News Briefs: Operator Describes Out-of-Control Bacterial Bloom as 'The Blob'

In this week's water and wastewater news, a bacterial bloom causes some alarm at a Butte, Montana, treatment plant; and a huge ice dam shuts down operations at a water treatment facility in Carman, Manitoba
News Briefs: Operator Describes Out-of-Control Bacterial Bloom as 'The Blob'

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Treatment plant operator Matt Moore said a bacterial bloom that recently grew out of Butte, Montana’s wastewater treatment plant resembled something from the movie “The Blob.” The growth caused the county to spill 550,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater into a nearby creek.

The bacteria quickly grew out of a vat inside the plant, spilling all over the floor before growing in height and pouring out of the building.

“It rolled out the doors,” Moore told The Montana Standard. “We had to open the garage doors to make room for it. It grew very quickly.”

While the county doesn’t know what caused the incident, they reported it to the Department of Environmental Quality and are planning a forensic analysis.

Source: The Montana Standard

Ice Dam Forces Treatment Plant to Shut Down

A huge ice dam recently forced the town of Carman, Manitoba, to close its water treatment plant due to sediment in the Boyne River from flooding.

Mayor Bob Mitchell told Winnipeg Free Press more than 30 homes have been damaged by floods and sewage backups because of the six-kilometer ice dam.

“The ice is three feet thick in places and we can't get equipment to it,” he told the newspaper. “The ice jam is six kilometers long. There was water running over the bridge by the golf course. We’ve never seen that before.”

Source: Winnipeg Free Press

Settlement Orders Replacement of Lead Pipes in Flint

Residents in the city of Flint, Michigan, will have their lead pipes replaced as the result of a recent settlement recently supported by a federal judge.

The state will be required to provide nearly $100 million to the city to replace the pipes within three years, maintain a water filter installation and education program, and provide bottled water for residents.

The suit was filed by Concerned Pastors for Social Action, resident Melissa Mays, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the ACLU of Michigan.

Source: Natural Resources Defense Council

Treatment Plant's Graffiti Wall to Remain Intact

A graffiti-adorned wall outside the Portland Water District’s treatment plant will continue to serve as a canvas to Portland artists, according to the PWD Board of Trustees and Planning Committee.

The 100-yard wall has been used for graffiti since 2000, and the board sees no reason to change that.

“I think it’s important to let the people know that we support the use of the wall as it is,” said Trustee Gary Libby in a press release.

Opponents argued that the wall is a training ground for criminals and that spraypaint fumes could affect those walking or biking on a nearby trail.

Source: The Forecaster


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