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Thursday, November 19, 2015

DIY: How to protect your plumbing in style when entertaining holiday houseguests

Some people have a habit of flushing things they shouldn't flush: Disposable wipes, paper towels, wrappers, cotton swabs, and a whole lot more. And when you're entertaining guests this holiday season, if you don't know their habits, they might be flushing something in your bathroom that could cause a problem.

Here's something that might come in handy. Download and print one of our 5x7 inserts [PDF], find a frame around the house, and place your new reminder somewhere near your bathroom sink or toilet.

Let us know if you put one to use. Happy holidays.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

HEALTH: 6 facts about #WorldToiletDay as told through emojis

November 19 is World Toilet Day, drawing attention to the sanitation and clean-water challenges that affect 1 of every 3 people on earth. The statistics bear this out, and the facts are worth talking about.

Here are 6 ways to do so without words.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

WATCH: "We expected 9. It was actually 10.5," and more facts about Lake Erie algae in 2015

"We expected this year's bloom to be a 9 (out of 10). It was actually a 10.5."

That was how Jeffery Reutter, Ph.D. introduced his November 11 City Club presentation on Lake Erie's hazardous algal blooms, a challenge that has affected water quality in recent years. But a mystery this year is why the toxicity was not as extreme as the scale would have indicated.

Jeffrey Reutter, Ph.D. Image via The City Club
"This was the worst [algal] bloom we've had in our history," he continued, "but it only produced about a quarter of the toxin that we expected. That's a huge challenge for us to understand right now." Reutter is a special adviser to the Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory at The Ohio State University, and he indicated this will be an important area of research following the 2015 algae season.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, phosphorus from wastewater treatment plants was a key contributor to algae because it is key to the growth of hazardous blooms. But since treatment plants significantly reduced their phosphorus output, the biggest contributor now is fertilizer-laden runoff from agriculture all around the Great Lake.

"If we can take the appropriate actions, we can greatly reduce the amount [of nutrients in stormwater runoff]. The weakness in that argument is climate change; if we keep getting more and more frequent storms and more wet spring periods, we'll see things that are worse."

Ruetter offered recommendations to improve water quality on personal property which would reduce have a beneficial impact on runoff entering streams and storm sewer systems. Listen to or view the complete City Club presentation.

Related stories:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

LIST: 5 things you'll learn following our #SewerU November 10

We're hosting our first-ever Sewer University (SewerU) presentation to a capacity crowd of nearly 120 guests on November 10, and if you haven't registered, you'll be able to follow the discussion on Twitter @neorsd #SewerU.

The goal is to bring the underground and often misunderstood sewer network and its function to the surface to better explain how our lives are affected by this critical infrastructure. Here are 5 topics we'll cover that may interest you.

Friday, October 30, 2015

RIVER: Branches, bristles, and balls baskets built for better bulkheads

Casings with wiffle ball inserts

The latest customized contraptions along the Cuyahoga River bulkheads were added this month to help provide habitat for migrating fish, and the elements used in this phase of the project might surprise you.

Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, with the help of Biohabitats and the Regional Sewer District, installed the iteration of these baskets October 7 along the steel bulkheads of the Cuyahoga River navigation channel. They are intended to provide a safe space for fish migrating up or down the channel, a stretch that is otherwise "daunting," as Biohabitats describes it.

#h2olloween LIST: 7 comic-book characters' alter egos, and the water careers they could have had

Heroes of comic books and movies make for great costumes for all ages. But are they also indicators of career options?

Captain America: The Winter Soldier filmed in Cleveland in 2013, and before the release, we spent time examining whether famous characters' alter egos' skill sets made them viable candidates for careers in the water industry. Here were a few ideas, and the list is certainly far from all-inclusive.

COMICS: Information from Masked Heroes

Thursday, October 29, 2015

#TBT: Yes, THAT James Earl Jones narrated this 1978 documentary about the Cuyahoga River

The melodious tones of James Earl Jones' golden pipes grace the narration track of this Cuyahoga River documentary from 1978.

This clip features JEJ reading text from an infamous Time Magazine article that followed the 1969 river fire.

Cuyahoga (1978)
#TBT: "Some river! Chocolate brown, bubbling with subsurface gases. It oozes rather than flows." Hear the one and only James Earl Jones read from the 1969 Time magazine article that followed the Cuyahoga River fire.
Posted by Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District on Thursday, October 29, 2015

Learn more about the 1969 blaze, or the 12 or more other times the river burned.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

WATCH: The not-so-terrifying but very creepy-cool tunnels deep under Southerly / #h2olloween

Some of the access tunnels in the bowels of the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant in Cuyahoga Heights date back to the plant's grand opening in 1928.

Operator Christen Wood took us for a quick tour of the sprawling and sometimes spooky underground system, just in time for Halloween.