In this week's water and wastewater news, officials in Gary, Indiana, participated in a mock water treatment plant disaster; and a Tennessee operator claims he lost $69,000 in cash


Police, firefighters and several other departments and businesses in Gary, Indiana, recently practiced responding to a mock water treatment plant disaster.

The mock disaster was organized to train first responders to deal with a tank of chlorine rolling off the back of a delivery truck, which could leak more than 2,000 pounds of chlorine gas within 10 minutes.

The drill took place at Indiana American Water’s Borman Park treatment plant. The mock disaster would have killed two people with several others hospitalized.

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Authorities say residents even a mile or more outside of the plant’s radius could be affected by such a spill.

“Chlorine is the No. 1 most dangerous thing that we work with,” Craig Murphy, senior specialist for health and safety at Indiana American, told NWI Times.

Source: NWI Times

Related: Weekly News Briefs: Illegal Dumping Causes Contamination at Treatment Plant

New York Officials Investigate Frequent Niagara Discharges

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is investigating frequent discharges of untreated wastewater from the Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant into the Niagara River.

The investigation comes on the heels of a discharge that blackened the river near Niagara Falls, which led to the state placing sanctions on the Niagara Falls Water Board.

Although the cause of that particular discharge was described as an isolated incident, state officials are concerned over discharges that take place during heavy rain events.

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“It’s been going on since 1975. It’s not new,” Nicholas Forster, Niagara Falls Water Board member, told WGRZ News.

Source: WGRZ News

Operator Claims He Lost $69,000 in Cash, Is Fired

The Rogersville (Tennessee) Water Department is being investigated by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation after a former water superintendent lost $69,000 in cash.

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The superintendent, Shawn Hatchett, was supposed to deposit the money in the bank, but says the funds were taken from an envelope in his vehicle. He was later fired.

An investigation into the water department alleges financial irregularities that go beyond this one incident, and they’ve occurred over a much longer time period. Details about the investigation aren’t yet available, however.

Source: Times News

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Early-Term Fetus Found at WWTP in North Carolina

Authorities in North Carolina reported that an early-term fetus was found at a wastewater treatment plant in Charlotte.

Police responded to the Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, which had called them after a worker found the fetus.

The medical examiner’s office has ruled the death natural without indications of a crime.

Source: The Wilson Times


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