Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Metals in the Muck

After the worst of the wind and rain had died down from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and people began making their way back home, it became apparent that citizens of Texas and Florida would have more worries.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disclosed that at least thirteen toxic waste sites in Texas were flooded and damaged by Hurricane Harvey and another forty-one Superfund sites were negatively affected.  Legacy contamination includes lead, arsenic, polychlorinated biphenyls, benzene and other carcinogenic compounds from historic industrial processes.  After Hurricane Irma over six million gallons of wastewater reportedly flowed out to the coast and the Key Biscayne aquatic preserve in Florida.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Poop Storms

Image result for contaminated water houston images
After the worst of the wind and rain had died down from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and people began making their way back home, it became apparent that citizens of Texas and Florida would have more worries.  Some wastewater treatment systems were reportedly running backward in Florida.  In one Orlando neighborhood flooding caused a filter system to overflow and over 10,000 gallons of partly treated effluent bubbled up through manhole covers.  Houston experienced an outbreak of E.Coli, a type of bacteria typically found in human waste.  The Houston Health Department reported that in some flooded homes E.Coli contamination was as high as 135 times the level considered safe.
In other words, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were truly ‘poop storms’ that left home owners and business scrambling for ways to keep out nasty water.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cleaning Up After Unwelcome Guests

After the worst of the wind and rain had died down from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and people began making their way back home, it became apparent that citizens of Texas and Florida would have more worries.  Following are a few examples of the worst messes left behind by the unwelcome guests.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Competition at High Altitude

The last post “It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane” mentioned possible problems that may be preventing Makani Power from successfully deploying its airborne wind turbine that is tethered like a kite to a ground station. The ‘wind power kite’ is intended to get past the conundrum faced by wind power developers of needed ever larger towers and rotors needed to boost output.  Unfortunately, Makani has struggled to deploy its kite and may get beat by another developer to the claim of being the first airborne wind system.