News Briefs: Chrysler Worker Dies at Wastewater Treatment Plant

In this week's water and wastewater news, an operator dies at a Detroit plant, a Washington biosolids court case ends and Des Moines Water fights high nitrate levels.
News Briefs: Chrysler Worker Dies at Wastewater Treatment Plant

Interested in Treatment?

Get Treatment articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Treatment + Get Alerts

An employee at an FCA US plant in Detroit died this week while preforming maintenance operations at the facility’s onsite wastewater treatment plant. Donald Megge, 53, was caught in a filter press Tuesday, May 5, during the day’s first shift.

He was “caught in a machine press suspended a little bit above the ground,” said Detroit Fire Capt. Gerod Funderburg to the Detroit Free Press.

Megge was a millwright and wastewater operator at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant.

According to the Star Tribune, the plant, which manufactures the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, is investigating.

“All of the FCA family extends its deepest sympathies to the employee’s family during this difficult time,” the company said in a statement.

Source: Detroit Free Press,, Lansing State Journal

Washington Biosolids Case Over for Now

The Washington Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a biosolids case in which Wahkiakum County attempted to enforce a biosolids ordinance that superseded state rule. This means the state Department of Ecology prevails, and the county cannot ban biosolids application on land within the county.

The Department of Ecology claimed legislature gave the agency the authority to regulate biosolids. The county claimed it had authority to add additional regulations.

The ruling will affect other counties, including Cowlitz and Cathlamet, which are also considering biosolids application.

To learn more about the Washington Court of Appeals case, see “Victory! Washington Court Upholds Biosolids Application.”

Source:  Wahkiakum Eagle

Des Moines Water Uses Wells to Combat Nitrate Problems

Des Moines Water has started drawing water from an underground aquifer in an attempt to lower nitrate levels. The well water is then blended with river water before treatment.

The utility has filed a lawsuit against three counties in northern Iowa, claiming the drainage districts are responsible for high nitrate levels in the Raccoon River. By pulling water from the aquifers, the utility hopes to minimize wear and tear on its nitrate removal facility.

“We’re taking every reasonable measure we can to avoid using the rivers,” said Des Moines Water Work CEO Bill Stowe in a Des Moines Register article.

According to The Des Moines Register, nitrate levels in the Raccoon River were 14.4 mg/L on April 30 and 16.25 ppm in the Des Moines River. Federal standards allow no more than 10 mg/L.

Opponents of the lawsuit claim weather patterns are to blame for seasonal variations in nitrate levels.

Source: Des Moines Register

Connecticut Recognizes Operators During Drinking Water Week

To celebrate Connecticut Drinking Water Week — May 3 to 9 — the Department of Public Health Drinking Water Section has recognized several operators for their contribution to the health and safety of the state’s drinking water.

Raymond E. Baral, assistant manager of water treatment for the Metropolitan District Commission received the 2015 Educational Public Health Drinking Water Merit Award. Christopher Kushwara, senior chief operator for Aquarion Water company received the 2015 Operator Public Health Drinking Water Merit Award and the Town of Sharon Water and Sewer Authority received the 2015 Small Community Public Health Drinking Water Merit Award.



Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.