News Briefs: Reporters Claim Unsafe Washington Treatment Plant Ruined Man's Life

In this week's water and wastewater news, reporters in Washington say Puget Sound Naval Shipyard ran an unsafe wastewater treatment facility from 2006 to 2013; and an Oregon wastewater plant is accused of falsifying data and leaving untreated discharges unreported
News Briefs: Reporters Claim Unsafe Washington Treatment Plant Ruined Man's Life

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After being exposed for seven years to toxins at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard’s wastewater treatment plant, Tim Combs of Bremerton, Washington, lost 100 pounds and underwent three major surgeries.

“I’ve been to the bottom,” Combs told KING 5 News. “I know I didn't want to die, but I really didn't know if I was going to make it.”

Reporters from KING 5 claim they’ve found that the shipyard’s managers operated an unsafe wastewater treatment facility on the site from 2006 to 2013, violating state and federal laws to keep employees safe.

Source: King 5 News

Oregon Plant Accused of Falsifying Reports, Not Reporting Untreated Discharges

The wastewater treatment plant in Rainer, Oregon, has violated seven state environmental laws in recent years, according to a report by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Included among those are accusations that the city falsified operations reports to the DEQ and discharged untreated wastewater into the Columbia River without reporting it.

The city has until the end of the month to answer the allegations before the state issues a final enforcement notice.

The city’s mayor and manager both released the report at a press conference where they stated they’ve been aware of problems at the plant since this spring.


New 'Water University' Coming to Illinois

With estimations from the United Nations that there could be a 40 percent global water shortfall by the year 2030, Ecolab and Nalco Water are creating a Water University in Naperville, Illinois.

The university’s clientele will learn new ways to reduce, recycle and reuse water, according to research and development representatives like Andy Cooper.

“We're working to minimize water usage and maximize results for our customers,” Cooper told the Chicago Tribune. “The Water University is here to disseminate that knowledge. It helps to provide the tools and training that businesses need to address water solutions.”

Nalco surveyed 184 businesses that use water in their industry, and only 42 percent said water management was part of their strategy. The survey also showed that 82 percent of those weren’t using any advanced tools or technologies to improve water use.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Tough Water Regulations Being Considered in Michigan in Flint's Wake

After the fallout from the Flint Water Crisis, public officials put forward new proposals for tougher water regulations in Michigan. If they pass, they’ll be the strongest in the nation.

When the news about Flint’s lead problem first surfaced in 2014, citizens called for Gov. Rick Snyder to resign. His top aides had voiced concerns via email about the city’s water quality well before scientists and pediatricians came forward.

However, Synder is now blaming the federal government, saying the 25-year-old Lead and Copper Rule is to blame. “If the dumb and dangerous federal Lead and Copper Rule is not changed, then this tragedy will befall another American cities,” he said to Michigan Radio.

The new rules aim to lower the “action level” for lead in water and require more sampling.

Source: Michigan Radio


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