Make Valentine’s Day Flowers and Plants Last Longer

Community, Outdoors

Make Valentine’s Day Flowers and Plants Last Longer

By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent

Valentine’s Day is almost here and if you are like me, you are frantically trying to decide what to give a loved one. But before you decide, please put some thought into your choice.

But first, did you know that the occasion actually started back during the Roman Empire? The poet Chaucer changed the perception with flowery poetry and turned it into one of the most popular days to give flowers. There is a lot of symbolism around the type, color, and number of flowers that are given, but rather than going into all that, I want to provide you with some ideas about the types of flowers to give and how flowers should be cared for.

Roses are the most popular flower given for Valentine’s Day, but did you realize that tulips are the second most popular? Don’t rule out giving a live plant (or even a potted flowering plant) that can be kept indoors and/or moved outside once the weather warms up. I like live plants because they can be enjoyed all year, not just on this special day, but an avid gardener might simply enjoy a gardening gift. Below are a few guidelines which will make live flowers last longer.

Water is vital. Keep the vase or floral foam soaked with water at all times. Add fresh water daily and use warm water as this speeds uptake. If the water turns cloudy, replace it immediately with fresh water. If possible, re-cut rose stems every day by removing one to two inches. Use a sharp knife and if at all possible, this cut should be made under water and at an angle as this allows the stem to draw in water instead of air.

Keep Valentine’s flowers cool. Warm temperatures shorten the life of the blooms. Avoid direct sunlight and heating vents. Did you know that warm air from ceiling fans will cause the flowers to fade, so avoid a down draft? Appliances like TV’s and computers also give off heat causing the flowers to dry out.

Use a floral trick for wilted or droopy flowers. If the flowers start to wilt, remove the stem from the arrangement and re-cut the stem. Next, submerge the entire flower in warm water. Leave it in the water for one to two hours. This treatment should perk the flowers up and extend its life for a couple of more days. This trick works well for cut roses.

Take special care of flowers wrapped in paper or a box. If you give loose stems of flowers, keep them cool as long as possible before delivering them to your loved one. If you receive loose stem flowers, fill a clean vase with water and add flower food from a florist. Follow packet instructions for mixing. Before placing the stems in the vase, remove all foliage that will be below the waterline because leaves in water promote bacterial growth which decreases the life of the flowers. Re-cutting the stems under water with a sharp knife is recommended before placing in the vase.

Potted plants and bulbs are also a popular gift. Like arrangements, keep potted flowering plants in a cool location and avoid heat drafts or dry air to make the color last longer. Most indoor plants will require even a little moisture so check the soil daily and add water if the soil is dry to the touch, but do not let the plants stand in water as this will harm the root system.

If you have any questions about caring for flowers and plants, contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office. Happy Valentine’s Day!

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Organization

Notification of Sewerage Spill December 28, 2018

News

Due to heavy flows from the recent rainfall, the Ellijay-Gilmer County Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) experienced flows that were too high for optimal plant performance which caused discharge of approximately 671,600 Gallons of partially treated wastewater into the Coosawattee River.  The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has been notified and Ellijay-Gilmer County Water & Sewerage Authority (Authority) employees are following EPD protocol for such a discharge.  The discharge occurred at the WWTP effluent flume located at 64 Merk Davis Drive; a sign has been placed to notify the public of the site of the discharge.

 

If you have any questions concerning this issue, please contact the Ellijay-Gilmer County Water & Sewerage Authority at (706) 276-2202, or the Wastewater Treatment Plant at (706) 635-7930.

 

Thank you,

 

Gary McVey, Director

Ellijay-Gilmer County Water & Sewerage Authority

Timber Cuts into Commissioner’s meeting

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners August meeting saw an unexpected addition to its agenda as citizens from the Rainbow Lake area met to ask the board to stop the clear cutting of over 500 acres of Timber in the area.

“Devastation,” the word kept arising as citizen after citizen walked to the podium asking the Commissioners to stop the process, or somehow change it to selective cutting.

It is the word that Diane Davenport used when she said she lived downstream of the area. She told the board, “It’s going to devastate us for as long as I live, and as long as my family who inherit my land live.”

Joe Paprocki offered a structured argument against the clear-cut saying there are four main areas majorly affected in the county by this process.

The first area is the water, “We think the soil erosion and silt run-off will critically impact not only Rainbow Lake itself, but James Creek, Mountaintown Creek, and even Carter’s Lake. It will also impact our groundwater and well water.”

The second area is the wildlife, “We believe a clear-cut of this magnitude will be, pretty much, a 100% obliteration of habitat which will vastly diminish animal populations… for many years to come.”

The third area is the countywide quality of life, “We believe people come to Gilmer County to enjoy its forests, lake, creeks, fresh air, and natural beauty. We believe deforestation on this scale will force people like us to reconsider where we are living, if we want to be surrounded and hemmed in by this devastation.”

The fourth area is the property values, “I think we will almost immediately see property values plummet… That means tax revenues are going to go down with it, and county services will go down. Jobs will probably be lost.”

Paprocki said that he has heard people say its private property and there is nothing they can do, but that “800 acres” of devastation, an area large enough to land a 747 commercial airplane, affects the public and is, therefore, a public issue.

One citizen called the area a “war-zone” affecting the lives of the animals she keeps on a farm in the area, another referred to the endangered species in the area as well as the threat of invasive species cropping up after the clear-cut.

As if punctuating the emotion of the community, Alvin Sisson stepped to the podium. Speaking slowly and holding back tears, he choked out his words in short parts. “I was born and raised in Gilmer County, in this area. I have worked the whole project when they built Rainbow Lake. I worked Rainbow Lake from cutting the brush to building the dam itself.”

Noting the three major creeks that feed into Rainbow Lake, Sisson said the creeks would go red with mud before they feed that into the lake as a whole. He noted 500-foot buffers would not stop the devastation, they would not hold back the destruction of the area.

Everyone who spoke either opposed the clear-cut or asked to change to selective cut except one.

Richie Mullins of the Georgia Forestry Commission offered what basically became a crash course in the Commission’s water and forest quality assurance. Walking those present through the logging process and his part, as a Water Quality Specialist, in continuing to maintain the creeks’ and lake’s clarity in the process of and the aftermath of the project.

Calling himself the “Erosion Police,” Mullins assured citizens that he was the area’s biggest advocate for maintaining the lake and the water. Even he never fully said the clear-cut was a good thing, instead trying to assure citizens that he would monitor the project and address their concerns.

Even he himself told a resident that he would prefer a selective cut.

The situation was summed up in one short sentence by Commission Chairman Charlie Paris as he said, “I’d stop it if I could, but I can’t.”

He went on to explain that while he wholeheartedly agreed with citizens about avoiding the clear-cut at all costs, he could not find any legal ways to force the issue. Pausing a moment, he said that if anyone had a legal argument he wanted it so that he could use it. As he stated, in the end, it is their land and they can do it as long as they follow the rules.

“I hate that,” said Paris, “and I know not as much as ya’ll do, but I do hate that.”

Despite the disappointing response, one citizen stood to say, “We just appreciate being heard so that other people  know about what is going on because, frankly, it blindsided me.”

As it stands with citizens continuing to look for answers to the project, it seems that they will be keeping a close eye on the logging operation alongside the Forestry Commission to maintain the area after the project completes.

Author

East Ellijay responds to major leak near 515

News

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – East Ellijay Mayor Mack West has confirmed a leak as the cause of the work seen this week on state Route 515 in East Ellijay.

The Ellijay-Gilmer County Water and Sewerage Authority responded to a leak in the area near Hardee’s and under the highway. The leak, located on Industrial Boulevard in front of Hardee’s, was losing around 130 gallons of water per minute.

Responding to the leak, West said that certain areas of East Ellijay have been without water nearly three days in the process of redirecting the water flow away from the older pipes during the process. That included boring under state Route 515 as well as including new cutoffs and valves reaching up to and along Laurel Street.

Ellijay-Gilmer County Water and Sewerage Authority Director Gary McVey also confirmed that the work is implanting new piping in the area. Instead of attempting to repair or refurbish the existing cast iron piping in the region, the Authority bored under 515 for new piping in order to avoid and abandon the existing cast iron pipes with the leak.

The final tie-in should be placed tonight, according to McVey, completing the new path. However, with the main work finished, citizens will continue to see workers in the area for a few days next week while they clean up the work and fill in the excavated sites.

Author

Community development on agenda in commissioners’ March meetings

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners addressed community development this month with a possible final solution to roadside trash pick-up as well as applying for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

Trash pick-up has been a developing issue over the last two months now as the board originally planned on hiring five seasonal employees for trash pick-up to work through the summer preceding the county’s mowing teams. However, a special called meeting in February saw new ideas as the commissioners began considering a new deputy in the Sheriff’s Department, similar in costs, to put inmates on the roads picking up trash.

During that meeting, Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris stated this crew would consist of four or five non-risk inmates under the supervision of one deputy. He described this option as a better long-term solution and one that is typically more favorably viewed in the public perception.

At their regular March meeting, the idea was restated for the public saying the Sheriff’s Department would not need a new vehicle for the added deputy. The county will receive reports of the progress of the program to monitor and are still expected to have the teams move ahead of mowers in the summer months. This item was officially approved this month, so citizens should be seeing these teams on county roads, not state-owned roads, in the coming months. They will also be skipping over roads already cleaned and maintained by the Keep Gilmer Beautiful organization.

March also saw the commissioners approve a CDBG for the area of Sunlight Road and Roundtop Road. Proposed by the Ellijay-Gilmer Water Sewage Authority, the approval by the board is the first step in the grant application process, meaning this is still early stages of a competitive grant process that the county will be entering into application for.

If accepted, it would allow expansion of the water/sewer system closer to the southwest corner of Gilmer County, closer to the county line, according to Ellijay-Gilmer Water Sewage Authority Director Gary McVey. He estimated 200 residents of the area could be affected by the expansion. With the application due April 1, late fall could see the beginning of construction if approved with an expected one-year construction time.

In addition to these items, the Board of Commissioners approved applications for 2018 River Outfitter’s licenses for Cartecay River Experience and Coosawattee River Resort and an Alcoholic Beverage license for Mohammad Nizar Tharani at Ellijay Mini Mart.

Author

Well Water Testing

Outdoors

Well Water Testing

By:  Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent

For the most part, north Georgia did not see extreme flooding as a result of hurricane Irma as did other areas of the state, but it does bring to mind the importance of well safety. Wells that were overtopped by flood waters need to be flushed and tested for bacteria because of the potential danger of contaminants being washed into the well. UGA Extension Water Resource Management and Policy Specialist Gary Hawkins recommends pumping and flushing a minimum of 2 or 3 times the well volume to clear the system. This water should be discarded from an outside faucet and not from an inside faucet to bypass the home’s septic tank. After pumping the water, the well should be shock chlorinated then the well should be flushed again until there is no smell of chlorine bleach and, like before, the flushing step should be done through an outdoor faucet to bypass the septic system. This highly chlorinated water, if discharged to the septic tank, could cause problems with the bacterial colonies in the septic tank.

After the well is shock-chlorinated, flushed and the chlorine smell is gone (about two weeks), the well water should be tested for bacteria. Families can get their well water tested using their local county UGA Extension office.  Until the test for bacteria comes back, Hawkins strongly suggests that water for cooking or drinking be boiled before consumption. If the well contains bacteria the report will explain how to treat the well.

To calculate the volume of water that should be pumped from a well, use the following calculation.  Most of the well casings in this area are 6 inches so the factor for that size is 1.47.  That means that there are 1.47 gallons of water for every foot in depth.  Multiply the depth of water in the well by this factor to determine how much water is in the well. If your casing is not 6 inches, contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office and we can get the right factor.

There are several methods to determine how much water you have flushed out, but the one that I use is to calculate how long it takes to fill a 5 gallon bucket.  Divide that time by 5 to get the output per minute.  Using this figure you can determine how many minutes you need to run the water to flush the number of gallons of water that was determined in the previous calculation. A couple of methods can be used to determine the depth of water in a well. If you can see the water in the well, lower a heavy object tied to a string down the well and measure the length of the string until you see the object touch the water. In a deep well, lower a heavy object like above until you hear the object hit the water and measure the length of string. If you cannot see the object hit the water, another way (but less accurate) is to drop a small stone into the well and count or time the seconds it takes for the stone to hit the water (you will have to listen closely for this.) Multiply the number of seconds by 32.2 and that will let you know how far the water is below the surface. Knowing the depth of the well and the depth from surface, subtract the two to get the height of the water column for calculating the volume of water in the well.

An example of this calculation is if you have a well that is 300 feet deep and the water level is 25 feet from the surface, subtracting 25 from 300 equals 275 which means you have 275 feet of water in the well.  Multiply 275 by 1.47 to get the gallons in the well.  That figure is 404.25 gallons.  Using a factor of 3 pints per 100 gallons, you would need to apply a little over 12 pints of chlorine bleach in the well.

If you have any questions about this process or for more information on well water testing, contact me at the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution

Tensions Rise in May BOC

News

Lengthy meetings were held by the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners last week with both their Work Session and Regular Meeting. Votes split and the Commissioners sat as several issues came under fire during this month’s meetings.

A very full meeting room waited with anticipation for any speakers on the issue of a Zoning Request to implement a Motocross Track in the Big Creek area. Originally, several people spoke against the track in the work session including Ginger Marine, a resident who spoke on the impact of the dirt and noise in the area from a previous track that was built in her area of the county, and Robert Collins, a Big Creek resident who spoke about the environmental and community impact as a track would not be “compatible with the area.”

However, tension mounted as Chairman Charlie Paris called for comments in the regular meeting. With no one to step forth in favor of the track, Chairman Paris noted he had not received this much communication over a singular issue in his service as chairman, and he had not received one message in favor of the track. The Planning & Zoning Commission reported they had denied the request in their meeting, and the Commissioners followed the same as they unanimously denied the request.

Later in the meeting, the Commissioners went a step further to enact a moratorium on motocross tracks in the county. This was put in place as the county is moving into completely overhauling its land use permits in the coming months. Citizens asked how to stay involved with the changes and to put their own thoughts into the changes, to which Chairman Paris offered is email to continue the information exchange with those citizens and any who wanted to join in.

Another issue rose in tension as the County Commissioners began a process to regulate river usage in the unincorporated parts of the County, which is the county outside of city limits. Much of the resistance to this regualation came from Woody Janssen and Phillip Griffith, both of the Cartecay River Experience, who spoke on how to enforce the regulation. They also stated that with enforcement, they believe the laws are already in place with trespassing and public drunkenness. Going even further into issues of trash on the river, Janssen said much of the trash issues in the river they already deal with themselves as they collected several thousands of pounds of trash in last years clean-up.

Post Commissioner Dallas Miller stated the Commissioners “have an issue here… a Conundrum” as he listened to the resistance to the regulation. With issues arising, the allusion was made about a few bad apples ruining the situation.

Soon after, a motion and vote came to adopt the first reader, which will send this issue back to next month’s meeting for final consideration as well as a public hearing to further delve into the public’s concerns.

Not all votes came in unanimously, however. Post Commissioner Dallas Miller offered with the Dissenting Vote for a zoning request for a wedding venue, citing previous zoning issues where he also dissented due to his belief that the conditional use permits requested are not permitted under the ordinance. Another dissension from Miller came on the County’s “Alchoholic Beverages” section of the code. An expected vote by many due to a well documented opposition by Miller to the changes. However, Miller still states that though he votes no on certain issues in the county, he will continue to support the choices made by the Board as a whole. The vote went 2-1 in favor of the First Reader.

Another largely debated issue also came to a close last week as the County voted for a final adoption of their Amendments for Collection of Tax on Harvested Timber. No discussion came in the regular meeting after all the work and changes previously put into this change.

The Board is also moving forward after approving the First Reader for changes in how the Commissioners dispose of property. You will recall recent reports on this change to focus on removing the requirement to advertise every individual piece of equipment to include the serial numbers of the equipment to be sold. One citizen spoke in this months meeting to ask if this included county owned land, to which Chairman Paris assured him it was for equipment and items owned by the county and could not include land.

One final note to the meeting came  with the Commissioner’s re-appointment of Billy Rowe to the Ellijay-Gilmer Water Sewer Authority. The Board also considered Jerry Davis who offered his services, but stated he was already on a county board. Rowe is currently serving on the Water and Sewer Board and it is his term coming to an end. With the approval he is now to be reappointed to the position by the Commissioners.

For more information check out the two videos below to watch the May Work Session and Regular Meeting for the Board of Commissioners.

Work Session May 11:

Regular Meeting May 12:

Author

Public Health Notice: DO NOT DRINK WATER FROM FLOODED WELLS OR SPRINGS

Featured, Featured Stories

NGHD-1

Click here for Public Health Notice

Public Health Notice: DO NOT DRINK WATER FROM FLOODED WELLS OR SPRINGS

North Georgia – Due to recent weather conditions, any well or spring that has been covered with flood waters must be considered contaminated. Do not drink the water until after flood waters have receded, the well or spring has been disinfected with household bleach and the water has been laboratory tested. Contact the local county Environmental Health Office for questions and further instructions, if needed.

 

Shock Chlorination

 

Disinfecting a Well

Well disinfection is necessary if the well or spring was covered with flood waters. Before chlorinating, it is important to check the integrity of the well or spring water source to prevent future contamination. Well construction must prevent entry of surface water, debris, insects and animals. The well casing and concrete slab should be sealed and the well cap or sanitary seal must be secure. Springs should be in a sealed spring house.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Thoroughly clean all accessible outside surfaces removing any loose debris and mud around the well or spring. Then, wash the well area with a strong chlorine solution (1 quart of household bleach per 5 gallon of water).

 

  1. Determine the amount of water in the well. Calculate the amount of bleach chlorine needed. DO NOT USE SCENTED BLEACHES. Health officials recommend using the normal strength household bleach, which is 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite.

 

  1. Remove the well cap or place a funnel into the small vent pipe of the well cap. Use the table below and add the appropriate amount of bleach. A minimum of 50 ppm chlorine solution is required:
WATERDEPTH

(FEET)

WELL DIAMETER
2” 4” 6” 8” 24” 36”
20’ 3 pints 3 pints ½ gal. ½ gal. 2 gal. 3 gal.
40’ 3 pints 3 pints ½ gal. ¾ gal.
80’ 3 pints ½ gal. ½ gal. ¾ gal.
100’ 3 pints ½ gal. ¾ gal. 1 gal.

 

If depth and diameter are unknown, 1 gallon of bleach can be used. Extra bleach does not necessarily mean extra disinfection and can be a health hazard in itself.

 

DO NOT DRINK OR PREPARE FOODS WITH WATER WHILE BLEACH IS IN THE WATER SYSTEM!

  1. Run water from an outside faucet through a hose until a strong chlorine odor can be detected. Place the end of the hose in the well allowing the water to run down the sides of the casing and circulate for at least 15 minutes. Replace the well cap.

 

  1. Turn off the hose and enter the home opening each tap, one at a time, until the smell of chlorine can be detected. Please include hot water faucets, toilets, bathtubs, washing machine, etc.

 

  1. Once the chlorine odor reaches all outlets, let the water system stand for 8 hours, preferably overnight. Refrain from any water use during this time.

 

  1. Flush the system of chlorine by turning on an outside faucet letting it run until the chlorine odor dissipates. Finally, run indoor faucets until the water is clear and the chlorine odor is gone. Do not run any unnecessary water into the septic system or allow the chlorinated water to drain directly into a stream or pond. Continue this process until the odor of bleach is completely gone.

 

  1. The water should be laboratory tested to determine if it is safe to drink. It is recommended that over the next several weeks two additional samples be taken to be sure results are satisfactory. Repeated chlorination and/or a well professional should be called if problems remain.

 

  1. If not sure how to disinfect a well or spring, how to take a well sample or how to get laboratory results, contact the local county Environmental Health Office.

 

####

____________________

 

Written by Raymond King, Director of Environmental Health, North Georgia Health District 1-2

____________________

 

For direct access to this Public Health Notice on our website, log onto  http://nghd.org/pr/34-/741-public-health-notice-do-not-drink-water-from-flooded-wells-or-springs.html

 

Author

FetchYourNews.com - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

News - Videos - TV - Marketing - Website Design - Commercial Production - Consultation

Search

FetchYourNews.com - Citizen Journalists - A place to share “Your” work. Send us “Your” information or tips - 706.276.NEWs (6397) 706.889.9700 chief@FetchYourNews.com

Back to Top