News Briefs: Body Found Near Yutan Wastewater Plant

In this week's water and wastewater news, police find a body in a wastewater lagoon, Montreal begins a controversial wastewater dump and an innovative wetlands system solves wastewater problems in Oregon.
News Briefs: Body Found Near Yutan Wastewater Plant

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The Saunders County Sheriff’s Office in Yutan, Nebraska, recovered a body from a lagoon at the Yutan Wastewater Treatment Plant on Thursday, Nov. 5. The victim, 66-year-old James McLaughlin from Mead, Nebraska, was discovered in his black Nissan Titan, which was submerged in the lagoon.

According to a report from KMTV, McLaughlin’s truck was about 15 feet into the lagoon and only the back end was visible above the waterline.

“It looked like he was possibly a little out of control on the gravel road,” said Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz in the KMTV report.

The truck went off the nearby gravel road and through a barbed wire fence before landing in the wastewater lagoon. Police say the truck went in the water on Wednesday evening. An autopsy has been scheduled to determine cause of death.

Source: KMTV

Montreal Begins Dumping 2.1B Gallons of Wastewater
The City of Montreal, Canada, began a controversial wastewater system repair operation that will release about 2.1 billion gallons of untreated wastewater into the St. Lawrence River. According to a Reuters article, the city says the dump is necessary to replace aging parts of the wastewater system. The move has angered citizens and environmentalists, who have taken to social media with the hashtag #flushgate to express disapproval.

The city expects the release of wastewater to take about a week, and has said the water will dilute quickly from the huge volume of water in the river. Warning signs have been placed along the riverbanks, and the city has taken out full-page ads in Quebec’s main newspapers to explain its position.

“As I have repeatedly said, if there were better options we would certainly have considered them,” said Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre in the Rueters article. “But the reality is that the option we have chosen is the one with the least environmental impact.”

Source: Rueters

Manmade Wetlands Solves Wastewater Problem
The City of Prineville, Oregon, is hoping to solve its wastewater treatment disposal problems by constructing an $8.8 million manmade wetlands system, which will eliminate the need for a much more expensive treatment plant. The Crooked River Wetlands Complex will also include a 5.4-mile hiking trail system and will hopefully improve wildlife habitat around the Crooked River.

According to a report in The Bulletin, the city adopted the wetlands plan in 2011 after conducting two small wetland test plots. By abandoning plans for a traditional wastewater treatment plant, the city will be able to stabilize sewage rates for its residents.

“Projects like this certainly helps put us on the map. … You don’t necessarily expect progressive solutions like this out of a small, rural place like Prineville,” said Joshua Smith, a Prineville senior planner, in The Bulletin.

Once the complex is complete, planners expect to have 2 million gallons of treated wastewater per day entering the system. The city’s wastewater department currently serves about 10,000 customers. The wetlands system will be expand that capacity up to 50,000 customers.

Source: The Bulletin


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