News Briefs: City, Wastewater Operator Dismissed From Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In this week's news, Gatlinburg, Tenn., is removed from a wrongful death lawsuit, a new filtration technology could reduce expenses and a worker is rescued from an Arizona plant.
News Briefs: City, Wastewater Operator Dismissed From Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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The City of Gatlinburg, Tenn., and its wastewater operator, Veolia Water North America, have been dropped from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the families of two operators killed at the Gatlinburg Wastewater Treatment Plant on April 5, 2011.

According to an OSHA report, a flow equalization basin wall collapsed toward a control valve room, killing operators John Eslinger and Don Storey. The collapse also sent about 2 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Little Pigeon River.

An investigative summary, released by the Office of Engineering and OSHA, states the wall failure was caused by a deficiency in the concrete wall construction. Claims from the defendants remain against Crowder Construction Company of Charlotte, N.C., and Vaughn and Melton Consulting Engineers of Middlesboro, Ky.

“We did not feel the City of Gatlinburg was negligent,” says the plaintiff’s attorney Bob Pryor in a Times Free Press article. “It was a mutual agreement these cases be dismissed without settlement.”

For more information on the Gatlinburg accident, see “Time to Look Again?

Source: Times Free Press

Worker Rescued at Tartesso Water Reclamation Facility

Emergency personnel rescued a plant worker who fell into a tank at the Tartesso Water Reclamation Facility near Buckeye, Ariz., on Tuesday, Dec. 9. The man fell about 8 feet and landed on a narrow 18-inch concrete ledge.

Several emergency units were on scene, including HAZMAT and first responders. The worker was lifted out of the tank during a confined-space rescue and was taken to a local hospital.

Source: KPHO

Grant Awarded to Wastewater Filtration Technology Research

The Singapore Environment and Water Industry Programme Office has awarded a $1.1 million grant to Grundfos Pumps for a water filtration system that could reduce operating expenses and capital investment. The cake filter, which uses activated sludge on a porous support to remove impurities, costs less than ultrafiltration.

“We expect the new technology to clean the water to a standard where it can be reused for irrigation and in the industry," says Project Manager Rune Højsholt. "But the technology can also be used in other contexts, where the wastewater, for example, is cleansed further with other methods, making it clean enough to drink.”

The effluent discharge from the cake filter is similar to that of membrane filtration, while costing half as much as effluent polishing. The process has already been tested in a smaller scale at a Danish treatment plant.

Source: International Desalination & Water Reuse

Bronx Water Filtration Plant Costs Skyrocket

New York City’s Croton Water Filtration Plant, which is currently under construction, will cost taxpayers a lot more than originally anticipated. According to a new report from a nonpartisan budget agency, the plant costs have escalated to $3.7 billion. When the plan was finalized in 2004, costs were estimated to be just over $1 billion.

“The initial [city] estimate was a lowball,” says Doug Teresky, chief of staff of the Independent Budget Office, in a New York Daily News article.

The plant, which is located under the Mosholu Golf Course, was originally pegged for completion in 2011 but it has faced multiple delays. It is considered the largest construction project in the city’s history.

Source: New York Daily News


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