In this week's water and wastewater news, vandalism causes $30,000 in damage at a plant in Bismarck, North Dakota; and Flint, Michigan, accidentally lets its chlorine tote run dry


Vandals in Bismarck, North Dakota, recently did more than $30,000 in damage to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, according to local police.

Vehicles and construction equipment were vandalized, including broken windows and graffiti. The perpetrators apparently drove a forklift into a trailer, racking up $20,000 in damage in one maneuver.

A pair of boys, ages 9 and 11, were arrested on the scene for trespassing after police saw them playing in some tubing. They were given citations and released to their parents.

Related: Weekly News Brief: Is New York Ready for Another Sandy?

Source: The Bismarck Tribune

Flint Water Plant Allows Chlorine Tote to Run Dry

Concerns over Flint, Michigan’s ability to effectively manage its chlorine supply have resurfaced after a chlorine tote ran dry at the water treatment plant in late July.

City officials and those from the state’s Department of Environmental Quality assured the public that the chlorine loss was corrected quickly and water was adequately disinfected.

Related: Weekly News Briefs: Unreported Spill Prompts Mercury Testing

The city engineer said the chlorine tote ran out at 6:10 a.m. and was replaced and put online at 7 a.m.

Source: Mlive.com

Montgomery County's Brown Tap Water Is Safe to Drink

Residents are complaining about brown water in Montgomery County, Maryland, but water authorities say it’s perfectly safe to drink.

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The color is coming from extra manganese that appears naturally in the water, but the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission isn’t removing as much as it normally does as they’re trying to fight an increase in naturally occurring organic matter.

The brown water could last a few weeks, as the utility says public health concerns surrounding the organic matter trump the aesthetic issue.

Source: NBCUniversal

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Niagara's Neighboring Plants Say They Wouldn't Ever Blacken the River With Effluent

Operators of neighboring treatment plants are saying they wouldn’t ever be in a position to blacken the water the way Niagara Falls, New York, recently did.

The city’s mayor asked the North Tonawanda Wastewater Treatment Plant whether they’re at risk for similar discharges. “Never,” William Davignon, plant superintendent, told Buffalo News.

Jason Oatley, associate director of wastewater operations for the Niagara Region of Ontario, said they don’t even discharge treated water directly into the river. “We could never have a discharge like that,” he said.

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The North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls plants use giant carbon filters in the final stage of treatment. North Tonawanda assigns two operators to monitor its backwash process. “They’re to stay there and make sure nothing overflows and to make sure we have the right valves open so when the backwash water reaches that trough and spills over into the area that it does go back to the head of the plant,” Davignon told Buffalo News.

Source: Buffalo News


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