News Briefs: Sioux City Treatment Plant Management Under FBI Scrutiny

In this week's water and wastewater news, the FBI is investigating a treatment plant in Sioux City, Iowa; Johnson Utilities and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality are releasing conflicting statements about the utility's water quality; a significant chlorine spill in Lee, New York, hospitalizes two workers; and Israel is commended for recycling 90 percent of its wastewater.
News Briefs: Sioux City Treatment Plant Management Under FBI Scrutiny

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An ongoing investigation into Sioux City, Iowa’s wastewater treatment plant has led FBI agents to obtain a search warrant and seize computer data at the city’s information technology department.

The plant’s management has been under investigation since early 2015, when it was discovered that two supervisors had altered treatment chemicals, causing effluent into the Missouri River to contain high levels of E. coli.

Since the state Department of Natural Resources caps its penalties at $10,000, the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission asked Iowa’s attorney general to pursue a federal case.

It hasn’t yet been reported what the FBI agents were looking for or what they found.

Source: Sioux City Journal

Environmental Department at Odds With Arizona Utility Over Nitrates

Johnson Utilities of Pinal County, Arizona and the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) are at odds over whether the utility’s water is safe for infants to drink.

After failing to make direct contact with the utility about the issue, ADEQ issued a warning to its customers saying high levels of nitrates in the water made it unsafe for infants younger than 6 months.

Within 90 minutes of that statement, George Johnson of Johnson Utilities issued his own statement saying that nitrate levels were easily within acceptable levels and that recent samples saying otherwise were incorrectly performed.

Source: The Arizona Republic

Chlorine Spill at Lee Plant Hospitalizes Workers

Nearly 200 pounds of chlorine recently were spilled at the Rome City Water Treatment Plant in Lee, New York, resulting in two workers being taken to a local hospital.

The workers were hospitalized as a precautionary measure, as they didn’t sustain any noticeable injuries.

“The thing about hazmat situations is they’re very methodical,” Director of Oneida County Emergency Services Kevin Revere said to the Observer-Dispatch. “They want to take their time so they don’t make a bad situation worse.”

Source: Observer-Dispatch

Israel Credited for Recycling 90% of Its Wastewater

At a recent conference in Israel, Minister of Strategic Affairs & Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan commended the nation for recycling nearly 90 percent of its wastewater.

“That’s around four times higher than any other country in the world,” Erdan said at the event. “It is a remarkable achievement and this benefits not only Israel. Israeli companies are helping save water around the world, from Africa to California to India.”

Business leaders from Israel gathered with others from the international community for the conference, which was the inaugural Israeli Corporate Social Responsibility Experience Conference.

Source: Arutz Sheva



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