In this week's water and wastewater news, Arizona breweries gear up for a new competition, Iowa treatment plants tackle flooding, and the family of a man who died in a treatment plant accident files a lawsuit.
A newly organized brewing competition in Arizona is making waves because of its key ingredient: reclaimed wastewater. In a YouTube video, Pima County Wastewater has challenged the state’s breweries to partner with wastewater treatment plants in an effort to conserve water.
The Wastewater Reclamation Department is hoping to secure a $250,000 grant to launch the brewing competition. Also needed is a special exemption from the state and backing from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
The Clear Water Challenge would coincide with the National Reuse Conference held in Phoenix.
“May our crisp brews change your attitudes, and make all of Arizona more fluent about effluent,” says Pima County's Jeff Prevatt in the video.
Iowa Floods Damage Treatment Plants
Flooding in northeast Iowa has damaged several treatment plants and raised concern over the safety of drinking water. On Aug. 23, more than 7 inches of water fell overnight in Decorah. Widespread flooding affected the cities of Protivin, Elma, Decorah/Freeport, Fort Atkinson, Waucoma and Riceville.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources stated that six cities and a power plant had reported their plants were either completely or partially covered by floodwaters. The flooding had also affected two small drinking water systems.
“Many other cities are likely discharging untreated or partially treated wastewater,” said Clark Ott, of the Manchester DNR field office.
DNR officials advised residents using private drinking water supplies to use alternative sources until the water could be tested.
Source: Iowa DNR
Lawsuit Filed in 2014 Wastewater Treatment Plant Death
The family of Carlos Ramos, who died in a 2014 accident at the Roberto R. Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant in El Paso, Texas, has filed a lawsuit against the city. Priscilla Meraz, Romos’ widow, is suing the city of El Paso, the El Paso Water Utilities Service Board and Cubic Water LLC for nonmonetary relief over $200,000.
Romos, 34, and his co-worker, John Barrow, 40, died while replacing a sludge pump in October 2014.
“Once the pump was replaced, defendants the city of El Paso and the El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board opened the sewage line leading to the pump. Defendants knew when they opened the line that Carlos Ramos and his co-worker were in the room with the line and pump, to test the pump,” reads the lawsuit.
The men died when the room they were working in flooded with sludge.
According to the El Paso Times, the water utility responded to the lawsuit via email.
“Any loss of life of employees or contractors is a tragedy,” the statement read. “Our hearts go out to the family. Because this case is currently under litigation, we are unable to offer any further comments.”
Source: El Paso Times