Extreme Weather Hurting Water Lines


Photo courtesy of Justin Wan, The Gazette-KCRG TV9.
Photo courtesy of Justin Wan, The Gazette-KCRG TV9.

Both Iowa City and Cedar Rapids have seen a historic number of water mains break this January, officials say.

Ed Moreno, the Iowa City water division superintendent, said the problems are most often occurring with cast iron pipes laid from World War II until the 1970s. Cast iron is less flexible than the newer pipes made out of ductile iron or PVC.

Iowa City has had 26 water main breaks since January 1, while Cedar Rapids has seen 40.

So far, the breaks have cost $35,000, but the total will increase when jobs are completed in the spring.

To read the full story at The Gazette, click here.

On the Radio: Ecovative Coming to Cedar Rapids


Photo by mycobond; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers the arrival of Ecovative to Iowa. Listen to the audio below, on continue reading for the transcript.

Continue reading

CR water treatment facility announces new flood protection system


The Cedar River during the flood of 2008. Photo by gmzflickr; Flickr
The Cedar River during the flood of 2008. Photo by gmzflickr; Flickr

The Water Pollution Control Facility of Cedar Rapids announced plans to build a $21 million flood protection system including berms, a flood wall, and a pump station. Continue reading

“Living With Floods” Upcoming Events


Flooding
Photo by Marion Patterson; Flickr

The Living With Floods project is a statewide organization that commemorates, celebrates, and raises awareness about the flooding in Iowa and the recovery progress that has been made.

With the fifth-year anniversary of the 2008 floods coming up, these events will be taking place:

Thursday, May 30, 7pm: “Five Years Out: ‘Trouble the Water’” Curator Talk and Reception
Legion Arts at CSPS Hall, 1103 Third Street SE, Cedar Rapids
For more information, visit: http://ppc.uiowa.edu/forkenbrock/five-years-out-trouble-water
Friday, May 31, 8:30am: “Five Years Out: Ongoing Impacts and Challenges of the 2008 Floods” Symposium
National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, Cedar Rapids
For more information and to register, visit: http://ppc.uiowa.edu/forkenbrock/five-years-out

The fifth annual Recycling in Style Fashion Show showcases sustainability through clothing


Participants in the EPA Earthfest Recycled Fashion Show in Dallas, TX. Photo by  steevithak, Flickr.
Participants in the EPA Earthfest Recycled Fashion Show in Dallas, TX. Photo by steevithak, Flickr.

On April 6, Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency and Goodwill of the Heartland will host the fifth annual Recycling in Style Fashion Show.

The fashion show features used clothing that has been turned into stylish outfits by clothing designers.

The runway for the show also supports sustainability. It was made from broken pallets at Goodwill’s Cedar Rapids facility.

To find out more about this event, click here.

Continued drought could mean restricted water usage in Cedar Rapids


Photo by Patrick Denker, Flickr

Officials in Cedar Rapids say that if drought conditions continue into 2013, the city may be forced to impose restrictions on water use.

“We don’t know where this is going to go,” said Steve Hershner, the city’s interim utilities director. “But we want to make sure we plan for it.”

Hershner said the city’s Water Division is devising a staged drought response program that will increase restrictions as the water supply diminishes or demand spikes.

At early stages, the city would ask that residents reduce landscape watering and cut back on non-essential water use. At later stages, the city might eliminate water use except for public health and safety, and also prohibit landscape watering and vehicle washing.

Iowa remains in drought, and forecasts indicate the drought will persist into 2013.

For more information, read the full article at The Gazette.

Cedar Rapids increases funding for new trees


Emerald ash borer. Photo by USDAgov, Flickr.

Cedar Rapids will double their spending on new trees for this upcoming fiscal year. However, the city will still likely remove more trees than they plant during that time.

During 2011, the city removed 1,200 trees while adding about 500.

Part of the issue is that 30 percent of Cedar Rapids’ trees are ash trees. Many of these ash trees are being removed every year in preparation for the expected arrival of the emerald ash borer – a beetle that has killed millions of ash trees around the nation.

Read more about Cedar Rapids’ trees here.

New trail will connect Cedar River Trail to Marion


Photo by sgt fun, Flickr.

The Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization is committing $2.5 million in 2016 to connect Cedar Rapids’ Cedar River Trail to Marion.

The connecting segment will be 2.8-miles long. Overall, the Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization is using 80 percent of its 2016 funds on trails and bike lanes.

There is also a need to repair some parts of the current Cedar River Trail. These repairs would require an additional $1.3 million.

Read more from The Gazette here.

On the Radio: Cedar Rapids strives for a cleaner city


Photo by bostontx, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode highlights the environmental efforts of Cedar Rapids.

Cedar Rapids is taking the necessary steps to clean up their city with the recently announced iGreenCR initiative.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus on sustainable communities.

Continue reading

Cedar Rapids residents volunteer to clean Interstate in the rain


Photo by Junehug, Flickr.

As part of CleanUPCR, 47 Cedar Rapids residents volunteered to pick up litter along Interstate 380 last Saturday.

Adding to the impressiveness of the turnout, last Saturday was rainy, windy and only about 45 degrees.

In total, the volunteers collected 68 bags of trash. Another litter collection will take place in Cedar Rapids on May 5th.

Click here to read an article from The Gazette about the volunteers’ efforts, and check out the CleanUPCR link above to learn more about Cedar Rapids’ plans to clean up the city.