States Improve In Decreasing Wastewater Into The Bay | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

Do Touch The Artwork At Prado's Exhibit For The Blind

The renowned Spanish museum has made 3-D copies of some of its most iconic works to allow blind people to feel them.
NPR

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
NPR

Obama Administration Forced To Defend Strategy Against ISIS In Iraq

On this Memorial Day, the Obama administration finds itself defending its foreign policy strategy in Iraq where the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has captured the city of Ramadi.
NPR

With Live Video Apps Like Periscope, Life Becomes Even Less Private

Video cameras are everywhere — from those in smartphones to security cams. And just when you thought it couldn't get harder to hide, live-streaming video apps are raising new questions about privacy.

Leave a Comment

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