Monday, April 27, 2015

Wastewater Treatment Tours for Superior students in 5th grade start this week

The warmer weather is here and we're eagerly awaiting Superior's 5th graders to come tour the Wastewater Treatment Plant.   We are glad that Four Corners, Cathedral, Lake Superior, Great Lakes, Cooper and Bryant Schools will be coming over the next few weeks.  The tours will last 2 hours and include and indoor portion where the students will act out wastewater treatment and participate in interactive quizzes about the treatment process and the importance of knowing what not to flush and that stormwater, in most cases in Superior, does NOT come here for treatment but rather flows out to local streams untreated.  The outdoor portion is walking through the steps just as the water would flow arriving here, getting cleaned, and then released out to the Superior bay.
The City of Superior pays for the buses to transport the students to the plant.  We are thankful for the teachers who make time in their busy class schedules to have the students come here to learn more about this process.
As the almost 300 students come through and see the wastewater treatment process they will also learn how to help educate others about what not to flush which will help in preventing pollution to the bay and Lake Superior.  The sights (we have a nice location right on the bay) and smells (really not too bad!) are part of getting to know this important process that is at work 24 hours a day.  A team of over 40 people work here : a mix of engineers, operators, collections crew, administration, educators, and other specialists. 

Can you put the following steps in order? 

If you have a small group of people from your organization, church, workplaces or even neighbors that would like to take a tour, give us a call 715/394-0392. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Scoop the Poop Event Next Week!!!

Get a jump start on Scoop the Poop Week (April 24 - 30)!!!
Come in and make LAWN SIGNS and/or BUTTONS to promote picking up pet waste!
It's a FREE EVENT!! (RSVP at 715-394-0392 or to ensure we'll have enough materials)
Support Scoop the Poop!! 

When: Tuesday April 21, 2015
            5-7 PM
Where: 51 E 1st St (ESD offices/Wastewater Treatment Plant - across E 2nd & railroad tracks from Golden Inn/Animal Hospital)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Copper-free brake pads

Copper-Free Brake Initiative

On January 21, 2015, EPA, states and the automotive industry signed an agreement to reduce the use of copper and other materials in motor vehicle brake pads. The agreement calls for reducing copper in brake pads to less than 5 percent by weight in 2021 and 0.5 percent by 2025.
In addition to copper, this voluntary initiative reduces mercury, lead, cadmium, asbestiform fibers, and chromium-6 salts in motor vehicle brake pads.
The Initiative will decrease runoff of these materials from roads into the nation’s streams, rivers and lakes. Copper from stormwater runoff can affect fish, amphibians, invertebrates and plants.
This initiative includes:
  • Education and outreach to bring about the nationwide reduction in brake pads of copper and the other materials.
  • Testing friction materials and constituents for alternatives.
  • Marking and labeling friction material packaging and product.
  • Providing reporting registrars’ and agents’ contact information to manufacturers, suppliers and other industry entities.
  • Working towards achieving the goals in the Copper-Free Brake Initiative within specified timeframes.
Numbers on copper reductions:
California and Washington already passed requirements to reduce these materials in brake pads. Prior to these requirements, fine dust from vehicular braking released an estimated 1.3 million pounds of copper into California’s environment in 2010 and about 250,000 pounds into Washington’s environment in 2011. Estimates for California show as much as a 61-percent reduction of copper in urban runoff due to changes in brake pad composition.
In addition to EPA, the Environmental Council of the States and eight industry groups signed the initiative: Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association; Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association; Brake Manufacturers Council; Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association; Auto Care Association; Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; Association of Global Automakers, Inc.; and the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association.

The above information is from

Science Night at UWS is coming up April 10

There will be over 50 booths at this event.  Stop by.  Learning. Prizes. Fun.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Clean up the Outdoors

Clean Up the Outdoors

The city of Superior Public Works Department has street sweeping April through the fall and the brush pickup is happening in late April.  Sand was applied to roads during the winter time for driving safety.  Now that the snow is mostly gone the sand remains.  The city picks it up and it heads to a temporary site and then to the landfill.   Some cities do not use sand.  However, there are temperatures that salt doesn’t work (too cold) so sand was a way to add traction for safety during those icy times.   We don’t want the sand – or loose soil – to go down storm drains to head to local streams.   Ensure that soil erosion is reduced by having plant roots in place to hold the soil and find ways to reduce the flow of stormwater such as by putting in a rain barrel or having less impervious surfaces.  Water picks up things as it flows over surfaces.  If the surfaces are clean or held in tack it won’t move things.    

There are two free landfill days scheduled  - one on April 25 and the other on May 2.  From 8 AM until 2:30 PM on those days the City of Superior residents can drop off household trash, brush, tires, grass clippings and used motor oil for free.  To drop-off of a mattress you will have to pay $10 each or $13 to drop one off if damp, wet, or heavily soiled.  From the tour we had at the landfill in the fall, about 18,000 mattress are brought to the Superior landfill each year and not very many of them are recycled because they come in wet.  So keep your unwanted mattress dry so that it can go through the program at Goodwill that recycles all the materials. 
  As a reminder recyclables, electronics, appliance, demolition/construction material, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and household hazardous waste are not accepted at the landfill.  

Also, be sure to pick up pet waste as you walk your dog.  It’s natural material and would ‘go away’ in time but by picking it up you are removing the chance for stormwater to move some of the pet waste and have it travel down a storm drain. 

Finally, inevitably there is litter around.  The wind blew it, the rain moved it, or someone litters on purpose.    Put on a pair of rubber gloves and do some litter pickup for areas in town.  It will be a great way to bring beauty to our city.  Parks, yards, and areas in town will soon have flowers in bloom.  Let’s let the flowers color the lawns and not litter.
Enjoy the warmer days and longer days ahead.  Get out and go for a walk.  Admire our local streams and the shore of Lake Superior and bay.  We really do live in a beautiful place.