Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Introducing the Freshwater Society

I want to introduce readers of the Lake Stewardship Blog to the Freshwater Society and the Freshwater Society Blog. - Michael R. Martin, CLM, Lake Stewardship Blog/Lake Stewardship dot org.


Since 1968 – two years before the first Earth Day – the Freshwater Society has been a leading public nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving, restoring, and protecting freshwater resources and their surrounding watersheds. To achieve this goal, our organization:
  • Recognizes the vital role of freshwater to all living things and the impending crisis in the quantity and quality of accessible freshwater.
  • Dedicates its experience and resources to activities that lead to the understanding, protection, enhancement, and restoration of freshwater resources.
  • Invites the participation and support of individuals, associations, business and industry, institutions, educators, and government in these activities.
The mission of the Freshwater Society is to promote the protection and rational management of all freshwater resources.

  • a blog about valuing, protecting and conserving water resources

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Request for 2009 Applications: Smart Growth Implementation Assistance

The Development, Community, and Environment Division in EPA's Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation is seeking applications for technical assistance from communities that want to incorporate smart growth in their future development to meet environmental and other community goals. Eligible entities are tribal, local, regional, and state governments, and nonprofit organizations that have a demonstrated partnership with a governmental entity. Applications are due at 5:00 pm EST, April 23, 2009.

EPA has identified some key areas in which communities are likely to benefit from technical assistance (free technical assistance available):
  • Climate change (both mitigation of and adaptation to) 
  • Green job development 
  • Corridor redevelopment 
  • Green building development 
  • Suburban retrofitting 
  • Disaster resiliency
Proposals are not limited to requests for technical assistance in only these thematic areas; other topics for assistance are welcome and encouraged, provided they demonstrate cutting-edge challenges and the possibility of replicable solutions.

EPA is soliciting applications for assistance with either policy analysis or public participatory processes. The type of work may incorporate policy analysis and review, planning and visioning processes, scorecard/ranking criteria development and assessment, and/or other elements pertinent to the role of the applicant.

Selected communities or states will receive assistance in the form of a multi-day visit from a team of experts organized by EPA and other national partners to work with local leaders. EPA plans to assist three to five communities over a period of twelve months. The Agency anticipates announcing the selected communities in fall of 2009. For more information and application materials, visit http://epa.gov/smartgrowth/2009_sgia_rfa.htm.

Source: Waterheadlines

Stimulus money sought to support water projects

Stimulus money sought to support water projects
By John Schmid of the Journal Sentinel

The Water Council, a trade group of Milwaukee-area civic leaders who aim to bolster the region's water technology industries, on Wednesday urged Washington lawmakers to include water infrastructure spending in the nation's economic stimulus package.

"While our nation's highways and bridges are grabbing the headlines, what is not being adequately addressed in the stimulus package is the more than $1 trillion that is needed immediately to ensure the continued delivery of clean drinking water to our citizens and the vital treatment of wastewater," said Richard Meeusen, co-chairman of the Water Council and chief executive officer of Brown Deer water meter manufacturer Badger Meter Inc.

In a statement, the Water Council joined national interest groups like the American Water Works Association and the Nature Conservancy in calling on the U.S. Senate to include funds for water-related infrastructure in the $800 billion stimulus package.
Click on Title link to view entire article. Thanks to Jane Dauffenbach of Aquarius Systems for the submission.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Great Lakes scourge infects West - Quagga Mussels Cross the Great Divide

Quagga mussels are clogging Hoover Dam, colonizing lakes, rivers
By Dan Egan of the Journal Sentinel
Lake Mead, Nev. - It took some of America's best engineers, thousands of laborers and two years of around-the-clock concrete pouring to build the 726-foot-high Hoover Dam back in the 1930s. It took less time than that for the tiny, brainless quagga mussel to bring operators of this modern wonder of the world to their knees.

. . .

Zebra and quagga mussels have been making a particular mess of the Great Lakes ecosystem and economy since they were discovered in the late 1980s. The filter-feeding machines have cost this region billions of dollars by plugging industrial water intake pipes, starving fish populations and spawning noxious algae outbreaks that have trashed some of the Midwest's most prized shoreline.For nearly two decades the western U.S. was spared this havoc.No more.

The first quagga mussel west of the Continental Divide was discovered on Jan. 6, 2007. It was likely a stowaway hiding on the hull or in the bilge water of a Midwestern pleasure boat pulled across the Great Plains, over the Rockies and down a boat ramp at Lake Mead near Las Vegas, where a marina worker found some suspicious shells clinging to an anchor.

Click on Title link to view entire article. Thanks to Jane Dauffenbach of Aquarius Systems for the submission.

Watershed Academy Webcast: Green Roofs

On Feb. 18, 2009, EPA's Watershed Academy presented a Webcast entitled Green Roofs: Beautiful and Innovative Solutions to Storm Water Pollution. The Webcast provided an introduction to the issue of urban runoff and green roof technology. The expert presenters were, Steven W. Peck, founder and president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), Robert D. Cameron from the Center for Green Roof Research at Penn State University, and Tom Liptan with Portland?s Bureau of Environmental Services. They discussed the benefits of green roofs and share their experiences as leaders in the green roof movement.

EPA's Watershed Academy Webcasts reach thousands of federal, state and local practitioners with the latest training on watershed management topics through convenient on-line training. The Webcasts build local, state and regional capacity to achieve measurable water quality improvements, targeted to meet Strategic Plan objectives. All EPA Webcasts are archived on the Watershed Academy Webcast Web page at http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/wacademy/webcasts/

Source: Waterheadlines

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Economic Recovery Funding for Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

The economic recovery plan signed by President Obama will create quality, sustainable jobs to help protect our country?s public health and our environment. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 specifically includes $7.22 billion for projects and programs administered by EPA. These programs will protect and promote both ?green? jobs and a healthier environment. As part of the plan, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund projects have been funded $4 billion for assistance to help communities with water quality and wastewater infrastructure needs and $2 billion for drinking water infrastructure needs. A portion of the funding is targeted towards green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency, and environmentally innovative projects. The Agency is developing grant guidance to assist states in managing the Recovery Act funding.Announcements of grants will be posted on the Web to ensure transparency. The state-by-state distributions for clean water and drinking water state revolving funds are also available on the Web.

For new information on the state-by-state distributions for clean water and drinking water state revolving funds: http://www.epa.gov/recovery

Source: Waterheadlines

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program publishes 2009 Action Plan

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) has posted its Annual Invasive Plant Action Plan, available as a PDF Document. The plan includes:
  • Species-Based Actions
  • Site-Based Actions
  • Training Sessions
  • Education
  • Outreach
  • plus Coordination, Planning, Funding, Policy, Information Management
  • Research
  • Seasonal Stewardship
The plan also includes a Preliminary Schedule of Events & Activities.
The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is a cooperative effort initiatied in 1998 among citizens and organizations of the Adirondacks.
Its mission is to protect the Adirondack region from the negative impacts of nonnative invasive species. The program coordinates two projects: the Aquatic Invasive Species Project and the Terrestrial Invasive Species Project.

Friday, February 20, 2009

APIPP 2008 Invasive Speciesr Annual Reports Availablie

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program's (APIPP) 2008 Annual Report is now available online at http://adkinvasives.com/documents/APIPP2008AnnualReport.pdf , (795KB). Check it out for a snapshot of accomplishments from 2008, including aquatic and terrestrial monitoring and management stats, planning initiatives, species distribution alerts, and more!

In addition, the Adirondack Aquatic Nuisance Species Committee produced its 2008 summary report, which is also available online at http://adkinvasives.com/Aquatic/Resources/documents/2008ANSAnnualReport.pdf . Note that in the future, APIPP will prepare a comprehensive PRISM annual report that integrates the progress of the ANS Committee.

NYSERDA Announces Environmental Monitoring,Evaluation, and Protection Program Conference

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announces Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation, and Protection conference.

EMEP-sponsored conferences bring together scientists and policymakers to share 
information on environmental research in New York State and its implications for policymaking.

Save the date: EMEP "Linking Science and Policy Conference"
October 14-15, 2009 in Albany, NY.
Click on Title link for more information.

Voices of the Lake


I have discovered an interesting lake-related blog focusing on the Lake Champlain Basin.
Voices for the Lake (VFL) is ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center’s initiative to inspire Champlain Basin stewardship through conversations & connections enabled by social technologies. VFL will collect stories and concerns about the lake to use on the VFL website, on a dedicated YouTube channel and in an interactive exhibit at ECHO. The goal of the project is to raise awareness & build community around stewardship by using real stories from people who feel passionate about Lake Champlain.
Click on Title link to visit Voices for the  Lake blog.

NALMS 2009 International Symposium • Harford CT • October 24-31, 2009

The theme of the NALMS 2009 International Symposium in Hartford, October 24-31, 2009, is "Ensuring Our Lakes' Future.” Anyone with ideas concerning interesting topics and speakers for inclusion in either the Symposium program or the lake and watershed steward sub-program is invited to send their ideas to Amy Smagula at amy.smagula@des.nh.gov as soon as possible. Below is a list of session topics and workshop ideas. Please let Amy know which topics sound most interesting and feel free to add to this list if you think of other topics that others would benefit from.

Topics for Technical Presentations:

  • Alternative and innovative septic systems for nearshore areas and beyond
  • Alum treatments
  • Analyses and case studies of enzymes and bacteria used to manage sediment, algae, and weeds
  • Dams: safety, removal, hydropower, insurance
  • Drawdowns: ecological impacts, benefits, drawbacks, in stream flow, and related topics
  • Ecology and management of shallow lakes
  • Ecology of kettle hole lakes
  • Ecosystem health, watershed report cards
  • Effective and creative lake and watershed education and outreach programs
  • Effects of climate change on water quality/quantity, lakes, and watersheds
  • Emerging and evolving methods in limnology
  • Expecting and managing for water shortages
  • Fisheries ecology and management
  • Integrated management projects
  • Internal loading in lakes
  • Invasive species ecology, prevention, spread, mapping, and management
  • Lakes and energy
  • Lakes as indicators
  • Lake Associations: formation, non-profit status, liability, insurance, activities
  • Large-scale restoration projects
  • Lessons learned from long-time lake managers
  • Monitoring and fate of herbicides
  • New England and Northeastern Lakes
  • Newly recognized and emerging contaminants
  • Nutrient criteria
  • Paleolimnology
  • Predicting and measuring the longevity of management actions
  • Protecting our lakes: examples of local regulatory measures
  • Public trust and lake management
  • Smart growth and planning
  • Stormwater management and impervious surfaces
  • Submerged lands
  • Tech Trade- GIS, remote sensing, and other tools
  • The Critical Edge- shoreline management and protection
  • Toxic algae: distribution, monitoring, prediction, and response
  • Trends and innovations in volunteer monitoring
  • User conflicts and designated uses
  • Watershed management and Low Impact Development (LID)
Topics for Workshops on Tuesday or Saturday:

  • Algal identification
  • Alum treatments
  • Internal loading
  • Aquatic plant identification
  • Aquatic plant management technologies
  • GPS/GIS techniques and technologies
  • Stormwater management

Saturday Lake Steward Workshops:

  • Lake Associations 101: how to form, non-profit status, insurance, activities
  • Sampling 101 for the Volunteer Monitor
  • Ask the lake management expert

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

A recent discussion on the NPS Information Exchange Listserve provided some valuable information to those pondering what might be the impacts of constructing sewers around lakes on lake water quality. The complete transcript follows, beginning with the initial inquiry by Lyn Crighton:

----- Original Message -----
From:
Lyn Crighton, Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation [mailto:TELWF@kconline.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 11:34 AM
To: NPS Information Exchange
Subject: [npsinfo] Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

We have a bit of a sewer battle brewing. Some opponents are claiming that construction and installation of the sewers will do more harm to the lake (from erosion, I guess) than the benefits that will be provided from replacement of septic systems with a centralized sewer system.
Can anyone please point me (and our county commissioners) to some studies showing the benefits that sewers bring to lakes? And it would be especially helpful if any of these looked at the impacts from construction of the sewer.
Thank you!
_________________________________
Lyn Crighton, Executive Director
Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation
PO Box 55, 301 N Main St
North Webster, IN 46555
Phone: 574/834-3242
Email: telwf@kconline.com
Web: www.telwf.org
"promoting the understanding and management of our lakes and watershed, fostering their restoration and preservation for today and for the future."


----- Original Message -----
From:
"Perkins, John M"
Sent: Thu, February 5, 2009 12:08
Subject: RE: [npsinfo] Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

I am curious, are the septic systems that you are proposing to replace failing? If so, is there adequate repair area for another drain field or space to utilize some other onsite technology? And if they aren’t failing, why is it being proposed to replace them with the “Big Pipe”? Have all decentralized options been explored? One thing opponents may fear besides erosion is the sprawl that typically takes place when a centralized system goes through what was once a rural area.

John M. Perkins Supervisor
General Permits & Support Team
WVDEP, DWWM
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Ph: 304-926-0499 X-1031
Fax: 304-926-0495
E-mail: john.m.perkins@wv.gov



----- Original Message -----
From:
"William Frost"
Sent: Thu, February 5, 2009 12:16
Subject: RE: [npsinfo] Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

The main benefit is the reduction of nitrate loadings, which occur from both working and failed systems. I don’t have a document readily at hand to offer. We have done a few watershed pollutant loading models and found that in unsewered areas, the nitrate loads from septic systems were the primary source and were higher than those from urban runoff.

Bill Frost, PE
KCI Technologies, Inc.
410-316-7800



----- Original Message -----
From:
Doug Martin [mailto:dmartin@ntcd.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 5:11 PM
To: NPS Information Exchange
Subject: RE: re[2]: [npsinfo] Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

From the land of Lake Tahoe, 2 more cents.

Starting in the 1960s, there were plans to address conversion from septic tanks to wastewater treatment and our ultimate solution of exportation of effluent out of the basin.

To this topic, a piece of interesting data comes from USGS. Here’s presentation done in 2002 of their findings and a link. While not scientifically validated in this report, the finding that nitrates are decreasing more so than increasing in the Lake Tahoe Basin where septic tanks were removed decades ago and increasing more that decreasing the carson valley where septic tanks are increasing is an argument for replacing septic tanks.

Good Luck with your project.

Doug Martin

2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)
Session No. 69
Application of Biological and Hydrochemical Tracers in Groundwater Quality Investigations
Colorado Convention Center: Ballroom 4
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Monday, October 28, 2002

Presentation Time: 10:20 AM-10:35 AM
TEMPORAL TRENDS IN GROUND-WATER NITRATE CONCENTRATIONS, DOUGLAS COUNTY, NEVADA

ROSEN, Michael R., Water Resources Division, United States Geol Survey, 333 West Nye Lane, Carson City, NV 89706, mrosen@usgs.gov.

Douglas County, located in western Nevada on the Nevada/California border, contains 3 general areas where ground water is used as a drinking water supply; these areas are the Carson River Basin (CRB), Lake Tahoe Basin (LTB) and Topaz Lake Basin (TLB). The population of the county has increased greatly over the past 30 years. This has placed increasing pressure on ground-water quality and quantity in the county. The county began monitoring water levels and quality in 1985 to measure the effects of population growth on ground-water resources in the county. Elevated nitrate concentrations have been the primary water-quality issue and there are a number of anthropogenic sources of nitrate in the county. These include nitrate from agriculture, irrigation using wastewater, septic tanks, and domestic fertilizer application. However, only contributions from septic tanks and home gardens and lawns are significant in the LTB and TLB. Distinguishing between the different sources of nitrate in the CRB is the main focus of this study.

Analysis of 37 monitoring wells in all three basins, which have long-term records (>5 years of data from 1980 to the present) of nitrate concentrations, indicates that 43% of these wells show increasing trends over time, 22% of wells show decreasing trends and 35% haven’t changed during the sampling period. All but three of the wells that show increasing trends are located in the CRB, while half of the wells that show decreasing trends are located in the LTB. Only 4 wells in the TLB have long-term records. Two of these wells show increasing trends and one shows a decreasing trend.

The number of septic tanks has increased in Douglas County over the last 30 years. In 1970, there were 610 registered septic tanks in the county. This figure has grown to 5157 in 2002, an increase of approximately 1500 septic tanks every 10 years. Most of this increase has been in the CRB; some of this has been at the expense of agricultural land.

Nitrate concentrations in the ground water do not show depth related trends in wells from the CRB and TLB (R2=0.01) or the LTB (R2=0.06). For example, ground-water samples taken from a well with a static water level 75 m below land surface has a nitrate concentration of >4 mg/L, which is double the mean nitrate concentration for the 37 wells sampled. Analysis presently is ongoing to better define the observed trends.

Doug Martin District Manager
Nevada Tahoe Conservation District
www.ntcd.org
dmartin@ntcd.org
(775) 586-1610

----- Original Message -----
From:
"Amy Macrellis"
Sent: Thu, February 5, 2009 12:26
Subject: RE: [npsinfo] Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

Hello Lynn,

Without knowing the specifics of your situation, I can say that there are both benefits and drawbacks to replacing septic systems around a lake with centralized sewers.

If there are many older structures, served by older and substandard septic systems, and the systems are often close to the lake and lots are small enough that replacement is not feasible, then sewering may well benefit the water quality in the lake.

However, sewers (particularly those with gravity collection systems) can also result in negative impacts on lakes. The collection system for a centralized sewer, though the excavations needed to install the collection system and through I&I into a gravity collection system, could have a long-term result of lowering groundwater levels in the area, potentially affecting the quantity of water in the lake you are trying to protect...not to mention the potential for exfiltration from a gravity collection system if the lines are above the water table, possibly resulting in raw sewage reaching the groundwater. And then, if the WWTP is discharging to the lake, there is a big responsibility and challenge to keep the plant functioning well--and to collect adequate user fees to keep the system operating properly--so that it does not become a negative impact on the resource.

Personally, I am an advocate for the 'right' wastewater treatment solution. Sometimes it is the sewer, and sometimes it's not. Many communities in the US are upgrading and managing septic systems, or building smaller facilities with soil-based discharge, rather than constructing centralized sewers. I would be happy to discuss any of this further with you off-line.

Regards,
Amy

Amy Macrellis
Water Quality Specialist
Direct / 802.229.1884 Cell / 802.272.8772
E-Mail / amacrellis@stone-env.com
Stone Environmental, Inc.
535 Stone Cutters Way, Montpelier, Vermont 05602
Tel / 802.229.4541 Fax / 802.229.5417
Web Site / www.stone-env.com


----- Original Message -----
From:
"Richard A. Haimann"
Sent: Thu, February 5, 2009 13:39
Subject: re[2]: [npsinfo] Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

High BOD, fecal coliform, and ear infections in swimmers have been public opinion drivers toward conversion of septic to sewer in many communities. Resistance to that change has typically come from rate payers (septic owners usually pay nothing) and people with lakeside rural dwellings may want to keep them that way and not allow subdivision and buildup. There are a number of studies that can be employed to evaluate if the current septic are actually impairing the water body or not - sampling, dye tracers, modeling, etc.

So, I would recommend:
  1. Do the studies to determine if an impairment is occurring. Get the proponents of the upgrades to pay for the studies.
  2. Evaluate alternatives to mitigate the impairment - change septic standards (inclusive of required development setbacks, sewer the properties, do nothing... Evaluate the alteranatives against the general plan. Involve the electeds and stakeholders in the alternative evaluation and selection process. Include a financing study to determine what the community can afford.
  3. Pick the alteranative that mitigates the impairment and has stakeholder and elected buy in and get it approved by the council or board of supervisors in full public hearing.
  4. Finance, design, and build.
  5. Monitor to make sure it mitigates the impairment (assuming there is one).

Good luck.

----- Original Message -----
From:
"Ken Ferry"
Sent: Thu, February 5, 2009 15:46
Subject: RE: re[2]: [npsinfo] Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

Some thoughts-at-large to add to the discussion:

  1. One possible way to detect possible connections between lakeside septic systems and the lake would be the use of an infrared scope or camera during the cold season.
  2. A possible way to ease local residents into the idea of paying a sewer charge would be to formalize septic system maintenance, including cleaning each septic tank and inspecting each system annually, with the costs covered by a “septic system fee.” Being a Hoosier born & bred, I would wager that most, if not all, of the systems would require extensive repairs and upgrades the first year. Maybe then the sewer system option would start to look better.
  3. Don’t overlook the non-gravity sewer options as a means of controlling costs and disruptions. I am preferential to low-pressure sewer collection technology (e.g. www.eone.com) in areas difficult to serve with the traditional gravity system.

Ken Ferry, P.E.
Henderson Water Utility
Henderson, KY


----- Original Message -----
From:
Trent, Martin [mailto:Martin.Trent@suffolkcountyny.gov]
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 8:53 AM
To: NPS Information Exchange
Subject: RE: re[2]: [npsinfo] Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

Data from Suffolk County, Long Island also shows lower groundwater nitrogen concentrations in sewered versus unsewered areas. Nitrogen in groundwater in sewered areas ranges from 2-5 mg/L while in unsewered areas the range is 5-12 mg/L N depending on housing density, i.e., the number of dwelling units per acre.

Martin Trent
Chief, Office of Ecology
Suffolk County Department of Health Services
360 Yaphank Avenue, Suite 2B
Yaphank, NY 11980
ph. 631 852-5750 fax 631 852 5812


----- Original Message -----
From:
"Eileen Pannetier"
Sent: Fri, February 6, 2009 10:15
Subject: RE: [npsinfo] Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

Lyn,

I think you need to know a couple of things to decide whether sewers are good or not. First, what type of soils are common in the watershed? If they have a lot of clay, or if they are gravelly, or if high groundwater is a problem, then sewers are likely to help in that the septic systems may not be working as well as they could. If soils are decent, septic systems can usually do a good job.

If the local zoning would allow a greater density of houses if the area were sewered, or if current septic requirements restrict development, then you might want to get that under control before sewering as more houses equals more impact, with or without sewers.

Eileen Pannetier President/CEO
Comprehensive Environmental Inc.
225 Cedar Hill Street
Marlborough, MA 01752
Phone (508) 281-5160 X301
Fax (508) 281-5136
www.ceiengineers.com
epannetier@ceiengineers.com


----- Original Message -----
From:
"Bill Lucas"
Sent: Fri, February 6, 2009 10:17
Subject: RE: re[2]: [npsinfo] Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

As previous posters note, N loads from septic systems are substantial, particularly at higher densities. This has been found in so many places (DE, MD, RI, NY to name a few) that there is no doubt that septic systems will increase groundwater N, often over 10 mg/l. However, in freshwater lakes, P is most often the limiting nutrient. While P loads are typically much less due to immobilization in the profile, P export can be substantial in sandy soils. P loading from septic systems has been documented in the DE Inland Bays.

So as others note, you have to define the problem first, before you can pull the trigger on what should be done. I am in favor of ejector or effluent pump type systems, since the required collection methods are so much less intrusive (and costly).

Bill Lucas

----- Original Message -----
From:
"Pio Lombardo"
Sent: Fri, February 6, 2009 11:06
Subject: RE: [npsinfo] Impacts of sewers around lakes on lake water quality

Lyn

Sewer wars are a fairly common event, usually due to cost and secondary growth impacts.

The sewer plan should have identified the problem that sewering is proposed to solve. For inland freshwater lakes, they typically are excess phosphorous which is causing excess algal growth and the associated deteriorating water quality. FYI, nitrogen contamination is typically an issue only in coastal waters or freshwaters in unique areas that have more than sufficient phosphorous for maximum algal growth, such as the freshwaters in Florida. Nitrogen is an issue in drinking water supplies. Bacterial contamination is the other potential major factor for sewering. Very small lots and inadequate separation to drinking water wells may be an issue.
So the first question is whether the proposed sewer is the best way to correct the problem, as there are advanced on-site solutions to phosphorus, nitrogen and bacterial contamination issues with septics. Space may be an issue. Conventional septic systems many times do a poor job of phosphorous removal – especially for systems near the lake due to limited, and reversible, capacity of soils to remove phosphorous. Also, there are inexpensive, effective groundwater treatment techniques for nitrogen and phosphorous removal – to substitute for septic system upgrades or a sewer.

There are numerous sewer options – septic tank effluent gravity (STEG) or pressure, as required by site conditions, are usually the least costly option. STEG systems are very effective, low cost and do not have the problems associates with conventional gravity sewers. The additional technical issue to address is the proposed treatment and dispersal technique. One needs to confirm that the treatment technique will address the root cause of the problem – again if it is phosphorous then there needs to be a phosphorous removal system. Conventional phosphorous removal systems can be expensive with an O&M/Management headache. The dispersal technique needs to be well engineered.

One of the major issues with erosion is the phosphorus content of the soils that would get into the lake. Erosion control and treatment techniques exist to effectively address this issue. Innovative sewer installation techniques can eliminate erosion issues.
Costs usually are a major factor in sewer wars and should be a focus. Alternative technologies are generally more cost effective than conventional approaches

In terms of growth stimulation, there are soft (i.e. legal) and hard (design/sitting, etc.) techniques that can be used to manage growth. There are significant legal issues that need to be addressed

I will forward you by separate email the Wastewater Systems Planning Manual we prepared that addresses these issues and a case study on a project we engineered, which received an engineering excellence award, on how these issues were successfully addressed. We have engineered over $200 million of innovative wastewater projects that have incorporated all of the above issues, as well as having performed lake studies. I will be pleased to provide specifics on issues that are relevant to your situation
Sincerely,

Pio Lombardo, P.E., DEE
Lombardo Associates, Inc.
Environmental Engineers/Consultants
49 Edge Hill Road
Newton, MA 02467
Tel: 617-964-2924
Fax: 617-332-5477
Cell: 617-529-4191

Email: Pio@LombardoAssociates.com
Web Site www.LombardoAssociates.com

Soley Institute and IIMSAM

The Soley Institute and the Intergovernmental Institution for the Use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition are offering grants to universities, other non-profits, and for-profit companies to study the use of microalgae as sources of food and bio-energy, ie. to fight global hunger and energy crises. Ready more on our related Algae blog by clicking the Title Link or by clicking on the link below.


Source: CEE Algae Blog

Thursday, February 12, 2009

NALMS 2009 Coming to New England---Call for Papers

Here is a note from the Chair of the North American Lake Management Society's 2009 Conference Committee. It's a great opportunity for anyone interested in lakes. - Michael -
Hello New England/Northeastern Lakes/Environmental Colleagues!

As many of you know, the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) is holding its Annual Symposium in New England in 2009, thanks to the New England affiliate of NALMS, which is the host committee. I know times are tough for most groups right now given the economy, but the location of this conference should make for easier and more economical traveling and attendance for those of us from this region.

The meeting is being held in Hartford, CT at the Hartford Convention Center during the last week of October 2009. Following is a breakdown of the program activities:

Tuesday October 27th- Pre-conference workshops

Wednesday 10/28 through Friday 10/30 – Concurrent technical sessions (with opening remarks and plenary presentations on Wednesday)

Saturday October 31st- Lake Steward and Technical Workshops

Attached is a list of topics that the Program Committee is seeking for both workshops and technical sessions. A more formal Call for Papers will be coming from NALMS soon, so please be on the lookout for details in the mail if you are a NALMS member, or visit the newly re-designed NALMS website at www.nalms.org for abstract submittal and conference information (to be posted soon).

Also, as part of the usual technical meeting format for a NALMS Symposium, we will also be adding a special ‘Lake and Watershed Steward’ package for lake association members and other non-technical lake activists. Special tracks of talks will be offered throughout Friday for those taking advantage of this discounted two-day registration package, and Saturday workshops and events will also offer useful information on lake and watershed protection, lake association formation and coordination, and sampling and monitoring techniques, among others. Please share this with your local lake association contacts and encourage them to attend.

Please consider submitting a technical paper or coordinating a workshop to share information on a project or subject you are working on. Abstracts for presentations and brief bios can be sent directly to me via e-mail at Amy.Smagula@des.nh.gov. We also welcome topics that may not be included in this attached list. Abstracts must be received by May 15th, 2009. Also, if you are interested in putting a session together (three 30-minute talks on a particular topic), and/or moderating a session, please let me know!

Thank you for your consideration, and I hope to see you in Hartford in October 2009. Also, please forward this to others you know that may be interested in submitting an abstract.

Sincerely,

Amy P. Smagula
NALMS 2009 Program Chair

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

22nd Annual National Conference - Enhancing the States' Lake Management Programs

22nd Annual National Conference
Enhancing the States' Lake Management Programs
On the Edge: Enhancing Ecological Integrity of Shorelines

April 14-17, 2009
Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza
Chicago, Illinois

cosponsored by
Chicago Botanic Garden
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
▪ Headquarters Office of Wetlands, Oceans & Watersheds
▪ Region 5 - Water Division
North American Lake Management Society

Each year for over two decades, State lake program managers have gathered in Chicago to discuss successes, evaluate obstacles, and examine new approaches for improving the States’ lake management programs. Our 2009 program explores creative ways to restore and protect our fragile lakeshore ecosystems. Special sessions will enable conference participants to be the first to hear hot-off-the-press preliminary results of the U.S. EPA's National Lakes Assessment.

Leaders from statewide lake associations will gain new insights from their sister associations across the country. And together, State agency staff and statewide lake association leaders will explore new opportunities for future cooperation. Federal and local managers are invited to join in the lively discussions, both during the sessions and at special programs offered during luncheons and evening social functions.

Our conference host is the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, convenient to downtown Chicago's great restaurants and just steps from the city’s magnificent cultural attractions.

Lake program staff from state, regional, and federal agencies—as well as the statewide "grassroots" lake organizations these programs serve—are highly encouraged to attend. For some, attending this annual conference has become a tradition. If you've not participated before, please consider joining us. We think you'll experience a truly unique opportunity to learn and share ideas on enhancing lake and watershed management programs!

For full Conference Program and Registration information, visit the conference Web site at http://www.chicagolakes2009.org; you may also follow this link to view and print the conference brochure: http://www.chicagolakes2009.org/brochure.pdf. To request a paper copy of the program brochure, or for any other questions, contact Bob Kirschner, the Conference Coordinator, at bkirschn@chicagobotanic.org

Click on Title link to view entire article.

Monday, February 09, 2009

GPB News: EPA Advisory Came After Record PFOA Find

GPB has confirmed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found what is believed to be the highest concentrations of PFOA in soil ever collected in the United States at a non-spill site near Decatur, Alabama.

While the specific amount of the likely carcinogenic compound has not been publicly disclosed, Gail Mitchell of the EPA confirmed the PFOA was found very near the parts per million range at a site that processes sludge from waste water.

. . .

Numerous studies have linked PFOA exposure to multiple cancers. The EPA has not definitively ruled on how much PFOA exposure might put humans at a health risk, prompting the "likely carcinogen" classification.

PFOA is a chemical often described as a by product of making stain resistant carpet. It's also found in non-stick coating, such as Teflon.
Click on Title link to view entire article. Source: Georgia News

Friday, February 06, 2009

Progress Report on Climate Change and Water Released

The EPA Office of Water has released a report describing activities implemented in 2008 to respond to the challenges posed by a changing climate. The report is divided into three major sections:
  • a description of activities to implement the National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change, including the 44 key actions in the Strategy; 
  • a review of water-related climate change activities in EPA Regions; and 
  • a summary of EPA climate and water-related activities not specifically addressed in the Strategy. 
During 2008 the Office of Water made substantial progress implementing the Strategy. Work on all but three of the 44 key actions has been initiated. For most of these actions, interim milestones and schedules have been accomplished and work is on schedule. Some highlights of successful implementation efforts include:
  • publication of proposed regulations designed to assure that geologic sequestration of carbon does not pose a threat to underground sources of drinking water;
  • development of the "Climate Ready Estuaries Program;" and 
  • establishment of a Federal Interagency Workgroup on climate change and water matters. 
More information about the Strategy is available on the Office of Water Climate Change Website at: www.epa.gov/water/climatechange.

Source: EPA Waterheadlines

Thursday, February 05, 2009

National Water Quality Inventory Report Now Available On-line

The National Water Quality Inventory Report, available at http://www.epa.gov/owow/305b/2004report/, summarizes water quality assessments submitted by the states to EPA under section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act. The report finds that the states assessed 16 percent of the nation's 3.5 million river and stream miles, 39 percent of its 41.7 million acres of lakes, ponds and reservoirs, and 29 percent of its 87,791 estuary square miles. Forty-four percent of assessed river and stream miles, 64 percent of assessed lake acres, and 30 percent of assessed estuary square miles were found to be impaired for one or more of the uses designated for them by the states. Leading causes of impairment included pathogens, mercury, nutrients, and organic enrichment/low dissolved oxygen. Top sources of impairment included atmospheric deposition, agriculture, hydrologic modifications, and unknown or unspecified sources. This report is a companion to electronically-submitted state water quality information available on EPA's Web site, known as ATTAINS, at
http://www.epa.gov/waters/ir. In addition to viewing the national summary and information by state at this Web site, users can click down to the individual waterbody level to find out more about water quality conditions.

Source: EPA Waterheadlines