News Briefs: Jury Awards $27 Million for Worker Death at Treatment Plant

In this week's water and wastewater news, a jury finds a construction company at fault for a 2011 fatality, a plant gets called out on social media, and Detroit looks for funding.
News Briefs: Jury Awards $27 Million for Worker Death at Treatment Plant

The family of construction worker, Edgar Alejandro Gonzalez, 30, who died in a 2011 construction accident at a wastewater treatment plant in Playa del Rey, California, has been awarded $27 million by a Los Angeles jury. The jury found Atlas Construction Supply Inc., at fault for the accident.

Gonzalez was standing on a 30-foot concrete wall-form panel at the Hyperion Treatment Plant when the wall collapsed. The jury found that Atlas was 55 percent negligent, while the rest of the blame fell on USS Cal Builders, the project contractor. The jury awarded $3.5 million in economic damages and $23.5 million in non-economic damages to Gonzalez’s wife, Rosa, and their two children.

Source: LA Times

Equalization Basin Makes a Mess in Austin

Residents in Lost Creek, Texas, a community near Austin, took to social media earlier this month when an equalization tank overflowed 25,000 gallons. Although treatment plant officials insisted the spill was cleaned before raw sewage made it to a neighboring creek, residents in the area are still concerned about the state of the treatment plant.

“It was a smell so bad you could feel it,” says resident Tim Beets, who posted a video of the leaking tank online and then sent it to local television station KXAN. “It was like someone had smashed a rotten egg right in your face.”

The plant has had overflow issues in the past, but officials state upgrades are in the works, with repair to the tank planned for the end of 2016.

Source: KXAN

Detroit Water-Bill Assistance Plan Set to Expire

According to a Detroit Free Press article, funds for Detroit’s Water Residential Assistance Program are about to dry up. The article states that residents applying for assistance are being told to try again in October, in hopes that additional funding will be made available. The program currently has enough funds to last through the end of the month.

The program launched in March 2016 as a way to provide relief for low-income residents with overdue water bills. Residents otherwise faced water shutoffs, which became a source of debate about water rights for activists around the world.

Source: Detroit Free Press


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