EPA Hazard Mitigation

The Environmental Protection Agency has many resources available on a variety of topics (www.epa.gov). This starter guide focuses on hazard mitigation for natural disasters for water and wastewater utilities.. RAIN members! We have to be prepared for any big disasters. Get ahead of the game and start mitigating risks!

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Victoria Kapopoulos
The Monongahela River

The Monongahela River, better known as the Mon, stretches 128-miles from north-central West Virginia into southwestern Pennsylvania. The Unami people, from the Lenape Nation, named the river the Monongahela because it means "falling banks", referring to the vulnerability of the riverbanks, (WVExplorer). The Monongahela is formed when the West Fork River and the Tygart Valley River meet in Fairmont, West Virginia. Due to a series of locks and dams, the river is navigable its entire length.

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Marissa Rollman
Climate Change & Our Waterways

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pennsylvania’s climate has warmed more than half a degree farenheit in the last century and heavy rainstorms have become more frequent. The abnormal climate patterns we’ve been observing don’t happen in a vacuum, they’re affecting ecosystems across the globe. Climate change makes the Earth hotter but it also causes extreme weather events, threatens extinction, and degrades water quality and public health. Communities without a resilience plan in place and without the means to combat these effects will be hit the hardest.

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Marissa Rollman
How to Protect Source Water

Source water is the water that the public uses for drinking; it can come from rivers, streams, lakes, or groundwater. RAIN’s purpose revolves around protecting this source water to ensure clean drinking water and preserved public health. The Pittsburgh region has had a history of industrial activity that has taken its toll on our area’s air, water, and quality of life.

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Marissa Rollman
Water Security & World Water Day

In Cape Town, South Africa, residents wait in line at collection points across the city to get their daily ration of 50 liters, or 13.2 gallons, of water. The metropolis is facing a severe drought and Day Zero- the day the water runs out- is rapidly approaching. Originally scheduled for April, Day Zero has been pushed back to July due to the tightening water rationing restrictions. In just months, water became the most precious commodity for locals in the arid landscape.

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Marissa Rollman
10 Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home

 Conserving water is important for a number of reasons and it is completely achievable at home. Water conservation cuts down consumer energy bills to save money as well as reducing the energy consumption and pollution coming from water supply and wastewater treatment facilities. Altogether, leaving water in the ecosystem it resides in lessens the possibility for pollutants to contaminate it. Here are some ways to make a difference in your own home.

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Marissa Rollman
The Trouble with Acid Rain

Acid rain occurs when sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are emitted in the atmosphere and interact with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form sulfuric and nitric acids.  Once these compounds mix with water, they fall to the ground in the form of precipitation. Most of the SO2 and NOx that causes acid rain comes from the burning of fossil fuels and vehicles/heavy equipment.

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Marissa Rollman
The Effect of Winter Road Salt on Rivers

Salting the roads in winter has become a necessary evil. Rock salt is the cheapest and most effective way to lower the freezing temperature of water, de-icing roads and sidewalks for cars and pedestrians.According to the Federal Highway Administration, winter road maintenance uses 20% of department transportation maintenance budgets nationally. 

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Marissa Rollman
Green Infrastructure and Its Benefits

According to the EPA, “green infrastructure is a cost-effective, resilient approach to managing wet weather impacts that provides many community benefits.” Green infrastructure includes green roofs, permeable pavers, rain gardens, bioswales, rain barrels, and plenty more.

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Marissa Rollman
Trees & Our Waterways

Most people know how trees work to purify the air we breathe by absorbing carbon dioxide and other harmful gases to produce and emit oxygen. However, the benefits trees provide to our water sources is far less known yet still just as important for maintaining healthy waterways.

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Marissa Rollman
Why You Should Switch to Reusable Water Bottles

Although bottled water may seem safer and tastier than your home’s tap water, studies show that most bottled water is simply tap water that has been filtered and bottled at up to 1000x the price. Interestingly, most Americans have access to clean water, yet we are the leading consumers of bottled water.

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Marissa Rollman
The Importance of Testing Water Quality

RAIN monitors water quality in near real time in 30 different locations throughout the Ohio River Basin. Our equipment tests for a number of parameters to ensure the quality of our source water is meeting required standards. Some of the parameters RAIN measures includes pH, turbidity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen (DO), and temperature.

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Marissa Rollman
What to Know About Lead in Your Drinking Water

The town of Flint, Michigan was thrust into the spotlight in 2014 when it was revealed that poor management from the city caused lead to leach into the public’s water. However, the same problem was happening in Pittsburgh at the same time, to much less fanfare because of a lack of knowledge.

 

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Marissa Rollman
Boil Water Advisories

A boil water advisory (BWA) is a warning issued by health authorities once the public’s water is potentially contaminated by a number of different sources. There are two types of BWAs: precautionary and mandatory. 

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Marissa Rollman