Fixing a former industrial site with biosolids and sediments can be a safe and practical use of local resources.
What is desertification and what can be done to prevent it?
When productive land quickly loses topsoil and plant life, scientists call this desertification. It can happen in arid (dry) and semi-arid regions of the world. One-third of Earth’s land area in more than 100 countries (including the United States) is at risk of desertification. Desertification is a natural process that is associated with global climate … Continue reading What is desertification and what can be done to prevent it?
Why does it matter if I stay on the trail while hiking in the woods and parks?
Question: Why does it matter if I stay on the trail while hiking in the woods and parks? Answer: People love to be outdoors, and soil is an important contributor to a good outing, whether you are hiking, mountain biking, painting, or just enjoying nature. But humans can have significant impacts on the soil. When … Continue reading Why does it matter if I stay on the trail while hiking in the woods and parks?
What’s the connection between sports and soil?
Most of us don’t think much more about soil in connection to sports, other than that we need to wash “dirt” from our clothes. But soil is critically important to a variety of sports – it provides for safe, exciting fun! It’s not just individual sports but thousands of folks enjoy sports more because someone … Continue reading What’s the connection between sports and soil?
What are scientists doing to help us grow crops as the climate changes?
There are several factors to address with your question. The first is that we are expecting to continue to feed the world on less land each year. As we continue to build towns and cities on former farm land, we expect more from the farm land that remains. Second, the world’s population is expected to … Continue reading What are scientists doing to help us grow crops as the climate changes?
Why are cities using retention basins and rain gardens?
Longford Pond in Fitchburg, WI, retains sediments flowing between Dunn's Marsh and nearby Lake Waubesa. Credit: Susan Fisk Q: As I watch various commercial or residential real estate development projects in my community, I observe more features related to storm water management as compared to older developments--retention basins, rain gardens, concrete lined channels, and pumping … Continue reading Why are cities using retention basins and rain gardens?
Do rain gardens really save a city money?
As explained in the last Soils Matter blog post, cities are using green infrastructure techniques like rain gardens and green roofs. They help reduce the amount of water going into the storm water management system under our cities. Cities built storm water management systems to manage rainfall and snowmelt, carrying the water away from the … Continue reading Do rain gardens really save a city money?
How do rain gardens help with storm water?
Since the 19th century, most urbanized areas collect and move wastewater to Water Reclamation Plants (WRPs) using a connected collection system. In many areas, WRPs collect both storm water and wastewater in combined sewer systems. In some cities, like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, about 90% of the surface is “impervious.” This means that … Continue reading How do rain gardens help with storm water?
Q: I recently heard the term “green water.” I know that waste-water is sometimes referred to as “gray water,” but what does green water mean? A: Green water is a picturesque name for the water available in the soil for plants and the soil biota (microbes, earthworms, soil insects, etc.) to use. It’s available because … Continue reading “Green” water??
How long does soil take to form?
Q: I recently came across a fact that said, “It takes more than 500 years to form an inch of topsoil.” Could you tell me more about this? What’s the actual process through which soil is made? What part of the process takes so long? And if it takes so long to form, why is … Continue reading How long does soil take to form?