We all can do our part for the planet

23 Counties in Violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act

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The ever-aging water infrastructure in the United States has become an increasing cause for concern, and environmental factors and pollution have done nothing to help drinking water quality. Since 1974 with the passing of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that 23 counties in the United States are in egregious violation, citing more than 15,000 instances of harmful levels of chemicals in municipal water supplies all over the country. While some contaminants are naturally occurring, an increase in industrial activity within the recent decade has seen a disturbingly large increase in chemicals and other harmful particulates seeping into surrounding ecosystems and groundwater.

Between September 30th, 1980 to July 3rd, 2017, the EPA found that out of the 23 counties in violation, Dona Ana County in New Mexico had the lowest amount of contamination violations. With 52 violations in total, the most recent issued in November of 2008, the EPA found unsafe levels of uranium in the county’s drinking water supply. While uranium naturally exists in the environment, levels have increased to harmful amounts, most likely due to the NASA White Sands Test Facility where missile tests have historically been performed.

Unfortunately, the 52 violations that the EPA gave Dona Ana County pales in comparison to the 231 recorded violations found in Cumberland County, North Carolina. With a water system that serves nearly 16,000 residents, Cumberland County has the highest amount of violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act, with the most recent violation having been issued in May of 2009. Much like uranium, radium is a naturally occurring element. However, increased exposure to the element’s radioactivity has been linked to increased risk of anemia and bone cancer.

Other contaminants that the EPA has found in the American public water system include trihalomethanes (TTHM) and haloacetic acids, which are byproducts of chemicals which are commonly used to disinfect water for drinking purposes. Unfortunately, recent studies have found a link between TTHM and haloacetic acids and an increased risk of cancers, as well as certain birth defects when ingested in high concentrations or over-exposure. In addition to these substances, the EPA has also cited other contaminants such as fecal coliform, which is known to cause gastrointestinal illnesses, fever, and other flu-like symptoms.

While many counties have taken measures to increase drinking water quality, further analysis for the data collected by the EPA shows that those counties with the highest amount of violations also happen to be the most economically poor. With few financial resources, it is understandably difficult to make the necessary changes to reverse these violations. Without external funding from the state or the federal government, such violations may continue to plague counties all over the United States.

If you are interested in learning more about advanced water treatment technologies connect with us today. 
 

Learn More

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23 Counties in Violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act

images (1).jpg

The ever-aging water infrastructure in the United States has become an increasing cause for concern, and environmental factors and pollution have done nothing to help drinking water quality. Since 1974 with the passing of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that 23 counties in the United States are in egregious violation, citing more than 15,000 instances of harmful levels of chemicals in municipal water supplies all over the country. While some contaminants are naturally occurring, an increase in industrial activity within the recent decade has seen a disturbingly large increase in chemicals and other harmful particulates seeping into surrounding ecosystems and groundwater.

Between September 30th, 1980 to July 3rd, 2017, the EPA found that out of the 23 counties in violation, Dona Ana County in New Mexico had the lowest amount of contamination violations. With 52 violations in total, the most recent issued in November of 2008, the EPA found unsafe levels of uranium in the county’s drinking water supply. While uranium naturally exists in the environment, levels have increased to harmful amounts, most likely due to the NASA White Sands Test Facility where missile tests have historically been performed.

Unfortunately, the 52 violations that the EPA gave Dona Ana County pales in comparison to the 231 recorded violations found in Cumberland County, North Carolina. With a water system that serves nearly 16,000 residents, Cumberland County has the highest amount of violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act, with the most recent violation having been issued in May of 2009. Much like uranium, radium is a naturally occurring element. However, increased exposure to the element’s radioactivity has been linked to increased risk of anemia and bone cancer.

Other contaminants that the EPA has found in the American public water system include trihalomethanes (TTHM) and haloacetic acids, which are byproducts of chemicals which are commonly used to disinfect water for drinking purposes. Unfortunately, recent studies have found a link between TTHM and haloacetic acids and an increased risk of cancers, as well as certain birth defects when ingested in high concentrations or over-exposure. In addition to these substances, the EPA has also cited other contaminants such as fecal coliform, which is known to cause gastrointestinal illnesses, fever, and other flu-like symptoms.

While many counties have taken measures to increase drinking water quality, further analysis for the data collected by the EPA shows that those counties with the highest amount of violations also happen to be the most economically poor. With few financial resources, it is understandably difficult to make the necessary changes to reverse these violations. Without external funding from the state or the federal government, such violations may continue to plague counties all over the United States.

If you are interested in learning more about advanced water treatment technologies connect with us today. 
 

Learn More

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Global Increase in Packaged Water Treatment Systems

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Market research provider Market Research Future has just released an in-depth report detailing information about the Global Packaged Water Treatment System Market (GPWTSM). Based on the information and data the GPWTSM is projected to experience a period of expansion over the next six years resulting in 11% growth above the compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Overall gross is anticipated to top $22 billion by the year 2022. 

But what does this mean for businesses in this sector? 

There is a broad range of factors resulting in this projected growth, not least of which is an increased overall interest in preserving and protecting the environment. As environmental impact and issues like global warming move to the forefront of public discourse, government bodies are beginning to set increasingly strict regulations for the disposal of wastewater in communities everywhere. As a result, the interest and demand for portable solutions that dramatically decrease the time involved in processing wastewater rise significantly. Solutions like these can be quickly brought to rural areas and towns with less cost and less intensive installation. 

Population Growth & Water Scarcity
Another reason for this projected expansion is an overall growth in populations all over the world, communities in need of safe, clean and low-cost water treatments. As cities become more engorged with people and rural areas expand as well, these areas are in need of sustainable treatments for drinking water to ensure consistent service to their residents while keeping tabs on expenditures.

Finally, fresh water supplies are becoming increasingly difficult to access and utilize. Droughts in areas like California have shown that readily available sources of drinking water are no longer a given, and many municipalities are searching for more reliable solutions for their residents’ needs.

Fast Growing Regions
When it comes to which regions are the largest and fastest growing, there are few surprises. North America is listed as first, followed closely behind by Africa and the Middle-east region. The projected high growth in North America is due largely in part to the droughts and water needs in areas like California and Arizona, as well as government regulations.

Technology Solutions
Treatment systems that can amplify processing by reuse and even initial processing of water sources at the least cost will soon be in even higher demand as we face more and more severe drought zones. Advanced technologies such as Active Water Solutions (AWS) wastewater treatment and reuse systems, have proven to be capable of cutting costs while providing superior water treatment in decentralized locations, globally.

Interested in learning more about Active Water Solutions advanced water treatment technologies? Contact Us Today. 

Learn More

[Read More …]

Global Increase in Packaged Water Treatment Systems

stock cargo with logo.jpg

Market research provider Market Research Future has just released an in-depth report detailing information about the Global Packaged Water Treatment System Market (GPWTSM). Based on the information and data the GPWTSM is projected to experience a period of expansion over the next six years resulting in 11% growth above the compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Overall gross is anticipated to top $22 billion by the year 2022. 

But what does this mean for businesses in this sector? 

There is a broad range of factors resulting in this projected growth, not least of which is an increased overall interest in preserving and protecting the environment. As environmental impact and issues like global warming move to the forefront of public discourse, government bodies are beginning to set increasingly strict regulations for the disposal of wastewater in communities everywhere. As a result, the interest and demand for portable solutions that dramatically decrease the time involved in processing wastewater rise significantly. Solutions like these can be quickly brought to rural areas and towns with less cost and less intensive installation. 

Population Growth & Water Scarcity
Another reason for this projected expansion is an overall growth in populations all over the world, communities in need of safe, clean and low-cost water treatments. As cities become more engorged with people and rural areas expand as well, these areas are in need of sustainable treatments for drinking water to ensure consistent service to their residents while keeping tabs on expenditures.

Finally, fresh water supplies are becoming increasingly difficult to access and utilize. Droughts in areas like California have shown that readily available sources of drinking water are no longer a given, and many municipalities are searching for more reliable solutions for their residents’ needs.

Fast Growing Regions
When it comes to which regions are the largest and fastest growing, there are few surprises. North America is listed as first, followed closely behind by Africa and the Middle-east region. The projected high growth in North America is due largely in part to the droughts and water needs in areas like California and Arizona, as well as government regulations.

Technology Solutions
Treatment systems that can amplify processing by reuse and even initial processing of water sources at the least cost will soon be in even higher demand as we face more and more severe drought zones. Advanced technologies such as Active Water Solutions (AWS) wastewater treatment and reuse systems, have proven to be capable of cutting costs while providing superior water treatment in decentralized locations, globally.

Interested in learning more about Active Water Solutions advanced water treatment technologies? Contact Us Today. 

Learn More

[Read More …]

Extension Internship Leads to Career Path

group photo

Heather Parecchio, Donna Liska, Cheng Li – a Ph.D. student from Rutgers, and Julia Cobuzzi at a nutrition outreach event.

When Julia Cobuzzi of Monroe transferred to UConn from Stonehill College in Massachusetts at the beginning of her sophomore year, she was not sure what she could do with a major in Allied Health Sciences.

“I took Introduction to Nutrition with Stacey Mobley, and it has been my favorite course by far in my college experience,” Julia says thoughtfully. Then, she met Paul Gagnon at the Center for Career Development, and he encouraged her to apply for an Extension internship. Julia spent the summer of 2016 working with Heather Peracchio in the UConn Extension office in Bethel. Heather is an Extension Educator for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education) program.

The community nutrition education intern teaches small and large groups, works with adults and children, conducts cooking demonstrations, and assists in developing materials for programs. During her first year interning, Julia had only taken one nutrition class and did not have much experience teaching. Working with Heather, she developed her skills, and a greater understanding of nutrition.

“I taught a 4-H program to 2nd-6th graders at a summer school at Shelter Rock Elementary School in Danbury. I also taught the same program to 1st-4th graders at a summer 4-H program in Bridgeport, that also included a gardening component. Over the weeks the kids came in, and were making better food choices at home, and eating the rainbow. I knew they were understanding what I was telling them,” Julia recalls. “I was sad at the end of the first summer. I learned so much from Heather, taught a lot of classes for youth, and it was a lot of fun to see that I could make a difference.” She switched her major to nutritional sciences, and then re-applied for the internship. Julia was selected to serve as the Community Nutrition Programming Intern in Bethel for the summer of 2017.

“The EFNEP program works in the community to help income-challenged parents learn how to shop for and make nutritious meals and snacks, all for better health and quality of life,” Heather says. “Julia assisted with preparing and implementing a 10-week gardening and nutrition program with parents and children in Norwalk, and a four week 4-H summer afterschool program with teens in Bridgeport, and farmers’ market nutrition education with the general public in Danbury.”

During her second summer of interning, Julia led a grocery store tour at ShopRite and talked to participants about budgeting, and purchasing food in season. The group of 16 moms was split into three groups, one led by Julia, one by the ShopRite dietitian, and one led by Heather. At the end of the program, each participant was given a $10 gift card from the grocery store, and they were challenged to purchase one meal that has all five food groups with the $10. Participants were competing amongst each other to see whom could create the healthiest meal for the least amount of money.

“How a community processes nutrition information is something you could not learn in a classroom – you have to see it in person to understand it,” Julia adds.

From a personal perspective, Julia enhanced her proficiencies in teaching in terms of figuring out how to write a lesson plan, and creatively teach to keep the audience engaged. She improved her public speaking skills, and ability to teach large groups of people. Julia also led classes at the Danbury Farmers’ Market, where she taught adults.

Julia began her senior year this fall, and is graduating in 2018. “My goal is to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. The internship helped me immensely in figuring out what I want to do.”

Article By Stacey Stearns

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Extension Internship Leads to Career Path

group photo

Heather Parecchio, Donna Liska, Cheng Li – a Ph.D. student from Rutgers, and Julia Cobuzzi at a nutrition outreach event.

When Julia Cobuzzi of Monroe transferred to UConn from Stonehill College in Massachusetts at the beginning of her sophomore year, she was not sure what she could do with a major in Allied Health Sciences.

“I took Introduction to Nutrition with Stacey Mobley, and it has been my favorite course by far in my college experience,” Julia says thoughtfully. Then, she met Paul Gagnon at the Center for Career Development, and he encouraged her to apply for an Extension internship. Julia spent the summer of 2016 working with Heather Peracchio in the UConn Extension office in Bethel. Heather is an Extension Educator for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education) program.

The community nutrition education intern teaches small and large groups, works with adults and children, conducts cooking demonstrations, and assists in developing materials for programs. During her first year interning, Julia had only taken one nutrition class and did not have much experience teaching. Working with Heather, she developed her skills, and a greater understanding of nutrition.

“I taught a 4-H program to 2nd-6th graders at a summer school at Shelter Rock Elementary School in Danbury. I also taught the same program to 1st-4th graders at a summer 4-H program in Bridgeport, that also included a gardening component. Over the weeks the kids came in, and were making better food choices at home, and eating the rainbow. I knew they were understanding what I was telling them,” Julia recalls. “I was sad at the end of the first summer. I learned so much from Heather, taught a lot of classes for youth, and it was a lot of fun to see that I could make a difference.” She switched her major to nutritional sciences, and then re-applied for the internship. Julia was selected to serve as the Community Nutrition Programming Intern in Bethel for the summer of 2017.

“The EFNEP program works in the community to help income-challenged parents learn how to shop for and make nutritious meals and snacks, all for better health and quality of life,” Heather says. “Julia assisted with preparing and implementing a 10-week gardening and nutrition program with parents and children in Norwalk, and a four week 4-H summer afterschool program with teens in Bridgeport, and farmers’ market nutrition education with the general public in Danbury.”

During her second summer of interning, Julia led a grocery store tour at ShopRite and talked to participants about budgeting, and purchasing food in season. The group of 16 moms was split into three groups, one led by Julia, one by the ShopRite dietitian, and one led by Heather. At the end of the program, each participant was given a $10 gift card from the grocery store, and they were challenged to purchase one meal that has all five food groups with the $10. Participants were competing amongst each other to see whom could create the healthiest meal for the least amount of money.

“How a community processes nutrition information is something you could not learn in a classroom – you have to see it in person to understand it,” Julia adds.

From a personal perspective, Julia enhanced her proficiencies in teaching in terms of figuring out how to write a lesson plan, and creatively teach to keep the audience engaged. She improved her public speaking skills, and ability to teach large groups of people. Julia also led classes at the Danbury Farmers’ Market, where she taught adults.

Julia began her senior year this fall, and is graduating in 2018. “My goal is to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. The internship helped me immensely in figuring out what I want to do.”

Article By Stacey Stearns

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Water and sanitation deprivation: What is next for Tajikistan?

Two years ago, I visited a village in Rudaki, a hilly district located to the south of Dushanbe, Tajikistan. It lies about forty kilometres from the capital, but it feels like a thousand kilometres away. On our drive up a hill, we saw women carrying buckets of water from a nearby spring. Moving further up, we saw children bathing and animals drinking from the same river. Once in the village, it was clear that life is largely shaped by water scarcity—the backyards were filled with pots and buckets, fuel and stoves for boiling water, and pit latrines that were no longer used because of lack of water. Although we could spot remnants of a once-functional water supply network, people living there had not had access to piped water for at least two decades. Without it, they were only able to practice the most basic forms of sanitation and hygiene. 

A community in Rudaki district, Tajikistan.
Photo credit: World Bank team.

The conditions we witnessed in Rudaki were harsh, but not rare. Located on the western tip of the Himalayas, Tajikistan is a country blessed with large fresh water resources in its lakes, rivers, and glaciers. Yet, access to safe drinking water and sanitation connected to a functioning sewer system is lacking, particularly for rural residents and the poor. Much of the existing infrastructure was built during the Soviet era and has not been upgraded for decades. Tajikistan is one of the few countries outside Africa that did not meet the Millennium Development Goal on drinking water and basic sanitation. Because poor water and sanitation conditions, together with poor nutrition and care, are key determinants of childhood stunting, Tajikistan’s childhood stunting rates remain high. Recent estimates indicate that in Tajikistan more than one in five children under the age of five are stunted and will not reach their full potential as adults.
 
In a new report, Glass Half Full: Poverty Diagnostic of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Conditions in Tajikistan, we document the realities of Tajikistan’s WASH-deprived population. Our analysis builds on one of the largest data collection efforts of its kind – including national surveys of households and schools, water quality tests, ethnographic work, and case studies of existing WASH projects. It also includes poverty mapping and analysis of other secondary data, including a UNICEF nutrition survey that shared a subsample with our WASH survey.
 
On the surface, our report brings good news: since 2000, access to improved water (i.e. water protected from contamination) increased from one-half to three-quarters of Tajikistan’s population, while access to improved sanitation (i.e. facilities that hygienically separate excreta from human contact) increased from one-tenth to one-third. However, this masks the fact that most of these improvements occurred in the lowest tiers of service, such as replacement of surface water (i.e. water collected directly from rivers, dams, lakes or canals) with public standpipes. Even if water flows from a tap, a large majority of the population continue to face challenges in the availability, continuity and quality of those services. There are also enormous gaps between the rural and urban populations—for example, less than 2 percent of rural residents have sewer connections, compared to 60 percent of urban residents (see infographic).
 
In the report, we show the costs of poor WASH conditions on various aspects of wellbeing. In addition to documenting monetary, time and health costs for collecting, storing and treating drinking water before consumption; we show that poor WASH conditions are associated with higher risk of diarrhoea, stunting and being underweight. For the next generation of Tajiks, these risks imply diminished learning capacity, low earnings, and increased risks of chronic illnesses. We then identify the specific geographical sites that would benefit the most from service improvements (i.e. the “biggest bang for the development buck”) and look at examples of service delivery approaches that have been tried in the past. Last but not least, our datasets offer a benchmark against which the more stringent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on WASH will be monitored by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP).

Access the full infographic in English or Russian

What will be the way forward for Tajikistan? The road is long, but given the level of commitment expressed by the government, donors and civil society during the launch of our report, we hope for major improvements for communities like Rudaki in the years to come. The evidence shows that the need to address WASH deprivation is urgent if Tajiks are to be given a more promising future. Moving forward, turning this evidence into action will be an exciting opportunity for us all.
 
Links:

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Ocean Data for Connecticut

By Emily Wilson

I recently learned about two impressive resources for ocean-based geographic information. One is the Northeast Ocean Data Portal and the other is the New York Geographic Information Gateway. Both are well-developed websites that include a comprehensive data viewer, ancillary information and stories about how ocean information has been used with multiple benefits. The Northeast Ocean Data Portal people and New York Geographic Information Gateway people cooperate (hooray!) in order to provide the most comprehensive mapping to their audiences.

The Northeast Ocean Data Data Explorer has many categories of layers including Commercial Fishing,  Aquaculture, Habitat and Water Quality as well as a search. Be sure not to miss the individual fish species maps. Click on the Fish category and then View Individual Species. A window with 5 tabs, each representing different fish trawls including the Long Island Sounds one (LIS), opens and contains a long list of species. The maps show all sample areas and highlights where that species was found. An impressive amount of information that is easy to access and visualize.

data explorer

The New York Information Gateway Data Viewer contains loads of information for Long Island Sound. Layers are grouped into eight categories including Biological, Commercial Fishing, Habitat and more. As layers are turned on, they build a legend where they can be re-ordered, downloaded or opened in Google Earth. Nice!

gateway

For the mapping folks, both viewers make it super easy to locate the web service URLs (REST endpoints) so that they can be ingested into your own GIS. For the Northeast Data Portal, look for the icon to the right of each layer.
Northeast Ocean Data Portal

For the New York Gateway, expand the layer (down triangle) in the legend and then locate the lightening bolt.New York Geographic Information Gateway

Both are easy to use resources full of information.  Check them out!

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October Lifelong Learning Programs

CLIR classroomCLIR, a lifelong learning program offered in collaboration with UConn Extension, will hold the following classes in October, all in Vernon Cottage on UConn’s Depot Campus,from 1:15 to 2:45 unless otherwise noted.

Memoir Club                                                  Thursdays     10:15 – 11:45

Wed  Oct 4  Putin vs. the World

Tues Oct 10  Everything You Wanted to Know About the English Auxiliary Verb, But Were…

Wed  Oct 11  Gender and Politics in a Comparative Perspective

Tues  Oct 17  AARP CT presents The Con Artist Playbook:  A Look Inside the Mind of a Criminal

Thurs Oct 19  They Called Her Reckless:  A True Story of War, Love and One Extraordinary Horse

Wed  Oct 25  Before the War:  The Multicultural Empire of Vietnam

Thurs Oct 26  Gender from the Perspective of a Biopsychologist

Tues  Oct 31  The History and Mission of the CT Superior Court

[Read More …]

October Lifelong Learning Programs

CLIR classroomCLIR, a lifelong learning program offered in collaboration with UConn Extension, will hold the following classes in October, all in Vernon Cottage on UConn’s Depot Campus,from 1:15 to 2:45 unless otherwise noted.

Memoir Club                                                  Thursdays     10:15 – 11:45

Wed  Oct 4  Putin vs. the World

Tues Oct 10  Everything You Wanted to Know About the English Auxiliary Verb, But Were…

Wed  Oct 11  Gender and Politics in a Comparative Perspective

Tues  Oct 17  AARP CT presents The Con Artist Playbook:  A Look Inside the Mind of a Criminal

Thurs Oct 19  They Called Her Reckless:  A True Story of War, Love and One Extraordinary Horse

Wed  Oct 25  Before the War:  The Multicultural Empire of Vietnam

Thurs Oct 26  Gender from the Perspective of a Biopsychologist

Tues  Oct 31  The History and Mission of the CT Superior Court

[Read More …]