Sunday, May 30, 2021

Fwd: @Rauterkus, say hello to Twitter Spaces

Twitter goes audio to compete w Clubhouse. 

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Tap into live audio conversation on Twitter.
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Webmaster, International Swim Coaches Association,
Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a 501(c)(3),
The Pittsburgh Project - swim coach and head lifeguard
Coach at The Ellis School for Swimming, T&F and Triathlon
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team & Renegades (Masters) & &

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Fwd: Water Wise eSplash - Important Notice for Reclaimed Water Users; Summer Fertilizer Ban; Saving Water to Save Energy; Good Neighbors

-- Forwarded message ---------
From: St. Petersburg Water Conservation Office

IMPORTANT NOTICE - Low Reclaimed Water Pressure
The City of St. Petersburg has enacted dry weather protocols to conserve the city's supply of reclaimed water. Effective immediately, the City will temporarily lower the pressure to decrease the flow of reclaimed water coming from the City's water reclamation facilities during the hottest times of the day so that the quantity of reclaimed water will be sufficient for irrigating overnight and in the early morning.
Reclaimed water customers may notice decreased pressure coming from their sprinklers from 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and are encouraged to adjust their irrigation timers and only water according to the City's year-round reclaimed water voluntary irrigation schedule:
·   Water your lawn no more than three days per week.
o Even addresses should irrigate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
o Odd addresses should irrigate on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
·   Water from 5-9 a.m. or 7-11 p.m. Watering during the heat of the day is inefficient as much of the water used is lost to evaporation and wind drift.
Reclaimed water customers are also asked to turn their automatic sprinkler systems off if there is not adequate pressure for proper operation. This will aid in filling storage tanks so that customers will be able to irrigate.
The City of St. Petersburg would like reclaimed water customers to know that reclaimed water is a limited resource and should be used wisely. The supply of reclaimed water depends on the amount of wastewater being processed at the City's three water reclamation facilities. It takes five houses worth of wastewater to produce enough reclaimed water for one property.
Reclaimed water pressure will return to normal once the supply of reclaimed water is stabilized. If conditions worsen, the Mayor has the ability to enact mandatory restrictions on reclaimed water.
For more information on sprinkler system efficiency, visit the water conservation website.
Upcoming Virtual Class - Getting to Know Your Sprinkler System. Wednesday, June 23rd, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Register here.
Summer Fertilizer Ban Starts June 1st
Residents and business of Pinellas County, including those in the City of St. Petersburg, are required by law to avoid the application of nitrogen or phosphorous to lawn and landscape plants from June 1st to September 30th.
Summer rains don't water fertilizer in, they wash it away -- into our ponds, canals, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Too much nitrogen or phosphorous could cause algae blooms and fish kills, spoiling the beautiful waterways that are our major source of recreation. The treatment of local waterways to remove these nutrients costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year. Nutrient pollution can be controlled with your help - It is much more cost effective to keep excess nutrients out of our waterways than to remove the pollution once it is there. For more information, view this brochure.
Making the Drops-to-Watts Connection:
Saving Water to Save Energy

Many people over recent years have been adopting energy efficiency practices and technologies such as solar energy and LED lights. But do you know how closely related water and electricity are to each other? Even though water and energy are separate utilities, they are intricately connected. It takes energy to pump, heat, treat and deliver the water we use every day. Alternatively, water is used to create electricity, usually in hydro and steam turbine power plants but also in power plants for cooling the equipment. Because of what is called the Water-Energy Nexus, saving energy saves water and vice-versa. An additional nexus linkage has been made to food since agriculture and associated food production and supply industries use a great amount of water and energy. Because of this interdependency sustainability and the scarcity of food, water and energy are concerns worldwide. For more information on the water-energy-food nexus, visit the United Nations website and the U.S. Department of Energy webpage.

How Can We Save Both Water and Energy?
Appliances and products. One of the simplest ways to save both water and energy is to install water-efficient products. According to the EPA, it takes 3,000 to 6,000 gallons of water to power a 60-watt incandescent bulb for 12 hours per day over the course of a year!

- Select appliances and products that have earned the EPA's WaterSense® label and/or are ENERGY STAR® qualified. As an example, installing WaterSense labeled faucet aerators in bathrooms costs just a few dollars, but could save enough electricity to dry your hair every day for a year! To find out how much water and energy you could save with efficient appliances, and how many pounds of greenhouse gas emissions you may prevent, visit the EPA's WaterSense Calculator.

- Consider buying a high efficiency (HE) clothes washer – the costs have dropped dramatically over the last five or more years and many top-loading models are qualified as EnergyStar. The high spin rates of HE washers remove more water from clothes than traditional machines. With less moisture remaining in the clothes, drying time is reduced, saving electricity. Also, HE machines use less water and, consequently, less energy than traditional machines. Select a model that allows you to adjust the water temperature and levels for different loads.

- Insulate the hot water pipes as much as possible. When hot water sits in pipes or even travels to its point-of-use, heat is lost through the pipe walls. Also, energy and water are wasted as we keep the faucet open waiting for hot water.

- Install an insulating blanket on the water heater tank. This could reduce standby heat losses by 25% to 45%. A pre-cut jacket or blanket costs around $25 and should pay for itself in about a year. Select and install the blanket according to manufacturer's instructions, based on the energy source (gas, solar, electric, etc.). More detailed information can be found on this Department of Energy webpage.

-Seek and fix leaks. Visit the Water Conservation webpage to learn how.

Designing and renovating a home. Thoughtful planning and design could provide efficient plumbing systems without significantly increasing costs or installation time. The goal is to efficiently move water from the water heater to each fixture. Be sure to follow state and local plumbing codes when making these decisions.
- Locate the highest hot water demand areas (the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry areas) as close as possible to the hot water heater. By designing homes with kitchens and baths concentrated in one area of the house, the length of the required piping is reduced.

- If centralizing demand areas is not practical, get hot water faster to these key areas by reducing the length and diameter of the plumbing pipe from the water heater to the kitchen and bathrooms (as code and manufacturer instructions permit). Not only is the hot water "wait time" reduced, but there will also be less heat loss in the shorter length of piping.

Original source of information in this article is from the EPA"s WaterSense and EnergyStar websites, and the Department of Energy's Energy Saver webpages.
Featured Program – St. Petersburg's Good Neighbor Guides
The Good Neighbor Guide series is designed to provide residents and businesses information regarding common concerns, ideas and solutions and also create supportive, sustainable and welcoming communities. The core of this initiative is informative materials and videos designed to be shared within a community and help us all be good neighbors. While a search of the city website using the words "good neighbor" will yield all of these resources, we will focus on just a few.
Sewer Smarts. Everything that goes down your sink, toilet, tub, or shower has to make its way through the sewer system to one of three water reclamation facilities in the city, where it is processed and "recycled" to be nutrient-rich reclaimed water for irrigation. However, each year hundreds of gallons of sewage overflows in St. Pete are caused by blockages in the pipes caused by fatbergs, which are congealed masses of grease combined with items that shouldn't be flushed. This video and the associated webpage provide details about when should and should not go down our drains.
Waste Reduction. We all know and love the 3 R's: "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". But do you know there are now 6 R's to help reduce waste? Waste, especially single-use plastics, can have negative environmental, economic, and quality of life impacts on our community. Our trash takes up space and produces greenhouse gasses and other pollution. Every resident, visitor and business can take part in reducing the amount of waste produced in St. Pete. Learn more with this flyer.
Leaf Blowing. Improper use of leaf blowers may lead to pollution and water quality problems in our creeks, lakes and surrounding bays, neighborhood flooding caused by clogged storm drains, noise and air pollution and unattractive debris in our streets. Do you know that there is a city (and Pinellas County) ordinance that prohibits blowing or depositing leaves, yard clippings or other debris into the public right-of-way, another property, city streets, alleys, or storm drains?
Learn more about the guidelines and reporting tools from this brochure.
The many other Good Neighbor Guides focus on topics such as residential parking, pool maintenance, residential trash and recycling and hurricane preparedness. Keep an eye on the city's website for new Guides!
Saving Water is Simple with a
Rebate from Tampa Bay Water Wise
To help our customers implement water conservation efforts, St. Petersburg is a partner in the Tampa Bay Water Wise Rebate Program, a regional effort that offers to eligible St. Petersburg utility customers rebates, information and more for several types of actions. Not a St. Pete. water customer? You might be eligible if you are a potable water customer of the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough or Pasco, or the cities of Tampa and New Port Richey! For eligibility requirements, details, and an easy way to look up which rebates could apply to your property, visit Tampa Bay Water Wise or call 1-888-491-0033.
Receive a Rebate for Your Rain Barrel, Tote or Rain Garden!
Do you have a functioning rain barrel, rain tote or rain garden? The City of St. Petersburg has developed the Rainwater Rebate Program to recognize the positive efforts of its stormwater utility customers to conserve potable water and reduce the amount of stormwater runoff leaving their properties.

Rain Barrel Rebate — $50 Rain Tote Rebate — $100 Rain Garden Rebate — $100
NOTE: one eligibility requirement is the stormwater customer's attendance at a City-approved Rainwater Guardian Workshop (see article below).
Question or Comment? Contact us! Email:
Documents and resources are found here.
Rainwater Guardian Virtual Workshops

Become a Rainwater Guardian by joining your neighbors to learn about:
·  Reducing your use of drinking water outside
·  How rainwater harvesting methods help protect local waterways and the environment
·  Rain barrel setup, use and maintenance
·  Creating shallow rain gardens that are attractive and functional 
To protect public health, classes are now offered virtually only. These virtual classes are free and open to the public. Share this flyer with your neighbors and friends! Pre-registration is required. See schedule below and select a link to register. 
Virtual Workshop Schedule
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 from 6 to 8 p.m. - REGISTRATION ENDS ON MEMORIAL DAY!

St. Petersburg utility customers may receive a rain barrel upon completion of a Rainwater Guardian Workshop. However (depending on supply) rain barrels will be available at a future date once physical distancing and other public health standards can be assured. Full workshop attendance by an adult utility customer is necessary to receive a rain barrel invitation. Separate registration for a rain barrel will be required.
Virtual Education Opportunities

The current situation has greatly limited the ability of educators to reach their audiences. Many environmental educators offer successful and helpful online webinars. Some are provided below.
As you conduct your own searches for specific classes and information, please remember that plant selection, water issues, wildlife, temperatures, and soils can be different between areas of the State - be sure your searches take this into account. For example, plants mentioned for use in Alachua County (Gainesville area) may not be successful in Pinellas County.

Wild Design That Works. Hosted by the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society. Online Event: Wednesday, June 2nd, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
In this talk, the owner of a native plant nursery and designer will cover a wide range of topics from how to let nature guide design, pollinator considerations, site preparation, hand seeding, planting, irrigation, weed control, pruning and the importance of diversity.
Nancy Bissett has developed techniques for restoring many upland communities including scrub, sandhill, and flatwoods that include planting, direct-seeding of native groundcovers and weed control. As a botanist she has helped federal, state, and local authorities find and evaluate rare plant communities.
At the time of the event, log in to the Zoom meeting here. The Passcode is 307188. For more information, email

Keep Pinellas Beautiful Eco-Tour: Clam Bayou Hike and Cleanup. Thursday, June 3rd, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Are you ready to get outside while social distancing? Explore the upland and mangrove ecosystems of Clam Bayou before completing a litter cleanup service project. Discover the ecosystems and unique water features of the park, including watersheds and the interface between urban and natural areas. Learn the way litter makes its way into this waterbody, and how our actions contribute to keeping green spaces like these healthy. Take a look at the new Litter Gitter floating debris abatement device!
After the hike there will be an hour-long litter cleanup service project. All cleanup materials needed, plus t-shirts will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles. Find details and register (which is required) here.

Conservation Committee Meeting of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society. Online Event: Monday, June 7th, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Are you passionate about conservation of native plants and native plant communities? Are you motivated to communicate important conservation issues to the public, government, and private sector decision makers? If so, consider joining like-minded chapter members on the Conservation Committee, which meets on the first Monday of each month by Zoom. Email the Committee for more information.

Backyard Habitat for Birds. Online Event: Wednesday, June 9th, from 2 to 3 p.m. 
Join a Pinellas County Extension specialist to learn how you can attract birds to your yard and provide them with additional habitat. Register here.

Featured Creature: The Coyote. Online Event: Thursday, June 17th, from 2 to 3 p.m. 
If you have seen a coyote in Pinellas County, you are not alone. Pinellas County's UF/IFAS Natural Resources Extension Agent to explore the life history of the coyote and its unique abilities to adapt and survive in urban environments. This presentation will also highlight ways we can learn to coexist with coyotes. Register here.

FOR EDUCATORS! Eco Warriors Educator Workshop. Online Event: from Thursday, June 17th through Saturday, June 19th.
Interested in learning about a brand new sustainability curriculum for middle and high school youth? Join this FREE virtual workshop to learn about the Eco Warrior curriculum and be the first to pilot the program in your classes. Topics include water and energy conservation, climate change, consumerism, sustainability careers, and more. Learn how to build the next generation of Eco Warriors! Register here. Need more information? Email Alyssa Bowers or call 727-582-2597.

FOR TEACHERS! Exploring Environmental Education Curriculum Options (ECO) Teacher Training Workshop 2021. Online Event: from Monday, June 21st through Friday, June 25th.
Pinellas County's (UF/IFAS) Extension Natural Resources Agent has teamed up with a St. Petersburg College Education Professor to offer this nationally award-winning, week-long environmental education workshop for pre-service elementary & ESE education students, current elementary & ESE teachers, and non-formal educators.
The aim of this workshop is to provide participants with tools and information to interpret the natural world and impart the need for resource conservation to their audience. Using local, state, and national curricula correlated to Florida Standards, participants will be given activities and resources to help foster environmental knowledge and good environmental stewardship in their students.
Each day will feature different environmental subjects and professional speakers will be brought in to provide background knowledge to participants. Certificates of completion will be awarded to those who participate in each day of the week-long training. Zoom registration is required.