News Briefs: Wastewater Super Indicted for Falsifying Reports

In this week's water and wastewater news, a South Dakota man faces charges for falsifying pollution control reports, and a new study says chlorine might be causing problems in our treatment systems.
News Briefs: Wastewater Super Indicted for Falsifying Reports

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A grand jury in Hughes County, South Dakota, has indicted Greg Mohr, a former sewer works superintendent in Pierre, on 10 misdemeanor charges for falsifying pollution control reports. Each charge carries a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Mohr, who had worked at the Pierre wastewater treatment plant for 25 years, left suddenly in October 2014 when inconsistencies were found in his reports, says The Capital Journal.

According to an announcement by state Attorney General Marty Jackley, the reports were falsified “by altering chlorine level reports as shown on bench sheets in final reports.”

The city discovered the inconsistencies while submitting reports to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to renew its permit to treat and discharge wastewater. The city reported the inconsistencies to the state and then hired an outside firm to investigate.

In a prepared statement, Mayor Laurie Gill said there’s no indication the city’s residents, the sewer system, or the Missouri River were harmed because of the falsification.

Source: The Capital Journal

Chlorine Treatment Could Cause Antibiotic Resistance

New research, which was presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society this week, suggests wastewater treatment plants might need to re-evaluate the use of chlorine. Researchers say chlorine is failing to prevent pharmaceuticals from entering the water supply, and it also might be contributing to antibiotic resistance.

According to lead researcher Olya Keen from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove pharmaceuticals and antibiotics.

“The molecules are typically very stable and do not easily get biodegraded,” she says. “Instead, most just pass through the treatment facility and into the aquatic environment.”

Additionally, the research showed that when exposing the antibiotic doxycycline to chlorine, it becomes stronger.

“We found that the products formed in the lab sample were even stronger antibiotics than doxycycline, the parent and starting compound,” Keen says.

Keen says the research might apply to drinking water treatment systems where chlorine has ample time to interact with pharmaceuticals and encourage development of new antibiotic compounds.

Source: American Chemical Society press release

Watson-Marlow Announces Name Change

Watson-Marlow Pumps Group has changed its name to Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group to better reflect its current position as a leader in fluid path technology.

The company includes seven brands, including the recent acquisition of BioPure.

“Our new name unifies our growing portfolio of fluid path technologies,” says Jay Whalen, president of Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology. “We can no longer be defined as a niche pump or tubing company. We now offer customers a much more holistic offering.”

For more information, visit

Pure Technologies to Acquire Wachs Water Services

Pure Technologies has entered into an agreement to acquire Wachs Valve and Hydrant Services, a privately held company operating as Wachs Water Services, for a total purchase price of $18.5 million.

Headquarted in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, Wachs Water provides flow control maintenance and support, leak detection and related asset management services to the water sector in the U.S.

The acquisition will diversify Pure Technologies’ businesses in the U.S., broaden its client base in the small- and medium-sized utility space and provide complementary revenue streams in related pipeline management activities, said Jack Elliot, Pure Technologies president and CEO.

“We are excited to join the Pure team,” says Eddie Wachs, CEO and chairman of Wachs Water Services. “Together, we are creating a unique company to assist utilities in comprehensively solving their underlying and fundamental underground aging infrastructure challenges.”

For more information, visit Wachs and Pure Technologies online. 


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