Category Archives: Water

Comox Valley, BC, Canada: Comox Lake Water Quality Monitoring Program – 2008

Are we not equal or is there a lack of standards? I don’t feel like we are treated equally when I compare the number of times water in my community is tested considering it is at high risk for contamination compared with other BC communities whose water source is closed and a low risk for contamination. On July 16, 2012 a man tragically died in our water source. I didn’t hear our health authority was doing additional testing to ensure our water was safe. My condolences to the man`s family. Portland dumped 38 million gallons of water after a man pees in their reservoir. Isn’t someone dying in our water worse or is it because we have more water that makes our water safe, or perhaps Portland overreacted. Exhibit 5 lists the potential contaminants in Comox Lake. Click here or the pdf file to read the entire report or an excerpt below.

 

Page 18

 

According to the report, they test the following:

3.2 Water Quality Monitoring Description
3.2.1 Water Quality Testing
The current water quality monitoring program for the Comox Valley water system include
the following analyses:
• Weekly bacteriological analysis on distributed water
• Continuous chlorine residual analysis of the treated water
• Monthly metal scan and hardness analysis on raw water
• Annual testing on distributed water for trihalomethanes (THMs), alkalinity, chloride,
fluoride, sulphate, and the parameters listed above.
Analyses are currently performed by North Island Laboratories in Courtenay, which is
approved by VIHA.
Exhibit 9 lists the parameters, as well as their testing frequency.
Raw water is sampled at the lake discharge. Treated water is tested at the chlorination
building. Distributed water is sampled at four locations on the distribution system, which are: West Courtenay Reservoir, Marsden Reservoir, East Courtenay Reservoir, and Comox Reservoir. Exhibit 10 shows the reservoir locations.

Continuously
Chlorine residual

Weekly
Escherichia Coli (Microbiological)
Total Coliform (Microbiological)
Non-Coliform Bacteria (Microbiological)

Monthly
Hardness (Physical and chemical)
Aluminum (Metals)
Antimony (Metals)
Arsenic (Metals)
Barium (Metals)
Beryllium (Metals)
Boron (Metals)
Cadmium (Metals)
Calcium (Metals)
Chromium (Metals)
Cobalt (Metals)
Copper (Metals)
Iron (Metals)
Lead (Metals)
Magnesium (Metals)
Manganese (Metals)
Mercury (Metals)
Molybdenum (Metals)
Nickel (Metals)
Potassium (Metals)
Selenium (Metals)
Silicon (Metals)
Silver (Metals)
Sodium (Metals)
Strontium (Metals)
Thallium (Metals)
Tin (Metals)
Titanium (Metals)
uranium (Metals)
Zinc (Metals)

Annually
Alkalinity (Physical and chemical)
Aluminum (Metals)
Antimony (Metals)
Arsenic (Metals)
Barium (Metals)
Boron (Metals)
Cadmium (Metals)
Chloride (Physical and chemical)
Chromium (Metals)
Copper (Metals)
Fluoride (Physical and chemical)
Hardness (Physical and chemical)
Heterotrophic Plate Count (Microbiological)
Iron (Metals)
Lead (Metals)
Manganese (Metals)
Sodium (Metals)
Sulphate (Physical and chemical)
Temperature (Physical and chemical)
Trihalomethanes-total (THMs)
Uranium (Metals)
Zinc (Metals)

Video on the Story of Bottled Water

Please consider donating to these guys after you watch their amazing video. Click here to learn more about them. Thank you.

 

Orig Posted: Aug 6, 2012

Mike Bleech: Concern for disastrous oil spill hangs over Great Lakes

Let’s see if I understand the risks to our drinking water …. we could have a bitumen spill on the West Coast and we could have another one in the Great Lakes and we’ve got bitumen going through a pipeline from Alberta down to the States. What water is left for us to drink if Enbridge goes bankrupt after one of these oil transports has a catastrophic failure?

Embridge announced the final scope and cost estimate to replace their Line 3, between Hardisty, Alberta, and Superior, Wis. This project will use new pipe made of the latest available high strength steel and coating technology.

Their announcement doesnt reassure me…. with new retail products breaking just past their warranty periods and corruption just about everywhere what guarantee the new pipe made with the latest high strength steel and coating technology will be any better than the old pipes even if they are old.

Maybe I’m a little confused, can someone help me and tell me that we have a well-protected source of drinking water ……oh wait we’ll get it from the water that we’re giving to the water bottle companies. Is this suppose to reassure and comfort me? Does anyone understand risk management and impact on our environment? Click here for the article.

 

PUBLISHED: JUNE 22, 2014 12:01 AM EST
UPDATED: JUNE 22, 2014 7:04 AM EST
It seems that the Great Lakes are continually being threatened by one thing or another.
Sadly, most, if not all of the major threats are the fault of mankind. These are not things we should blame on someone else. We all share the blame because we all benefit from the lifestyles that brought about the great threats.
Just this week, the United States and Canadian Committee of Advisors to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission issued a news release warning about the potential for a disastrous pipeline rupture in the Straights of Mackinac. This has the potential to adversely affect all of the Great Lakes.
The committee of advisors is made up of representatives of First Nation, commercial, recreational, academic, agency and public fishery interests from both the United States and Canada.
Enbridge Inc. is a Canadian Company which operates in Canada and the United States. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge operates the longest crude oil and liquids transportation system in the world.
The news release reported that Line 5, the pipeline under the Mackinac Bridge in the Straights of Mackinac, is owned by Enbridge Energy Inc. Consisting of two separate pipelines that are each 4 miles in length and 20 inches in diameter, 22 million gallons of crude oil, primarily tar sands called bitumen, and natural gas fluids flow through Line 5 each day.
Line 5 is more than 60 years old. A recent underwater inspection by the National Wildlife Federation showed that the pipeline is structurally unsupported in many areas, and it is showing signs of significant deterioration. The area where the pipeline runs is especially vulnerable because it is subjected to fast-moving currents and frequent ice-over.
Line 5 was not designed to handle the higher pressure that is necessary for the product now flowing. Enbridge recently started pumping 10 percent more oil through Line 5, and has proposed changes that will further increase the daily flow by 1.8 million gallons.
Raising a red flag is the worst spill on record in the lower 48 states. That devastated the ecosystem of the Kalamazoo River in 2010, resulting in about a million gallons of dilbit, which is diluted bitumen, being released into the river. The estimated cost of the clean up, which is still not complete, is about $1 billion. This pipeline was also owned by Enbridge.
A federal review found that the Kalamazoo River spill resulted from Enbridge failing to repair known pipeline defects, and from lax government oversight.
It took Enbridge 17 hours to shut down the pipe causing the Kalamazoo River spill.
Might it take a similar amount of time to shut down Line 5 in the case of a rupture?
Asked how long it might take for a spill in the Straights of Mackinac to reach Lake Erie, Denny Grinold, chair of the U.S. Committee of Advisors, said, “It’s hard to tell.”
It would require a minimum of 8 minutes to shut down Line 5, which carries twice as much as the pipeline that caused the Kalamazoo River spill. In that time, about 1 million to 1.8 million gallons of oil would get into the Straights of Mackinac. But this is just the minimum time it might take.
Another problem adds to the potential for environmental disaster should Line 5 rupture.
“The tar sands oil goes to the bottom,” Grinold said. “It is more hazardous because on the bottom it is harder to collect.”
Recovery of the oil would be extremely difficult. It could remain in the environment a long time, perhaps indefinitely.
In “A Resolution Urging the Replacement of the Straights of Mackinac Pipeline,” the Committee of Advisors stated:
“Whereas, a catastrophic oil spill anywhere in the Great Lakes basin, particularly in the Straights of Mackinac, would have far-reaching implications on fishery restoration, fish habitat, the health of the ecosystem, and the recovery of the Great Lakes, affecting the economic and physical well-being of millions of people who live, work, recreate in the basin and subsist on Great Lakes fish.
“Therefore be it resolved that the binational committee of advisors of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission call on all appropriate authorities to require the immediate replacement of Line 5 using the best available technology.”
While this would be costly, the costs would likely be passed on to Enbridge customers, and directly or indirectly to the public, this cost would be minimal compared to the potential environmental disaster which would result from a toxic oil spill into the Straights of Mackinac.
A quick response and solution to this potential disaster is in the best interests of everyone in the long run.
Enbridge recently has announced the final scope and cost estimate to replace their Line 3, between Hardisty, Alberta, and Superior, Wis. This project will use new pipe made of the latest available high strength steel and coating technology.
MIKE BLEECH can be reached by e-mail at mikeb73@verizon.net. Read more of his columns at nwpaoutdoors.com.

 

 

Cryptosporidium Video & Bacteria Spread in Chlorinated Pools

CDC produced this video to get the word out that chlorine does not kill cryptosporidium. Excellent! Click here to watch the video or read an excerpt from this site below.

 

Novel video contest
helps swimmers
stay healthy
In 2011, CDC’s Healthy Swimming
Program was looking to catch a wave,
so to speak. They needed a novel way
to alert the public to a problem that
had substantially increased during
the past 20 years— recreational
water illness (RWI) associated with
swimming. They especially needed
to get the word out about crypto (short for Cryptosporidium)— a germ that had
become the leading cause of swimming pool-related outbreaks of diarrheal illness.
Cases of crypto had increased more than 200% from 2004 to 2008. Crypto can
stay alive for days even in well-maintained pools, and, contrary to popular belief,
chlorine does not kill all germs (like crypto) instantly.
The Healthy Swimming Program came up with an innovative solution— a video
contest (CDC’s first ever) which challenged the public to create 60-second videos
that included four healthy swimming messages. A panel of CDC judges selected the
top 5 out of 49 entries, and the public was asked to vote online for the winner.
During a 2-month period, the video contest generated a lot of interest— 56,110
website page views, more than 475,000 Facebook impressions, 2,000-plus individual
votes for the finalists, and approximately 10,000 views of the top five videos. The
winning video, titled “RWI Police” was selected in late July.
There were, in fact, many winners. The Healthy Swimming Program and its state
and local partners got high-quality, humorous, evergreen videos (including the
four runner-up videos) that could help them continue to spread the word about
RWIs. The Healthy Swimming Program also won some important visibility at a
substantially reduced rate. If the program had tried to produce similar videos, the
production costs alone would have been more than $10,000. And, most importantly,
swimmers received useful information to help them avoid getting sick.

Maps of various things

These are  really neat.

 

This map shows what is on the other side of the world from where you are standing.  For the most part it will probably be water.

This map shows what is on the other side of the world from where you are standing.  For the most part it will probably be water.

This map shows the world divided into 7 sections (each with a distinct color) with each section containing 1 billion people.

This map shows the world divided into 7 sections (each with a distinct color) with each section containing 1 billion people.

This map shows the most photographed places in the world.

This map shows the most photographed places in the world.

This map shows the longest straight line you can sail.  It goes from Pakistan all the way to Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia for a total of 20,000 miles.

This map shows the longest straight line you can sail.  It goes from Pakistan all the way to Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia for a total of 20,000 miles.

This map shows the countries that heavily restricted Internet access in 2013.

This map shows the countries that heavily restricted Internet access in 2013.

This map shows the countries (in blue) where people drive on the left side of the road.

This map shows the countries (in blue) where people drive on the left side of the road.

This map shows how much space the United States would occupy on the moon.

This map shows how much space the United States would occupy on the moon.

This map shows countries (in white) that England has never invaded.  There are only 22 of them.

This map shows countries (in white) that England has never invaded.  There are only 22 of them.

This map shows (in white) where 98 percent of Australia's population lives.

This map shows (in white) where 98 percent of Australia’s population lives.

This map shows (in red, orange, and yellow) the world's largest donors of foreign aid with red being the biggest donor.

This map shows (in red, orange, and yellow) the world’s largest donors of foreign aid with red being the biggest donor.

This map shows (in blue) places where Google street view is available.

This map shows (in blue) places where Google street view is available.

This map highlights the countries (in red and orange) with the most skyscrapers.

This map highlights the countries (in red and orange) with the most skyscrapers.

This is a map of the highest paid public employees in the United States.

This is a map of the highest paid public employees in the United States.

This is a map of the all the rivers in the United States.

This is a map of the all the rivers in the United States.

This is a map of 19th century shipping lanes that outlines the continents.

This is a map of 19th century shipping lanes that outlines the continents.

These are all the rivers that feed into the Mississippi River.

These are all the rivers that feed into the Mississippi River.

The line in this map shows all of the world's Internet connections in 1969.

The line in this map shows all of the world’s Internet connections in 1969.

It may not come as a surprise but more people live inside the circle than outside of it.

It may not come as a surprise but more people live inside the circle than outside of it.

Apparently you can't get Big Macs everywhere.  This map shows (in red) the countries that have McDonalds.

Apparently you can’t get Big Macs everywhere.  This map shows (in red) the countries that have McDonalds.

And this map shows all the places where you can get eaten by a Great White shark!

And this map shows all the places where you can get eaten by a Great White shark!

And this is what the world would look like if all the countries with coast lines sank.

And this is what the world would look like if all the countries with coast lines sank.

Cyanobacteria: Blue-green algae poisoning threatens livestock

Here is an article with a good picture of cyanobacteria. I don’t have confidence with their descrption of where it can be found in water or how it should be treated. I also don’t have confidence recommending which country is an expert on cyanobacteria. I do have confidence stating there are huge gaps internationally regarding cyanobacteria so extreme caution should be used both in how to identify it and treat it. Here is a report report74_management_strategies_BGA (2)  from Australia that I think is worth reading – even it recommends consulting a cyanobacteria expert and another website that gives good information about cyanobacteria species. I’m not a scientist, I just like to read and find conflicting information so please consult with an expert on this topic rather than follow my ramblings. Thanks.

 

Several livestock deaths have been attributed to blue-green algae poisoning in North Dakota recently, putting livestock producers and veterinarians on alert.

Cases usually occur in late summer or early fall, when stagnant ponds and the right nutrient conditions allow for overgrowth of algae, according to Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist. However, this spring’s mild weather and warm water have been ideal conditions for algae blooms to occur.

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, typically grow in stagnant, warm pond water. When the algae die, they produce a toxin that is poisonous to most livestock and wildlife, including ducks, geese, rabbits, muskrats, frogs, fish and snakes.

Under favorable conditions, blue-green algae can double in number in 24 hours, and these blooms can turn pond water blue to brownish green.

“A close watch for unexplained livestock deaths is important,” Stokka says. “Consult a veterinarian to find a cause of death so steps can be taken to prevent additional livestock deaths.”

He also urges producers to take note of any dead wildlife around bodies of water because that could be an indication of blue-green algae in the water. The algae flourish only in the top few inches of water, so toxic concentrations typically are found just in small ponds where waves don’t mix the water thoroughly. Blue-green algae blooms do not occur in lakes and rivers.

A veterinarian can help determine if a particular pond has toxic concentrations of the algae, Stokka says.

Another option is to send a water sample to the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The lab also can diagnose a blue-green algae problem in dead animals if someone sends a liver sample. For more information on how to submit samples, contact the lab at (701) 231-7527 or (701) 231-8307, or visit its website at http://www.vdl.ndsu.edu/.

If a pond contains toxic concentrations of blue-green algae, keep animals from drinking the water by fencing off the pond and providing another source of water. Because the toxins are concentrated at the surface, water may be pumped from the bottom of deep sloughs or potholes to watering tanks.

Generally, toxic algae blooms last only a few days, but they may persist for several weeks.

Small ponds that don’t drain into other waterways or bodies of water may need to be treated with copper sulfate or an algicide. Stokka recommends a treatment rate of 2 pounds of copper sulfate per acre-foot of water. That approximates a rate of 8 pounds per 1 million gallons.

Toxin levels increase immediately after treatment, so livestock should not be allowed to drink from treated ponds for a week.

For more information on detecting blue-green algae and protecting livestock from its toxins, contact your county office of the NDSU Extension Service. Ask for the publication “Cyanobacteria (Blue Green Algae) Poisoning.”

 

 

Cyanobacteria: It’s Easier Being Green Than Blue-green

The Oregon Health Authority gives a much simpler definition of algae for those of us who aren’t plant biologists. Click here for the full article or read an excerpt below.

 

Kermit the frog sang the song “It isn’t easy being green” lamenting the troubles of being a frog. The blue-green I am referring to is blue-green algae. What is it and why should you care? First things first. According to Dictionary.com “algae are any of numerous groups of chlorophyll-containing, mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms ranging from microscopic single-celled forms to multicellular forms 100 feet (30 meters) or more long, distinguished from plants by the absence of true roots, stems, and leaves and by a lack of nonreproductive cells in the reproductive structures: classified into six phyla Euglenophyta, Crysophyta, Pyrrophyta, Chlorophyta, Phaeophyta, and Rhodophyta. Blue-green algae are defined as “a widely distributed group of predominantly photosynthetic prokaryotic organisms of the subkingdom Cyanophyta, resembling phototrophic bacteria, occurring singly or in colonies in diverse habitats: some species can fix atmospheric nitrogen.” it is also called Cyanobacteria.

The Oregon Health Authority gives a much simpler definition of algae for those of us who aren’t plant biologists. They say “algae are microscopic plants that grow naturally in oceans and fresh water. Under certain conditions, some algae can grow into a large visible mass called a bloom.” The blue-green is one of the algae that produces toxins (poisons) that can cause serious illness or death in humans and even pets, wildlife, and livestock.

Blue-green Algae Waves

What does an algae bloom look like? Scientists describe blooms as looking like a scum or foam on the surface of the water that can appear in various colors such as white, brown, green, or in this case blue-green. Don’t let that fool you though because you can’t tell whether what appears to be an algae bloom is toxic or not just by looking at it. The water has to be tested to be sure. If the surface of a pond, lake, or reservoir looks suspicious to you (doesn’t aways look as green as the picture above) it’s better to stay out of direct contact with the water.

You might remember that last summer there were some blue-green algae advisories throughout Western Oregon which included Walterville Pond, Dorena Reservoir, Dexter Reservoir, and Tenmile Lake in Coos County. The one issued for Dexter Reservoir could not have come at a worse time considering it was issued July 3rd. just one day before crowds of people gathered along the shore for a 4th of July celebration with entertainment, food, and fireworks sponsored by the Dexter Volunteer Fire Department and the Lowell Volunteer Fire Department in conjunction with Eugene Daily News.

2013 Swimming At Dexter Reservoir | Photo by Tim Chuey

Despite the advisory some folks did go into the water and I know I saw a couple of dogs frolicking and splashing near the shore. I don’t know if anyone got sick, but they were taking an unnecessary risk. Being near the water or even boating, as long as you don’t get a heavy spray of water hitting the boaters, is not a problem. You must have direct contact with contaminated water. “Skin irritation or rash is the most commonly reported health effect. Other symptoms range from diarrhea, cramps and vomiting to fainting, numbness, dizziness, tingling and paralysis. The most severe reactions occur when large amounts of water are swallowed. The chronic effects of long-term exposure to algae toxins are being studied.”

If you enjoy a picnic, camping, or boating near area lakes and reservoirs you should make sure the water is not going to harm you, your family, or your pets.