State chips in money for project to try to “destroy” PFAS in wastewater

State chips in money for project to try to "destroy" PFAS in wastewater

Photo: The sample room at the Grand Rapids wastewater treatment facility. DUSTIN DWYER / MICHIGAN RADIO

The swirling liquid rushes into concrete channels behind a black chain-link fence.

“That is what sewage looks like,” says Nicole Pasch, who works in Environmental Services for the city of Grand Rapids.

Pasch is showing off the wastewater treatment facility, along with the various stages the sewage has to pass through before it can … [more…]

PFOS & PFOA: Air Force researchers develop new weapon to cleanse water

Air Force researchers develop new weapon to cleanse water

As the state gears up for wider testing of public water systems for potentially harmful chemicals, civilian researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base believe they may be closing in on a new weapon in the battle against toxic water.

Researchers at the base recently completed a two-week field demonstration of a plasma technology they say destroys potentially harmful chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid — also known as “PFOS” and … [more…]

Nitrates Before and After: This is what happened

Photo: confluence of rivers with nitrogen loads - This is what happened

Many people are curious about Iowa stream nitrate before modern agriculture became established across the landscape. They want to know what the “natural” level of nitrate was. It turns out we do have some actual data. In 1955, the Iowa Geological Survey published a document titled “Water-Supply Bulletin No. 5, Quality of Surface Waters of Iowa, 1886-1954” (1). Some of these data are shown below (as nitrogen).

Confluence of the … [more…]

Humboldtian approach to mountain conservation and freshwater ecosystem services

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Complex environmental issues require solutions that cannot be achieved without integrating scientific disciplines and communicating science to people, decision-makers and stakeholders. Nevertheless, although Alexander von Humboldt gifted us with an approach to integrate knowledge across disciplines aiming to broadly understand environmental issues, our current scientific practice largely ignores that holistic … [more…]

“Seahorse whisperer” builds underwater sanctuary for rare species in Long Beach

Video still: seahorses in Long Beach California sanctuary

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — Roger Hanson has been diving for over 30 years, so he knew it was odd when he spotted a Pacific seahorse in Alamitos Bay in Long Beach around four years ago.

“They are very, very rare,” said retired schoolteacher from Iowa. “Long Beach having a colony is unlike any city in California.”

In 2016, Hanson started driving 80 miles from his home in Moreno Valley … [more…]