News Briefs: Vinyl Chloride Pollution Plagues City Groundwater

In this week's water and wastewater news, the EPA looks for the source of groundwater contamination, leaders sign a joint pledge to protect Lake Erie and research looks at removing endocrine disrupters from wastewater.
News Briefs: Vinyl Chloride Pollution Plagues City Groundwater

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The EPA is investigating a well-known vinyl chloride contamination problem in Kokomo, Indiana. For more than two decades, officials have been aware of the problem and have treated the water appropriately at the Indian American Water plant. However, in 2011 tests revealed the contamination was greater than anyone imagined, and the groundwater source was put on the EPA’s Superfund list.

Now, officials are searching for the cause of the contamination. The EPA has identified 15 potential sources of the chemical. If the source is not discovered, the EPA will pay for cleanup of the groundwater plume.

Until then, operators at American Water are being hyper-vigilant to ensure the chemical stays out of drinking water.

“I’d say we’re more proactive than most municipalities,” says water supervisor Kirk Kuroiwa in a Kokoma Tribune article. “We’re testing the well water on a set schedule. It’s not just a one-and-done thing. We continue to monitor it.”

American Water uses an in-house testing lab, which gives operators immediate results.

“We feel at the levels we’ve detected, we can manage it and remove it and meet all of the drinking water standards,” he says in the article. “We’re using existing treatment we already had on site and just doing increased monitoring.”

Source: Kokomo Tribune

Research Says Catalysts Could Remove Endocrine Disrupters

New research from Carnegie Mellon University chemist Terrence Collins, indicates that endocrine-disrupting chemicals can be removed from wastewater by using a group of catalysts called TAML activators. The research, which included collaborators at Brunel University London, applied the activators to wastewater samples from U.K. municipal plants.

The TAML activators were able to degrade 17alpha-ethinylestradiol (EE2), which is found in oral contraceptives. The next phase of the research will involve ozone and activated carbon treatment systems.

A paper published in Scientific Reports summarizes the research.

Source: Lab Manager

States Sign Joint Pledge to Control Algae Blooms

The governors of Michigan, Ohio and the premier of Ontario have signed a joint pledge to reduce the phosphorus load on Lake Erie in hopes of controlling toxic algae blooms. The pledge includes a 40 percent reduction in phosphorus entering the lake over the next decade with a 20 percent reduction in the next five years.

The pledge was signed during the Conference of Great Lakes Governors and Premiers in Quebec City on June 13. The next step is for each participant to develop a plan and create a timeline to reach the phosphorus goals.

In Summer 2014, the City of Toledo, Ohio, put a drinking ban into effect when operators at the Collins Water Treatment Plant discovered the toxic algae, microcystin, in two sample readings. That incident was a catalyst for national discussion on toxic algae. For more, see “Toledo Lifts Drinking Ban After Microcystin Scare.”

Source: MLive

Correctional Facility to Become Treatment Plant Site

In Columbus, Ohio, a former juvenile correctional facility is set to become a water-treatment facility. The City Council recently approved the purchase of the state-owned property to build its fourth plant, which will be complete by 2030.

“It’s the perfect location to build this,” says Councilwoman Priscilla R. Tyson to The Columbus Dispatch.

The plant will be fed by a 9-billion-gallon reservoir in Delaware County that opened last year.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch


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