Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Future of Stormwater Management

 

Kansas City has become a national leader in stormwater management by combining green infrastructure and digital technology! Read about why we should push for Stormwater Utility near us!

PROBLEM WITH COMBINED SEWERS

Sewers are buried 8 ft underground which creates the perfect out of sight out of mind illusion. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are 748 U.S. cities with combined sewer systems, totaling more than 9,000 raw-sewage outfalls, discharging an estimated 850 billion gallons of untreated sewage into U.S. waterways annually (Features, Sidewalk Talk. “The Future of Stormwater Management Runs through Kansas City”). 

THE FUTURE OF STORMWATER MANAGEMENT RUNS THROUGH KANSAS CITY

During heavy rainfalls, stormwater runoff enters the city’s aging combined sewer system, where it mixes with raw sewage, fills the pipe beyond its capacity, and discharges its overflow through those outfalls and straight into the Blue River. It pollutes riverbanks, parks, beaches, marine life, and drinking water on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

KANSAS CITY’S UNIQUE SOLUTION

Kansas City created the unique solution called Smart Sewer Program. Smart Sewer Program: combining green infrastructure to soak up excess rainfall and monitor the rain flow using digital technology. The solution lies in working with the water and not against it. As Kansas City is experiencing more extreme rainfall than it did 10 years ago, the sewer discharge is declining thanks to this program!

USING GREENERY TO CAPTURE RAINFALL

To help alleviate the amount of rainfall flowing into sewage systems above ground installations such as rain gardens, bioswales, planted medians, curb bump-outs, and street tree plantings with deep soil cells were introduced. This helped to gather, retain, and use stormwater while also keeping it from overwhelming the sewer system. These solutions  soak up rainfall like a sponge.

CLOUD BASED TECHNOLOGY

Kansas City controls the volume of water in the Gardner Reservoir by using a valve that’s controlled by cloud connected sensors and local weather forecasts. If the reservoir is full and a storm is coming, the technology opens the valve to drain some water and closes it before the storm comes.

source: https://medium.com/sidewalk-talk/the-future-of-stormwater-management-runs-through-kansas-city-1c4b3dfe219b

 

Ross Lake Journal: Early July

 ROSS LAKE JOURNAL: EARLY JULY 

We are going native with our garden at Ross Lake Park.  Local pollinators, such as butterflies, bees and birds are all adapted to native New Jersey plants.  Their flowers are as varied as the pollinators that visit.  This time of year brings scarlet bee balm, purple coneflowers, and moonbeam tickseed.  Blazing stars send up flower covered spikes and the drooping white flowers of the sweet pepperbush attract with their sweet fragrance. 

  1. Purple coneflower  (Echinacea)
  2. Scarlet beebalm. (Monarda)

3. Moonbeam tickseed (Coreopsis)

4. Blazing star (Liatris)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Sweet pepperbush  (Cethra)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What We Have to Offer

What We Have to Offer

Whether it be trails, parks, brook preserves, a lake or a beach… we got it all! Check out all the awesome places to explore.

  • Takanassee Beach
  • Takanassee Lake
  • Ross Lake Park
  • Tak Trestle Trail
  • Weltz Park
  • Whale Pond Brook Preserve

Watersheds: What are they and why are they important?

What are watersheds? 

Watersheds are areas of land that channels rainfall and snowmelt to streams, creeks, and rivers eventually to outflow areas such as oceans, bays, or reservoirs. These bodies of water supply our drinking water, water for agriculture and manufacturing, and hosts some of our favorite recreational actives such as canoeing or fishing.

Why We Need Clean and Healthy Watersheds

Watersheds play an important part in sustaining life. Various forms of pollution, including runoff and erosion, can interfere with the health of watersheds. They are important to everyone and everything that uses and depends on water. Watersheds can provide critical services such as clean drinking water, productive fisheries, and outdoor recreation that support our economies, environment, and quality of life.

What you can do to help

  • Conserve water; take shorter showers, fix leaks, and turn off the water when not in use
  • Don’t over apply fertilizers; go organic or use slow release fertilizers
  • Pick up after your pets and dispose of waste properly
  • Drive less; try walking or biking more
  • Make an effort to teach others how they can conserve and help protect local watersheds
  • Attend local clean ups/pick up any trash you may see along your way.

Facts and Figures

A national water quality survey of the nation’s rivers and streams showed that 55% of the nation’s flowing waters are in poor biological condition (U.S. EPA, 2013).

Nearly 40% of fish in North American freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes are found to be vulnerable, threatened,  or endangered; nearly twice as many as were included on the imperiled list from a similar survey conducted in 1989 (Jelks et al., 2008).

Champions of Green Infrastructure

Congratulations!

Scott and Carin Sharp have completed the Champions of Green Infrastructure Course with Dr Chris Obropta, Rutgers Water Resources Division.  Just in time to help run our new storm water campaign.  Our goal is to have each town adopt the most stringent requirements of the NJDEP Storm Water Rules by March 2021.  This will go a  long way to help us stop the property runoff that floods our streets and ruins the water quality of our lakes and streams.

 

Ross Lake Volunteer Job List – May 2020

 

Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3 are expected to be beautiful days.  Now is the time to prepare the gardens for even more beautiful days in the future.  Routine garden maintenance is a great way to get out of the house, enjoy the weather and lift your mood.  So, head to Ross Lake with a sharp pair of bypass pruners and your favorite weeding tools.  Come when you feel like it.

 

Even though there is no volunteer time schedule, a logical sequence of work is important to think about.  The following tasks are listed by seasonal importance.  In other words, these are the things that need to be done at this particular time of the year.  They are listed in order of most important to least important.

  1. Finish pruning the Red Twig Dogwood at the east and west entrances to the trail.The ones at the west end are in the most need of pruning.  Start by removing some of the “runners” that grow horizontally along the ground.  Then, remove all dead stems.  These are easy to spot now.  The stems are brown or grey, without buds or leaves.  Nothing else on the dogwood should be pruned.  They are getting ready to bloom!
  2. Remove all leaves, grass and weeds underneath shrubs.Clear the area to about one foot past the outer branches, especially around those shrubs that are nearest to the street.  Long Branch DPW mows the grass between the curb and the garden.  Most maintenance crews like to have a “margin of error” so that the they don’t have to bring their mowers too close to the shrubs.
  3. Remove any invasive vines or plants growing in the grasses between the path and the lake.They are easy to spot now, but they will be hidden soon.

4.  Remove all plants growing in the path.

 

 

Butterflies lay their eggs on the dead flower stems in the pollinator garden.  They also serve as markers for emerging plants we want to keep.  Let’s leave them for now.

 

If you want to do some digging, some of the grasses need to be replanted at the end of Red Oaks Drive, across the lake.  The soil around the roots may have eroded during the winter, exposing the root ball.  They are beginning to grow, however, in spite of root exposure.

 

 

Please be considerate of any visitors by wearing a face covering.

Practice social distancing while gardening.

 

The Ross Lake Garden Committee

Where does the water go when you empty your pool?

Do you put a hose from your pool to the street to empty your pool?

 

Do you know that the water goes into the street and down the storm drain.  Storm drains do NOT go to the sewer treatment plant. They lead to the nearest body of water, for instance Takanassee Lake.

 

So what can you do?

Swimming Pool Waste Water Fountains are designed to re-purpose properly balanced swimming pool waste water for irrigation.  They can be used with sand or cartridge filtration systems.  Their spray aerates waste water by sending it approximately six feet into the air.  The returning water falls back to the ground like rain typically covering 100 square feet where it can be absorbed into the soil and water the grass.

And what about the grass?  Chlorine levels are reduced through the process of aerating swimming pool water.

Waste Water Fountains also reduce the soil erosion normally caused by the forceful blast of a wastewater hose.

Construction is typically durable HDPE plastic.  Some models are light enough to carry around with your fingertips.  The ones made of HDPE are also recyclable.

You can also talk to someone from your Green Team and ask them to add an ordinance to your town Master Plan.

Here is a sample of a town ordinance in Monmouth County. Check your town’s stormwater ordinance and see what it says.

Per ordinance, it is unlawful to discard, spill or dump any material other than storm water into the municipal storm water system. Further, an illicit connection which is defined as any system that discharges domestic sewerage, swimming pool water, process wastewater or pollutants, is prohibited from discharging to the storm water system. Swimming pool water must be disposed of on the pool owner’s property.  Waste water fountains are a good option to reduce water consumption, recycle pool water onsite and minimize soil erosion. The purpose of this ordinance is pollution and contamination prevention.

 

Swimming Pool Waste Water Fountains are designed to re-purpose properly balanced swimming pool waste water for irrigation.  They can be used with sand or cartridge filtration systems.  Their spray aerates waste water by sending it approximately six feet into the air.  The returning water falls back to the ground like rain typically covering 100 square feet where it can be absorbed into the soil and water the grass.

And what about the grass?  Chlorine levels are reduced through the process of aerating swimming pool water.

Waste Water Fountains also reduce the soil erosion normally caused by the forceful blast of a wastewater hose.

Construction is typically durable HDPE plastic.  Some models are light enough to carry around with your fingertips.  The ones made of HDPE are also recyclable.

 

 

Rain gardens, butterfly gardens and raft rides to Ross Island

On a fall day in September, Department of Public Works crews from three towns on the Whale Pond Brook watershed assembled  in the new Long Branch Public Library meeting space.  They were there to learn from Dr Chris Obropta, Rutgers Water Resources Program.  The workshop, ‘How to Design and Build a Rain Garden’ was the first step in providing the ability of the towns to create their own rain gardens.     On Tuesday, October 15 the shovel hit the ground at the Ocean Township Community Pool entrance rain garden.  It was an exciting day and the beginning of a desire that began three years ago.  On October 16 the plants, purchased by the OT Environmental Commission were planted by volunteers from the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association and Sara Mellor, Water Resources Program staff.  Stay tuned for more rain gardens to come on the watershed.

Ocean Township DPW crew, Chris Perez and Sara Mellor, Rutgers Water Resources

 

different soils mixed together
stones on top of cloth
ready for the plants

laying out the plants

viola!

On Friday, October 18 the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association and the Long Branch Green Team sponsored an event at Ross Lake Park. It was the first anniversary of the grand opening of Ross Lake Park.  The City celebrated by running raft rides to the park.  We had a rock painting table and tours of the all native shrub and pollinator garden. It was a fun day for the neighborhood.

thanks to our volunteers who share the love
the Long Branch DPW crew did a great job ferrying
we were so happy to see Joy Bastelli

children had fun painting rocks with Carin
hydrangea
hibiscus
bee on sweet pepper