News Briefs: Ohio EPA Orders Miami River Plants to Reduce Phosphorus

In this week's water and wastewater news, two Ohio plants face tougher phosphorus limits, Philadelphia requires in-sink disposers to reduce waste and a new water commissioner makes history.
News Briefs: Ohio EPA Orders Miami River Plants to Reduce Phosphorus

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has set new phosphorus limits for two plants that discharge into the Great Miami River. The new limits are the same as for those plants that discharge into Lake Erie. Two industrial plants on the river will also face the same limits.

The Great Miami River is a tributary of the Ohio River. The Ohio EPA says the new limits are an effort to reduce toxic algae blooms, which stretched 600 miles in the Ohio River this past summer. The limits are based on a 2010 water-quality study that showed during summer and early fall, the majority of phosphorus in the river came from the Dayton and Montgomery plants.

According to an Associated Press article, operators at both plants said they were disappointed the new limits were issued before the plants could complete their own studies. The city and county have issued statements saying more research is needed because the state EPA has not set a maximum amount of phosphorus the river can handle.


Philadelphia To Require In-Sink Food Waste Disposers

The City of Philadelphia recently amended its building code to include in-sink food waste disposers in all new construction. The new code is an attempt to divert food waste from the trash stream into the wastewater stream.

The city will leverage its existing water resource recovery infrastructure, which can recover organics for processing into biogas and fertilizer products. Philadelphia recently invested $50 million in its North Treatment Plant to upgrade the anaerobic digesters. The plant’s Class A biosolids are marketed by Synagro.

“While residential recycling rates have tripled over the past eight years, reducing the amount of food waste in the City’s waste stream is critical to meeting more aggressive waste reduction goals,” says former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. “In-sink food waste disposers are a helpful tool as the City continues to explore opportunities to divert organic material from the waste stream.”

Source: Press release

First Woman Appointed to Lead City Water Department

In Philadelphia, Debra McCarty has become the first woman to lead the city’s water department in its 200-year-old history.

McCarty has worked as the deputy water commissioner of the Operations Division since 2004, managing three drinking water plants, three wastewater treatment plants along with the city’s water and collection systems.

“I am honored by Mayor Kenney’s appointment and look forward to building on work that has established the Philadelphia Water Department as a national model for what a modern water, wastewater and stormwater utitility can be,” McCarty says in a Philly Voice article.

Source: Philly Voice


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