The Death of the Delaware River

historical photo

A photo circa 1965 showing an outfall pier being built on the Schuylkill River, where it flows into the Delaware River. Prior to the Clean Water Act, little regulation existed to halt industrial pollution and raw sewage from flowing into the nation’s waterways. (PWD archival photo)

Joe Newton would fish on the Delaware River every day if he could. “It depends on the weather and the conditions and the like,” … [more…]

$3 billion problem: Miami-Dade’s septic tanks are already failing due to sea rise

photo: 2016 king tides in Miami-Dade County

Photo: A Miami-Dade neighborhood that relies on septic tanks experiences flooding during the 2016 King Tide. A new report commissioned by the county shows that half of the county’s septic tanks break down yearly, a problem that sea level rise will worsen. MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

Miami-Dade has tens of thousands of septic tanks, and a new report reveals most are already malfunctioning — the smelly and unhealthy evidence of which often … [more…]

Desalination Produces 50 Percent More Toxic Brine Than Previously Thought

photo: desalination plant

The world’s desalination plants, which use energy intensive processes to remove salt from water, produce enough toxic brine each year to cover all of Florida under a foot of water.

Factories around the world are pumping out toxic brine at a rate much higher than previously estimated and dumping it back into the ocean, according to a report published on Monday.

This super-salty brine is toxic to marine life, and … [more…]

The Untold Story of Iowa’s Ag Drainage Systems

The Untold Story of Iowa’s Ag Drainage Systems

If there were a “Mysteries at the Museum” television series geared towards agriculture, this item would be ideal to lead in a segment. It’s hollow, it’s made of clay, it contains a message from the past, and it was buried in the ground for decades.

It’s a unique clay drainage tile dated 1885, and it’s on display in the Greene County Historical Society’s museum in Jefferson. The message carved around … [more…]

Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds

photo: coral bleaching off Papua New Guinea

Rising ocean temperatures can bleach corals, like these off of Papua New Guinea. Jurgen Freund/NPL/Minden Pictures

Scientists say the world’s oceans are warming far more quickly than previously thought, a finding with dire implications for climate change because almost all the excess heat absorbed by the planet ends up stored in their waters.

A new analysis, published Thursday in the journal Science, found that the oceans are heating up … [more…]