Beneath the Surface: local water quality concerns

Just a quick preface to this post. As a hydrologist, I am interested in all things water. Surface, sub-surface, fresh, salt, fast, slow...all of it. I am also interested in, and have been involved professionally with, water quality for my entire career. You really cannot separate the two. I, however, am not a chemist, nor... Continue Reading →

Salting roadways: much to consider

An article came to my attention today describing the variety of ways the use of salt and other chemicals on roadways in the winter impacts the roads themselves, bridges, cars, land-based wildlife, and of course...water quality. All the runoff from all the paved roadways across our country flows into roadside ditches, stormwater pipes, infiltrates into... Continue Reading →

The river will win

The weather forecast called for rain overnight, but ending mid-morning. Not enough to warrant canceling the trip, we thought, after all with seven families all set to head out to the river, there would have been much disappointment. We all woke in the pre-dawn hours, sleepy children were loaded into the cars, still in pajamas.... Continue Reading →

Gage data: when, where, why and how

Unless you have a specific interest in the water level of your local river or stream, you probably never think about stream gaging, and what that data collection does for us. Various groups such as boaters, seek out this data for their recreational use, and others, like myself, use it professionally. Gages are generally defined... Continue Reading →

Dirty, little secrets

It seems like we hear about another newly identified pollutant in our waterways and/or drinking water every week or two. I read an article the other day about the "Erin Brokovich" chemical/carcinogen (chromium-6) and how it was found in nearly all of the water supplies around the US that were tested, at levels greater (sometimes... Continue Reading →

The 100-Year Floodplain: Explained.

Floodplain maps.  This topic alone drives more confusion and misunderstanding than nearly any other one I encounter.  There are people who sincerely believe that because they do not reside within a mapped 100-year floodplain that they will not experience flooding or have a near zero chance of it....seriously.  To dig into why this assumption is... Continue Reading →

When it rains, it pours

After a recent question about the flooding in storms such as Harvey (Houston, TX  2017) I found a well-written article in The Atlantic about urban flooding from Harvey due, in large part, to stormwater runoff.  Often we think of hurricane and related coastal flooding as being due to storm surge.  Harvey was a different kind... Continue Reading →

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