News Briefs: EPA Announces Intent to Regulate Strontium in Drinking Water

In this week's wastewater news, the EPA says it will regulate strontium. Also, a biosolids case heads to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
News Briefs: EPA Announces Intent to Regulate Strontium in Drinking Water

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has made a preliminary decision to regulate strontium — a naturally occurring element — in the nation’s drinking water. The EPA has determined strontium can have adverse health effects, replacing calcium in bone, which then affects skeletal development. Although these problems can occur in all life stages, infants, children and adolescents are of particular concern because their bones are still developing.

The EPA says strontium has been detected in 99 percent of public water systems and at levels of concern in 7 percent of those systems.

Draft standards for allowable levels of strontium in drinking water will be published within 24 months. Comments on the proposal are due by Dec. 19, and they should be submitted via

Source: EPA press release

Madison Water Utility Debuts Online Water Tracking Tool

The final phase of a consumer-friendly waster conservation tool is now in place in Madison, Wis. After installing more than 65,000 wireless smart meters at residential homes, the Madison Water Utility has rolled out an online tool from MeterSense/Harris Utilities that lets customers monitor water use monthly, daily and even hourly.

The utility is the first in the state to use the technology.

“It’s such a drastic change between what our customers used to be able to find out when they got their bill vs. what they can do now,” says Robin Piper, Madison Water Utility customer service manager. “You go in and you see right down to the hour what type of water usage you had.”

Water conservation is something the City has been working on for decades. In 2013, the City pumped around 10 million gallons of water for use by its residents — the lowest amount since 1970.

Source: Madison Water Utility,

State Supreme Court to Hear Biosolids Recycling Case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that challenges the land application of biosolids as a recycling practice. The Court will interpret the Pennsylvania Right to Farm Act to decide whether a judge or jury can interpret the act’s statute of limitation that protects farm activities from nuisance suits one year after the work is undertaken.

In 2008, the plaintiffs sued a municipal biosolids contractor and the farmers who used biosolids in York County, Pa., alleging the biosolids constituted a nuisance and trespass. The case was dismissed in 2012 because the plaintiffs did not file suit until more than a year after the application. The Superior Court reversed that decision in 2014, determining a jury would have to interpret whether biosolids application is protected under the act.

Source: Waste 360


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