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West Nile and storm ponds

Journeymouse

Cyburbian
Messages
443
Points
13
Well, the first thing that occured to me was: how about introducing some natural enemies? However, I know that here in the UK wildlife isn't appreciated in retention ponds so they'd be very unlikely to go at it from this angle. I assume the same is true in the States.

The other thing is I don't suppose anybody even considered the thing about standing water and insects when they designed the first retention pond(s), but in retrospect it's a mite (pun intended) obvious. Just shows that we humans have a tendency to jump in feet first without looking at all the (particularly environmental) consequences. On the other hand, I don't suppose mosquitoes are that much of a threat until they're carrying diseases.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
My reaction is "so what?" Let's consider a couple things:
1) West Nile (and other insect-borne deseases) affect an incredibly miniscule part of the population. It hardly justifies the millions that governments spend on mosquito eradication - a practice that has been going on since before the desease was discovered in the United States. Face it, the only reason we do this is so that the voters don't itch.
2) Sure, we are creating detention structures, most of which are dry detention basins. At the same time, what have we done to the nation's wetlands? Even if we double the number of detention ponds, it hardly begins to replace the wetlands that have ben filled.
To me this looks like some mosquito abatement folks grumbling about having to spend more money on insecticide and a newspaper trying to fill some space. Nothing more.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
Someone brought terror to one of our public hearings a few months ago by suggesting theat the pond in the proposed subdivision would foster West Nile. In our particular community, we have over 14% of our land area (about 3,400 acres) in woody marsh. Mosquiteo abatement? Not gonna happen. And a 3 acre foot pond with 1 acre of surface water isn't going to foster an outbreak. C'mon folks....

Incidentally Journeymouse, your comment on introducing natural enemies made me laugh - there's an outstanding Simpons episode about that!
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
This is a bigger health problem to us locally

The regional sewage district keep sending raw poo into Lake Michigan. Guess where our drinking water comes from.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/aug02/66826.asp


Oh, and my favorite quote from the article:

"The rush of water flowing into the lake Thursday from the Kinnickinnic River near the sewage plant on Jones Island carried a wide assortment of debris, including bottles, condoms, bags and tree branches."
 

Jen

Cyburbian
Messages
1,704
Points
24
Ewww, raw sewage flowing directly to Lake Michigan?! That happens in GR on occassion when CSO discharge into the Grand River which leads to Lake Michigan. And what about those multitudes of condoms, are those really flushable? If they are not biodegradable they should be thrown away with the trash although a wet and slimy at the bottom of the waste receptacle is gross too.
 
Messages
22
Points
2
SImpsons Episode

Hot Psycho Guy QUOTE]Incidentally Journeymouse, your comment on introducing natural enemies made me laugh - there's an outstanding Simpons episode about that![/QUOTE]

I know of a way to get rid of some birds.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
I really don't know what it is about West Nile that causes people to lose their minds. The first West Nile bird in our town this year was discovered in front of our neighbor's house and rob immediately commented that our dogs' outside in the yard time should be drastically cut. i'm not even sure dogs can contract? but really? not so worried here.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
Dunno about dogs either, but a horse died of it here this week.
 

Journeymouse

Cyburbian
Messages
443
Points
13
*Shrug* WTF is West Nile anyway? (and don't say "A disease.")
The closest problem we have is malaria, but as fara s we know, there are no mozzies carrying it further North than the Med. (and that they're that far N. has yet to be proven). There were a few scares in Belgum a couple of years ago. And some people come back from their holidays with malaria, but as yet, the mozzies haven't picked it up. So to speak.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
bturk said:
Someone brought terror to one of our public hearings a few months ago by suggesting theat the pond in the proposed subdivision would foster West Nile. In our particular community, we have over 14% of our land area (about 3,400 acres) in woody marsh. Mosquiteo abatement? Not gonna happen. And a 3 acre foot pond with 1 acre of surface water isn't going to foster an outbreak. C'mon folks....

Incidentally Journeymouse, your comment on introducing natural enemies made me laugh - there's an outstanding Simpons episode about that!
what happens to the gorillas? :)
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
24
mosquitoes

If the pond/basin is deep enough small fish like minnows will help control the larvae. Of course, larger fish like bass will help control the minnows, then you have to control people like me who love to fish for small mouths.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
Our ponds are drawn down for annual maintenance each fall, and are not deep enough to support game fish through our harsh winters. Part of that is for safety too -here's what happens when fools and deep ponds meet:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wauk/aug02/66558.asp

Also, the introduction of any type of fish destroys a pond's water quality component, as they tend to stir up the sediments.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
24
ponds

If the subdivision cover has been established and stabilized, there shouldn't be much sediment.

Several years ago when I was in Delaware a toddler drowned in a sedimentation basin that wasn't secure. The County requires all wet basins to have a shallow "bench" out from shore a certain distance in case someone falls in they won't be in deep water. Flying cars, well that's a different story. Cell phones, driving and detention basins do not mix, well, not very well.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
Re: ponds

Tom R said:
If the subdivision cover has been established and stabilized, there shouldn't be much sediment.
Most drainage basins are larger than the individual development.


Our ordinance is very strict. In addition to retaining a 100 year recurrence event, the pond may only discharge at a 2-year pre-development rate, and the pond must remove, at a minimum, 80% of suspended solids.
 

peter lowitt

Member
Messages
42
Points
3
Also Page 2 Boston Globe

Given the nature of public opinion we planners should all give serious consideration to just how we are going to answer questions about retention ponds and west nile virus. Its going to come up in your next public hearing as 'the neighbors' latch onto, what may or may not be, a serious public health issue as a reason for having the planning commission deny the latest forary into their back yards. Telling folks to buzz off won't do it (sorry, couldn't resist the mosquito joke). We will need something a little bit more thoughtful to tell them about why we consider the environmental - namely water quality- benefits outweight the potential risk to human health.
 
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