News Briefs: Man Arrested in Wastewater Plant Theft

In this week's water and wastewater news, a man is arrested after stealing computers at a wastewater treatment plant, microbeads get the boot, and California looks to water reuse.
News Briefs: Man Arrested in Wastewater Plant Theft

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Police in Clarksville, Indiana, have arrested a man suspected of stealing $3,000 worth of computers and tools from the Clarksville Wastewater Treatment Plant. Johnny Estes Junior was arrested Sept. 18 when police found the missing items in his home.

“We believe that the front doors were left open at the wastewater treatment plant,” says Detective Todd McCutcheon in a WLKY report. “At this point, we believe he just walked straight into the business.”

Along with the items from the treatment plant, police discovered metal parts in Estes’ garage, which were labeled with contact information from Grasshopper Land Clearing in Louisville. Louisville Metro Police are now investigating that theft.

“They take the stuff to scrap yards and receive a small amount of cash for that,” says McCutcheon.

Estes also had warrants issued for him in Alabama and in Florida.

Source: WLKY

Study Calls for Comprehensive Microbead Ban

Microbeads, those tiny plastic particles found in everything from toothpaste to body wash, are creating a water-pollution crisis, says a new study published in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal. Scientists from seven institutions participated in the study, which estimates that 8 trillion microbeads per day are entering aquatic habitats.

“We’re facing a plastic crisis and don’t even know it,” says Stephanie Green, of Oregon Statue University and study co-author. “Contaminants like these are not something our wastewater treatment plants were built to handle, and the overall amount of contamination is huge. The microbeads are very durable.”

Some states, including Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and Colorado, have already crafted legislature to ban the beads. Other states are working on similar bills.

This latest study calls for comprehensive wording in legislature to avoid loopholes. The scientists recommended that as bills are written “new wording should ensure that a material that is persistent, bioaccumulative, or toxic is not added to products designed to go down the drain.”


California Senator Proposes 100 Percent Water Reuse

California Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) introduced a bill this month that would require a massive increase in the reuse of the state’s treated wastewater. The bill proposes the state reuse half of its treated wastewater for beneficial purposes by 2026, increasing the amount to 100 percent by 2036.

“We’ve got to do something,” Hertzberg said in an LA Times article. “Too much water is being wasted. We’ve got to be better and smarter.”

Hertzberg argues that it’s unreasonable to let 1.5 billion gallons of treated wastewater flow into the ocean each day. The bill suggests that water be used for irrigating public land and recharging groundwater.

Soure: LA Times


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