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Sewage in the Great Lakes and how Green Infrastructure can help

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Melissa Niskala

on 6 April 2013

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Transcript of Sewage in the Great Lakes and how Green Infrastructure can help

Using Green Infrastructure to Help Our Lakes and Rivers Did you know?
The Great Lakes contain 18%
of the worlds surface water! and 95% of North Americans surface freshwater! There are 42 million people who depend on the
Great Lakes for their drinking water. with 56 billion gallons used EVERY day for municipal, agricultural and industrial uses. What's the problem? do you really want to know?? OK...here goes... Over 24 billion GALLONS of RAW SEWAGE which includes a mixture of human waste, micro-organisms, disease causing pathogens and toxic chemicals goes directly into the Great Lakes each year! This severely contaminates the water making it unsafe
for drinking, closes beaches,
and sends people to the emergency room So what can I do to help this problem? is there anything that can be done? YES!!! It is called
Green Infrastructure
and through this technology we can all help combat the sewage from entering our waterways. So what is it, and how will it help? Rain Barrels Rain barrels are an easy way that most people can help with this cause. By using rain barrels people are trapping water which would normally drain off into the storm drains. This water can then be used to water your own gardens and yards as needed throughout the year Sewage systems are outdated and showing their age. They cannot handle the amount of storm water runoff that is occurring during heavy storms.
Why is all this sewage entering our water? How is this happening? Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) release the raw sewage, and untreated runoff which goes directly into lakes and rivers,
thus polluting our water and putting public health and the environment at risk. Rain Gardens Designed around a low area or depression to collect rainwater and storm runoff
Allows slow absorption back into the ground Planted with hardy native plants that tolerate dry and wet periods.
Storm water is cleaned and reduced in volume once it enters the rain garden Green Roofs Designed to support rooftop grasses and plants which capture the rainwater Rain runoff can be absorbed between 15 to 90%, thereby considerably reducing runoff and potential pollutants from customary impermeable roofing surfaces. Porous Pavement This type of technology provides storm water runoff reduction though infiltration. The water runoff goes through layers of bedding after passing through the porous surface and infiltrates into the subgrade soil. Pollutants can also be removed as the run off travels through the layers. Wetlands Wet lands, marshes, bogs, and ponds all serve an important part in keeping water on land. These areas provide ways in which the water can be filtered naturally and replenish the ground water in those areas. Wet lands can act as a sponge during severe storms helping to minimize flooding. These areas are also an important habitat for numerous plants and animals Therefore when we preserve and maintain the wet lands, we are helping numerous aspects of biodiversity. Environmentally Friendly technology which helps manage storm water runoff Green Infrastructure This technology captures, infiltrates, treats and reuses polluted runoff before it enters the sewage systems. Usually costs less to maintain than traditional forms of infrastructure Sounds great, how do I get started? keep reading to find out how.... Now that you know about Green Infrastructure spread the word, get involved, try one of the technologies! How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank Bibligraphy

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Tibbetts.(2005). Environmental Health Perspectives Volume: 113 Issue: 7 (2005-01-01) ISSN: 0091-6765 These sewage systems have what are called combined sewage systems where sewage and storm water combine into a series of pipes .
When heavy rainfall occurs, there is just too much water saturating the ground and pavement which causes the system to overflow.
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