Monthly Archives: April 2015

Fertilizing streams to save salmon?

forest stream - Barka FabianovaIt’s not often I read a technical report that’s jaw-dropping, but this one sure was. It’s the Fraser Valley Stream Nutrient Enrichment effort, where they’ve been adding phosphorus fertilizer to salmon-bearing streams. Much of my work focuses on keeping excess phosphorus (and nitrogen) out of lakes and streams — and here’s a big effort dumping it directly in?!? What’s up with that? Continue reading

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Unleaded, please!

The last place I expected to find worrisome amounts of lead is in something designed to pipe water around the home — like a garden hose. But HealthyStoff.org (a project of the Michigan-based Ecology Center) tested 21 hoses, and found lead, phthalates, BPA, and other compounds of concern, including chemicals that have been banned from children’s toys. In a test where they left a hose in the sun for two days and then tested the water, BPA and phthalates far exceeded federal drinking-water standards.

Vilsekogen - garden with hoseI had never given it much thought — sure, garden hoses aren’t really built for drinking out of, but they’re used all the time for water we end up ingesting, whether that’s watering the garden, playing in a sprinkler, or filling up a water jug to take camping. If you had asked me yesterday, I’d have guessed that maybe they’re not officially food-safe, but they must meet some kind of standard, right?

Nope. Continue reading

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