You can be a good steward of the environment right in your own back yard...
...a message from MPW Commissioner Dr. Diane Lauritsen
"Next time you visit Alhambra Hall in Mount Pleasant's Old Village, be sure to see the Riparian Buffer Project near the water's edge. It will give you some ideas on how to protect the environment in your own yard. Riparian buffers are vegetative barriers planted near the tidal zone to help protect local water quality. Here's how it works
Each time it rains, excess nitrogen from contaminants such as fertilizers and animal waste, washes into the water. This run-off reduces oxygen levels in the water and upsets the delicate balance of marine life in local ecosystems. This is also known as Non-Point Source Pollution. By planting a buffer, the plant roots add oxygen to the water and help absorb excess nitrogen. The plants provide a natural cleansing to keep the water healthy for fish, crabs and other marine creatures."
So please visit Alhambra Hall -- and discover a few of nature's ideas to help the environment.
Click here for more information about the Riparian Buffer Project at Alhambra Hall.
Source Water Assessment and Protection
How vulnerable is the Middendorf to contamination?
The Middendorf Aquifer is a confined water source, trapped between two layers of solid rock or clay. Geologists tell us that some of the water we withdraw from the Middendorf was trapped in the aquifer when it was formed more than one million years ago, that the water we withdraw has been confined in the aquifer for at least 10,000 years, and is pristine.
We treat the water we pump from the Middendorf with reverse osmosis (RO) to remove dissolved solids and perform all of the required laboratory tests on the water; however, by the very nature of the aquifer, there is virtually no way, except through contamination at a wellhead, that this water can be contaminated with industrial age metals and chemicals.
The Commission has worked aggressively to see that wellhead contamination through improperly constructed wells was eliminated through Capacity Use Designation of the Middendorf Aquifer. Capacity Use requires that any new wells in the aquifer go through a permitting process. As part of that process, the well construction design will be reviewed and only approved if the design meets standards to prevent wellhead contamination. Also, appropriate hydraulic studies will be conducted to see that the withdrawals of existing users of the aquifer are protected.
In 1996, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) authorized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct Source Water Assessments on public water systems. These assessments, to be completed by May 2003, will identify potential sources of contamination for source water, assess how susceptible the drinking water source is to contamination, and make the assessments available to the public. The purpose is to assure water quality by preventing source contamination before it occurs.
Wellhead Protection Programs
The 1986 SDWA amendments established state Wellhead Protection (WHP) programs to protect groundwater that supply wells and well fields contributing drinking water to public water systems. This will involve calculating a 10 year time of travel (TOT) using computer models to estimate a well's recharge area that will serve as the source water protection area. MPW has completed a TOT study of our six municipal wells and our ASR wells.
Marsh View Trail
Mount Pleasant Waterworks officially donated a conservation easement to the Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy. This conservation easement is significant for two primary reasons. Collaborating with a government agency that is interested in voluntarily protecting a portion of our natural environment is substantial enough, but the fact that this conserved area will be open to the public for community enjoyment is an extra layer of benefit that we should all celebrate.
The 57 acre conservation easement contains 6.5 acres of high ground on the back portion of the MPW Operations Center. A paved walking path that was previously installed will now be available for public access. A gate will remain open during daylight hours to permit the community access to the new Marsh View Trail. The pine and oak lined trail winds through the preserved area and opens up to amazing unobstructed marsh views.
Mount Pleasant Waterworks is pleased to partner with the MPLC in the preservation of this land. Our commitment to protecting our natural resources is essential to the future of Mount Pleasant and our quality of life. We hope that it brings recreational enjoyment to residents as well as the important preservation of this beautiful piece of land.
The Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy is a non profit land trust that was created to protect land and natural resources that contribute to the unique Mount Pleasant and East Cooper quality of life. This includes wetlands, upland property, scenic vistas and public spaces such as parks. To find out more about the MPLC and the new Marsh View Trail visit www.mountpland.org.