Healthy Water

Healthy Water begins with YOU.

Remember Storm Water Is NOT treated and flows directly into a nearby surface water. Many of those surface waters lead to or are the sources of our local drinking water.

What's in your beverage?

Spring Cleaning

We are quickly approaching June and the start of summer and it is time to think about spring cleaning our watersheds.  Many use spring time as an opportunity to clean the interior of their homes (wash walls, base boards, clean out closets, etc), but what about the exterior and going even beyond the confines of our own property- the watershed? Similar to house cleaning supplies (i.e. buckets, rags, mops, soap) there are supplies you can use to spring clean the watershed.  Here are a few:

  • Garbage Bags/Recycling Bins. Rainfall is one forces driving out litter stuck in curb gutters, catch basins, storm drains.  A garbage bag goes hand in hand with spring cleaning a stream or watershed clean up! Many civic and watershed groups conduct stream clean ups during Earth Day week, but in reality Earth Day is EVERYDAY! Keeping trash out of residential and commercial catch basins, storm drain gutters and roadside ditches prevents it from flowing into a nearby stream.
  • Riparian Buffers. If you live along a lake or a stream consider establishing a riparian buffer by planting native plants, grasses, trees, and/or shrubs. A riparian buffer is the last line of defense when it comes to preventing pollutant runoff from entering a surface water. The roots from woody vegetation help hold stream banks in place, provide habitat for aquatic organisms, while a thriving tree canopy regulates the water's temperature. Riparian buffers prevent pollutants such as fertilizers and loose sediment, from entering the water and allow time for nature to manage the absorption of pollutants.
  • Soil Test. A soil probe is a handy tool used to take soil samples for assessing the health of a lawn, garden, landscaping or crop field.  Prior to applying a spring fertilizer to a lawn, this simple tool, accompanied by a soil test, can help homeowners save money by providing sound reliable recommendations for your soil needs. For example, your soil test may indicate your soil may only need a pH adjustment rather than a full fertilizer application.
  • Fertilize Smart. If you use fertilizer on your lawn or contract with a company to apply fertilizer, ensure it is done using the4 R's: Right source, Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place. Applying fertilizer right before a rainfall is money that is sure to go down the drain because it has not had the adequate amount of time to lie on your land.
Enjoy springtime while enjoying the outside environment and remember water quality begins with each and every one of us.

Making Salt Sense

Photo courtesy of NEO-PIPE
We can all agree salt helps keep our roadways, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots safe. However, too much salt does not make our streams, rivers, and lakes healthy for aquatic life. Like humans, aquatic organisms have toxicity thresholds, including thresholds for sodium chloride.

Most of our salt is a mixture of sodium and chloride. Because chloride is more toxic to aquatic ecosystems, scientists focus on the chloride side of salt. Chloride enters a water system from stormwater runoff or snow melt and either is absorbed into the ground or travels into nearby streams or conveyance systems that ultimately lead to drinking water sources.  The unfortunate news about chloride is it cannot be filtered out of water.

There is no easy answer to the question about salt application, but what we do know is this- One 12 oz. coffee mug of salt is enough for 10 sidewalk squares or 250 square feet. What a great way to re- purpose an old coffee mug, save money on salt application, and benefit the environment!

Happy and safe winter wishes from the members of AWARE!

Now Available for review: 2013 Lower Mahoning RIver Watershed Biological and Water Quality Study

 The Ohio EPA released the 2013 Draft Lower Mahoning River Watershed Biological and Water Quality report for public review and comment. Please take a moment to read the draft report and provide any comments you may have regarding the report.  All comments are due to the Ohio EPA no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 1, 2018.

Jump on the Green Infrastructure train!

On Saturday, June 9, 2018 #GREENISGOOD Youngstown will host a Green Infrastructure (GI) tour of Youngstown.  This is a great opportunity to see first hand what GI is all about!! Tourists will capture a glimpse of small scale projects (i.e. rain gardens) to larger projects (i.e. parking lot pavers) that pack a punch in storm water management!

Green Is Good Youngstown

Our friends at Fresh Coast Capital and The Colony Youngstown are teaming up to green the City of Youngstown with workshops focused on educating residents about nature and its role it plays in managing storm water.Green infrastructure includes practices designed to promote infiltration, filtration and/or water storage from impervious surface runoff. The initial workshops will be held at the following days and locations:

  • Thursday, March 8th , 5:30pm-7:00pm at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
  • Friday, March 9th, 10:00am-11:30am at the Michael Kusalaba Library
  • Saturday, March 10, 9:00am-10:30am at Choffin Career and Technical Center. 
Visit the Youngstown Green Infrastructure Facebook Page for more information and updates on how the City is greening itself!