Tag Archives: water

Chemicals and Gasoline contaminating 3-5 gallon water bottles?

Report put out byGREENUVM: “BURLINGTON – Vermont health officials are advising anyone who has purchased either 3-gallon or 5-gallon drinking water bottles since November 1, 2012 to open and check for gasoline odor before using the water.

Clean water is odorless. If you smell gasoline or chemical fumes, do not drink or use the water.

This precaution is being urged following reports from Massachusetts that plastic water bottles of these sizes may have become contaminated by being used to store fuel and then recycled back to drinking water bottlers.

Only 3-gallon or 5-gallon size bottled water containers are affected.

If you find a water bottle with an odor, notify the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation at 802-585-4912, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, after Super Storm Sandy struck the eastern seaboard in October, some gasoline shortages were reported in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and some residents used empty containers such as large water bottles to transport gasoline. Laboratory tests conducted by Massachusetts state officials on a sample taken from a 5-gallon container of Poland Springs bottled drinking water showed the presence of small amounts of chemicals including benzene. This indicates gasoline contamination.

Other bottled water suppliers who use refillable plastic bottles could also be affected by this event.

In the past three months, bottled water companies have had an increased number of returned water bottles found to contain gasoline residue or fumes. Despite disinfection and sanitation efforts, a small number of contaminated bottles are believed to have recycled back to consumers, based on a number of consumer complaints.

Neither the Vermont Department of Health nor the Department of Environmental Conservation, which regulates public drinking water supplies in the state, have received reports of contaminated bottled water.

The possible health effects of consuming water contaminated with these chemicals will depend on the amount of exposure. If you can smell chemicals, you can assume contamination. If you have health concerns, contact your health care provider.

If you use refillable bottled water containers for anything other than drinking water, for the protection of everyone, do not recycle back to the water supplier. “

Herring Habitat Monitoring Internship, Mystic River Watershed Association (Arlington, MA)

The Mystic River Watershed Association is happy to offer internship opportunities for summer 2013:

 Herring Habitat Monitoring Internship - 2 positions available – assist in a scientific study on habitat and river herring populations from May 6 through August 30.Help coordinate community water chestnut removal events!For all positions, the exact dates can be flexible depending on the candidate. These are unpaid positions.
The Mystic River Watershed Association is based in Arlington, MA and is accessible via several bus routes.
The Mystic River Watershed Association is an equal opportunity employer.

We hope you’ll consider joining our TEAM!

 

Also check out additional internship opportunities from MyRWA!

Aquatic Invasive Management Internship, Mystic River Watershed Association (Arlington, MA)

The Mystic River Watershed Association is happy to offer internship opportunities for summer 2013:

Aquatic Invasive Management Internship (Water Chestnut) – assist in organizing an effort to remove the invasive species Water Chestnut (Trapa natans) from the Mystic River. Responsibilities include organizing and assisting group and community events and managing teams of volunteers to remove plants from the river by canoe.

 

For all positions, the exact dates can be flexible depending on the candidate. These are unpaid positions.
The Mystic River Watershed Association is based in Arlington, MA and is accessible via several bus routes.
The Mystic River Watershed Association is an equal opportunity employer.

We hope you’ll consider joining our TEAM!

 

Check out additional internship opportunities with MyRWA!

Water Quality Monitoring Internship, Mystic River Watershed Association (Arlington, MA)

The Mystic River Watershed Association is happy to offer internship opportunities for summer 2013:

Water Quality Monitoring Internship (Cyanobacteria)2 positions available – will gather data on Cyanobacteria populations and key water quality parameters from approximately ten water bodies to safeguard the public health of residents who live in the watershed.

For all positions, the exact dates can be flexible depending on the candidate. These are unpaid positions.
The Mystic River Watershed Association is based in Arlington, MA and is accessible via several bus routes.
The Mystic River Watershed Association is an equal opportunity employer.

We hope you’ll consider joining our TEAM!

 

Check out additional internship opportunities with MyRWA!

Oct. 12: The Future of Water Symposium

Cloudy with a Chance of Solutions:
The Future of Water

Friday, October 12, 2012 | 9 am – 5 pm

 

Radcliffe Gymnasium, 10 Garden Street, Radcliffe Yard
Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Radcliffe Institute’s annual science symposium will focus on the important and challenging topic of water. Water is a theme that encompasses issues as varied as environmental contamination, public health, agricultural shortages, and geopolitical disputes. “Cloudy with a Chance of Solutions: The Future of Water” will focus on the ecological and human health hazards of environmental contaminants, the threats to drinking water of fracking, the promise of new technologies for water treatment, the need for national water policy, and the role of urban and other areas in conservation. The majority of the talks will focus on the “hard science” of water-related issues; others will offer the perspectives of experts from the policy, business, or urban-planning worlds to put the scientific discussions in a broader context and to link them thematically.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.  

For more information and to register, please visit www.radcliffe.harvard.edu or call 617-495-8600.

Register Now!

Watershed Management Assistant (Cambridge, MA)

Application deadline: August 3, 2012

The Watershed Management Division of the Cambridge Water Department is seeking an enthusiastic, self-motivated individual for the position of Watershed Management Assistant. The Watershed Management Assistant will support the Watershed Protection Supervisor in reservoir, tributary, and construction site monitoring and aid the Watershed staff with office and field activities. This position provides on-the-job training, opportunities for independent research, and experiences in natural resources management, field data collection and analysis, and watershed protection.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

• Assist Watershed Protection Supervisor with water quality monitoring;

• Conduct in-stream flow measurements;

• Manage water quality monitoring databases and assist with Annual Source Water Quality Report;

• Maintain and calibrate field equipment;

• Conduct construction site and dam inspections, as well as haz-mat spill response equipment inventories;

• Review site plans and draft comment letters

• Create GIS maps and develop/edit spatial data;

• Update Watershed Division website;

• Create posters, presentations, brochures, and other outreach materials for Watershed projects;

• Perform other duties as they arise.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Minimum requirements:

Candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree in one or more of the following areas: biology, hydrology, ecology, environmental sciences, or related natural sciences field. Must be proficient with Microsoft Office programs, ArcGIS. Strong Excel and Access skills a plus. Candidate must have the ability to work in field conditions on a daily basis, regardless of weather. Strong writing and verbal communication skills and attention to detail a must. Must have a valid driver’s license. Experience with water quality monitoring equipment, GIS/GPS, environmental sampling, water resources management desirable. Boating experience a plus.

Physical demands:

The Watershed Management Assistant will lead and assist in field sampling, so must be able to carry up to 25 lbs over rugged terrain, walk distances in wooded areas, and bend. Both office setting and field work will be required.

Rate: $34,723 yearly salary, health insurance, 13 paid holidays

One year position, 40hrs/week

Please send a cover letter and resume to David Kaplan at dkaplan@cambridgema.gov<

mailto:dkaplan@cambridgema.gov> or to the Cambridge Water Department, Attn: David Kaplan, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge, MA 02138

Jun 13: Citizen Scientist Training Workshop

Mystic River Watershed Association will offer a Citizen Scientist Training Workshop on Wednesday, June 13th, 6-8pm in Somerville. This Workshop allows interested volunteers to learn about water quality monitoring methods and concepts. By completing this workshop, you’ll be prepared to join MyRWA’s Baseline Monitoring Program. The Baseline Monitoring Program requires a monthly commitment between 6am and 8am. No experience is necessary – all are welcome!

Space is limited - you have to register for this event. To register email Beth@MysticRiver.org today!

Jun 26: Walking Tour of Blueback Herring River Route (Somerville, MA)

In collaboration with the Inner Core Committee, MetroFuture Walks & Talks will be hosting an afternoon walk from 3-4:30 pm on June 26 along the Blueback Herring River Route in Somerville. In the fall of 2009 the City of Somerville was awarded a grant by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust to create new opportunities for the community to access and enjoy the Mystic River. One component was to develop a safe pedestrian route from Foss Park to the Blessing of the Bay boathouse called the Blueback Herring River Route. We will gather at the Mystic Activity Center for a brief overview of the project and then we will walk along the 0.6 mile route and back (a total of 1.2 miles). Each participant will receive a copy of the Blueback Herring River Route map as well as a copy of the publication “How to Develop Walking Routes to the Lower Mystic River and its Tributaries: A Tool Kit”. Please note that portions of the sidewalks along the route are rough and uneven and may be difficult to navigate in a wheelchair or for people with other mobility difficulties. This event is made possible with funding provided by the Sustainable Communities grant and will take place rain or shine. RSVP here.

April showers and that resource called water

April showers have definitely arrived and our thoughts turn to that most valuable resource: water. Don’t let that rain outside fool you! Water is still in high demand and any efforts on our part to limit water waste make a world of difference.In fact, the Water, Systems and Society (WSSS) program is holding its 3rd annual symposium on April 27 and the theme is “The Glass Half Full: Valuing Water in the 21st Century“, exploring the various complex and interlinking factors of valuing water throughout developed and developing nations.

Here at Tufts, the Campus Sustainability Council’s Water Working Group has begun reviewing current usage and existing initiatives related to water, such as the installation of rain barrels to capture roof run-off for landscape irrigation and low-flow shower heads and dual-flush toilets as part of bathroom upgrades in residence halls. The group is working towards preparing specific “SMART” goals for the university over the coming months. Feel free to submit your suggestions for any of the Council’s working groups (the other two focus on Waste and Energy/Emissions) – the Office of Sustainability will collect and summarize the suggestions on behalf the Council.

On a related note, the 24oz light blue Nalgene with a water bottle-stomping elephant on it has become a familiar sight around the Tufts Medford campus. You may recall that beginning last fall, the sale of single-serving beverages was eliminated from Hodgdon Good-to-Go, thanks to a campaign by student action group Tufts Against Plastic (TAP). Tufts Dining supported the initiative and even helped promote it by giving away the clear “Choose to Reuse” water bottle for free with the sale a fountain drink during the first two weeks of the semester. (Dining has since made the Nalgene bottles available for sale wherever plastic bottles of water are still sold and they offer a beverage discount for those who bring reusable bottles to Hodgdon Good-to-Go, Tower Café, Mugar Café, and The Commons.)

A full semester after the initial change took place, Patti Klos, Director of Dining and Business Services, estimated a reduction of over 133,000 disposable bottles per semester! That’s 73% fewer bottles from the previous school year when single-serving beverage bottles were still sold in Hodgdon. Read more about this story.

In the meantime, let’s continue to work on keeping our personal water usage to a minimum – from shortening our showers to turning off the faucet when we brush our teeth. See our Green Guide to Living and Working at Tufts for more tips on how to conserve water.

- Anne Elise Stratton
Communications Intern, Office of Sustainability

Campus Sustainability Council update: Water Working Group kicks off


Since the official announcement from President Tony Monaco last February, members of the Campus Sustainability Council have been getting busy as each of the three working groups (focusing on Water, Energy/Emissions and Waste) began holding their regular meetings.

The Water Working Group met for the first time on March 2nd and reviewed its roles and responsibilities, which include reviewing current usage, existing initiatives and goals, as well as creating recommendations for goals and implementation plans to present to the Campus Sustainability Council.

The group found that very few institutions of higher education have any public water-related goals.  In fact, Johns Hopkins is one of a rare few that have a specific goal (to decrease university wide potable water consumption by 3%). The members also learned that many water-saving initiatives at Tufts are already underway, including:

  • Efforts to use ground water for irrigation
  • Low-flow shower heads in all Medford and Boston residence halls
  • Bathroom upgrades in Medford residence halls which include dual flush or low flush toilets
  • On‐going Medford campus condensate loss reduction efforts
  • Front Load washing machines requiring less water, energy and detergent installed in most residence hall laundry rooms
  • Rain barrels installed at 520 Boston Avenue to capture roof run‐off for landscape irrigation

The working group members discussed the differences between Tufts’ campuses, regulatory and compliance issues, the environmental impact of wastewater, ways to evaluate proposed solutions and appropriate metrics for evaluation.

Scott Horsley, a lecturer in the Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning department, and Bob Burns, Director of Tufts Facilities Services, are the co-chairs of the water working group and will be working to guide the group towards specific “SMART” goals for the university over the coming months. Sustainability standards will be incorporated into all proposals for new construction and renovation projects.

As always, Tufts community members are welcome to add their own suggestions for the working group through the easy, on-line form available on the Office of Sustainability’s website.