WAMU 88.5 : News

States Improve In Decreasing Wastewater Into The Bay

Play associated audio
Wastewater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay has decreased, according to numbers released by two non-profits.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/baltimoredave/4911543608/
Wastewater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay has decreased, according to numbers released by two non-profits.

Every two years, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and a group called Choose Clean Water are checking to see how well actions taken by farms, cities, suburbs and wastewater treatment plants are working--whether or not they are successfully cutting the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous flowing into the Bay.

So far, the groups say, all states did better than expected in some categories and fell short in others.

Virginia appears to be doing a good job cleaning up wastewater and septic systems, while farmers have created grass buffers and restored wetlands to help clean water.

"Wetlands are nature's way of filtering, purifying and cleansing water as it runs off land," says Chuck Epes, a spokesman for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Wetland soils absorb water. Wetland plants--cat tails and reeds--absorb pollution: nitrogen and phosphorous. On the other hand, efforts to control polluted runoff from cities fell short.

"Basically, every time it rains and hits pavements, streets, parking lots, and your front yard and my backyard, that water generally runs off very quickly and carries all sorts of flotsam and jetsam into our rivers and creeks," he says. "It's the one area of Bay pollution clean up that's actually getting worse, not better."

Epes says green buffer zones of native plants and trees could help. He praised the legislature for limiting the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous in lawn fertilizer, and predicted those measures would mean dramatic cuts in urban and suburban pollution in the future.

NPR

'Top Gear' Returns With New Hosts On BBC America

The massively popular BBC show, Top Gear, relaunches Monday on BBC America. Following the painfully public downfall of its former host, the new hosts have big gears to grind.
NPR

'Sweetbitter' Is A Savory Saga Of Restaurant Life And Love

Oysters, cocaine, fine wine, love triangles: Stephanie Danler's debut novel Sweetbitter follows a year in the life of a young woman working at a top-tier Manhattan restaurant.
WAMU 88.5

Ralph Nader: The Future Of The Progressive Movement In The D.C. Region

Iconic consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader joins us for a conversation about civic engagement, the role of the media, and the future of the progressive movement in the D.C. region.

WAMU 88.5

Hillary Clinton's Emails

Hillary Clinton is under pressure after a State Department report criticized her use of a private email server: what's in the report, potential security risks and whether it could affect Secretary Clinton's bid for the White House.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.