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Undergraduate students in Durham University’s Department of Geography Rebecca and Victoria Smith explain how people can become more aware of the causes of urban diffuse pollution and what can be done about it. This is part of a series of posts on urban diffuse pollution awareness.
In order to address the issue of urban diffuse pollution we need to be aware of the issue and our actions. It is likely that every day we contribute some urban diffuse pollution without even rrealising it. Such simple everyday tasks include washing your car on your driveway, or not cleaning up pet waste. The waste water from washing your car on your driveway contributes to urban diffuse pollution because rather than this water going to the sewer to be treated and the cleaning chemicals and materials been removed, the water goes down storm drains. Water from storm drains enters nearby river channels along with the chemicals from washing your car. This causes the water quality of these rivers to be reduced. Poor water quality can impact the surrounding environment, reducing biodiversity.
To reduce such contributions we need to improve awareness of our everyday actions that contribute to urban diffuse pollution. If we take note of such simple activities, for example by washing our cars at garages with car washing facilities, this waste water can be treated prior to entering the river channels. This can save you the job of washing your car and getting wet (and also help the environment!). Read the rest of this entry »
The satellite image above is of the supercell storm in Oklahoma that caused over 20 deaths, hundreds of injuries and immense damage to residences and public buildings.
This time-lapse video shows how the storm evolved over time:
While this part of the US is not unfamiliar with deadly tornadoes (see this map of killer tornados), further preparations could be made to help prevent loss of life and injuries. If extreme weather events continue to happen more frequently then ways to manage and strengthen infrastructure is essential. Read the rest of this entry »
Durham Geography postgraduate student Libby Ferns looks at the importance of pipes to transferring waste water and how to prevent waste from entering our streets and rivers.
Have you ever wondered what occurs when you flush your toilet?
Or where your shampoo and bathwater goes?
Why don’t we go and follow it!?
When things go right, our wastewater enters this fantastic system of pipes and machines.
Our poop is separated, swooshed around, beaten to a pulp, twirled again, until eventually something useful is made out of it. Gas for heating things, and sludge that can perhaps be used to fertilise plants (or at least be easily got rid of!) Pipes ensure that nothing horrible is oozed into our rivers and green spaces. And if you need any more convincing about the importance of pipes, imagine what it would have been like to live in the Tudor period, or in fact, at any time up until the Victorian era. Back then poop filled the streets and rivers. It was so smelly and dirty in cities that Victorians often died because they got sick from the filthiness. We are lucky to have our pipes. Read the rest of this entry »
In the first of a series of posts on urban diffusion pollution, postgraduate student in Durham University’s Department of Geography, Libby Ferns, pins down exactly what diffuse pollution is and some of the ways it gets into our streets and waterways.
If you’re anything like me, you would be thinking “urban diffuse pollution: that sounds like one of those silly scientific geography words that is more complicated than it needs to be”. You would be right. Urban diffuse pollution basically means urban mess: dirty litter, chemicals, gunk and nastiness. It is a problem for developed and less developed countries alike. It damages our town or city environment, it is really spread out, it comes from lots of places, and is, in general, difficult to clean up and even more difficult to work out where its coming from! But just because it is hard to see where this mess comes from, doesn’t mean it isn’t important to think about. The trouble is, we have all, at one time or other, contributed to this pollution. Read more
IHRR is pleased to announce the second issue of its full colour magazine, reporting on research in hazards, risks and resilience from Durham University and throughout the world.
These are some of the topics featured in this issue:
- Disaster through the Eyes of Religion
- Bank Bailouts
- Volcanic Health Hazards
- Geohazard Vulnerability in Nepal
- Photo Stories of Resilience
- Interviews with key researchers and practitioners in hazard and risk