Here we explore the Critical Zone that encompasses the lowermost groundwater to the atmosphere that meets the earth. Exchanges between rock, water, soil, and living things that are critical to our sustainability. To understand the importance of this zone to us, this blog will focus on Critical Zone processes in Springfield, Ohio, our home.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Sky Schelle's Visit! By: Ashley, Jordan & Alex
During the city Stormwater Coordinator, Sky Schelle,
visited our class in preparation for our evaluation of a vacant lot for a
potential stormwater detention area. We learned that stormwater is a bath for
the surface of the earth that flows into our storm system where it is combined
with our sewage system (i.e a combined sewer). Depending on the age of the city
sanitary waste and stormwater waste are either combined in the same underground
pipe, or kept separate. Many older, impoverished areas have combined systems that contribute storm overflow waste directly
into rivers.This is the case for
Springfied, that contributes combined sewage overflow directly into Buck Creek
during many storms. Stormwater treatment at plants is extremely expensive for
cities to compensate. In Springfield, it might total $150 million to bury
tunnels to hold excess water until treatment plants able to handle additional
capacity. Fortunately, vacant lots might be a place where stormwater can be
detained and landscapes restored. Water
health only improves if we treat water for wastes before it is released into local
runoff spots including creaks, ponds, lakes.. One of Sky's purpose as a stormwater
coordinator is to consider ways to reduce sewage overflow. One way to reduce
the need for buried tunnel capacity, is to is to restore vacant landscapes to
detain stormwater runoff. Land might be re-purposed in community beautification
project and creating catch basins, such as rain gardens or wetlands, to catch
storm water until it has time to be properly treated.
Source: Watershed Coalition River des Peres, Missouri
Caption: This is a depiction of dry vs. wet weather flow of wastewater and the treatment of combined sewer pollution.
Source: Street Stormwater Drainage Project
Caption: This image serves as a improvement method example for cities to implement community beautification projects to provide basins for excess storm water.