water safety

Mercergov.org Photo

Mercer Island schools reopened Tuesday as officials said the city’s water supply was safe again after increased chlorination over the weekend. But they advised residents to first run cold water from every tap in their homes for five minutes, starting on the highest floor.

Washington Department of Ecology

Washington state officials have fined a Virginia man $79,000 for illegal clearing of a San Juan Island shoreline.

It’s trouble Dave Honeywell of Fredericksburg, Virginia, wouldn’t have gotten into if he hadn’t just won the lottery.

Scientists have known for a long time that the water coming out of your faucet at home might contain traces of drugs prescribed to people you've never met.

Research shows no one is getting a full dose of say, Prozac, from drinking tap water. But scientists do wonder whether pharmaceuticals in water supplies may be having more subtle, long-term impacts on human health and aquatic life.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Katie Colaneri of WHYY reports.

For decades, the government has enforced regulations to protect and improve water quality. But what about rewarding people for voluntarily managing their land in ways that keep rivers cool and clean?

It's an approach that's underway along two Oregon watersheds: the McKenzie River east of Eugene and the Rogue River near Medford.

Can Mushrooms Help Fight Stormwater Pollution?

Dec 9, 2013
Courtesy of Paul Stamets

Ah, the Garden Giant. He’s a jolly fellow who roams around your garden at night tossing mulch as he merrily skips along, helping your veggies grow lush and tall.

Not quite. The Garden Giant is actually a species of mushroom, scientifically known as Stropharia rugosoannulata, that may hold a key to filtering harmful pollutants from stormwater runoff.

Climate Change May Worsen Green Lake's Algae Blooms

Oct 25, 2013
Washington State Department of Ecology Photo

If you’re a Green Lake regular, you may have noticed the public health alerts on placards around the lake, warning you not to tread where neon green algae blooms have blossomed.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

A large water pipe next to the University Village mall, just east of the University of Washington, erupted Tuesday afternoon, shooting a 20-foot geyser into the air and shutting down traffic at the start of rush hour.

Flickr Photo/Anthony D'Onofrio

UPDATE: 9/25/13, 5:10 p.m. PT

In a release today, the Washington State Department of Health has lifted the boil water advisory for residents of southwest King County, specifically Des Moines and Normandy Park, saying, "Lab tests show the water now meets safe drinking water standards."

The statement also says that there have been no reported illnesses linked to the water system, which was found to have potentially harmful E. coli bacteria during a routine water quality test earlier this week.

Customers with questions about their water quality can call the water district at 206.878.7210.

Tougher BUI Laws To Start On Sunday

Jul 25, 2013
KUOW Photo/Meghan Walker

On the weekends, a lot of boaters hit the water which means a lot of drinking off of dry land. But boating under the influence laws are about to get a lot tougher. This Sunday, a new state law will take effect that will make drunk boating as punishable as drunk driving.

The Hidden Swimming Holes In King County

Jul 2, 2013
Flickr Photo/Ian Page-Echols

Temperatures are in the 80s this week and people everywhere are feeling the heat. Rob Casey is the owner of Salmon Bay Paddle, a local paddleboard school. He spends summer days hunting for the best swimming holes in the Seattle area. Ross Reynolds talks with Rob Casey about where to go to cool off.

A tragedy in Wenatchee, Wash., is prompting educators there to bring back a high school aquatics program. Starting this fall, high school freshmen in the central Washington city will have to demonstrate they know how to swim.

Formal swimming lessons in Wenatchee had gone by the wayside, as is frequently the case lately in public schools. But the Wenatchee school board is now reversing course.

In November 2011, a freshman named Antonio Reyes drowned in the high school swimming pool.

Yes, It Feels Like Summer, But That River Is Dangerous

May 7, 2013
Flickr photo/Ingrid Taylar

Seattle has seen record temperatures this week and more warm weather is forecasted this week. All the heat is making getting in the water very tempting, but The National Weather Service warns, low water temperatures and swift currents could make it difficult and dangerous to swim. In this segment Ross Reynolds interviews Brent Bower, senior service hydrologist at the National Weather Service,  about how to stay safe in the water.