News Briefs: Alaska Gets Failing Grade In Water/Wastewater Infrastructure

In this week's water and wastewater news, a civil engineering group gives Alaska a failing water infrastructure grade; and a wastewater truck hits and kills a woman in Spokane, Washington.
News Briefs: Alaska Gets Failing Grade In Water/Wastewater Infrastructure

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The American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave Alaska a C-minus on its infrastructure report card after getting a failing grade on the subject of water and wastewater systems.

The ASCE ranks Alaska worst in the nation for water and wastewater systems, comparing some parts of the state to certain third-world countries.

“In terms of clean water, we actually have some challenges that put us below Puerto Rico,” Greg Kinney, governor of ASCE Chapter 8, told KTVA Alaska. “In terms of just the distribution of water and handling of wastewater, we really are living in two Alaskas, if not three.”

Source: KTVA Alaska

Wastewater Truck Strikes, Kills Homeless Woman

The family of a homeless woman will receive a $250,000 settlement after a city wastewater truck struck and killed her while she slept on the side of the road last spring in Spokane, Washington.

Stephanie Meier’s eight children and husband will receive payments of $15,000 apiece after paying $117,000 in attorney fees.

The worker who drove the truck that morning wasn’t criminally charged in the incident, and he’s still employed as a wastewater specialist in the city.

Source: The Spokesman Review

Flint Residents On Their Own For Water Bills

Michigan officials have decided they will no longer assist Flint residents with water bills. The state had previously covered a portion of utility bills after the Flint Water Crisis in 2014.

The credit program was in place because Flint was using its river water as a source without properly treating it.

Now that Flint’s water meets federal standards, the state has rolled back the program. Meanwhile, city officials claim people still need help.

Source: WDET

Florida DEP Awards $24 Million for Water Projects

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has awarded more than $24 million in funding for 12 recent projects to continue efforts to improve water quality in the Indian River Lagoon.

These projects will help communities reduce stormwater nutrient loads, continue stormwater treatment improvements, reduce or eliminate nonpoint source pollution and eliminate muck sediments.

“We are committed to partnering with local communities to expedite and implement projects that improve water quality and contribute to the ongoing restoration of the Indian River Lagoon, which is vital to Florida’s environment, economy and quality of life,” said DEP Interim Secretary Ryan Matthews. 

Project funding is provided by the state’s Total Maximum Daily Load Water Quality Restoration Grant, legislative appropriation grants and the U.S. EPA’s Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grant. 

Source: Florida DEP

Madison School District Finds Lead Contamination

High levels of lead in water fountains were found at six schools within the Madison (Wisconsin) Metropolitan School District, and water service has been shut off to those fountains.

As of last week, the district had tested 157 fixtures in 13 of its schools on the east side of the city.

The district plans to continue testing its schools in the coming weeks.

District officials say that the lead is localized to certain fountains and isn’t an issue with lead pipes in the buildings.

“We aren’t aware of any lead piping in our schools that would cause concern,” Wiese told The Cap Times. “The main things that can cause an accumulation of lead in our drinking water would be brass-based or lead-containing fixtures in drinking fountains themselves.”

Source: The Cap Times


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