Death by dirty water: Storm runoff a risk for fish  – Bellingham Herald

As if you needed to better understand the importance of rain gardens, stormwater runoff and salmon, after my last post, here’s the next thing in my inbox. Another recent experiment that shows the affects that stormwater has on aquatic species.

Just hours into the experiment, the prognosis was grim for salmon that had been submerged in rain runoff collected from one of Seattle’s busiest highways. One by one, the fish were removed from a tank filled with coffee-colored water and inspected: They were rigid. Their typically red gills were gray….. This was the fate of coho salmon exposed to the everyday toxic brew of dirt, metals, oil and other gunk that washes off highway pavement after rains and directly into Puget Sound. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

2 Responses

  1. Deb, I have heard that presentation too, and I am not convinced the science used to make those assumptions she claimed is valid. We do not compost sewage sludge, I was told, for the compost that the city sells for garden use. At least that’s what the guys at the city told me in response to that allegation. For example, in Seattle, the compost is kitchen waste and clean yard waste. Seattle sprays their solid waste up in the mountains behind Issaquah. The whole presentation that Sierra Club folks are getting does not seem relevant to PT, frankly.

  2. This is most interesting. The fish were healthy after being exposed to water filtered by sand, gravel, and compost. 

    Information presented by the local Sierra Club recently about composted sewage sludge indicated that such compost is full of toxins.  The film shown at the meeting included a segment about a farm field on which composted sludge had been spread for a number of years which completely lacked earthworms. 

    The term “compost” covers an array of substances.  I wonder what kind of compost was used in this experiment, and I wonder what kind of compost will be used in the Garfield Street Rain Garden project. 

    I have to say that I was quite dismayed by the allegations that our local City compost is a hazardous substance, having used it on my garden beds (not including edible plants) for many years.  I would love to learn that it is different from and healthier than the compost that is made from sewage treatment plant sludge.

    Do you have any information or leads on this?

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