the soil less, and planting grass buffers alongside fields.
Houghton says the goal is "keeping those nutrients and soil where they need to be, and on those fields, and really working for that farmer."
She says the early results are promising, so NEW Water is expanding the project into a 20-year plan. The utility is confident that by preventing runoff in the first place, it can reduce phosphorus pollution without an expensive new treatment plant.
As the climate warms, the problem could get worse.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Yale Climate Connections.
- Factory Farms Pollute the Environment and Poison Drinking Water ... ›
- This Ocean Farmer Grows Food That Cleans up Pollution - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Richard Connor
Scientists have recorded Antarctica's first documented heat wave, warning that animal and plant life on the isolated continent could be drastically affected by climate change.
A case that has bounced around the lower courts for 13 years was finally settled yesterday when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision, finding oil giant Citgo liable for a clean up of a 2004 oil spill in the Delaware River, according to Reuters.
The evidence continues to build that breathing dirty air is bad for your brain.
By Paul Brown
The amount of energy generated by tides and waves in the last decade has increased tenfold. Now governments around the world are planning to scale up these ventures to tap into the oceans' vast store of blue energy.