Category Archives: Community

The quality of Stow’s drinking water

In 2010, 3,600 Mgal/d (million gallons per day) was the estimated amount of water consumed by United States residents each day, according to the United States Geological Survey. However, while water is essential to life, many people do not know what they are drinking or where the water is from.

Living in the United States, it is nice to know that the water is safe for drinking. However, that does not not mean one should just ignore the contents of their water, and it turns out that barium, fluoride, and lead show up in more places than just the periodic table.

According to Stow’s 2015 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), 1.02 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride, 0.045 mg/l of barium and .005 ppm of lead were detected in the water. But what are the side effects of these elements? Fluorine has been added to water since 1945, for it has been known to help strengthen teeth.

“In 1945, Grand Rapids [, Michigan] became the first city in the world to fluoridate its drinking water,”National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says.

On the other hand, Barium is different. Studies collected by the Agency For Toxic Substances And Disease Registry show that excess amounts of barium in the body has the potential to cause numbness and abdominal cramps. While the amount of barium found in Stow’s water is far below the hazardous limit, the presence of barium is still something to be aware of.

With the recent Flint, Michigan water crisis, the idea of lead laced water was in the mind of millions. Even though 1986 marks the year of congress banning the use of lead in solder and pipes, the dangers still lurk from the years prior. Artifacts have shown that lead piping was used in the gutters Pompeii; furthermore, CNN concludes that “5,300 U.S. water systems are in violation of lead rules.”

According to the World Health Organization, “There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe.” Levels as low as .05 ppm have the ability to decrease intelligence in children. With that being said, it is nice to know that Stow has very minute traces of lead.

But where is our water coming from? Before being purchased from the city of Akron, much of Stow’s water is taken from the Cuyahoga river “via three impounding reservoirs,” as noted in the CCR. The water is then transported and stored Lake Rockwell Reservoir in Franklin Township until further treatment. Finally, the water moves through booster pump stations located on Marsh rd and North main street before being distributed throughout the city.

With an approximated 3,600 million gallons of water per day being consumed in the United States, it is nearly impossible to know where all of it is coming from or how safe all of it is. With that being said, it is reassuring to know that the people of Stow will be in no danger any time they turn on their faucet.

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Kristina Roegner runs for District 37 representative

Ohio House District 37 representative, Kristina Daley Roegner, visited government classes on Oct. 17.

Roegner is running for her last term for District 37 representative. District 37 includes northeastern Summit County, which is Stow and Hudson.

The presentation started with some background information about herself. Prior to Roegner’s time in public office, she worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. She served global clients on performance issues and remains a McKinsey Alumni Consultant. Also, Roegner was a field engineer and project manager for Westinghouse Power Generation Service Division. She was responsible for leading teams in overhauling large turbines and generators at power plants across the country.

Representative Roegner served as an elected member of the Hudson City Council from 2005 until 2010. She was a member of the Budget Reduction Ad-hoc committee and she helped lead the city council in 2006 to reduce the budgeted city spending and size of government. She became a state representative in 2010 and is currently in her sixth year as representative.

When the house is in session, Roegner reports to Columbus any where from one to three days a week. The general assembly currently is not in session because of the election season.

During the meeting, Roegner talked about some of the bills she has passed, helped pass or is currently working to pass during her term. She helped with House Bill 2, which is a bill to regulate different aspects of charter schools in the state of Ohio.

She is currently working on bill that would allow students that take foreign languages in high school and pass a state exam to have a seal on their transcript that means the students are bilingual and can function in that language.

Roegner also talked about what candidates have to do to campaign in order to get elected. A couple of the things candidates have to do is fundraise and get their name out through posters, and yard signs.

There was a time that students and teachers were able to ask Roegner questions on a wide variety of subjects. Some of the questions that were asked related to high schools, college, marijuana, and the presidential election.

If anyone has something they would like Roegner to consider, they can go online to ohiohouse.gov and fill out a contact form.

16th annual Summit County Engineer’s Miniature Bridge Building Competition

 Tiny strips of wood, x-acto knives, glue-covered fingers and stressful problem solving all combined to create this year’s 16th annual Summit County Engineer’s Miniature Bridge Building Competition.

   Twenty-one schools in Summit county were able to enter the three-hour competition on Fri., Feb. 26 at the University of Akron. As long as the school could offer two or three students, they could participate. Some schools were even able to send more than one team.

    The participating high schools were Akron Early College, Coventry, Cuyahoga Falls, Firestone, Four Cities Educational Compact, Garfield, Green, Hudson, Manchester, Mogadore, Norton, Portage Lakes Career Center, Revere High School, Six District Engineering Academy, Springfield, STEM High School, Stow-Munroe Falls, St. Vincent St. Mary, Tallmadge, Twinsburg High School and Western Reserve Academy.

    I personally came with the Six District Engineering Academy, which is my career program. My teammates were Stow senior Stephen Morris and Cuyahoga Falls senior Alex Perdue. We competed alongside of some of our engineering classmates who were registered under their home schools.

    Engineering firms such as CT Consultants, Environmental Design Group, Euthenics, Osborn Engineering and many more posed as sponsors for the event. These companies are the creators for many of the bridges in northeast Ohio.

    The civil engineering companies also generously donated towards a scholarship for students who attend the competition. Participants then have to fill out a form and write an essay in order to be considered for the scholarship. Values change from year to year, and the amount has not been decided yet.

    Before considering any scholarship, we had to build our bridge. We were provided a limited amount of balsa wood which we had to use as the basis of our bridge. The flimsy material is challenging to construct with and is very easy to break. We used super glue in order to hold everything together.

    Our team laid out our design on a rectangular block of styrofoam, placed wax paper over the top and used the layers as a work space. We also used straight pins to keep the bridge trusses in place as they dried.

    Three hours passed fairly quickly, as each team ran into various problems or smoothly created their projects; a frequent but not devastating issue was the recurring situation of fingers being glued to the bridge.

    My team and I built our bridge with ease. Last year, as amateurs, we used too much glue and did not know how to properly construct anything in the time frame; we did not finish our design and the final product was messier than intended. This year, we finished with 15 minutes to spare, with every piece perfectly in place.

    Once each team finished and placed their masterpieces on one lengthy table, the judges checked each for specifications. They verified that each bridge was at least 14 inches long and had a minimum of 12 inches for the bottom trusses. Additionally, the structure could not have more than two strips of balsa wood laminated together.

    Judges also picked out the most aesthetically pleasing design for an award.

    One of the winners of the aesthetics made a miniature version of the Football Hall of Fame bridge in Canton.

    Although my team did not win any athsetic awards, we tried for the abilities portion.

   Each bridge had a hole drilled through the middle of the roadbed which then had a J-hook through the opening. A bucket with a 10 pound weight was then placed on the hook.

   One team member was then expected to lightly put cup-fulls of nuts and bolts in the bottom of the bucket to increasingly add more weight. Once the bridge busted, the team measured the bucket to see how much mass broke the bridge.

    After the structure failed, teams could visit a table of experienced civil engineers who could explain where and why the bridge failed.

    They told me and my teammates that our design was very strong and smart, but the distribution of the load on our bottom trusses was not strong enough. More triangles, the sturdiest shape in a structure, could have helped our design.

    The awarded points depended on the ratio between the mass of the bridge and the failure mass.

    My team’s structure weighed 23.6 grams and held 29.7 pounds. This ratio was not poor but definitely did not come close to the winning team.

    First timers, Hudson, won by a landslide with a very light bridge that held probably 4 times the amount ours did: their trusses were well constructed and were very strong.

    Each Hudson student won $100. Both Springfield teams won second which was given $70 and third place which received $50 each.

    Even though my team did not win any prizes, I still had a positive experience. I was able to compete alongside my friends and put all of my abilities to the test.

    Times like these are ones I will look back on when I am 30 and in a career practicing the same teamwork and problem solving skills needed in a simple, friendly competition as a student.