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E&O Topic of the Month - Smart Water Use and Water Runoff

Living in an arid climate like we do here in Colorado makes water efficiency and best management practices very important for residents and businesses. There are many ways to ensure water is being managed efficiently and we all play a part in these efforts. Here are a few ways to help save water around your house and workplace: 

Tips for saving water and improving water quality outdoors:

E&O Topic of the Month - Fertilizer Application Best Practices

Did you know that using too much fertilizer can be harmful to the environment? Excess phosphorus and nitrogen flows from lawns into our local waterways and causes toxic algae growth that's harmful to people, pets, and aquatic life. To help protect water quality, it's important to read your fertilizer label and choose one without phosphorous. 

Did you know that Colorado soils are often naturally high in phosphorous? Established lawns most likely do not need additional phosphorous. You can pick a phosphorous-free fertilizer to help protect water quality!

E&O Topic of the Month - Stormwater Awareness/Snowmelt

With Spring officially here, we will start to see significant snow melt and potentially heavy rain storms. These storm events provide us a reminder to protect water quality! Rain and melting snow pick up litter, pesticides, fertilizers, and other pollutants from our homes and carry them into storm inlets which drain directly into local waterways without treatment.This is different from wastewater systems, which carry water from indoor drains in our homes, offices, and buildings to wastewater treatment plants before discharging to the local waterway.

2023 Educational Campaign Report

The Colorado Stormwater Councils shared Education and Outreach program includes social media, radio, TV, print, online and bus advertisements, and public service announcements. Thank you to all of our members and partners who make this possible through their contributions and collaboration. Without our combined effort, our communities would be much more limited on the number of different media options integrated into our education and outreach programs. This report is a summary of all educational campaigns for 2023. 

Where You Leave Your Leaves Matters!

The amount of phosphorus in grass clippings generated from just one lawn mowing can produce up to 100 lbs. of unwanted algae if it ends up in our lakes and ponds. Leaf “litter” and landscape trash account for 56% of the phosphorus in urban stormwater, in addition to clogging storm drains and increasing debris in our streams and waterways.

Reusing, recycling, and composting your leaves keeps them from going to landfills, which helps the community meet zero waste and climate action goals, and can save community members money by avoiding extra charges on trash bills.

Foam in Waterways

Where is the foam from?

It is common for organic matter naturally found in our waterways to decompose, releasing fatty molecules (lipids) that produce the foam we see on the surface of the water. This happens every year, usually during the spring runoff season, but it can also occur during periods of high precipitation and high temperatures in summer and fall months. The foam is most apparent at locations where the water is naturally agitated by flowing over rocks or discharging from pipes. The foam produced may be more than a foot deep!

It’s Time to Talk About Dog Poop

In the United States, pet dogs produce 21.2 billion pounds of poop each year. All that poop is polluting water sources, both in urban areas and the backcountry, largely because dog owners aren’t doing a good enough job picking it up. Let’s look at the reasons why dog poop has become such a problem, and examine what we can do about it.

Why Dog Poop Matters

Two reasons: There’s too much of it and it’s full of bacteria and parasites. 

Leave No Poop Behind (Interview)

Research shows that most dog owners pick up after their pets in the street and at the local park, but often don’t take along a plastic bag when out hiking in the backcountry, assuming it’s no big deal. But Wes Siler, a contributing editor to Outside Magazine, tells host Steve Curwood that all that dog poop does add up to potential harm by introducing foreign bacteria and nutrients to forests, fields, and streams.

Transcript

[SOUNDS OF BARKING AND PLAYING DOGS]


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