America’s Failing Water Infrastructure: There are Ways We Can Begin to Fix It

Jun 06

America’s Failing Water Infrastructure: There are Ways We Can Begin to Fix It

There are many variables threatening America’s water from pollution issues and aging infrastructure to raising costs and droughts and rainfall patterns as the climate changes. The U.S. used to be a leader when it came to water infrastructure and management. Now, the U.S. is lagging behind receiving D ratings for dams, drinking water and wastewater. It’s time to start focuses on possible solutions to curb these issues – the U.S. can get A ratings and below are some of the solutions that may get the nation where it needs to be. It starts with creating a national-level governance. Water technically has no boundaries and is very good at sometimes ignoring the municipal boundaries it does have. So what does this mean? One town’s water use or sewage can affect other cities or states that rely on the same water supply. That’s why many countries have a national water authority or commission that oversees water management across the country. The U.S. does not and we’re exactly the opposite. Our nation’s water supply is managed by individual municipalities each doing their own thing. This creates numerous hurdles to climb and makes it difficult to initiate and complete regional projects. To do almost anything, there needs to be a budget and that’s the case with water infrastructure. The government spends only two percent of its GDP on infrastructure, and water infrastructure makes up just a part of that. The U.S. is spending less than Vietnam, Mexico, and Chile. If the U.S. wants nice things, like a water infrastructure that does not fail us, then the U.S. has to be willing to pay for them. One possible solution that most do not consider is the private investor sector. Many investors are interested in investing in water-related issues, but they want to know more about the social and environmental effects their investments will have. The problem is that there are a lot of inconsistencies in how companies report these estimates. It has been suggested that investors, academics and regulators need to team up to create a standardized system of evaluating the impacts of sustainable investments. Another challenge is getting investors to understand how complex and important water is, since it affects agriculture and many...

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Algae-Blooms Along Florida’s Coastline Create Crisis

Jul 07

Algae-Blooms Along Florida’s Coastline Create Crisis

There are many waterways in Florida and a plethora of beautiful beaches that draw the attention of residents and tourist, alike. Unfortunately, the massive algae blooms have become a growing concern due to contamination and pollutants in lakes, rivers and even beaches along Florida’s east coast. So much so that a state of emergency was recently called along Florida’s coastline with the current algae bloom affecting the region being attributed to discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater body in the state.  In an effort to find a lasting solution, new wastewater systems will be funded as cities across Florida address best management procedures for the algae-blooms. The recipe for algae blooms has four ingredients: Warm water, Long, sunny days for photosynthesis, the process plants use to turn sunlight into food. High levels of nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, for fuel and no more than a pinch of salt in the water. The Lake’s freshwater also reduces salinity in the estuary, which should ideally have both a mix of salt and fresh water. The particular type of blue-green algae that has afflicted the nearby St. Lucie River, as well as, the Indian River Lagoon, contains toxins that can cause stomach and intestinal illness, respiratory distress, allergic reactions, skin irritations and liver damage. Swimming or wading in a bloom can cause skin irritation, hives, blisters and rashes. A side note: Septic tank runoff has also become a major contributor to the pollution in the local waterways. Septic systems failures can occur when wastewater either breaks out at the surface or seeps into the soils and travels to groundwater sources, contaminating the water and threatening public health. Coming soon: Perma-Liner Industries is busy making plans for you. We’re planning a “Trenchless Tour” on July 27th in Waterbury, CT. Click Here to Register! Or call 1-866-336-2568. See you...

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Miami’s Shifting Sea Wall Elevation and Waterfront Homes

Jun 23

Miami’s Shifting Sea Wall Elevation and Waterfront Homes

In Miami, many tourists and residents alike find the charm of the city has a pull of its own.  An array of pleasing characteristics make Miami an ideal place to reside. While beautiful homes surround waterfront lots, there are important factors to consider when looking into local real estate. A question that one may ask: does the street flood during extreme tides? The city is part of a region where climate change will fuel sea-level rise by as much as 10 inches, over the levels of decades ago, by 2030. So ‘will it flood?’ is a buyer’s question. South Florida is home to 6 million people and is projected to grow by 3 million over the next three decades. Most of the estimates of growth rely on the continued enticement of the beaches, waterways and natural environment. Yet, by 2050, an estimated $15 billion to $36 billion of Florida’s coastal property will be threatened by sea-level rise. Additionally, climate change has a role to play, particularly for the resources of roads and sewer lines in low-lying areas, and storm and flood insurance rates. Residents, for those reasons, are now looking for reassurance that their investments will be secure. Many are beginning to realize that protecting people and property from more intense storms, higher temperatures and sea-level rise will require a massive investment in ideas and infrastructure. Currently there are changes to base flood elevation requirements with increases to sea wall elevation. Developers have started marketing storm-resistant homes and resilient buildings, such as a high-rise in downtown Miami designed to withstand 300-mph winds. Coming soon: Perma-Liner Industries is busy making plans for you. We’re planning a Trenchless Tour on July 27th in the New England area. We’ll be posting more information on this spectacular event…stay tuned! Click here to...

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