Posts tagged ‘water quality’
Florida is a state flanked by a gulf and an ocean, dotted with hundreds of lakes and springs and crossed by thousands of miles of rivers and streams, and sprinkled with lots of puddles during the rainy season. Water is everywhere. Still, we are unsure how much water we have to drink or how long our supply will last. A waste not, want not approach helps conserve our water sources.
One easy way to keep our water stocked is to reclaim it. Water that we usually waste—domestic wastewater—can be filtered, disinfected and used again.
Some places in Florida have been using reclaimed water for years and the purple pipe–in the United States, reclaimed water is distributed in purple pipes—has distributed many a gallon to Florida landscapes and lawns.
The St. Petersburg Master Urban Reuse System set a “waste not, want not” example with one of the first large urban reuse systems. St. Pete has had numerous visitors from other countries, including most recently South Korea, looking for similar water management solutions. The St. Pete system, in operation since 1977, supplies highly treated reclaimed water for irrigation to more than 10,200 residential lawns, 64 schools, 101 parks, and six golf courses.
Disney sets another example of the “waste not, want not” philosophy. Reedy Creek Improvement District provides the Walt Disney World Resort Complex with reclaimed water which is used to irrigate four golf courses, landscaped areas at eight hotels, highway medians, an athletic complex and a water park. Reclaimed water is also used to irrigate a 110-acre tree farm which produces horticultural materials used throughout the complex. Disney also puts reclaimed water to work as cooling tower make-up water, for washing vehicles, cleaning streets and sidewalks in the Disney parks.
Purple fire hydrants provide access to reclaimed water for fire suppression and protection. Reclaimed water can also be used to recharge groundwater. In 2008, Florida used 667 million gallons per day of reclaimed water, saving more than 125 billion gallons of drinkable water while adding more than 79 billion gallons back to available water supplies.
Though Florida leads the nation in water reuse, the potential for reclaiming water goes untapped in many areas. To find out if reclaimed water is available in your neighborhood, look for purple pipes or purple fire hydrants. Contact your local wastewater management or reuse utility company. Contact information can usually be found on your utility bill. If reclaimed water is available, follow the guidelines provided by your local reuse utility.
If reclaimed water is not available in your neighborhood, contact your local elected officials, city planners, or water management district to learn about plans for water reuse.
Information provided by
Shanin Speas Frost
Water Reuse/Wastewater Wetlands Coordinator
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Can it get any hotter? Yes. It can. Fortunately, Florida residents and visitors can stay cool, stay green and take it easy this summer in one of Florida’s many cool locations.
The Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico are favorite Take it Easy choices on hot summer days. Florida’s one million registered boats provide one million opportunities for boaters to protect water quality and the quality of our aquatic lifestyle, both at the dock and on the water. Bring trash and recyclables back to the dock for proper disposal. Choose designated Clean Marinas, Boatyards and Retailers for boating needs to support more than 250 businesses statewide that implement practices that help keep our waterways clean and healthy. When planning your cruises, don’t forget to locate pumpout facilities along your route.
For those who prefer motorless transportation to cool clean fun, a multitude of paddling trails—including the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail and the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail—provide excellent “Take it Easy” venues. No matter where your outing takes you, bring trash and recyclables back to shore for proper disposal. Whether you prefer saltwater or fresh water adventures, paddle on. Canoes and kayaks are powered by human energy, a renewable resource.
Check tomorrow’s blog for more ways to stay cool, stay green and take it easy.
Learn more about the “Take it Easy” Twitter contest. View details here.
Family outings on beamy pontoon boats … friends returning from fishing trips, their relationships richer for the experience…sailors catching the afternoon sea breeze… kayakers skimming across a lake at sunset… a shrimper heading out at dawn … images that remind us how Florida’s greatest natural resource — its water — affects the quality of our lives. Regardless of why we’re out there, for recreation or to make a living, we share responsibility for preserving the boating life we love by keeping our waterways and shorelines vibrant, clean and healthy.
Simple practices, applied consistently, and a little planning are cornerstones of responsible boating. Preventing fuel leaks when we fill up, cleaning with elbow grease and water instead of harmful chemicals, keeping our boats in top running shape are all relatively easy ways we can help protect water quality. Planning for the types of trips we will be taking before we leave the dock, also goes a long way toward preventing pollution – manufactured and manmade. How many people will be aboard? Is it a day trip or overnight cruise? Usually day trips do not generate much waste. Overnight trips virtually guarantee it. So we need to be prepared to stow our trash and to make sure our heads and holding tanks are in good working order. We need to know where our pumpout facilities are located and use them. And, we need to chart our courses carefully in advance to keep from damaging sensitive sea floor habitats or injuring marine life.
Choosing Florida’s designated Clean Marinas, Boatyards and Retailers for our boating needs moves us beyond individual action to supporting more than 250 businesses statewide that implement Best Management Practices to keep our waterways clean and healthy. These facilities and their trained staff are our partners—our trusted crew, ready with guidance and education on everything from boating regulations and environmentally safe products and services to the best ways to clean and cook our prize catch.
On Saturday, June 12, National Marina Day, we have an opportunity to join marinas around the country that are opening their doors to their communities. This year, ten marinas across the country will offer everyone who is interested a chance to participate in boating and fishing activities, hands-on workshops and seminars, boat test drives, boat races, and more. Support Boat.Fish.Live. At National Marina Day. It’s a perfect time to introduce a newcomer to clean boating. It’s something every boater and every marina can do right now to help keep our waterways clean for everyone to enjoy. Boaters can do their part. Marinas can do theirs to ‘Make it last, keep it clean!’