A drop in the bucket

The children gathered round, watching in anticipation as Lauren Haydon, an educator with the Washington Conservation District, slowly poured water from a graduated cylinder into smaller and smaller vessels. “Only 3% of all of the water on earth is freshwater,” she explained as she poured. “And of that amount, two-thirds is trapped in glaciers.” She…

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Land wanted – Must have bugs

I’m standing in the middle of a prairie making a conference call on my cellphone because that’s what working moms do. Every few minutes, I catch a glimpse of my son as he lopes into view, diving into the bee balm and through the black-eyed susans. Then suddenly he appears directly in front of me and,…

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Hugo and Forest Lake find innovative ways to Reduce, Reuse & Replenish

Like most suburban communities, the City of Hugo uses nearly half of its municipal water supply to provide some form of irrigation. Unlike most communities, the city is telling residents in some neighborhoods to go ahead and keep the sprinklers running. It’s not that Hugo wants to waste water. In fact, the city is keenly…

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Tip-toeing through the Tamaracks

If you sit very quietly in the middle of a tamarack fen and close your eyes, you can hear a goose honking in the distance, a red-winged blackbird trilling from the cattails, and 24 little kids, desperately trying to be still. Woodbury’s Tamarack Nature Preserve is the southern-most tamarack swamp in Minnesota and a jewel…

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Learning to care for your well and septic system can help to prevent catastrophe

Free workshop at Washington County Fairgrounds: Oct. 2, 5:30-7:30pm During my sophomore year of high school, my mother and I moved into a new house on the edge of town. Surrounded by thick bushy pines and nestled on a three-acre chunk of land, the amenities of the yard made up for the fact that it…

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Sprinklers running? Better catch them!

75% of homes with automated irrigation systems have at least one broken sprinkler head. Is yours one of them?

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Minnesotans Call for New Legislation to Promote Smart Salting

Written in partnership with Watershed Partners: http://www.cleanwatermn.org More than ten years ago, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) came to a frightening realization. After testing lakes and streams in the Twin Cities metro area, they discovered that chloride levels in many were climbing, and that some were already too salty to support fish. Further testing…

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Research on Costs for New Water Supplies Highlights Importance of Conservation

Building a water treatment plant on the St. Croix or Mississippi River would cost $68-184.9 million, depending on where the plant is located and how many communities it serves.

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Smart Salting – Save Money, Do Good

Many homeowners and most businesses use way more salt than necessary. In reality, a relatively light dusting with about 3-inches of space between each granule of salt is enough to melt ice effectively without wasting salt.

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Washington County Embarks on New Business Partnership to Save Money and Reduce Water Use

Washington County is reaching out to area businesses with an offer they can’t refuse – cut costs while protecting local water supplies. The outreach effort, conducted in partnership with the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTap) at the University of Minnesota includes two components: 1) Free, in-depth water efficiency consultations, conducted by MnTAP engineering staff;  and…

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