In this week's water and wastewater news, Hurricane Irma causes a massive power outage in Florida; and Williston, North Dakota, dedicates its $105 million wastewater plant


Hurricane Irma knocked out power for as many as 15 million people in southern Florida, which in turn has rendered a number of pump stations inoperable in the region.

Some communities have asked residents to conserve water during this time to prevent overflow.

The hurricane also has caused problems with local water distribution systems, and several cities have boil water advisories in place.

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

“This is going to take some time to restore, and in some circumstances, it will be a situation about rebuilding,” Christopher Krebs, the assistant secretary for Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security, told The Washington Post.

Source: The Washington Post

Williston Dedicates Wastewater Plant

Williston, North Dakota, recently dedicated its $105 million wastewater treatment plant, which will serve as a replacement for an older lagoon system.

Related: Weekly News Briefs: Winter-Weary Town Experiences Increased Water Flow

As the city’s population increased drastically during the region’s oil fracking boom, the lagoon system couldn’t keep up with demand.

The new plant can handle up to 60,000 people and was designed with future expansions in mind.

Construction started in 2014, and the plant went online this summer.

Related: Weekly News Briefs: Researcher Harvests Energy from Ammonia

Source: WRAL.com

Former Ohio Operator Anticipates Trial for Misdemeanor Charges

A former water plant operator from Salem, Ohio, is facing misdemeanor charges for failing to notify Sebring residents about lead in drinking water.

The fired operator’s attorney recently met with prosecutors for a pretrial hearing, but no plea agreement was reached.

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The operator has entered a plea of not guilty to three counts of noncompliance with drinking water notification rules.

Source: The Alliance Review

New York Paper Mill Employee Faces Felony Charges for Clean Water Act Violations

The former technical director in charge of environmental compliance at a paper mill in Norfolk, New York, recently pleaded guilty to three felony counts of violating the Clean Water Act.

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Michael Ward, 54, of Gouverneur admitted that he caused the paper mill’s violations by illegally discharging wastewater with excessive BOD into the Raquette River.

He also admitted to falsifying data about the BOD levels in reports to the state’s department of environmental conservation.

Source: North Country Now


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