WAMU 88.5 : News

Specialists Monitor Water Quality During And After Sandy

Play associated audio
Waters were murky in the D.C. area, from the boardwalk in Georgetown, shown here, to the watershed in Maryland.
Armando Trull
Waters were murky in the D.C. area, from the boardwalk in Georgetown, shown here, to the watershed in Maryland.

Teams of water quality specialists braved the stinging rain and wind of Sandy to monitor the region's water quality.

While most people were tucked away inside, Bruce Michael's teams were out and about collecting water samples.

"The water is chocolate-colored, it's very brown, there's a lot of sediment and material in itm" says Michael. "We call it 'chunky.'"

Michael is with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. He says 80 percent of the pollution that washes into the bay — Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and sediment — occurs during big storms.

"It's important to chase these storms, so we can measure these loads of nutrients and sediment coming into the bay," he says. "We had people out on the Eastern Shore; some of them actually got trapped on the Eastern Shore."

State and local governments in our region are spending billions of dollars trying to reduce this kind of water pollution, which is why Michael says it's especially important to know whether these efforts are working.

"The concentrations and loads are actually going down throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed over 25 years worth of data," he says. "We still have a long way to go."

Rivers like the Potomac and Susquehanna still haven't crested, so water monitoring teams will be working through Wednesday and even into Thursday.

NPR

Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory?

The stripped-down look of exposed brick, poured cement floors, and Edison light bulbs is popular in restaurants across America. One reporter dares to ask, "Seriously, why?"
NPR

Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory?

The stripped-down look of exposed brick, poured cement floors, and Edison light bulbs is popular in restaurants across America. One reporter dares to ask, "Seriously, why?"
WAMU 88.5

Why Local Nonprofits Haven't Fixed Poverty

As long as there has been poverty, there have been people trying to end it. We explore the obstacles and inefficiencies local nonprofits run into when trying to solve society's stubborn problem.

WAMU 88.5

Can We Trust Our Cars?

There were more airbag recalls this week, and VW has agreed to pay nearly fifteen billion in its emissions cheating scandal. Meanwhile, cars with driverless technology are becoming available, but whether they will make us safer is up for debate. A look at auto safety and consumer trust.

Leave a Comment

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