Tag Archives: South Mountain

Microplastics found in 90% of bottled water

The World Health Organization has announced a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water. A new study has found that some 90% of the most popular water brands have been found to have tiny pieces of plastic. A prior study found there to be high levels of plastic in tap water.

The most common type of plastic fragments found was polypropylene…the same plastic used to make bottle caps. bottles analysed were bought in the USA, China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico,Lebanon,Kenya, and Thailand.

The WHO spokesperson said there is no evidence of an impact on human health, but notes it is an area of concern. Further study will be required to inform a more thorough risk assessment.

By themselves the microplastics found in the bottled water may not amount too much but consider that plastics are building up in marine animals, which means we are being exposed, some of us every day. Microplastics in the water, toxic chemicals in the plastics, and plastics in the fish on our plates.


Evidence of Water Deep in Earth’s Mantle.

Scientists analyzing diamond impurities or inclusions have found naturally forming ice crystals that point to water rich regions deep below the surface of the Earth.

The finding of these ice crystals is the first direct evidence of fluid water pockets may be found as far as 500 miles below the surface. The extraordinary research found diamonds pushed up from the Earth’s interior had traces of a unique crystalized water called Ice-V11.

The scientists were actually looking for carbon dioxide , but stumbled upon the ICE-V11

How to find water in the desert.

Here is a video from a survival expert who tells us how to find water in the desert. The video is from a solo endurance challenge in the Australian Outback.



Ontario First Nations Community has first clean drinking water in 14years

Slate Falls, a First Nations Community in northwestern Ontario has been under a boil water advisory for 14 years…not any more. They have a new treatment plant.

The community of 300 people is some 550 kilometers north of Thunder Bay. The opening of the water treatment plant means better care, better health, clean water for the children and the elderly.

For 20 years Slate Falls got their water from a series of pump houses, but none of these facilities was able to provide clean water from 2004 on. The water that was taken from a nearby lake, ran through a filter, and briefly through a chlorination system. The capacity of the systems was not sufficient to get rid of the E.coli and other contaminants. All water for drinking had to be boiled. Some people actually bought bottled water for drinking , but that gets expensive.

In 2016 the federal government pledged $11.6 million for the treatment plant.

There are still 81 long-term boil water advisories in first Nations Communities in Canada. The government of Canada has pledged to end all such advisories by March 2o21. The budget promises an additional $172.6 million over 3 yrs beginning in 2018-2019 for projects to ensure the pledge is met.

Slate Fall’s new plant will not only provide clean water, but includes firefighting infrastructure such as water pumps and hydrants.


Sea Swimming Increases Ailments

From the University of Exeter we have a finding that people who swim, bathe, or take part in water sports in the sea are substantially more likely to experience stomach bugs, ear aches, and other types of illness than those who do not.

This large scale research analysis is the first systemic review to examine the evidence on whether spending time in the sea is associated with increased risk of reporting a variety of ailments.

Results showed that sea bathing doubled the odds of reporting general ear ailments, and the odds of reporting earaches rose 77%. For gastrointestinal illness the odds increased by 29%.

In higher income countries like the United Kingdom, there is the perception that swimming in the sea is of little to no health risk. This appears not to be so. The researchers feel this indicates that the pollution is still an issue affecting swimmers in some of the world’s richest countries. Investment in water treatment has been improving in recent years, but seawater is still polluted from sources including industrial waste, sewage, and runoff from farmland.

The researchers whittled down more than 6,000 studies to 19 which met strict criteria. All the studies were in high income countries since 1961 in countries including the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and Norway.

The purpose of the study was not to scare people away from the sea as there are health benefits as well…exercise, well-being , connecting to nature. however , it is good for people to know the risks and make informed decisions. We have come a long way in terms of cleaning up our water, but the evidence shows there is still work to be done.


Rock Moisture

A little studied underground layer of rock may provide a vital reservoir for trees, especially in times of drought.

Researchers took a look at the water stored inside the layer of weathered bedrock that lies under soils in mountain forest ecosystems. This transitional zone beneath the soil but above groundwater is often overlooked. The water contained in the fractures and pores of the rock could play an important part in the water cycle at local and global levels.

Researcher s found that the water in the rock can sustain trees long after the ground is parched. At the test site in Northern California’s Mendocino County scientists found that up to 27% of annual rainfall is stored in the rocks. The impact of the rock moisture can vary depending on the region and topography. However, this moisture probably explains why trees in the study area showed little effect from the severe drought of 2010-2015, which killed more than 100 million trees throughout California.

How trees survived extended periods of extreme drought was always a mystery. Now with this new study revealing large reservoir of trapped water that had gone unnoticed in the past.


Beluga whales are changing their behavior

The loss of sea ice in the Arctic has a clear impact on animals such as polar bears that need the frozen surface for feeding, mating , and migrating. The reduction in sea ice is changing Arctic habitat and affecting other species in more direct ways.

Beluga whales spend their summers in the Arctic feeding. A new study finds they now have to dive deeper and longer than before to find their food than when sea ice-covered more ocean for longer periods. This study is one of the first to consider the indirect effects of sea ice loss on Arctic species that live near the ice, but do not necessarily need it for survival.

Changes in sea ice affect oceanographic properties which in turn affect the distribution, abundance or species composition of prey for Belugas.

There are two genetically distinct beluga populations that winter in the Bering Sea, then swim north in spring as sea ice melts and open water allows passage into the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. In their summer waters they feast on fish and invertebrates.

Researchers were able to collect migration data from the two groups from two different time periods through the use of satellite linked tags. Dive depth data was only collected from the Chukchi group as the tags for the other group did not have this capability.

Sea ice coverage was also recorded during these periods. The sea ice declined rapidly from the first to the second period.

Sea ice loss appears to affect how the Chukchi group dove for their food. They went longer and deeper than before. The belugas might be diving longer and deeper to follow prey that has dispersed or been driven deeper itself from changing ocean conditions. it is also possible that less sea ice means better feeding possibilities. it is unclear whether this change is positive or negative, but it should be noted that these movements are energy costly. Studies are required to establish body condition and overall health.

The good news is that with the almost two decades of data we can say that the belugas are thriving in their summer and fall ocean habitats, despite less ice cover. They have adapted.