In this week's water and wastewater news, treatment plant burglary suspects are urged to seek medical care after coming into contact with E. coli bacteria, New York City looks at banning flushables, environmental scientists look into the carbon emissions of wastewater treatment plants, and Williston, North Dakota gets the OK for a lagoon.


Police in Versailles are warning the suspects who burglarized a wastewater treatment plant in Versailles, Indiana that they came into contact with E. coli bacteria and must seek medical attention.

The perpetrators, who are still at large, vandalized and stole items from the plant, but also sifted through an incubator filled with E. coli.

Town Marshal Joe Mann told Fox 19 Now that the facility hasn’t been targeted before and he didn’t know what they wanted. The thieves made away with a laptop and other trifles.

Related: Weekly News Briefs: State-Set Phosphorus Limits Worry Treatment Plants

"It's a gamble,” Mann told Fox 19 Now. "They may get sick they may not. I don't know. If they get sick, they'll be very sick.”

The suspects will face a number of federal charges, according to police.

Source: Fox 19 Now

Related: NY DEP announces improved maintenance contributes to fewest water main breaks in over a decade

New York City Bill Could Ban Flushables

A proposal in New York City could trigger a ban on the sale of flushable wipes, which include baby care items, feminine wipes and makeup cleansers.

Councilmember Antonio Reynoso put the idea forward because the wipes are encumbering the aging sewer pipes in the city, costing it millions of dollars to clear.

Related: N.Y. DEP graduates 72 new sewage treatment workers

Reynoso said the city should regulate the “flushable” labeling and the sale of the items by retailers, although the bill he introduced allows for flushable wipes to be sold if they adhere to guidelines put forth by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Source: Queens Chronicle

Environmental Scientists Probe Treatment Plant Emissions

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Scientists in Environmental Science & Technology are reporting that wastewater treatment plants have been overlooked as a contributing factor to greenhouse gas emissions.

The study found that treatment plants emit a significant amount of carbon dioxide and recommended taking action to curb their emissions.

Researchers Linda Y. Tseng of Colgate University and Diego Rosso, along with colleagues from the University of California, analyzed the fossil-related carbon content of wastewaters at various points of the treatment process. Including the carbon emissions from treatment plants could increase the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s estimates by 12 to 23 percent, according to the study.

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The scientists noted that carbon sequestration powered by a renewable energy source could lower the plants’ impact on the environment.

Source: EurekaAlert!

Williston Subdivision Sees Lagoon as Waste Solution

A Williams County, North Dakota subdivision developer got permission to construct a lagoon to collect wastewater for the residents of Lukenbill Estates.

Thousands of gallons of treated sewage are hauled away on a daily basis in the boomtown at a cost of $10,000 per week, and trucking the waste isn’t sustainable, Bakken Development Group representative Lee Barron told the Williston Herald.

Barron told county commissioners that if nothing were done, there would come a time in the future when residents could no longer flush their toilets.

According to plans, the basin will be three and one half acres with a 10-million gallon capacity. It could be operational as early as the end of 2016.

Source: Williston Herald


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