Let's Protect the North Branch - Together!
The future of our waters is in our hands. If we don’t take any action, the future generations won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of our watershed. Join us in our fight for the better tomorrow.
The North Branch Watershed Association (NBWA) is an organization focused on the health of the watershed ecosystem and to educate others about the importance of making watershed stewardship a part of their lives. Particularly, NBWA will promote and support environmental education, conservation efforts, and promotion of sound land use practices to ensure the continued health and welfare of the northern Neshaminy Creek watershed. NBWA’s vision is to ensure an on-going effort to improve, protect and preserve environmentally viable open space for public enjoyment while maintaining habitat functions for wildlife for generations to come.
NBWA is comprised of members of the community interested in protecting the water quality and natural resources of the North Branch, Lake Galena, and the Pine Run.
The Association allows concerned citizens to address immediate problems in the watershed and to identify future needs as the local environment changes. Citizens are encouraged to attend meetings and become involved in the NBWA.
Why Become a Member
It’s simple – to protect YOUR watershed!
The primary benefit of being a member of the association is the opportunity to join with like-minded people in the promotion of a healthy environment in the North Branch Watershed. Members are invited to participate in all activities of the NBWA. Members will receive notification of all special events and an invitation to the annual general meeting at which they will be able to elect members to the Board of Directors for the NBWA.
Participate in Annual Cleanups
There’s no better feeling that knowing you’re doing something good for the environment and society. That’s why we’re so passionate about our annual cleanups.
In September of every year, NBWA hosts an Annual Stream Cleanup. The event is focused on educating people on the impact of litter and how we can all make a difference. Volunteers clean up their local waterways by removing debris, encouraging businesses and individuals to be responsible citizens and take action to make the world a better place for future generations. In 2017 alone, NBWA’s Annual Stream Cleanups collected nearly one million pounds (454,000 kgs) of trash.
A lot of money and energy goes into wastewater treatment, and one way for us to cut our collective costs in treating wastewater is to not pump as much of it into our sewers in the first place. Recycling ‘gray water‘ (used water that isn’t contaminated by human waste) is one obvious way to cut back on wastewater, while cutting out certain unhealthy habits around what we throw down the drain will help the health of the waterways our treated (and sometimes untreated) wastewater flows into.
The modern sewage treatment plan
A typical wastewater treatment plant treats sewage in stages, and combines physical, chemical, and biological processes to separate out solids, oils, and sediments, then to break down organic matter into a form that can be flocculated out of solution, and finally to sterilize the water to remove any pathogens. Let’s look at each of the stages in a little more detail, as it will help us understand how what we do in our own homes affects how much money and energy it takes to operate such a wastewater treatment plant.
The first step, sometimes called pre-treatment, involves removing any solid objects that are either damaging to later stages of wastewater treatment, or are easily removed by mechanical means. For example, the wastewater typically throws through a screen that can collect solid objects such as branches (typically washed in from storms), plastic bottles, bags, and other plastic waste, and other solids that tend to be washed into storm sewers during rains or snow melts (much of this screening is only required in systems where sanitary and storm sewers are commingled – it’s hard to flush branches or tin cans down the toilet!). Pre-treatment can also remove solids that were flushed down a toilet and probably shouldn’t have been – dental floss, sanitary napkins, rubber duckies…
Another part of pre-treatment involves allowing the water to slow down in a large retaining area where particulate such as sand, dirt and grit can settle out – as with the screening of branches and other storm sewer waste, this is more important in combined sanitary / storm systems, but less important for sewers that are strictly for sanitary sewage.
Fats and oils, which either naturally rise to the surface or are helped along by aeration (bubbles) from below, may also be skimmed off the top of this same retaining area, or of a second retaining area specifically for that purpose.
Bathroom Water Saving Tips
Bathroom water use is a big part of your total water consumption. Toilets alone are said to account for 20-30% of total household water use.
These bathroom water saving ideas will help you cut your home water use significantly, and all in one room – the bathroom. Here are the most common reasons for water overuse in bathroom.
- Leaks and drips
- Too much water for the task at hand
- Forgetting to turn things off, and other bad habits
- Overuse of hot water
For each of these, we can look in more detail at how each issue affects bathroom water use, and also look at technology and habit changes that can help reduce bathroom water use from that issue.
Leaks and drips
To start out, let’s first get into the problems, such as leaks and drips, that can happen without your awareness and then we’ll dive in your own bad habits.
No change in behavior or attitude towards water saving will help if you have a leak in the bathroom.
A tap or bathtub or shower leak is typically only a drip or two a second, but a toilet may run at a steady flow of a pint a minute and other than making a slight hissing noise, the flow passes unnoticed. But a pint a minute turns into 5,400 gallons a month – not to mention that slow toilet leaks often stain the bowl, particularly if you have hard water in your home.
Other than wasting water and severely increasing your bills, leaks can cause mold problems in your home that will lead to all sorts of discomforts of their own – another reason why you should check for them.
I’d connected with Jack Miles, the owner of a mold removal company, Sarasota Mold Pros, based in Sarasota, FL, and he has agreed to provide some advice on the topic of fixing toilet leaks as identifying them is a part of his daily job.
“We have found that in most cases, the cause of people’s mold problems is unnoticed water leaks. The irony is that these are so easy to fix”, says Jack.
Join our Mission
You HAVE the power to make a change. It just depends on who you’re surrounding yourself with. Protecting water should be everyone’s priority. While protecting water for human consumption is of the upmost importance, water gets used in a variety of ways – from powering manufacturing to irrigation and everything in between. In order to protect water for human use as well as all these additional uses, we need to stand together.
Become a member of NBWA and protect the resource you can’t live without – water.
North Branch Watershed Association
c/o Bucks County Conservation District
1456 Ferry Road, Suite 704
Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901-2391