water

What's in the Water?
10:19 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Update on West Virginia's Elk River Chemical Spill

Elk River, Charleston West Virginia
Credit Tim Kiser

In January, West Virginia’s Elk River was contaminated by a chemical spill from a nearby coal processing plant, affecting 300,000 local residents. People were without water for days. Now months later, is the water safe to drink? 

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Is Another Water Revolution on the Horizon?

Virginia de Lima, Chief of USGS New England Water Center's Connecticut Office
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Each time you go to turn on the faucet, flush the toilet, or water the lawn, you’re connecting yourself to a complex water system with nearly two and a half thousand years of history. The structure of our modern network of reservoirs, pipes, and drains owes much of its influence to designs dating back to ancient Rome. 

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Way Under Our Feet
7:22 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Rare Diamond Points To Mass Quantities Of Water In Earth's Mantle

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:53 pm

Impurities found in a pea-sized diamond that came from the (very) deep have bolstered evidence for a vast "wet zone" in the Earth's mantle, scientists publishing in the latest issue of Nature say.

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Clean Water
4:35 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick

Current water-filtering technology is costly, but MIT scientists are testing a simpler and cheaper method that uses wood from white pine trees.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 8:00 am

Removing all the dangerous bacteria from drinking water would have enormous health benefits for people around the world.

The technologies exist for doing that, but there's a problem: cost.

Now a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology thinks he's on to a much less expensive way to clean up water.

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West Virginia
4:58 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Charleston Mayor: Company Behind Chemical Leak Run By 'Renegades'

Charleston mayor Danny Jones.
Craig Cunningham AP

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:08 pm

The mayor of Charleston, W.Va., says the company behind the chemical spill that essentially shut down his city for days was run by "a small of group of renegades," who in his opinion knew there were problems with the tanks that leaked dangerous chemicals into the city's water supply.

"I'm not even sure they cared what happened to the public," Danny Jones told Melissa Block on Tuesday's edition of All Things Considered.

Jones said he knows some of the people in charge of Freedom Industries and he considers them "to be a little edgy."

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West Virginia
11:43 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Thousands Have Water Again In W.Va. As 'All-Clear' Areas Spread

4:45 p.m. ET, Jan. 14: Areas in red still can't use their water. But the blue area is starting to expand.
West Virginia American Water

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 9:23 pm

The map that shows residents of nine counties in West Virginia whether they can start using the water from their taps is slowly starting to change from red to blue.

That's good news because blue means customers in those areas can start flushing their homes' and businesses' pipes — and after that, start using their water again for cooking, cleaning and drinking.

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West Virginia
7:04 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Slowly, Water Is Flowing Again In West Virginia

On Saturday in South Charleston, W.Va., Cathy Mabe was one of many who came to get water from a temporary filling station.
Lisa Hechesky Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:20 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Ashton Marra reports from West Virginia

Relief is finally arriving for the 300,000 or so people in nine West Virginia counties who haven't been able to drink, cook or clean with their tap water for more than four days.

Officials announced at noon Monday that tests show the level of a potentially harmful chemical have fallen to the point where the water can be turned back on. But, they cautioned that the process of bringing customers back on line will take several days and has to be done systematically.

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West Virginia
11:02 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Chemical In West Va. Water More Diluted, But Still Unsafe

Members of the Nitro Volunteer Fire Department distribute water to local residents on Saturday.
Michael Switzer AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:39 am

The amount of a dangerous chemical in West Virginian's tap water is more diluted, but it is still unsafe for drinking, washing or bathing.

WCHS-TV reports that Col. Greg Grant with the National Guard told reporters that they are seeing readings of methylcyclohexane methanol dip below 1 part per million, the amount that the Center for Disease Control says is safe, but those readings have spiked from time to time.

"The numbers are turning in the right direction," Grant said.

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West Virginia
10:12 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Hundreds Of Thousands Still Without Water In W. Va.

Shelves at Krogers remain empty after running out of water in Kanawha City a neighborhood of Charleston on Friday.
Tom Hindman Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 3:59 pm

(This post was last updated at 4 p.m. ET.)

For the third day in a row, hundreds of thousands of West Virginians are unable to drink, cook or wash with the water in their homes.

During a press conference, West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre, who oversees the states largest water treatment plant, said it could be days before the water is safe for use.

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West Virginia
7:17 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Chemical Leak Causes Water Emergency In West Virginia; Plant Shut Down

In Charleston, W.Va., the shelves of this Kroger supermarket had been nearly stripped of bottled water on Thursday. Residents rushed to buy water after a chemical spill led officials to warn that they not use what's coming out of their taps.
Tyler Evert AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:13 pm

More than 100,000 customers of one water company in West Virginia have been warned not to drink, cook or wash with the water coming from their taps because of chemicals that seeped into the Elk River near Charleston on Thursday.

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10:29 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Putnam Bans Non-Essential Water Use

Lead in text: 
Putnam has banned non-essential water use as of today because the water level in the Little River is low. Residents may not water lawns and gardens or wash cars, and they are urged to conserve water for showers and household cleaning. No rain is expected for several days, which means the ban could last a week or longer.
Beginning today, Putnam residents are banned from watering lawns and gardens, washing cars and other non-essential water uses. The Putnam Water Pollution Control Authority instituted the ban because the water level in the Little River has fallen below a level that lets the town produce water under state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection regulations, according to a news release from Public Works Director Jerry Beausoleil.
What's in the Water?
8:02 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Deadly Amoeba Found For First Time In Municipal Water Supply

Kali Hardig, 12, was released from a hospital in Little Rock, Ark., on Sept. 11 after surviving a brain infection caused by amoebas.
Danny Johnston Associated Press

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 10:32 am

A 4-year-old child who died of a rare brain infection in early August has led Louisiana health officials to discover that the cause is lurking in the water pipes of St. Bernard Parish, southeast of New Orleans.

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Where We Live
11:31 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Warming Waters: The New Normal

pinay06 (Wikimedia Commons)

We’ve talked about warming waters before on Where We Live. Now warm waters are in the news again. There are new climate change studies that provide more proof of the human causes of warming temperatures. The next big UN report on climate change contains some scary predictions...that sea levels could rise more than three feet by the end of the century.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:50 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Authors of The Wave, Plastic Ocean, and Beyond the Blue Horizon

Todd Binger/flickr creative commons

The Wave. Water waves. Not lazy surf lapping at your toes along the beach. Colossal, ship-swallowing rogue waves; scientists scrambling to understand the phenomenon; and extreme surfers seeking the ultimate challenge. Susan Casey’s account follows the exploits of boarders conquering suicidally large, 70- and 80-foot waves and the physicists trying to grapple with the destructive powers of 1,740-foot waves off the coast of Alaska and tsunamis in the Pacific. Casey is our guest.

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Beach Water Quality
8:48 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Connecticut Beaches No. 17 in Water Quality

Hakaider - Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut's beach water quality ranks 17 out of 30 states, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

State environmental officials say those findings, like many states, are heavily dependent on weather conditions. 

"The issue in Connecticut is more of a storm runoff issue," said Dennis Schain, spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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Where We Live
11:28 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Water: The Essential but Scarce Resource

Tom Raftery (Flickr Creative Commons)

Today, nearly a third of the US. is in severe drought. In places like Kansas and Texas, reservoirs and wells are actually running dry. Even here in the Northeast, where we get plenty of rain, water is still a scarce resource. The University of Connecticut already doesn’t have enough water to meet its needs, and the plans to quench its thirst have been controversial. Paul Formica is First Selectman in East Lyme, which faces water shortages every summer.

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News
9:45 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Report: 77 Percent Of Connecticut Rivers and Streams In Fair Condition

More than half of the nation's rivers and streams are in poor condition, according to a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Things aren't as bad in Connecticut. 

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Cleaning Connecticut
9:45 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Report: 77 Percent Of Connecticut Rivers and Streams In Fair Condition

More than half of the nation's rivers and streams are in poor condition, according to a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Things aren't as bad in Connecticut. 

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News
9:23 am
Tue April 9, 2013

State advises well water testing for arsenic and uranium

Connecticut health officials are suggesting that homeowners with private wells test their water for arsenic and uranium. Wells across the state have been found to contain dangerously high levels of those chemicals.

 Arsenic and uranium are both naturally-occurring chemicals that are common in bedrock. So in rocky New England, they’re pretty common. At acceptable levels, they’re not a problem: that’s 10 parts per billion for arsenic and 30 parts per billion for uranium.

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Safe Water
9:23 am
Tue April 9, 2013

State advises well water testing for arsenic and uranium

Connecticut health officials are suggesting that homeowners with private wells test their water for arsenic and uranium. Wells across the state have been found to contain dangerously high levels of those chemicals.

 Arsenic and uranium are both naturally-occurring chemicals that are common in bedrock. So in rocky New England, they’re pretty common. At acceptable levels, they’re not a problem: that’s 10 parts per billion for arsenic and 30 parts per billion for uranium.

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Where We Live
10:37 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Lucy Orta on Art, Food, Water, Life

Underfunded
8:59 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

In Bridgeport, Big Plans For Storm Resilience -- But No Money

City of Bridgeport

Many of Bridgeport’s residents are complaining that city plows never made it to their streets after last week’s blizzard. But once the snow melts, the city will be left to deal with the promise of more storms and danger to its coastline. That will be a challenge, since mayor Bill Finch has staked economic development on bringing people back to the water.

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Connecticut
8:35 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Bridgewater Plan Faces Another Potential Setback: Climate Change

DEEP

There’s already a lot of skepticism about the state’s $115-million deal with Bridgewater to move the world’s largest hedge fund’s headquarters from Westport to Stamford. But there’s a second aspect to the controversy – the location of their new headquarters, right on Stamford’s waterfront and right in the middle of a high-risk flood zone. 

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Negligence
8:11 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Striving for innovation, spending millions, Stamford leaders ignored major problems

Tim Coffey

Aging infrastructure is taking its toll on Connecticut’s sewer treatment plants. But in Stamford, that problem has been coupled with years of mismanagement that could cost state and local taxpayers dearly, and is creating problems for Stamford Harbor and Long Island Sound.

I’m standing in front of a huge water tank that’s 130 feet in diameter. And I’m with Bill Degnan, supervisor of Stamford’s sewer treatment plant. The plant treats an average of 17 million gallons of water a day in Stamford and Darien.

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Where We Live
11:21 am
Thu January 31, 2013

MDC on Controversial UConn Pipeline

Paul Lowry, Creative Commons

Last week we spent an hour talking about pipelines, specifically the controversial MDC proposal to build a 20-mile waterline to service the increasingly thirsty UCONN Storrs campus. Many in the Farmington River Valley - which would provide the water - arent happy. We heard from some of them last week, along with a Patch reporter to lay out the issue. Today the MDC weighs in. 

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Connecticut
2:30 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Farmington Valley Residents: Don't Ask Us To Quench UConn's Thirst

The University of Connecticut needs more water – but many Connecticut residents are doing their best to make sure that the water doesn’t come from the Farmington River. They made their voices heard at a public hearing earlier this week.

UConn has always struggled to keep up with the water demands of its huge population. A few years ago, the nearby Fenton River was actually pumped dry when students returned to campus in the fall and demand skyrocketed. Since then UConn has gotten serious about conserving water. But it still doesn’t have enough.

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Connecticut
7:22 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

For Bridgeport, Post-Sandy Life Still A Struggle

Superstorm Sandy took a heavy toll on residents of public and low-income housing in Bridgeport. Those living near the water are faced with rebuilding as well as trying to prepare for the next storm. But they simply can’t afford to do both.

Debris still litters the front yards of Seaside Village in Bridgeport. It’s the second year in a row that resident Mariela Wilches has lost her washer, drier, water heater and furnace. Not only does she have to replace them all again, she has to pay rent to live somewhere while she has no heat.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:50 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

For The Love Of Fountains

Pink Sherbet Photography, Flickr Creative Commons

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Environment
3:57 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Stamford Ramps Up Efforts To Test Groundwater For Pesticides

YVSREDDY (Wikimedia Commons)

Stamford is ramping up efforts to test private wells for potentially cancer-causing pesticides that may be in the water. But getting the word out is a slow process, and so far, surrounding towns haven’t shown much concern.

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Contamination
11:16 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Pesticides Found In Stamford's Well Water

YVSREDDY (Wikimedia Commons)

State and local health officials are asking residents with private wells to get their water tested for possible contamination. This time the sources aren’t the usual chemicals. As WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, they’re pesticides that were used in the soil decades ago, and are now believed to be a risk to human health.

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