New video examines polluted urban runoff


CORVALLIS - Is the water that flows from your tap safe to drink? Are the fish you buy or catch safe to eat? Can you recreate in nearby rivers, lakes or streams without facing serious health hazards?

Residents of towns and cities across the country are facing these questions with greater frequency as growing populations, sprawling development and pollution threaten the purity of our fresh water supplies.

In an effort to help communities deal with these issues, the Oregon State University Extension Service has produced a new video, "After the Rain: Urban Runoff."

"This program explores the importance of water, the pressures our towns and cities are placing on this precious resource, and ways that individuals can protect local drinking water supplies," said Ron Miner, OSU Extension Service water quality specialist. "The video should prove useful to anyone who is concerned about drinking water safety and improving the natural world around us."

For years, industry and inadequate wastewater treatment plants were the primary polluters of surface and ground water. They continue to play a role but, surprisingly to some people, individuals are now the main problem.

"Do you drive a car? Have you fertilized your lawn or garden lately? Do you leave pet waste where it can wash into nearby streams, storm drains or ground water?" asks Miner. "Most people do not understand that these seemingly harmless activities are polluting our fresh water supplies."

"After the Rain: Urban Runoff," VTP 029, is available by mail for $19.95 (including shipping) per copy. Send your request and check or money order payable to OSU to: Publication Orders, Extension and Station Communications, OSU, 422 Kerr Administration, Corvallis, OR 97331-2119. Further information about the video and other water-related educational materials is available on the Web.