News Briefs: Lightning Strike Damages Wastewater Facility

In this week's water and wastewater news, a storm damages a plant's electrical system, and groups sue over lead levels in Flint, Michigan, drinking water.
News Briefs: Lightning Strike Damages Wastewater Facility

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Lightning hit a wastewater treatment facility in Harvard, Massachusetts, on Nov. 12, causing about $100,000 in damages. The strike traveled through the plant and back through an electric line where it popped a circuit. According to an article in the Harvard Press, most of the damage was to electronic devices and memory cards.

Although insurance will cover the damage, the town had to transfer money from a reserve fund to cover the repairs, which needed to be done immediately.

Plant Manager Jim Arthur said no interruption in operation occurred. The plant functioned on manual settings during the incident and repairs.

Source: Harvard Press 

Groups Sue Flint, Michigan, for Drinking Water Problems
Residents of Flint, Michigan, together with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Natural Resources Defense Council, announced their intention to sue state and city officials for violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The groups hope to force officials to address dangerous levels of lead in the city’s drinking water.

“This action is about holding the government accountable for failing to protect the public health of an entire community,” says Anjali Waikar, an environmental justice staff attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Dangerous amounts of lead leached out of the city’s pipes and into Flint’s drinking water for more than a year following a decision by Flint officials to use the Flint River as the city’s primary drinking water source.

The Notice of Intent to Sue was served on behalf of Concerned Pastors for Social Action, an association of religious leaders from Flint; Melissa Mays, a Flint resident; the ACLU of Michigan; and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The groups claim that since April 2014, the City of Flint and Michigan state officials have failed to monitor and control for lead in Flint’s drinking water and maintain a program to assist Michigan schools with lead testing and remediation, in violation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. If City of Flint and Michigan state officials — including Governor Rick Snyder and Dan Wyant, director of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality — do not remedy violations under the Safe Drinking Water Act within 60 days, the groups intend to file a lawsuit in federal court.

Source: Natural Resources Defense Council press release

Wastequip Founder, Dr. Charles W. Walton, Dies at 83
Wastequip founder, Dr. Charles W. Walton, died Nov. 3. He was 83. A true visionary, Walton established Wastequip in the late 1980s with his sights on consolidating the fragmented waste equipment industry. Wastequip thrived under Walton’s leadership, and eventually became one of the largest manufacturers of waste and recycling equipment. After Wastequip was acquired by a private equity firm in 1999, Walton continued to lead the company until his retirement in 2007. 

“Charles was a born entrepreneur and an idealistic businessman. He not only founded Wastequip, but built it into the world-class company it is today,” says Wastequip CEO Martin Bryant. “His passing falls heavy on our hearts, but his vision and spirit will forever be the foundation of Wastequip. Our deepest sympathies go to his family and friends. He will be missed.”  


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