Dec 06

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The Dirt on Sediment Pollution

When you hear about water pollution, you probably think of chemicals—but soil and silt can harm rivers, too. Listen up:

It might come as a surprise to think that something as natural as soil actually contributes to water pollution. But excess soil runoff, or sediment, can have a range of negative effects, from clouding water so that fish can’t see their prey, and making it harder to treat water for drinking, to carrying other pollutants into the watershed.

Cheryl Nenn sturgeon Milwaukee Riverkeeper

River-lover Cheryl Nenn champions clean water for the love of sturgeons–and other living things, too (via Milwaukee Riverkeeper)

Planting trees near a river can help prevent erosion. But efforts further from the banks are important, too. That’s because sediment also comes from urban areas, according to Cheryl Nenn of Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

“You don’t necessarily have to be right on the river to impact it,” she explains. “We tell people the river is as close as that storm drain in front of your building.”

So what can you do? For starters, sweep up instead of hosing off driveways and sidewalks. And notify officials if you see sand or silt running off a construction site.

After all, we don’t want to treat our rivers like dirt!

Get schooled:

The fine print:



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