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 Dan Gray
Pediatricians are being urged to start writing "exercise prescriptions" for the children they see in their office.
An indigenous rail blockade that snarled train travel in Canada for more than two weeks came to an end Monday when police moved in to clear protesters acting in solidarity with another indigenous community in British Columbia (B.C.), which is fighting to keep a natural gas pipeline off its land.
A Florida hiker recently stumbled across a slithering surprise — a rare snake that hadn't been spotted in the area for more than 50 years.
By Genna Reed
The EPA announced last week that it is issuing a preliminary regulatory determination for public comment to set an enforceable drinking water standard to two of the most common and well-studied PFAS, PFOA and PFOS.
This decision is based on three criteria:
- PFOA and PFOS have an adverse effect on public health
- PFOA and PFOS occur in drinking water often enough and at levels of public health concern;
- regulation of PFOA and PFOS is a meaningful opportunity for reducing the health risk to those served by public water systems.
By Kieran Cooke
Driving an electric-powered vehicle (EV) rather than one reliant on fossil fuels is a key way to tackle climate change and improve air quality — but it does leave the old batteries behind as a nasty residue.
Finance ministers from the 20 largest economies agreed to add a scant mention of the climate crisis in its final communiqué in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, but they stopped short of calling it a major economic risk, as Reuters reported. It was the first time the G20 has mentioned the climate crisis in its final communiqué since Donald Trump became president in 2017.