One of the best things about working for Clean Water Action is the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful people on a variety of issues that protect our water and reduce pollution. A highlight this year was working with students and teachers at the Connecticut River Academy to design and build a rain garden that will reduce stormwater runoff into the Connecticut River.
Last week, Saginaw Township’s wastewater retention and treatment basins overflowed. After just over two inches of rainfall stressed the outdated sewer infrastructure to its failing point, over three million gallons of partially treated sewage was released into the Tittabawassee River.
I had a relative who told me when I was growing up: “If you want to make sure it rains, plan an event that must be held outside.”
I’m pleased to say that wisdom proved correct when our tour of green infrastructure projects at Providence College was held in a light, steady rainfall.
The fact that Mother Nature sent us a little precipitation served to better illustrate how the network of campus bioswales helps direct and infiltrate storm water runoff.
Stormwater runoff is one of the leading contributors to pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. After big storms, the water carries whatever is on the ground and in the streets into our waterways. Impervious surfaces, such as the roads and pavement that cover densely populated areas, don’t allow rain to seep into the ground, causing more polluted stormwater to enter the Bay.
On Monday, July 4th, a sinkhole formed on West Mulberry Street in Baltimore City. Located between Greene and Paca Streets, this sinkhole will block traffic on Mulberry street for weeks and has already caused transportation officials to close a ramp off of U.S. Route 40 that led to downtown Baltimore. Not only is this sinkhole an inconvenience for traffic, but it is also unsafe. An inspector from the Department of Public Works (DPW) was injured as he examined the sinkhole when the ground collapsed under him, which widened the sinkhole.
One of my favorite places to ride my bike in Baltimore is the Jones Falls Trail between North Avenue and Druid Hill Park. The trail follows the last section of the Jones Falls before it flows underground in pipes underneath downtown on its way to the Inner Harbor, in a narrow stream valley below the traffic of I-83.