Sunday, April 25, 2010

I LOVE New York!!!

Last weekend I drove to Rochester, NY which was a trip that took about six hours to drive.  I don't usually travel that far, and I was unaware how beautiful the drive would be.  Of course I started my trip stuck in traffic and the traffic congestion continued until I got on to Route 17.  But it wasn't long before I was driving along and enjoying the countryside.  

It seemed that every mile or so I was on an overpass driving over a river, stream or brook and for the first time I saw fly fishing - guys up to their chests in the water looking for their next big catch.  

After I had been driving for about three hours, I saw a sign near Binghampton that said "Entering the Chesapeake Bay Watershed".  I had no idea the watershed was that big!

As the drive continued, I saw lots of farms, hay, cattle and even some wild life.  Everything was getting ready for Spring. 

By the time I got to Syracuse, I was asking myself  "are we there yet?"  The trip started to get really long.   After I passed Syracuse, I learned that I was in the Finger Lakes Wine Country - really cool!   Just another hour or so when I saw the sign announcing "Erie Canal"    YES!  Getting closer!

I felt very lucky that I have a friend that lives in Rochester and I had a day to check out the city.  What a great city!  We went for a nice walk and actually did get a chance to check out the canal.  It is mostly used for pleasure, rather than cargo these days and I was surprised to see that the canal was in draw-down during the winter.  As we walked along the canal, we started hearing fish jumping in the canal.  At a point, I could swear we saw a carp breaching in the water.  (The water was REALLY shallow).  What a nice city!  One disturbing point, my friend told me that during the summer, the beaches on Lake Ontario are often closed due to pollution.  

Lots of great restaurants in Rochester and it was a very manageable city as it was easy to get around.  I am looking forward to my next trip to Rochester!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Article: Nitrogen Pollution Crisis in Westchester

Was out and about today and this headline "Nitrogen Pollution is Choking Westchester" grabbed my attention.  I've never seen The Westchester Guardian newspaper before, but this issue, Thursday, April 15, 2010 had an in-depth 2 page article about Nitrogen Pollution (the history, causes, dead-zones, an example of how nitrogen has taken its toll on a lake in Westchester, and a map detailing dead zones caused by nitrogen around the globe.)  Very interesting article with references to further research and numbers to take action on nitrogen pollution.  The newspaper in PDF format will download with this link

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Department of Public Works

This was published on Slashdot.  Here is the link

blackbearnh writes  
"Usually, Gov 2.0 deals mainly with outward transparency of government to the citizens. But SeeClickFix is trying to drive data in the other direction, letting citizens report and track neighborhood problems as mundane as potholes, and as serious as drug dealers. In a recent interview, co-founder Jeff Blasius talked about how cities such as New Haven and Tucson are using SeeClickFix to involve their citizens in identifying and fixing problems with city infrastructure. 'We have thousands of potholes fixed across the country, thousands of pieces of graffiti repaired, streetlights turned on, catch basins cleared, all of that basic, broken-windows kind of stuff. We've seen neighborhood groups form based around issues reported on the site. We've seen people get new streetlights for their neighborhood, pedestrian improvements in many different cities, and all-terrain vehicles taken off of city streets. There was also one case of an arrest. The New Haven Police Department attributed initial reports on SeeClickFix to a sting operation that led to an arrest of two drug dealers selling heroin in front of a grammar school.'"

Monday, April 12, 2010

How to price underground stormwater storage - plastic pipe vs. concrete TerreArch

Concrete underground stormwater storage system,TerreArch, offers advantages to the job and site and is often less expensive than installation of plastic pipe.
Below is a general guide and things to consider when costing out your underground stormwater storage project. 

*The costs for any project should be evaluated independently.
1. What are the material costs?

Get pricing
TerreArch - we'll look at your drawings and provide you with a price for TerreArch
Plastic Pipe - get a price for all required materials: plastic pipe, fittings and manholes

2. What are the costs to prepare the site for installation?
TerreArch: Get a price to dig the pit and to lay the sub-base 
(*Note: we often see that the footprint for TerreArch is LESS than needed for plastic pipe.  You may realize a cost savings by digging a smaller pit and eliminating unnecessary structures)
Pipe: Get a price to dig the pit and lay the sub-base (because of the non-structural nature of plastic pipe, you may need extra sub-base)
What are the costs for TerreArch and what are the costs for plastic pipe?

3. Delivery:
TerreArch - Arrives just in time and installs immediately (no unloading or storage space needed)
Plastic Pipe - Delivered on site - must be unloaded and stored
How much additional time will unloading and storage of plastic pipe cost your job?

4. Installation:
TerreArch - A company representative is on site for every installation.  Each TerreArch piece typically installs (pick to set) in about 7 minutes.  This means a crew of 2 or 3 can install, backfill and cover up to 50,000 cubic feet of storage in just one day!
Plastic Pipe - Multiple crew members are needed to get pipe from storage, re-stage and set up on site.  It is important that the pipe be laid in strict accordance with manufacturer's instructions.   Your team needs to assemble pipe layout and attach with cumbersome fittings then secured by hand with stone from the 6 to 9 o'clock positions.  
Plastic fittings can be lost or broken.  Remember, your plastic pipe stormwater storage is only as good as your weakest connection.
How much additional time will assembling and securing plastic pipe by hand, in strict accordance with manufacturer's instructions, cost your job?

5. Completing Installation:
TerreArch - Get a price for bulldozing stone over the top - upon completion, site is easily accessible to all cars and heavy equipment.
Plastic Pipe - Crew members must now complete securing the pipe in-place by hand in strict accordance with manufacturer's instructions before site can be accessed by cars and heavy equipment.
How many days will it take X # of crew members to complete securing plastic pipe in place by hand and laying stone around pipe and above to the proper height?   How much does that add to the cost of your job?

6. Post-construction and Structural Integrity:
TerreArch - arrives on site as a structural piece with an HS-25 rating.  Installation of TerreArch eliminates the opportunity for creep and post-construction subsidence issues.
Plastic Pipe- is not structural.  Even when manufacturer's instructions are strictly followed, plastic pipe can and has failed and it can also easily creep.

7. Post construction inspection:
TerreArch - offers easy access ports for inspection - anytime.
Plastic pipe- no access ports - post construction inspection is difficult at best

8. One last consideration:
It is important to install TerreArch or plastic pipe on a clean bed of stone.  If you can't complete the installation of your underground stormwater storage system in one day, it rains and the stone gets dirty, the base stone needs to be cleaned and re-laid. 
Can you afford not to consider TerreArch?

Do the math!  Pull your costs together.  Let us look at your project and submit our quote.  This quick exercise has saved many projects and contractors thousands of dollars and the structural integrity of concrete provided long term peace of mind.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

TerreKleen Hydrodynamic Separator Approved by the MDC - Hartford, CT area

TerreKleen Hydrodynamic separator has been accepted for use in the towns around Hartford, CT that are served by The Metropolitan District (MDC).  The MDC is a non-profit municipal corporation chartered by the Connecticut General Assembly in 1929 to provide potable water and sewerage services on a regional basis. Today, the MDC provides quality water supply, water pollution control, mapping, and household hazardous waste collection to eight member municipalities -- Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Newington, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor -- and to portions of other towns in the region.

TerreKleen can be designed/customized for your job, installs quickly and does not require confined space for clean out.   Our engineering department can help you with sizing and design issues.  If you are a contractor or municipality and have a job in the Hartford, CT area that requires a hydrodynamic separator, give us a call! 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New York State limits water intake at a number of industrial facilities

This article written by Ken Moran appeared in the New York Post April 7, 2010
Here is the link to the actual article : A move in the right direction

In a move that could save millions of fish and their eggs, New York State has curtailed water intake at a number of power plants and other industrial facilities.
The DEC's proposal calls for power plants and other facilities that use water for cooling purposes to recycle and reuse that water through a process known as "closed cycle cooling" technology. This will greatly reduce the amount of water withdrawn from New York's rivers or other water bodies such as Long Island Sound and minimize the amount of fish, fish eggs and larvae destroyed in the process.
The federal Clean Water Act and state regulations require that decisions on what type of cooling-water-intake system to employ at a specific facility be based on the best technology available for minimizing environmental impacts.

Monday, April 5, 2010

NOAA holding public listening sessions to guide new aquaculture policy

Thought this was really cool!  NOAA is looking for recommendations from the public to help develop a new national policy for sustainable aquaculture.  First date is in New England in Narragansett, RI coming up April 14th, 2010. 

Here is the link for the NOAA webpage.

NOAA will hold six listening sessions in April and May to hear recommendations from the public that will help the agency develop a new national policy for sustainable marine aquaculture. Marine aquaculture is the cultivation of marine organisms, such as shellfish and finfish, for food and other products.
Dates for the listening sessions with NOAA officials are as follows:
  • April 14 in Narragansett, Rhode Island
  • April 19 in New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Time: 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    • Location: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District Building
    • Address: 7400 Leake Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118
    • Note: You must present a U.S. government-issued photo ID to enter this building.
  • April 29 in Menlo Park, California
  • May 6 a national call-in hosted by NOAA
    • Time: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern)
    • Note: A toll-free call-in number will be posted closer to the date.
Beginning April 6, the agency also will accept public comment through the Web. Instructions for submitting comments electronically will be posted on this website.
After the listening sessions, NOAA will analyze the public input and develop a draft national policy for review and public comment. Once that process is complete, the agency will issue the new NOAA aquaculture policy. NOAA’s goal is to issue a new national policy that will enable sustainable marine aquaculture within the context of the agency’s multiple ocean stewardship missions and broader social and economic goals.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Here is a little rain for you - very cool!

If there is no rain in sight but you want some, click on this Youtube link.  Very creative.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

From Storms to Sewers - lecture/program about Long Island Sound

Last night I attended the "Storms to Sewers" program in Greenwich, CT at the Bruce Museum.  WOW!  There was really a great turn-out for this program.  I am guessing there were 100 or so people in attendance.  The whole presentation was extremely well presented by Leah Schmalz from Save the Sound/CT Fund for the Environment.  In a very short period of time, she clearly communicated all of the issues that affect The Sound.  The topics covered included: a look at the watershed, Long Island Sound Study, sources of pollution, oxygen levels in the Sound, low impact development, rain barrels, nutrient loading, trash control, the status of projects such as sewer separation and waste water treatment facility upgrades, and stormwater authorities, FUNDING and MORE.  It really was an excellent program and at the end, there were a lot of good questions from a very active and interested audience.

By the way, a quick websearch revealed a fact sheet (from 2005) put together by the EPA.  Click here for the link.
Long Island Sound Citizen's Summit sponsored by Save the Sound and CT Fund for the Environment is coming up on May 7th - we will be a vendor there.  Hope you can make it.