News Briefs: Texas Drought Officially Over!

In this week's water and wastewater news, the Texas drought comes to an end, Ontario opens a biosolids facility and a research project looks at agricultural use of treated wastewater.
News Briefs: Texas Drought Officially Over!

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A drought that began in 2010 is officially over, according to the Texas Water Development Board and the State Climatologist. The four-and-a-half-year drought became the second longest dry spell in the state since 1900, overshadowed only by a severe drought that spanned 1950 to 1957.

Since November 2014, the state has enjoyed widespread rain, which has pushed most of the state out of the drought category. In early May, 30 percent of the state remained in drought conditions, compared with 83 percent a year prior. 

Although the water situation is improving, many water systems are continuing water restrictions.

“I have seen where some communities will continue to limit use,” says TWDB’s Rob Mace in a article. “Through all of this we have learned that you don’t necessarily have to water your lawn all the time.”

Source: Ticket760

$63 Million Biosolids Management Facility Opens

Northern Ontario celebrated the opening of its first biosolids management facility, located in Greater Sudbury. The facility became necessary when the municipality could no longer use tailing ponds to dispose of activated sludge.

“This state-of-the-art, award-winning facility … establishes Greater Sudbury as a leader in environmentally sound water/wastewater processing,” reads a press release from the city.

The new facility produces Class A biosolids. It was built through a public-private partnership, and will be operated by N-Viro for the next 20 years.

“In implementing the P3 model, we are able to realize a number of benefits such as leveraging the experience of the private sector in operating this facility and distributing the end product,” says Tony Cecutti, the city’s general manager of infrastructure services in the press release.

Source: Northern Life

Researchers Investigate Agricultural Use of Treated Wastewater

Researchers from the University of California-Riverside and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem were awarded $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study the use of treated municipal wastewater in agriculture.

“Our hope is that wastewater utilities can engineer their treatment trains to meet the demands of farmers so we can better reuse wastewater in a way that is cost-effective, rather than send it to the ocean,” says assistant professor David Jassby in a Highlander News article.

Source: Highlander News

Utility Ends Fluoride Use, Saves $20K

The Clarksburg (West Virginia) Water Board voted to discontinue fluoridating the city’s water supply earlier this month. The board will save about $20,000 per year by discontinuing the supplementation, although some board members say they made the decision based on health concerns.

“I think it’s harmful to the body,” says water board member Paul Howe in an article from The Exponent Telegram.

Zane Satterfield, an engineering scientist with the National Environmental Service Center says water customers will receive fluoride from other sources.

“If they came at it to save money on the aspect we get enough fluoride from other means, that would have been a more appropriate approach, in my opinion,” he says in the article.

Source: The Exponent Telegram


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