News Briefs: Bill Gates Demonstrates Value of Water Reuse

In this week's water and wastewater news, Bill Gates demonstrates the power of reuse, a North Carolina city reconsiders biosolids and the Chesapeake Bay gets a failing grade.
News Briefs: Bill Gates Demonstrates Value of Water Reuse

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In a new video posted to his blog, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates brings awareness to water reuse, clean drinking water and the need to improve worldwide sanitation. The video shows Gates drinking clean water generated from the Omniprocessor, a project from Seattle engineering firm Janicki Bioenergy that converts wastewater to energy and drinking water.

“The Ominprocessor is a safe repository for human waste,” writes Gates in his blog. “Today, in many places without modern sewage systems, truckers take the waste from latrines and dump it into the nearest river or ocean — or a treatment facility that doesn’t actually treat the sewage. Either way, it ends up in the water supply. If they took it to the Omniprocessor instead, it would burn safely.”

According to the blog, a pilot project is planned for Dekar, Senegal, to test the practical applications of the system. Engineers from Janicki will control the Omniprocessor remotely via sensors and webcams.

“I’m excited about the business model,” Gates writes. “The processor wouldn’t just keep human waste out of the drinking water; it would turn waste into a commodity with real value in the marketplace.”

Source: Gates Notes blog 

Report Advises Ending Biosolids Program

A biosolids program in North Carolina could come to an end, thanks to recommendations from a biosolids management report. The Orange Water and Sewer Authority’s board of directors will consider ending a nearly 40-year-old land-application program in hopes of saving $113,000 per year.

According to Chapel Hill News, the draft report recommends that OWASA send dewatered biosolids to a McGill Environmental Systems company in Chatham County for composting. The report says the change would help the sewer authority avoid the need for additional land, should federal rules change. Plus, the authority would save expenses related to personnel and equipment costs.

From July 2013 to June 2014, OWASA treated 7.5 mgd and produced 3,029 tons of wet biosolids. About half of the biosolids are land applied on private lands and OWASA spray fields. The other half is sent to McGill for composting.

Source: Chapel Hill News

Chesapeake Bay Receives D+ In Biennial Report

The nation’s largest estuary received a D-plus grade in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s biennial State of the Bay report. Although water clarity has improved, blue crabs and rockfish have declined.

“We can celebrate the water-quality improvements. However, the bay and its rivers and streams still constitute a system dangerously out of balance,” says Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William Baker in the report. “We continue to have polluted water, risks to human health and lost jobs — at huge societal costs.”

According to an Associated Press article, the report focuses on efforts states are making to fight pollution in the Bay, including agricultural and suburban and urban runoff.

Source: Delmarva Now 


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