Conserve Water and Save Money this Summer

Conserve Water and Save Money this Summer

In addition to keeping ourselves cool and hydrated during the summer months, we also have to pay mind to our plants and yards. With excess heat burning down, keeping plants and grass healthy requires a lot more water. Check out six tips for how you can conserve water and save money this summer.
infographic describing six tips to conserve water and save money during the summer months

Please feel free to print and share our 6 Tips to Conserve Water & Save Money Infographic with attribution to Tata & Howard, Inc. A high-resolution pdf can be downloaded by clicking here.

Check For Leaks

Walk around your landscaped area to make sure there are no leaks your watering systems.

Sweep Up Messes

Rather than using a hose to spray a mess away, use a broom to clean patios, decks, and sidewalks.

Mindful Car Washing

Avoid wasting water with a running hose. Instead, fill a soapy bucket with water so you can wash and rinse as need.

Mulch Planted Areas

Mulching flower beds and planted areas can help retain moisture and prevent weeds. Two to three inches of mulch should do the trick.

Timely Watering

Water your lawn and plants early in the morning or later in the evening. This will prevent the water from being quickly evaporated by the sun.

Reuse Rainwater

Collect water in rain barrels so you can later water your outdoor plants without running the hose.
We hope you will consider these tips as you aim to conserve water and save money this summer.

Stormwater Pollution and Lawn Maintenance

Stormwater Pollution and Lawn Maintenance

During the spring and summer months, stormwater pollution is especially prevalent. Water resulting from precipitation and snow/ice melt either soaks into exposed soil or remains on top of impervious surfaces. As stormwater flows as runoff to nearby waterways, it picks up pollutants including debris, sediment, pesticides, fertilizers, pet waste and more.

A major contributor to stormwater pollution is traced back to residual excess from lawn care maintenance – particularly with fertilizers and lawn clippings.

Check out the five tips below for ways to reduce stormwater pollution when it comes to your lawn maintenance.

 

Please feel free to print and share our Stormwater Pollution and Lawn Maintenance Infographic with attribution to Tata & Howard, Inc. A high-resolution pdf can be downloaded by clicking here.

Use Fertilizer Sparingly

A little goes a long way. Many plants don’t need as much fertilizer or need it as often as you think. Reduce stormwater pollution by minimizing your fertilizer during the spring and summer.

Use Organic, Phosphorous Free Fertilizers

In addition to reducing stormwater pollution with the amount of fertilizer you use, it’s equally important to use the proper type. Organic, phosphorous free fertilizers release nutrients slower and are less detrimental to the environment.

Proper Disposal of Waste

One of the best ways to reduce stormwater pollution is with the proper disposal of lawn waste. Leaves and grass clippings can wash into storm drains, adding unwanted nutrients to streams.

Excess Water

Stop pollutants from making their way into the storm drain by avoiding over-watering as well as fertilizing before a rainstorm.

Cut Down on Water Waste

Cut Down on Water Waste

The average American family uses approximately 300 gallons of water each day, but a lot of that goes to waste.

Learn what you can do at home to reduce the amount of water that is wasted.

Please feel free to print and share our Cut Down on Water Waste Infographic with attribution to Tata & Howard, Inc. A high-resolution pdf can be downloaded by clicking here.

Falmouth Holds Dedication Ceremony for New Long Pond Water Filtration Facility

Falmouth Holds Dedication Ceremony for New Long Pond Water Filtration Facility

Tata & Howard Staff Joined Falmouth Selectmen, Public Works Staff, Methuen Construction Staff, and Residents for a Dedication Ceremony and Facility Tours

On October 16, 2018, the Falmouth Board of Selectmen held a public Dedication Ceremony for the town’s recently completed water filtration facility on Gifford Street.

Attendees included Phil MacClellan, Paul Howard, Karen Gracey, and Ryan Neyland.

Several Tata & Howard company representatives attended the event, including Project Technical Reviewer Paul B. Howard, P.E., Project Principal Patrick O’Neale, P.E., Project Manager Ryan Neyland, P.E., Project Engineer Phil MacClellan, P.E., and Company Co-President Karen Gracey, P.E.

 

T&H Project Principal Patrick O’Neale, P.E., joined Falmouth Public Works Director Raymond Jack in addressing attendees at the Dedication Ceremony.

Project Principal Patrick O’Neale, P.E. joined other key project personnel including Director of Public Works Raymond Jack and Water Superintendent Stephen Rafferty, in summarizing the history of the water supply and key aspects of the facility, as well as Tata & Howard’s role in the pilot study, design, and construction administration of the facility. The facility utilizes coagulation, mixing, flocculation, dissolved air flotation (DAF), ozone, dual-media filtration, and chemical feed systems to provide the community with water that meets current EPA and MassDEP regulations.

Local residents toured the award-winning facility.

Tata & Howard was the lead engineering firm for the design and construction administration of the new facility; Methuen Construction was the general contractor. The new Long Pond Water Filtration Facility is a state-of-the-art water purification facility that received widespread community support. Due to the advanced nature of the facility design processes, this facility became the first Class IV fully automated facility to be permitted in New England.

Tata & Howard was awarded a 2018 Engineering Excellence Silver Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA) for “outstanding professional design excellence” for the Falmouth Long Pond Water Filtration Facility. ACEC/MA’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards recognize engineering firms for projects that demonstrate a high degree of achievement, value, and ingenuity.  The project also was recently featured in the November-December 2018 issue of World Water Magazine:  Falmouth_WorldWaterMag_Nov-Dec2018

Methuen Construction received several awards for the construction of the new 8.4-million gallon per day (mgd) facility. The firm was most recently awarded the prestigious 2018 National Excellence in Construction Eagle Award, the highest level awarded by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). In 2017, Methuen won two Engineering News-Record (ENR) 2017 Best Projects New England awards in Water / Environmental and Safety categories for construction of the facility.

Aerial view of the new Long Pond Water Filtration Facility in Falmouth, MA.

The award-winning facility was built for the future and will provide a valuable health benefit to the residents of Falmouth for generations to come.Save

New Law Affects Small Community Water Systems

A New Connecticut Law to Affect the State’s Water Industry

Effective October 1, 2018, Connecticut’s Department of Public Health (DPH) is requiring all small community water systems to complete Fiscal and Asset Management Plans by January 1, 2021 and update them annually. This new law effects small water companies that regularly serve communities of at least 25 but not more than 1,000 year-round residents.

The Fiscal and Asset Management Plan must include:

  1. A list of all the system’s capital assets;
  2. The asset’s (a) useful life, based on their current condition, (b) maintenance and service history, and (c) manufacturer’s recommendation;
  3. The small community water system’s plan for reconditioning, refurbishing, or replacing the assets; and
  4. Information on (a) whether the small community water system has any unaccounted-for water loss (i.e., water supplied to its distribution system that never reached consumers), (b) the amount and cause of such unaccounted-for water loss, and (c) measures the system is taking to reduce it.

Under the new law, each small community water system must also complete an initial assessment review of its hydropneumatic pressure tanks by May 2, 2019 on a form developed by the DPH.

Failure to complete or update their fiscal and asset management plans on or before January 1, 2021 maybe subject to civil penalties by DPH.

Compliance Concerns?

Tata & Howard has extensive experience with all facets of asset management planning and programming. Our services focus on condition assessment and analyses of critical capital assets, as well as operational evaluations, water audits to reduce unaccounted-for water, and long-term capital planning.  Initial hydropneumatic pressure tank inspections can be also be performed in time to comply with the DPH deadline of May 2, 2019.

In addition, Tata & Howard can help secure financing through grants, such as those available through the USDA Rural Development Water and Environmental Program.

More Info?

Asset Management

Tata & Howard has assisted numerous Water Companies with their Asset Management Planning.  Please contact us for more information.

Drinking Water That is Out of This World

Drinking Water That is Out of This World

Reclaiming Wastewater on the Space Station has an impact right here on Earth!

Water—it’s essential for all living beings… and water is essential to make life possible.   It’s an interesting paradox that has kept scientists searching for life in extreme places.

Outer spaceWhen NASA recently announced the discovery of liquid water flowing under an ice cap on Mars, it opened the exciting possibility that life may exist outside our earthly abode.  While it is conceivable scientists may eventually discover life somewhere in our galaxy, a reliable source of water outside earth is fundamental for the possibility of establishing a colony on Mars, exploring the universe and even visiting distant planets in search of life outside earth.

This is the stuff of science fiction…or is it?

Well, let’s get the stars out of our eyes and return to earth.  First, we need to get to Mars and therein lies the challenge. Top on the list is how to provide the essentials for life, such as water, air and the entire habitat for the astronauts to live in as they journey among the stars.

Getting to Space

Establishing a sustainable long-term flight program requires a base to launch manned operations in space. The International Space Station (ISS), which was put into orbit in 1998 and has been continuously occupied since 2000, currently provides a habitable place for astronauts to live and conduct scientific experiments.

SpaceX Docking in ISSBut hauling tons of supplies and materials to the International Space Station (ISS) is inefficient and extremely expensive. Sustaining a crew of four astronauts on the ISS with water, power and other supplies, costs nearly one million dollars a day.  Even with the reusable SpaceX rocket which regularly provides supplies to the ISS, it costs $2,500 per pound to launch into space. With four astronauts living on the ISS needing approximately 12 gallons of water a day, it is impractical to stock the ISS with the tons of water needed for long periods of time.

It’s no wonder then that rationing, and recycling is an essential part of daily life on the ISS.  The Space Station must provide not only clean water, but air to breath, power, and ideal atmospheric conditions to sustain life outside earth.

And every drop of liquid is important!

Reclaiming Water for Life Support

The Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) on the ISS is a life support system that provides atmospheric pressure, oxygen levels, waste management and water supply, and fire detection and suppression. The most important function for ECLSS is controlling the atmosphere for the crew, but the system also collects, processes, and stores waste and water produced by the crew…including the furry lab passengers too.

Yes, even mice waste is recycled.

mouse and waterIf the idea of drinking reclaimed water from mice urine and other waste sources sounds unappetizing, consider this, the water the astronauts drink is often cleaner that what many earthlings drink.  NASA regularly checks the water quality and it is monitored for bacteria, pollutants and proper pH (60 – 8.5).

This highly efficient reclamation system processes and recycles fluid from the sink, shower, toilet, sweat, and even condensation from the air. The ECLSS water recovery system on the ISS uses both physical and chemical processes to remove contaminants, as well as filtration and temperature sterilization to ensure the water is safe to drink.

More Innovation for the Future

Providing the astronauts with clean water from reclaimed wastewater at the Space Station is working fine for what they need right now, but it’s not perfect. The ISS system recovers water at a rate of approximately 74 percent. For longer missions to Mars and beyond, this rate must increase to at least 98 percent to sustain longer journeys into space. Scientists are continuously working on better and more efficient close-looped support systems to reduce water loss and improve ways to reclaim water from all waste products.

bacteriaRecently, NASA invested in a new, lower cost solution to biologically recycle and reuse water developed by Pancopia. Pancopia is a small environmental and energy engineering company located in Virginia that focuses on wastewater treatment and research and development projects. Engineers at the firm have discovered an innovative technology that makes use of a group of bacteria called anammox.  Anammox when combined with two other types of bacteria commonly used in conventional wastewater treatment (nitrifiers and denitrifiers), can remove high levels of organic carbon and nitrogen, the two primary pollutants in wastewater.

The combination of these three organisms naturally adjust to changes in the system and eliminates pollutants faster and more reliably than traditional wastewater treatment operations.  And, the cost is significantly less to operate than conventional systems, which requires a lot of energy and consumables to run. In addition, the stability of the anammox process reduces costs by requiring fewer manpower hours to monitor and operate.

Back on Earth

What does all this water and wastewater reclamation innovation mean for us on earth?

Desert in WaterPancopia is currently working on a similar system used on the ISS for municipal wastewater facilities. Using the technology developed for the Space Station, other areas in the world with limited access to clean drinking water, will soon be able to utilize this advanced water filtration and purification system.

This innovative water recycling system initially intended for the astronauts, now has the potential to cut treatment expenses to less than half the current costs for municipal customers, while providing sustainable crystal-clear drinking water especially in arid and drought-stricken communities across the globe.

Man’s search for extraterrestrial life and desire to travel through space may actually have its greatest impact right here on Earth—clean water!

6 Facts About Lead In Drinking Water

6 Facts About Lead In Drinking Water

Drinking Water contaminated with lead can be a health hazard.

Whether water comes from a Public Water System or a private well, water contaminated with lead is most likely the result from corrosion of the plumbing materials, lead pipes, or the service lines from the water main in the street to the building.

Here are some facts about lead contamination and tips to avoid lead in drinking water.

6-Facts-About-Lead-in-Drinking-Water

Please feel free to print and share our 6 Lead Facts Infographic with attribution to Tata & Howard, Inc.

The History of Fluoride

The History of Fluoride

Fluoride in History

After the common cold, tooth decay is said to be mankind’s second most common disease. Because the mouth is a primary entryway into the body, bacteria caused by poor oral health, can easily enter the bloodstream and cause infection and inflammation wherever it spreads. From arthritis to dementia and cardiovascular disease to diabetes—all these ailments, and many more, have been associated with poor oral health.

Tooth AnatomyEven so, that millimeter of enamel making up the outer part of the tooth is the hardest substance of the human body and can outlast even the human skeleton when interred.  In fact, the oldest vertebrate fossil relics going back 500 million years are teeth. Despite these details, teeth can be surprisingly fragile and prone to decay.

Our teeth and gums, so often taken for granted, have until as recently as the mid-twentieth century, a very interesting and painful past.

A Toothless History

Tooth decay is not merely a modern disease; scientists have discovered mankind has suffered from dental disease throughout history. During the early years of human history, evidence shows ancient hunter-gatherers did not suffer too greatly from tooth decay. Rather, the shift in poor oral health occurred with the transition to agricultural societies and the introduction of crops that were high in carbohydrates and sugars.  The consumption of these bacteria-causing foods destroyed tooth enamel.

That change in diet was the beginning of centuries of barbarous dentistry and a mouthful of pain.

Young or old, rich or poor—no one was immune to the ravages of toothaches, swollen bleeding gums, and tooth loss. It wasn’t until the reign of Louis XIV in the early 17th century, when fashionable society demanded—more for appearance than for eating—solutions for missing teeth. With that, Pierre Fauchard, who was to be called the “Father of Dentistry,” introduced a new era of dental care. He not only practiced more humane tooth extraction, he also developed the first dental drill and methods for filling cavities, learned to fill a root canal, and introduced a spring to the upper portion of his ivory-carved dentures to keep them in place.

false teethStill, with these advances in dentistry, tooth loss and decay persisted.  Since ancient times, it was widely thought that toothaches were caused by worms that destroyed teeth. It wasn’t until 1890, when a dentist named Willoughby Miller identified that tooth decay was caused by a certain type of bacteria that thrives on sugar, creating an acid that ate away at tooth enamel.

But preventing tooth decay was still a mystery.

Brown-Stained Teeth

Dentists in Colorado wondered why their patients had mottled, discolored teeth. The cause of the brown-stained tooth enamel, it was discovered, was from high levels of fluoride in the water supply. Dr. Frederick McKay, the dentist spearheading this research, found that teeth afflicted by the “Colorado Brown Stain,” as it was called, were surprisingly resistant to decay.

Dr. McKay
Dr. Frederick McKay

Fluoride, which is a component of tooth enamel, is also found naturally in many foods we eat and is detected in water supplies around the world—as it was in water supplies to the small Colorado towns of Dr. McKay’s research. At low concentrations, fluoride can be beneficial to healthy teeth. However, too much exposure can have adverse effects, such as dental fluorosis, which causes tooth enamel to become mottled and stained.

Fluoride in Water and Other Sources

By the early 1930s, Dr. H. Trendley Dean, head of the Dental Hygiene Unit at the National Institute of Health (NIH) began investigating the prevalence of dental fluorosis, and exposure to fluoride in drinking water. After considerable debate, on the afternoon of January 25, 1945, powdered sodium fluoride was added to the Grand Rapid’s municipal water supply in Michigan.

Smiling Kids

Dentists stress that fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay and thereby can greatly help dental health. However, most people now receive fluoride in their dental products, such as toothpaste, gels, and mouth rinses.

 

My Water's Fluoride

The public can search the CDC’s My Water’s Fluoride website to research fluoride levels in their drinking water.

State Revolving Fund Loan Program

Financial Assistance through the State Revolving Fund

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), is now accepting Project Evaluation Forms (PEFs) for new drinking water and wastewater projects seeking financial assistance in 2019 through the State Revolving Fund (SRF).  The SRF offers low interest loan options to Massachusetts cities and towns to help fund their drinking water and clean water projects. PEFs are due to the MassDEP Division of Municipal Services by August 24, 2018, 12:00 PM.

Water Main ReplacementFinancing for The Clean Water SRF Program helps municipalities with federal and state compliance water-quality requirements, focusing on stormwater and watershed management priorities, and green infrastructure. The Drinking Water SRF Program, provides low-interest loans to communities to improve their drinking water safety and water supply infrastructure.

This year, the MassDEP Division of Municipal Services (DMS) announced the following priorities for SRF proposals.

  • Water main rehabilitation projects which include full lead service replacement (to the meter) – this is a high priority for eligibly enhanced subsidy under the Drinking Water SRF.
  • Reducing Per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contaminants in drinking water.
  • Asset Management Planning to subsidize Clean Water programs.
  • Stormwater Management Planning for MS4 permit compliance and implementation.

In addition, Housing Choice Communities will receive a discount on their SRF interest rate of not less than 1.5%.

Summaries of the Intended Use Plans (IUP), will be published in the fall, which will list the project name, proponents, and costs for the selected projects. After a 30-public hearing and comment period, Congress will decide which programs may receive funding from the finalized IUPs.

To Apply for SRF Financing

Tata & Howard is experienced with the SRF financing process and is available to help municipalities develop Project Evaluation Forms along with supporting documentation, for their local infrastructure needs.

Please contact us for more information.

The MassDEP Division of Municipal Services are accepting Project Evaluation Forms until August 24, 2018 by 12:00 PM.

 

We Can Help

For more information on the MassDEP State Revolving Fund and assistance preparing a PEF contact us.

October 25th – NH Drinking Water Exposition and Trade Show

2018 NH Drinking Water Expo & Trade Show.

We’ll be at the 2018 NH Drinking Water Exposition a& Trade show on October 25th. Be sure to stop by our Booth #21 to say ‘Hi’ and register to win a gift card!

Grapphone CenterAttending this Expo & Trade Show is a great opportunity for anyone working in the pubic water system to meet other professionals and share ideas related to the drinking water industry.

See you there!

The 2018 NH Drinking Water Expo & Trade Show

When: Thursday, October 25
Where: Grappone Conference Center, Concord, NH.