I can say without hesitation that 2020 will be a year that will always stand out in my memory. Never have we experienced such a rapid disruption to our lives; COVID has changed EVERTHING. Racial injustice has sparked widespread outcries in the U.S. and around the world. And here in Connecticut, many of us weathered […]
Author: Michael Dietz
Is your water safe to drink?
If you are like most people, as long as water comes out of the tap, you don’t give it much thought. If your water is supplied by a water company, stringent testing is required by law, and you will periodically receive results of the testing. If you are one of the 40% of Connecticut residents […]
Spring- time for…a soil test?
There’s nothing like the smell of fresh cut grass in the springtime…after a long winter we all seem to be longing for something green. Our lawns provide a place for recreation, but if not managed properly, they can cause problems for our local waters, and ultimately the Long Island Sound. Perhaps you fertilize your lawn, […]
Is there any hope to fix our salt problem? Perhaps…
Another winter has finally ended, and messy roads and salty cars are quickly becoming a distant memory. Where did all that salt go? The millions of tons of deicing salts that get applied to our roads either wash off into local streams, or move into the local groundwater. Yet another research study has recently come […]
Another winter approaches…here comes the salt
This is not my first blog about salt- in 2013 I detailed the problems we are facing in the Northeast with rising salt levels in our fresh waters in this blog. I have continued the monitoring in Eagleville Brook that I described in the past blog, and now four years later, I have the ability […]
What is a CFS anyway?
Certified Forestry Surveyor? Calculated Fournier Series? A recent conversation (most likely over a beer, but that doesn’t really factor in here…) with my neighbor provided fodder for this post. We were mapping out our route for opening day of fishing season, and I commented that the Fenton was running over 150 cfs, so it might […]
Drought in Connecticut? Who knew?
Connecticut is not the first place that would likely come to mind if I asked you to come up with a part of the country that experiences drought; the desert southwest and California might typically be first on the list. However, southern New England has received less than normal amounts of precipitation for the past […]
New Stormwater Regulations Spur a Look Back
Our family gatherings often involve interesting discussions (aka arguments) on politics, religion or other fun topics. Occasionally the conversations stray into the environmental arena. Although many in my family argue against “big government” getting in the way of everything, they have had to agree that some federal regulations like the Clean Water act and the […]
A small tribute to clean water in Connecticut’s capitol city.
Have you ever drunk water in a restaurant in the Hartford region? Maybe you live or work in one of the towns surrounding the City, and get your water from the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC)? We take this seemingly limitless supply of pure, clean water for granted, but in the not-so-distant past, obtaining water in […]
Targeting stormwater in Connecticut’s big cities, 1 rain garden at a time
Our older cities in the eastern part of the country have lots of character, however, along with this charm comes the unwanted effects of too much impervious surface draining into a combined sewer system. We have discussed this in a previous blog at CLEAR. Most large cities with combined sewer systems are under order from […]
NYC Climate March Draws Hundreds of Thousands
Over four hundred thousand people from around the country, young and old, took action yesterday to make a statement about climate change. This event was one of many taking place around the world (http://peoplesclimate.org/), and drew national news attention. My stepfather Trip Barnett attended the march, and he told me that it was a life […]
Bringing Some Green to Our Big Cities
When people think of Hartford and New Haven, “green” may not be the first thing that jumps to mind. However, recent efforts of the UConn Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) program are helping to make these cities a little bit greener, both figuratively and literally. This past June, NEMO partnered with Neighborhood Housing Services […]
The Power of Water
I have been known to occasionally get a bit sappy about water…and with good reason. I feel that I owe my passion for the environment, and for water specifically, to experiences and people that were part of my life as a young boy. My father, uncles and grandfather all took the time to take me […]
This winter will end…right?
“Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps. When, formerly, I have analyzed my partiality for some farm which I had contemplated purchasing, I have frequently found that I was attracted solely by a few square rods of […]
Water Please, Hold the Pharmaceuticals
The medicines that we all take are prescribed with the goal of improving our health in some way. Unfortunately, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals that we use are finding their way into our nation’s waterways, impacting aquatic life, and potentially threatening our health. There are two ways medications are finding their way into our water bodies, […]
What are the chances Halloween will be ruined again?
“Dad, is Halloween going to be cancelled again this year because of the weather?” It’s not a pleasant thought for kids dreaming of bags full of candy. Well, we are approaching the end of October, and for those of us who have been in Connecticut for the past few years, it seems appropriate to discuss […]
A Watershed Moment
Many of us have heard about watershed protection efforts. Perhaps you live in a drinking water supply watershed. Poor Willy Wonka was wrongly accused of poisoning the watershed of his brown river (it turned out to be chocolate). But what is a watershed, really? In physical terms, a watershed is an area of land that […]
The Salt of the Earth
Although signs of spring are appearing around us (crocuses are up at my house!), the remnants of winter linger. Piles of dirty snow snow still litter the landscape, refusing to yield to the lengthening days. Very soon our thoughts and activities will turn to all things spring; snowplows and road salt will be distant memories. […]
Dietz Gets Sappy About Water
It’s funny sometimes how seemingly unrelated events help to congeal an idea in your head (or in my case remind you of an idea that you had thought about before, and then forgotten…I am 40 after all!). Earlier this week I finally checked out the NPR story that Don Waye from EPA had sent, that […]
Rain Garden App!
I’ve only had my iPhone since May 2011. It’s not that I didn’t think they were cool and useful (I had bought one for my wife a year before), I just was trying to delay joining the “in crowd” for a while longer. Now it seems like I have had it forever, and it is […]