What is a Watershed?
A watershed is an area of land where all rainfall collects and flows to one location. A watershed can be thought of like a bathtub, no matter where the water enters the tub, it will exit from the drain. Watersheds in Redmond drain directly into local creeks, the Sammamish River or Lake Sammamish. The City of Redmond is developing a watershed management strategy to address surface water quality and focus City efforts on protecting and improving water quality.
The City would like your input!
If you’re interested in participating, please call the Watershed Planner at 425-556-2741.
Photo provided by EPA
Wipes Clog Pipes...
Use the Trash, not the Toilet!
Did you know? Consumers in North America bought around 83,000 tons of disposable wipes in 2004. That’s about 9000 18-wheel semi-trailers full and the wipes market is growing by about 3% each year (Seattle Times, 2004). These products don’t dissolve. They are clogging our public sewer pipes and have caused sewer backups and expensive and time consuming repairs for pump station equipment. Save yourself and your wastewater utility the cost of increased maintenance by disposing of wipes, rags and towels in the trash, not the toilet. For questions or comments, contact the City of Redmond Wastewater Division at 425-556-2858.
We face a big dilemma regarding the health of Puget Sound. It looks too good. Despite a flurry of new research proving otherwise, a recent poll by the public opinion firm Elway Research Inc. of Seattle, “Puget Sound residents appear slightly less convinced than two years ago that the health of Puget Sound is deteriorating.”
According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, approximately 52,000,000 pounds of toxic material entered the sound in 2008—that’s roughly 150,000 pounds a day. This pollution makes its way into the food chain and accumulates in the bodies of top predators, such as Orca whales. Because of this process (called bio-accumulation), one way to measure the effect and influence of toxins in the Sound is by looking at impact on the resident Orca populations.
In 2008, seven members of Puget Sound’s resident whale population died thereby reducing the number of resident whales to 84. These deaths are more likely the product of reduced salmon populations and malnutrition than from toxics, but this fact is also indicative of problems within the Sound. However, in regard to toxins, what happens to the whales after they die is a telling tale.
According to the Puget Sound Partnership – a government sponsored public-private partnership created to address issues in the Sound – the level of toxins accumulating in resident Puget Sound Orcas is so high that the whales carcasses must be taken to hazardous waste facilities to insure safe disposal. Further still, one type of chemicals – fire retardants – have entered the food chain too such an extent that Peter Ross, a whale biologist from Canada exclaimed, “We have fire-proof whales!”
We could look beyond whales to salmon populations, the sediments collecting in the sound or a number of other environmental indicators, but to sum up a litany of depressing facts and figures, according to the Puget Sound Partnership, “Species declines are apparent throughout the marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats of Puget Sound.” The problems that create these declines, the Partnership argues, also have impacts on human health, our quality of life, our freshwater resources and our economy.