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National Safe Digging Month - April

April brings a ground swell of outdoor work which often includes digging.  National Safe Digging Month is a way to remind us to call 811 before any digging project whether it is a small project or a large home improvement project.

Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, risking injury or even death.  In addition to the risk of death or injury, think about the costs of repair, fines and even inconvenience.  Whether you are putting in a fence, planting a tree or building a deck, knowing where the power, gas and water lines before you dig will save a lot of time, money or even pain later.  Please, call 811 before you dig.


2016 National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 11-15
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National Work Zone Awareness Week is an annual campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway construction sites. It is observed across the country by state, local and federal transportation officials in April, the start of highway construction season across most of the country.

More than four of every five victims in a work zone crash are motorists, which is why it is particularly important for drivers to remain alert while driving through work zones. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has taken steps in the past several years to improve work zone design, increase training, strengthen law enforcement near work zones and heighten awareness among drivers, which have helped reduce the number of work zone fatalities to record lows.  Kansas statistics show that there were 1679 accidents in work zones in 2015, causing 480 injuries and 6 deaths.  

As spring weather returns, orange signs, vests and cones will return along highways and roadways in Bonner Springs, requiring drivers to be alert and careful through highway work zones.   City workers are doing their part to improve the roads and repair City infrastructure that we all depend on, so let's keep them safe by obeying posted speed limits and putting cell phones away.   Several large projects have already started in 2016 and additional projects are scheduled.   It is imperative that we all work together to ensure everyone “gets home safely”. 



National Drug Take Back Day - April 30
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On April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be sponsoring National Drug Take Back Day - an opportunity for people to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  You are encouraged to bring your pill for disposal to one of the following sites in Bonner Springs:

  • Police Department  - 130 N. Nettleton
  • Price Chopper – 501 S. Commercial Drive
  • DeGoler’s Pharmacy – 202 Oak Street

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (over 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 10 previous Drug Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds – more than 2,750 tons – of pills.

This program addresses a vital public safety and public health issue – preventing pill abuse and theft from home cabinets.  Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.  In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 30 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website.
http://www.dea.gov/index.shtml


A Few Facts About Water You Probably Didn’t Know

On the planet Earth, there are about 1.5 billion cubic kilometers of water – that’s 1.5 billion trillion liters, or 800 trillion Olympic swimming pools.  If the Earth’s water was evenly spread over its surface, it would have a depth of 3,700 meters.  97% of the Earth’s water is salty, 2.1% is locked up in polar ice caps, and less than 1% is available as fresh water.

The human body is between 60% and 70% water – this changes at different times of your life.  A human fetus is around 95% water for the first few months in the womb, reducing to 77% water at birth.  In a 154 pound adult, there are 42 liters of water.  Two-thirds of that water is within your cells.  Each human drinks around 1000 liters of water a year.

Some other things to ponder:

    • A five minute shower uses 200 liters of water.
    • We use 8 liters of water to flush a toilet.
    • To produce the coffee beans for one cup of coffee, it takes 200 liters of water.
    • To produce 2.2 lbs of beef, it takes 15,000 liters of water.
    • It takes 100 liters of water to make 2 slices of bread.
    • In the process of making one pint of beer, it takes 150 liters of water.

Water is a precious commodity.  Without water, life cannot exist.  We all need to do our part to conserve and preserve this precious resource.


Tips to Reduce Water Usage

To help conserve water due to the emergency drought situation in Kansas:

  • Take 5 minute or less showers.
  • Make sure dishwasher is full before running.
  • Check for any possible leaks:    
    • A family of 4 should use around 12,000 gallons of water.  If the usage is higher, a leak may be possible.
    • Check your meter before and after a 2 hour period of no water use.  If the meter has changed, there might be a leak.
    • Check your pipe fittings under the kitchen sink for any water outside the pipe.
    • Check for "silent" toilet leaks by placing food coloring in the tank and wait to see if any color appears in the bowl.
    • Turn the water on in the shower and check for drips where the shower head meets the pipe stem.
    • Check the inground sprinkler system to make sure there is no damage due to frost or freezing.
    • Turn faucet off while brushing teeth.
    • Wash full loads of laundry. 


Grease - How it Affects the Sewer Pipes
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Grease blockage in sewer pipe
Grease is "hydrophobic," meaning it floats on top of water and adheres to other material such as a sewer pipe.  Grease sticks to the insides of sewer pipes, in both private lines and public lines.  Over time, the grease can build up and block large portions of the sewer line.  Large amounts of oil and grease in waste water can cause sewer lift station failures, wastewater treatment plant problems and environmental concerns.  As grease continues to build, large masses of grease break off and create a blockage downstream.  Grease is one waste that the sewer system cannot handle.  Grease has to be kept out of the system.

Why Grease is a Problem
Grease, a byproduct of cooking comes from meat fats, lard, oil, shortening, butter, margarine, food scraps, baking goods, sauces and dairy products.  When washed down the sink, grease sticks to the insides of sewer pipes on your property and public property.  Overtime, grease will block the entire pipe.  Home garbage disposals do NOT keep grease out of the plumbing system.  Garbage disposals only shred solid material into smaller pieces and do not prevent grease from doing down the drain.  Commercial additives, including detergents, claiming to dissolve grease may pass grease down the line and cause problems in other areas.  The result can be:

  • Raw seweage overflowing in your home, your neighbor's home, or business;
  • An expensive and unpleasant cleanup that often must be paid for by you, the home or business owner;
  • Raw sewage overflowing into parks, yards and streets;
  • Potential contact with disease causing organisms;
  • An increase in operation and maintenance costs for local sewer departments, which causes higher sewer bills for customer;
  • Rancid odors

Do's and Do Not's for Grease Handling:

DO's:

  • DO - place cooled cooking oil, poultry and meat fats in sealed non-recyclable conatiners and discard with regular garbage;
  • DO - use paper towels to wipe residual grease or oil off of dishes, pots and pans prior to washing them;
  • DO - use a grease can.  Opened soup or vegetable cans work well for storage purposes.  Pour grease and oil into a can and store in freezer until the can is full.  Discard in the trash when the can is full.

DO NOT's:

  • DO NOT - use a garbage disposal or food grinder.  Grinding food before rinsing down the drain does not remove food, oil and grease.  It just makes the pieces smaller.  Even non-greasy food scraps can plug your home's sewer lines.  Do not put food of any kind down the drain.
  • DO NOT - pour cooking oil, pan drippings, bacon grease, salad dressings or sauces down the sink or toilet or into street gutters or storm drains.
  • DO NOT - use cloth towels or rags to scrape plates or clean greasy or oily dishware.  When the rags are washed, the grease will end up in the sewer.
  • DO NOT - run water over dishes, pans, fryers and griddles to wash oil and grease down the drain.
  • DO NOT - dump cooking oil, poultry fat and grease into the kitchen sink or the toilet.
  • DO NOT - use hot water and soap to wash grease down the drain.  The grease will cool and harden in your pipes or in the sewer down the line.
  • DO NOT - dump used fryer oil or motor oil into the street or house drains.  When poured down house or storm drains, oil may travel to your local stream, bay or harbor where it can harm underwater vegetation and aquatic life.





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