Archive for the ‘IN affects Great Lakes’ Category

Citizens’ Questions that NEED to be Answered

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

On September 15th, 2011 IDEM held a public meeting to address the air permits being issued for Steel Dynamics Inc.
59 people were in attendance and spoke of fear of pollution from Superior Aluminum, and did not want to have air permits approved for the new LaFarga copper plant.

We have included the questions (below are citizens’ questions) that were NOT answered during this 4 hour meeting and we are requesting they are answered for the health of the public OR deny SDI’s air permit request.


  • Who will watchdog any monitors that are placed? How often will they be monitored? (heavy metals, particulate matter, )
  • How are we to be assured that SDI will conform to the Federal Clean Air Act?
  • If these regulations are not followed, what is the consequence to the business?
  • What fines are associated with non-compliance? public hearing/ legal action / law suit applicable?
  • If a fine were levied, where would the money go?
  • Can we test the air now BEFORE this plant goes up and then AFTER the plant is in operation if air permit is granted? (benchmark)
  • If there is something in existence of what is upwind and downwind to monitor the air quality…so is it better/worse upwind/downwind?
  • Where are the other monitors in existence around our area.  The website given by IDEM does not seem to contain specifics of location.
  • If the current levels downwind exceed the NAAQS, will the permit be issued for the new plant?
  • Can the combination of toxins from the SDI LaFarga Copper plant and the SDI Superior Aluminum Plant mix together to create something worse? Like a supertoxin?
  • Were any exemptions awarded for any of the “6 criteria pollutants” or any others reported with IDEM and EPA?
  • IF any exemptions were granted, what part of the process of the approval be challenged?
  • What is the AVERAGE limit of air pollution LaFarga Copper plant expect to emit?  How did they get their preliminary findings since this will be the “first copper plant of it’s kind, except for the one in Spain”? Who did the testing and were the tests paid for by SDI?
  • If something technical or human error occurs, what backup system (in case of emergency) is in place to ensure no additional harmful pollutants will escape?  What monitor would they have, if any, that would keep track of the number of emissions released during a break down, whether technical or human error?
  • Where will the waste from the bag houses be deposited?
  • Will any violations cause the exemptions to be revoked?


  • How will relocation/expansion of the Bandelier Ditch (#3) affect the storm sewer/sanitary sewer?
  • If any pollutants are being discharged into this ditch, what is being monitored or recorded and reported? Where will this information be available?
  • Will their be a long term control plan for CSO’s where the sanitary /storm sewers are to be installed completely separate per the Clean Water Act and City of Fort Wayne Long Term Control Plan?
  • Will SDI be responsible for testing runoff or non-point source pollutants from the two facilities that will be located .6 mile from each other?
  • Will this plant will have a retention pond or a detention pond? CONFIRMING THERE WILL BE NO NPDES PERMIT?
  • Where will the waste water from the bag houses be deposited?
  • Does the pond fall under Rule 5 of the IAC 326 for surface water if there are no chemicals going into it? Where are the reports found for Waterways of the U.S.?
  • Please submit the blueprint/schematics for the ditch/direction of the ditch for discharge into New Haven as a straight pipe OR to Fort Wayne Filtration Plant?
  • How many gallons of water per month will be used at the new copper plant? Will the water be purchased from City of Fort Wayne or a well be drilled?
  • There are 22 who have attended a local community meetings who are on wells within 3 miles of the plant.  How will their well water supply be directly effected?
  • Do you know the current levels of heavy metals in these wells?
  • Where are the reports or monitoring that will test water quality upstream and downstream?
  • How much water is used in the process of making 1 ton (2,000lbs) of steel? 1 ton of copper? 1 ton of aluminum?

What are the current levels of Mercury and Lead in the soil surrounding the plant and the properties most affected by current emission.

Farm land and home owners properties must be included.

U.S. Army helps Save the Maumee!

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

July 16th 2011– United States National Guard helped Save the Maumee River! Lead by Staff Sergeant Grimm and Sergeant Michele Berkes-Adams along with a medic and 20 recruits removed large items in the Maumee River in Riverhaven, (a three mile stretch between Fort Wayne and New Haven). – The U.S. Army works on “green drills” several times a year and had chosen to help Save Maumee!  Items removed include a teddy bear, 10 tires and assorted car parts, steel drums, a sump pump, 2 children pools. Hats off to the men and women who keep us safe through cleaning up the large items that nobody else can remove without being put in harms way! Canoes were provided by Fort Wayne Outfitters/Bike Depot and Earth Adventures; two competitors working together to improve our rivers.

 img_7202.JPGAnyone missing a Teddy Bear?

Here are two seperate stories from the Journal Gazette!

Troops attack Maumee trash

– Ten tires, two kiddie pools, a sump pump, a microwave and a doll head were among items collected by Staff Sgt. David Grimm’s Indiana Army National Guard team Saturday afternoon in the Maumee River.

As part of the National Guard’s nationwide Guard the Environment campaign, Grimm’s troops collected trash – 40 bags’ worth – along the river from near the Wells Street Bridge to the Thomas L. Deetz Nature Preserve in New Haven.

The cleanup crew included about 20 new enlistees in the recruitment sustainment unit, a preparatory stage before basic training and boot camp.

Sgt. Nathan King also participated in the five-hour effort, which started at the river banks near Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot on Saturday morning. He said the service project “shows that we’re growing as a community to help the families” of Fort Wayne appreciate the city’s three rivers.

“This is definitely one of the things the community wants to see,” he said. “It’s unifying, for one thing.”

Grimm said the river sweep also provided a valuable experience for his troops, many of whom are still learning basic skills and courtesies.

“It’s a way to give back to the community before the community gives back to them,” he said.

The National Guard unit first heard about the volunteer opportunity when one of its members, Sgt. Michele Berkes-Adams, became involved with Save the Maumee, a local river advocacy group.

She said the city economy could benefit from cleaner rivers, especially with businesses such as the Depot promoting river recreation.

But Abigail Frost-King, Save the Maumee’s founder, is hesitant to declare victory. She said she encountered some obstacles as she tried to organize the cleanup.

For example, she said Fort Wayne city government refused to provide a Dumpster for easy disposal of the extracted trash because Kreager Park, the project’s approximate end point, is not within city limits. She also noted the state Department of Natural Resources will provide garbage-collecting boats only twice a year.

Regardless, she praised Grimm’s troops for fulfilling a dirty task most workers avoid at all costs.

“No one else is cleaning up the waterways,” Frost-King said.

Published: July 16, 2011 3:00 a.m.

Guard recruits help clean the Maumee

If you see soldiers in canoes Saturday floating down the Maumee River, don’t panic. It’s not an invasion, but rather a war on trash.

They are recruits with the Indiana Army National Guard, performing a community service project under the direction of Staff Sgt. David Grimm of Detachment 1, Company A of the Recruiting and Retention Battalion.

The soldiers have not yet gone on to basic combat training, or “boot camp,” but are still looking to serve their community. And this weekend, that’s cleaning up the Maumee River in an effort to help out the non-profit organization, Save the Maumee.

Using canoes from Fort Wayne Outfitters and other organizations, the soldiers will float down the river from Fort Wayne Outfitters, near Wells Street in downtown Fort Wayne, and heading east toward Kreiger Park, Grimm said.

Along the way, they’ll pick up trash and clean up what they can, he said.

Every three months or so, Grimm takes his soldiers out to perform a “green” community service project such as ripping out invasive shrubberies at Allen County’s Fox Island Park.

“We just feel that the community does so much for us, and it’s kind of like our small little token to give back,” Grimm said.

In his opinion, Fort Wayne is one of the most military-friendly communities in the country and it is important for the soldiers to contribute to it, he said.

“They’ve done so much for us, and we’re trying to help in every little way we can,” he said.

OR see all our pictures from the day on Facebook HERE: By Save Maumee’s Photographer Dana Jinx

Botulism Report of Dead Birds still relevent

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

From the Emmet County Lakeshore Association Fall 2010 Newsletter:

During the fall of 2007 there was an estimated 8,000 – 10,000 water birds that were believed to have died from botulism poisoning along the northern Lake Michigan shoreline.  These water birds included loons, gulls, and all ducks, local and migratory in Lake Michigan.  

There is the chain of events leading up to the botulism toxin poisoning of sea birds:

1) Botulism is naturally occurring on the lake bottom.
2) Mats of Cladophora algae (the same algae that is thick along the Lake Michigan beach) are believed to be caused by clearer water, caused by the invasive zebra and quagga mussels’ filtration of plankton from the water and from the mussels’ excretions causing the fertilization of the algae.  These mats create an anaerobic condition on the lake floor which causes the botulism to produce a toxin.
3) The toxin is ingested by the mussels.
4) The invasive mussels are then eaten by the invasive round goby fish.
5) The dead round goby fish float to the surface and are eaten by sea birds.
6) The toxin causes a paralysis and the birds die from drowning or exposure.

Male Mallard Duck on the Maumee River

This past Summer of 2010 there were reports of dead Round Gobies washing up on shore.  This Fall there have been several reports of sea bird die-offs.  Mark Breederland of Michigan Sea Grant reported 25+ dead Red-Necked Grebes in the vicinity of Brevort River in Mid September. Based on these reports, it is believed that it could be another year of botulism deaths of fish eating birds migrating along Lake Michigan. If dead birds are found DO NOT touch with bare hands to dispose of the carcass.  Dead birds should be handled with gloved hands and can be placed in garbage bag for disposal or buried with a shovel.  PLEASE check the birds leg to see if it is banded.  CALL 906-370-1231 if it has a band on its leg.

6th Annual Save Maumee’s EARTH DAY FUNNY VIDEO!

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Well, we are considered a good natured bunch, with a sense of humor…

Celebrity Collage

See our attempts at getting some nationwide attention!  We gave a funny shout out to Ellen DeGeneres, John Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel, Steven Colbert & Oprah.  We figured any media attention is good attention, even if it is a little tainted!  We think that all the trash we pull out of our Three Rivers in Fort Wayne is ridiculous and wanted to share a little satire in our Earth Day efforts.  We have been accused of being “rough around the edges and a little crass,” so we did not want to disappoint!  Remember, we are a 100% unpaid volunteer group, so you get what you pay for!  Dirty rivers, however, are no laughing matter.  Let it be very clear though, we only want clean water, clean rivers and reduced pollution and we are willing to do something about it.  It is one thing that brings us all to a consensus.  Thank you for your continued support!

Thank you to everyone who make our events a complete success….AGAIN!

The first 30 seconds are specific to the celebrity, and the rest of the 2 minute video are basically the same.

For Ellen DeGeneres Video

For John Stewart Video

For Steven Colbert Video

For Oprah Winfrey Video

For Jimmy Kimmel Video

Our official statistics for our 6th Annual Earth Day alone:

  • 2 TONS of trash removed from our rivers & riparian area and floodways
  • 480 Native Trees planted
  • 150 lbs of approved DNR native seed planted
  • 4,000 sq. ft. of erosion control mats installed
  • $1,000 dollars worth of pre-grown plants (plant plugs)
  • Raised awareness successfully for 322 men, women and children that attended our open non-house!  THANK YOU!

More Trees Removed Along Riverbanks?

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Trees along Edgewater & The Maumee River

Levee Tree Removal in Fort Wayne

It has recently come to the attention of Save Maumee that trees along the Maumee River and St. Mary’s River are indiscriminately being cut down by order of the Board of Public Works by orders of the US Army Corps of Engineers.  Apparently, this area of the riverbank lies on a levee and during one of the last big floods in Fort Wayne, the riverbank and the trees fell into the water.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of regulating levees by setting the safety guidelines and according to city planners, the US ACE directed the city to “remove the trees and make repairs or lose the acceptable rating of flood protection.”  This has resulted in the removal of hundreds of trees along the riverbanks of the Maumee River – in addition to trees removed from the St. Mary’s and St. Joe Rivers as well.

Maumee River @ Edgewater Blvd.

Straight from the Board Of Public Works

“Officials in Fort Wayne say there should be no trees cut down along the city’s flood levees because there aren’t any. The levees here were built by the corps in the 1990s, and the only trees near a levee are on the river side of the structure, where they slow the current and help stabilize the levee.  ‘Every year, (Army Corps inspectors) walk every inch of those levees,’ said Bob Kennedy, city public works director. Kennedy said the tree prohibition was issued by the corps in 2007, so any trees that needed to be cut down would have already been spotted and removed.” 
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 6/14/09.

Well Mr. Kennedy, you ARE cutting down trees, hundreds of them in the past 3 weeks.  Save Maumee recognizes the importance of levee safety and does not dispute that the city needs to be able to assess and observe the levees and keep our homes safe from floods.  We also recognize that the rivers are filthy; contaminated with E. coli, Mercury, PCB’s, nutrients, phosphorous, sewage, garbage and general pollution – and we do not see the city working to correct or repair any of these issues; aside from a federal mandate to separate the sewer and storm drains, which should have been started 20 years ago.  In the world of water, vegetation coexists along rivers.  The vegetation holds soil in place when water rises and falls.  Native plants with long taproots prevent soil from being washed downstream, filter water, attract diverse species of birds and insects, slow down and absorb water as it moves quickly through the banks during times of flooding and high water, while providing shade that increases Dissolved Oxygen in the water for wildlife.  Removal of that vegetation increases soil erosion.  Removal of vegetation is another reason streambanks to fall into the river.

Maumee River @ Niagara Dr.
Tree removal and stump grinding has been a hot discussion topic around town.  Between Ash Trees being removed due to the Emerald Ash Borer invasion (equaling 24% of the tree canopy in Fort Wayne) and the Oak Trees being eaten by the Gypsy Moths; no tree is sacred from removal or damage.  Now trees are being removed due to “potential levee disturbance.”  According to a former employee of the Corps Engineer and Research Development, “There has never been a documented problem with a tree.” (MSNBC- Associated Press 6/9/2009)  “The literature on the presence of vegetation indicates that it may actually strengthen a levee,” said Andrew Levesque, senior engineer for King County Washington. Yet, the mowing down of trees in Fort Wayne, never seems to end.  The city has no plans to replace the trees elsewhere, except in mowed city/county parks, and does not see a problem with tree removal. (Board of Public Works, April 2011)

Maumee River @ Edgewater Blvd.

Hurricanes breaking levees and the affects in Fort Wayne, IN?

Tree removal on levees has been an ongoing problem around the country since Hurricane Katrina blasted through New Orleans, destroying the levees built to protect the city.  Recognizing that part of the issue in New Orleans, was the failing levee system, the US ACE has taken a fresh look at all of the levee systems in the U.S.  They have compiled a list of blanket regulations that every city or county lying in a floodplain must follow.   The US ACE tightened its regulations with specific criteria regarding structure safety and vegetation.  But, they tightened their regulations claiming there is an understanding “that levee systems commonly share the same space as water conveyance and critical ecosystems and habitats, and that working with these interests is vital in effectively managing flood risks.”  (Recommendations for a National Levee Safety Program; A Report to Congress from the National Committee on Levee Safety, 2009)

Maumee River @ Edgewater Blvd.

Yet Fort Wayne indiscriminately cuts trees out on entire riverbanks without planning to replace them anywhere – while our rivers get dirtier and turn into culverts.

What do citizens say?

Concerned citizens have contacted Save Maumee regarding the removal of these trees, filling in of flood plains (approving permits and failing to enforce fines), business vehicles leaking directly into storm drains, waste gates being open with water flushing out during times without rain, concern about removal of vegetation without plans to replant elsewhere along the river and the lack of city planning that coincides with increasing the water and ecological quality along the banks, along with other issues.  In fact, we can be bold enough to say that our organization is working to correct more than a century of neglect, degradation, and abuse on the Maumee River in Fort Wayne and have yet to see others take an active approach to STOP pollution.  We see the city cutting down trees, changing the structure of the rivers, and having a continued disregard for the community’s greatest natural assets – which also directly affects those downstream from us.  And we (Save Maumee 100% volunteers) continue to pull tires, plastic, stoves, refrigerators, etc. out of the riverbanks while also planting the trees and vegetation that actually do some good.  ALL of which has been DNR approved.  The questions remain:  1) Who decides where these trees are removed? 2) Who is advising the board and the “experts” that have been consulted? 3) Who is footing the bill for this large scale project?


BEFORE                                                                                         AFTER

Army Corps issues tree chopping orders; Policy aimed at protecting levees draws fire from locals 

The above article states that “Army Corps of Engineers are on a mission to chop down every tree in the county Columbia LA…but later settled on a few dozen.”

The corps eventually dropped the idea because of state wildlife officials complained that the policy would destroy habitat, and residents in Sacramento and elsewhere objected that it would turned the rivers into more than barren culverts.  The corps eventually dropped the idea.

So why cut down every tree indiscriminately along the levees in Fort Wayne, IN?

Lawyers have sent a letter of inquiry into the massive tree removal along local riverbanks and we eagerly await the report.  See it here: Request for Information

All this came about in the Army Corps of Engineers in 2006 due to Hurricane Katrina smashing the New Orleans levees in Aug. 2005 and now letters from ACE are making their way into local requirements.  The Corps wants a way to protect levees, yet our riverbanks have nothing to do with a hurricane and the City of New Orleans being built below sea level and the levees bursting from the pressure of a violent ocean during a hurricane event. TREES had NOTHING to do with it!

One reason that city continues to have flooding issues may have to do with the land use.  More than 85% of Indiana’s wetlands have been eliminated since the 1800s, and many forested wetlands have been lumbered for their high-value hardwood.  More than five million acres of wetlands used to exist in the state, but just over 800,000 acres remain today.   Our wetlands are nature’s kidneys and filtrate pollution as well. Water is more destructive than fire, if you keep it at bay in one part of a rip/rap levee area…it will find a way to meander somewhere else; that area may never have flooded before.  Removing trees “may contribute to the erosion of the banks.”  It definitely contributes to the fast rising and falling of water levels called flashiness.   City planning remains to be poor, even though building previously on a floodplain was not this administrations mistake.  The city/county continually ignores the importance of the ecological systems along the rivers, which also provides safety to the quality of the waterways, fish, birds, etc. Highlights of Plan-it Allen – Allen County’s Comprehensive Plan

An old wise man, spoke of an idiom.   “Watch out for people who talk out of both sides of their mouth.”  This means ~ To say different things to different people on the same subject, in order to appease the one with whom you speak.   Save Maumee uses the old cliche’ to point out water issues…
Actions always speak louder than words.

HEC’s Environmental Policy for Waterways in 2011

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Hoosier Environmental Council 2011-2012 Legislative Policy Guide

According to the 2010 Impaired Waters List, Indiana has more than 2,600 impaired waters that are unsafe for drinking and recreation.

The following is a summary of information presented in the guide regarding water issues:

Issue 1) Restriction unnecessary use of phosphorus in lawn fertilizers on turf grass unless it is TRULY needed.  This is the first issue discussed because lawn fertilizer has been linked to “dead zones” in Lake Erie, where over 50% of our fish from the Great Lakes come from! (pg 4)

Issue 2) The Clean Water Act’s Anti-Degradation Policy was adopted by the Indiana General Assembly, but IDEM’s proposed rules do not meet this standard and must be improved.  Too many exemptions allow companies to avoid justifying their new or increased discharges.  There are several weaknesses in proposed rule so it needs to be strengthened. (pg 4)

Issue 3) Confined Feeding Animal Operations (CAFO’s) in Indiana number over 3,000.  At 80% of these operations; hogs and dairy cows are confined by the thousands or chickens are raised by tens of thousands at a single facility.   These large scale operations lead to public health disasters like fish kills, and Salmonella tainted eggs, blue-green algae blooms. The waste from these animals contain pathogens and medications that contaminate our waterways as well as food crops.  Traditionally, animal waste is used to fertilize crops but at this magnitude land application is dictated by the need to get rid of the waste rather than necessary fertilizer.  HEC believes that little is being done to effectively regulate the industry.
(pg 5)

Issue 4) Financial Assurance to Indiana Taxpayers. One example happened in 2009 – in Muncie, Indiana.  4-5 million gallons of manure was released and the State of Indiana paid the clean up cost associated with the defunct hog farm.  The primary purpose is to ensure that funds will be available to protect human health and the environment in the event that the facility owners of operators are unable or fail to do so. (pg 5)

Indiana Hog Farm:

SUSTAINABLE agriculture builds food and fiber production systems that are both economically viable and protect or enhance the environmental quality of the agricultural lands.  It also increases the quality of life for farmers and those people that live in the area surrounding the farms. (pg 5)

Top Shoreline/Streambank Tips

Monday, December 20th, 2010

1. Grow a Greenbelt: Establish a greenbelt or expand an existing one by adding more native plants.  Encourage your neighbors to do the same.  Buffers are helpful when it comes to water quality!

2. Fertilizer Smart: If you fertilize, refrain from fertilizing within 30′ of a shoreline/ditch/stream. DEFINITELY use no-phosphorus fertilizer.

3. Leave Trees: If a tree falls into the water leave it! They provide great habitat and contribute to the important carbon budget of the ecosystem.

4. Maintain Septic Systems: Failing septic systems can leach nutrients, which cause nuisance algae and plant growth.

5. Control Erosion: Stabilize shoreline erosion with bioengineering methods best management practices.

6. Join Forces: Support your local lake or river associations; they implement important resources protection projects and programs…like Save Maumee!

7. Stow Away: Store boats, boat hoists, docks and other equipment away from the shoreline; they can harm shoreline plants and compact soils.  Work on these machines and engines AWAY from the water to reduce leaks and spills.

8. Flow Away: Stormwater from driveways, roof tops, and other surfaces carries harmful pollutants.  Direct stormwater away from the street grates and allow it to infiltrate into the ground. (i.e. raingardens, rainbarrels, porous cement, wash car on lawn instead of driveway etc.)

9. Appreciate Aquatic Plants: Nearshore aquatic plants (growing in the water) are an important part of the lake and river ecosystems.  They offer valuable habitat and buffer wave energy.  See here for details:

10. Know the Law: Familiarize yourself with local, state, and federal regulations.  Permits are needed for some shoreline activities; be aware if any of your future plans require one.  Also, check to see if your county/municipality has a greenbelt ordinance.

11. When in Doubt? Call it Out: Hold government and corporation entities responsible!  Take a picture of laws that appear to be broken.  Send it to us! OR CALL Katie Englin at IDEM complaint hotline for immediate remediation: 317-232-4464

Day at the Maumee Bay / Lake Erie

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

The following is information the Erie Port Authority passed out to participants attending “A Day at the Bay” hosted by the  Upper Maumee Watershed Partnership.

 Maumee River:

  • Largest body of water emptying into the Great Lakes
  • 150 miles long
  • Shares water with the St. Marys River, St. Joseph River, Auglaize River, Little Auglaize River, Blanchard River, Tiffen River, Ottowa River

Maumee Watershed:

  • 6,586 sqare miles in Indiana, Ohio & Michigan
  • 4,000 miles of streams
  • Drains 4 million acres
  • 1.7 million people live in the watershed
  • 327 named streams
  • Supports 94 species of fish
  • 90% of Ohio’s wetlands have been drained or filled in

Great Lakes states’ 500 square miles of parking lots threaten water quality, walkability

Monday, July 5th, 2010       Great Lakes Echo –  June 17, 2010

People ask me all the time about CSO’s / SSO’s (Combined  Sewer Overflow / Sanitary Sewer Outfalls).  Did the city plan poorly for our sewers? Why would 1/12th of an inch of rain cause all of our toilets and sinks water and stormsewers mix and discharge directly into the rivers, if the city/county were not to blame?  The answer is not that complicated like many others these days.  However, solutions are very expensive.

When Fort Wayne infrastructure was built around 1912 for our sanitary sewers (toilets) and stormsewers (the grates on the streets) they were two separate systems that were connected, toward the top, by a single pipe.  The sanitary sewers have a constant flow, the storm sewers surge with rain.  Since they are connected at the top with a smaller pipe, the mix of both pipes are released from the “outfall points.”  This pipe is a fail-safe type system, so when large rain events or flooding occurred, it would discharge into the waterways instead of coming up in your house.  This is not a bad idea, considering I am a homeowner as well.  SO ~ when built all those many years ago Fort Wayne, Indiana’s population was 52,057 in 1900 and 76,320 in 1912.  If you now count how many heads are flushing their toilets, that go to the same system that was built 100 years ago with some additions, the sewers are not able to process all that.  If you count the communities surrounding Fort Wayne that uses our “settling ponds” and infrastructure in 2010 …we are approaching 350,000 with the census numbers coming out soon.   Truly, the leaders of our city 100 years ago could not realize that the population would be so large and simply failed to plan accordingly.

Currently their are 42 CSO (Combined Sewer Overflows) or SSO (Sanitary Sewer Outfalls) discharge points locally, with 38 of those with permits allowing over 1 million gallons of water per day. These CSO’s are the combined “sanitary” (toilet water) and storm-sewer water are discharged out from these points with as little as a one-twelfth inch of rainfall or snowmelt.  In 2006 Save Maumee recorded 137 of these discharges.  Currently, the City of Fort Wayne reports on average 71 discharges per year and the Federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) allows 4 discharges per year.  Remember, what you flush down your toilet truly ends up in local streams. Be conscientious.

Pavement is one more component.  So in 1912 there were definitely not as many roads, sidewalks, driveways or roof tops.   Precipitation had a chance to “soak-in” rather than “run-off”.  The natural process of filtration through grasses (NOT the mowed kind) and trees allowed the water to release slowly and filter through ground water.  Now, when it rains the water is shed by running over pavement, picking up contaminants and loose soil.  It rinses off the oil, antifreeze, salt, lawn chemicals etc. and is quickly discharged into storm-sewers and is shed as fast as possible into nearby rivers and tributaries.  New stats from this Great Lakes Echo article discusses too much pavement stresses nearby streams.  Too much pavement and fast drainage and not enough productive green space may be topics of preponderance for the next 100 years.