In this week's water and wastewater news, a group of 500 citizens in New Mexico is looking at starting its own utility to solve water problems; and water testing near Atlanta uncovers nearly 50 schools with lead contamination.

Residents near Bloomfield, New Mexico, are forming their own utility after dealing with bad water for the past nine months. The state hasn’t been able to get the local water company to fix the problem.

Around 500 people have decided to form a domestic water users association to inherit the defunct water system.

“This is our only choice,” resident Kirk Marth told KOB 4. “If we want potable water, this is the only thing we are going to be able to do.”

Related: News Briefs: Air Force Fuel Spill Headed Toward Municipal Wells

It is expected to take some time to get the organization up and running before construction can start on an interconnect.

Source KOB 4

Testing Discovers Nearly 50 Atlanta Schools With Lead Contamination

Water tests in Fulton County, Atlanta, schools uncovered a lead contamination problem spanning sinks and water fountains in 48 schools out of the 84 tested. The results of tests in 10 schools haven’t been finalized.

Related: News Briefs: Pulse Flow Brings Life Back to Colorado River Delta

Although there is no safe level for lead contamination, the EPA allows 15 ppb before enforcing corrective measures. At Brookview Elementary School, tests of a classroom sink showed a reading of 661 ppb, while another water fountain showed 526 ppb.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even low lead readings can causes learning and behavior problems.

The culprit near Atlanta is likely the lead found in brass fittings that line the faucets at the schools. They were installed before regulations changed in 2014.

Related: News Briefs: Extreme Winter Wreaks Havoc on Water Utilities


Rains, Flooding Cause Problems for California Sewer Workers

Record-setting rains in California are causing trouble for sewer workers in the state. Millions of gallons of inadequately treated wastewater have emptied into the San Francisco Bay and its tributaries.

An environmental group called San Francisco Baykeeper reports nearly a 2,000 percent increase in the gallons of sewer water spilling into waterways over last year.

Subscribe: If you don't want to bring your iPad into the bathroom, we can send you a magazine subscription for free!

“People who come into contact with this may have upper respiratory infections, skin infections, things like that,” group member Erica Maharg told CBS SF Bay Area.

Source: SF Bay Area

Feds Charge Truck Driver for Illegal Wastewater Dumps

A truck driver near Akron, Ohio, was federally charged for allegedly dumping wastewater into streams, killing vegetation along with around 700 fish and more than 3,000 minnows, frogs, tadpoles and crayfish.

Subscribe: Save the trees for beavers, sign up for our E-Newsletter!

Authorities say the man, Adam Boylen, repeatedly dumped wastewater in to the tributaries of the Tuscarawas River. Boylen was supposed to take the wastewater from corporate grounds in Ohio to a designated site in Pennsylvania.


Related Stories

Like this story? Sign up for alerts!