Friday, July 11, 2014

Public awareness program aimed at aquifer protection

From left, John Beacham, environmental manager for the city of Post Falls, Bert Rohrbach, Aquifer Protect District (APD), Ron Johnson, APD, Mike Galante, APD, Paul Klatt APD, Todd Tondee, Kootenai County Commissioner, Jim Markley, Coeur d’Alene water superintendent.

While most of us probably never consider it, liquids that flow into drywells and catch basins eventually end up in our drinking water—either directly or indirectly.

To raise awareness of this fact, the cities of Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls, in cooperation with Kootenai County, have invested $2,000 on stormwater disks that remind the public not to dump impure liquids.

The disks will soon be mounted on curbs and pavement next to drywells and catch basins in an effort to protect the Rathdrum Aquifer, which is the sole source of drinking water for the greater Coeur d’Alene/Spokane metro area.

“What we dump all ends up in the aquifer, so maintaining high water quality is of prime importance,” said Jim Markley, Coeur d’Alene’s water superintendent.

Funds for the disks were provided by the Aquifer Protection District (APD), whose purpose is to protect groundwater quality. Resident who live above the aquifer are assessed an annual $6 fee that goes to the APD.

Those funds are distributed by Kootenai County Commissioners, who offered their support of the public awareness disk program.

Previously, stencils were used to paint notices near drywells and catch basins. Markley said the disks will last 10 to 20 years, much longer than the paint, which faded in a couple years.