Local

April 26, 2013

What goes down stormdrain will come up

JEFFERY SCHONE
56th Civil Engineer Squadron

Do you know what is going down your storm drain? At Luke Air Force Base, we have more than 1,400 industrial processes that could potentially harm Arizona’s watershed. Now consider the 1.5 million residents in the Valley!

Rain storms can flush the smallest amounts of pollutants from parking lots, streets, driveways, pressure washing activities or lawns and send them into the storm drain system that eventually ends up in rivers, streams and lakes. Ultimately, these pollutants can migrate into the groundwater.

One household may produce minimal amounts of pollutants but the combined quantity of pollution from everyone in the community may be cause for concern. Pollutants in the water run-off can poison fish and other aquatic life, and make water unsafe for drinking and swimming. Employees and residents can help protect stormwater and ground water systems by practicing pollution prevention initiatives.

Some healthy industrial and household habits to reduce water pollution include:

Vehicle maintenance
Use a commercial car wash or wash vehicles on a lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty, soapy water flowing into the storm drain and eventually into the local water body. The Luke car wash is located at Bldg. 247.

Check cars, boats, motorcycles, and other machinery and equipment for leaks, and spills. Make repairs as soon as possible. Clean up spilled fluids with an absorbent material like kitty litter or sand, and avoid rinsing any spills into a nearby storm drain. Remember to properly dispose of the absorbent material.

Recycle used oil, grease, and other automotive, industrial or household fluids. Avoid dumping these chemicals on the ground, down the storm drain, or in the trash. These chemicals have the potential to contaminate run-off and leach into the groundwater. Base residents should perform auto repairs and maintenance at the auto skills shop located in Bldg. 248.

Yard maintenance
Over-fertilization is a common problem, and the excess can contaminate rivers, streams and lakes.

Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. Only use these chemicals in the recommended amounts. Avoid application four days prior to a forecast for rain otherwise, chemicals will be washed into the local stream.

Select native plants and grasses that are drought and pest-resistant. Native plants require less water and fertilizer and fewer pesticides.
Sweep up yard debris, rather than hosing down areas. Compost or recycle yard waste when possible.

Avoid over-watering the lawn. Water during the cool times of the day, and don’t allow water run-off into the storm drain.

Cover piles of dirt and mulch being used in landscaping projects to prevent these pollutants from blowing or washing off the yard and into local water bodies.

Vegetate or place a groundcover on bare spots in the yard to prevent soil erosion.

Clean up after pets and dispose of the waste in the trash or down the toilet. Pet waste contains viruses and bacteria that can contaminate surface and groundwater and is the number one culprit in stormwater pollution in Arizona.

Home repair and facility improvements
Prior to beginning an outdoor project, locate the nearest storm drains and protect them from debris and other materials.

Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar.

Use nonhazardous materials or water based paints. Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents and cleaners in the smallest amounts possible, and follow the directions on the label. Clean up spills immediately, and dispose of the waste safely.

Never leave hazardous substances outdoors on the ground. Store them properly to avoid leaks and spills. For information on properly storing and disposing of excess hazardous material, call the Luke hazardous material chief at (623) 856-4748.

Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled and recyclable products whenever possible for cleaning (ex. baking soda, distilled white vinegar and ammonia are safer alternatives to caustic chemicals and are less expensive). You can find some great alternatives at www.Earth911.com.
Properly dispose of excess paints through a household hazardous waste collection program, or donate unused paint to local organizations.
Homeowners can contact the local city to learn about the next household hazardous waste turn-in event or a certified drop-off location near the residence.

Everyone must work together to keep Luke and the surrounding areas as pollutant-free as possible. By considering the environment when planning daily activities, individuals can minimize their contribution to stormwater and groundwater pollution. Water is one of the nation’s most valuable natural resources. It must be protected for current and future generations.

Together, we all make a difference.

For more information about stormwater pollution prevention, visit www.azSTORM.org or call (623) 856-8486.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Airman 1st Class 
CORY GOSSETT

MRA graduates 11,000 strong

Airman 1st ClassCORY GOSSETT Detachment 12, 372nd Training Squadron mission-ready Airmen perform a preflight check July 21 on an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Luke Air Force Base. The MRA program teaches Airmen F-16 launching, recove...
 
 

In your comfort zone? Get out!

Being promoted means you are ready to take on the next level of roles and responsibilities, but how do you prepare for the next level of responsibilities? One tactic that has worked for me is to step outside my comfort zone. By doing this, I’ve learned more about the Air Force and experienced more situations...
 
 

Service before self, but don’t forget about self

As Airmen, we live and breathe the Air Force core values on a daily basis. However, don’t let our second core value, service before self, distract you from actually taking care of yourself. In my 13 years of active-duty service, there is one regret I hear most from people both in and out of the...
 

 
Senior Airman Jenna Sarvinski

Life, Liberty, pursuit of happiness brings Kenyan student to America

Senior Airman Jenna Sarvinski Senior Airman Robert Cheruiyot, 56th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, greets Gen. Julius Waweru Karangi, chief of the defense forces, Kenya. Karangi and Cheruiyot met in a chance enc...
 
 

News Briefs August 1, 2014

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct an active-shooter exercise Aug. 15. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Staff Sgt. Gregory Scharp 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Phase floor chief Hometown: Sparta, New Jersey Years in service: Six Family: Wife, Maggie Education: Community College of the Air Force aircraft maintenance technology Previous assignments: Moody Air Force Base, Georgia; and Osan Air Base, South Korea Inspirations: Music and my wife Goals: To complete a bachelor’s...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin