News Briefs: Two Louisiana Systems Test Positive for 'Brain-Eating Amoeba'

In this week's water and wastewater news, residents in two Louisiana parishes are warned about a brain-eating amoeba in their water systems; and scientists predict tardigrades will be the last creatures on Earth.
News Briefs: Two Louisiana Systems Test Positive for 'Brain-Eating Amoeba'

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Two of Louisiana’s water systems have tested positive for Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba known colloquially as the brain-eating amoeba, according to the state’s department of health.

Residents in Terrebonne Parish’s Schriever system and Ouachita Parish’s North Monroe system have been advised to take precautions to mitigate the risk of infection.

Both water systems were asked to convert to free chlorine disinfection for the next 60 days in order to kill the amoeba.

State authorities say the water is safe to drink, but that people should avoid getting it in their noses, which can cause a serious brain infection.

Source: Tech Times

Scientists Say Water Bears Will Outlive Every Other Creature on the Planet

In a study titled “The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events,” scientists have made the claim that tardigrades — also known as water bears — likely will be the last life form on Earth in the event of a cataclysmic mass extinction event.

Researchers say the water bears will long outlive human being on our planet, and is the ultimate survivor as it can live for 30 years without food or water and withstands temperatures near absolute zero and up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

“A lot of previous work has focused on doomsday scenarios on Earth — astrophysical events like supernovae that could wipe out the human race,” said Dr. David Sloan of Oxford University. “Our study instead considered the hardiest species – the tardigrade.”

Source: The Independent

Illegal Oil Dumping Mystery Continues in Rochester, New Hampshire

Authorities in Rochester, New Hampshire, are looking into ongoing cases of illegal oil dumping in the city’s wastewater system.

Oil was discovered in the system last November, along with every month since February. With 90 miles of pipes, 28 pump stations and 10 locations, the Rochester wastewater system, the estimated cost to the city of each incident is likely between $1,500 and $3,000.

Police are investigating the case, and the city has asked the state DEP for assistance.

Source: The Olympian

Wastewater Supervisor Pleads Guilty to Felonies Related to Truck Explosion

A supervisor at Santa Clara (California) Wastewater Company recently pleaded guilty to felony charges related to an explosion at the plant in 2014.

The charges included conspiracy to impede enforcement by a Certified Union Program Agency official, knowing failure to warn of serious concealed danger, and misdemeanor interference with enforcement and violations of labor safety standards.

According to investigators, Kenneth Griffin of Ventura instructed a vacuum truck driver to clean the facility and vacuum up chemicals from large plastic containers. The driver was eating lunch in the truck’s cab when the truck exploded.

Griffin was party to moving the chemicals off-site in an effort to impede an investigation from the county environmental health department, according to the county’s district attorney.

Source: Ventura County Star


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