In The News

No Stone Unturned: Little Worlds Inside Stream Riffles and Pools

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) stream ecologist David Herbst , a research scientist with Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) , is committed to exploring the little worlds inside stream riffles and pools, one overturned stone at a time. Living in these small, dynamic systems are the benthic invertebrates that offer up clear signals about water quality and stream health. Recent research from Dr. Herbst and his team, published in the journal Hydrobiologia , elucidates the connections between the communities of benthic invertebrates that live in stream riffles and pools, how and why they move as conditions change, and what changing conditions mean for the stream and the rest of the local ecosystem.

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Steel Chips Promising New Stormwater Treatment for E. Coli Removal

Escherichia coli (E. coli) in stormwater runoff is a perennial problem in South Dakota—and in many other places in the US and around the world. Especially in places where drought makes every drop of rainfall count, it's crucial to remove harmful bacteria such as E. coli from stormwater. Researchers from the South Dakota State University (SDSU) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering may have a promising—and cost-efficient—new solution to this problem: steel chips. After the storm A good rain can make it seem like everything is fresh and clean—in part because stormwater washes dirt and grime that covers streets down into sewer systems. That includes animal and human waste, and E. coli bacteria.

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Water-Filter Pitchers Not Equally Effective at Removing Microcystins

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) and the toxins they produce, threaten drinking water safety worldwide, and here in the US, we are becoming more aware of the issue as HABs are reported across the country. Microcystins, the most common toxins arising from HABs, can put animals and humans at risk. Human reactions to microcystins include mild skin rash, respiratory illness, kidney or liver damage and even death. If you use a water-filter pitcher to ensure harmful microcystins aren't present in your drinking water, recent research has both good news and bad news for you. First, the bad news: these water-filter pitchers vary substantially in how effectively they can remove harmful contaminants.

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