News Briefs: Thousands Still Lack Clean Water After Hurricane Harvey

In this week's water and wastewater news, 13 boil-water notices remain in effect since Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast in August; and a process control manager in Connecticut is arrested on larceny charges
News Briefs: Thousands Still Lack Clean Water After Hurricane Harvey

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More than three months after Hurricane Harvey made landfall and wreaked havoc along the Gulf Coast, there are still thousands waiting for clean water, as 13 boil-water notices remain in effect, according to a report by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

“It has been so touch-and-go,” Rose City water operator Janice Ratcliff told the Beaumont Enterprise. “It will run good for two weeks, but then something will happen. It makes no sense to remove the notice just to have to go right back on it.”

The TCEQ says there are about 3,750 people in affected areas who haven’t had access to clean drinking water since August. Of the 1,743 wastewater facilities affected by Harvey, three in Harris County are still offline.

Source: Beaumont Enterprise

Wastewater Manager Arrested for Larceny

A process control manager for the wastewater treatment plant in Greenwich, Connecticut, recently was arrested and charged with larceny for profiting off the sale of scrap metal.

Police say they were alerted that scrap metal owned by the town was being sold for personal profit. After an investigation, authorities learned that the man, Dwayne Lockwood of Greenwich, had sold the metal for several thousand dollars in profit and also tried to get a witness to provide false testimony.

“The town does a lot of jobs with machine parts, and a lot of scrap metal is generated,” police Capt. Robert Berry told LMT Online. “Some of that scrap metal was sold to dealers, and he kept the money.”

Source: LMT Online

Researchers Find Antidepressants in Wastewater Alters Fish Behavior

A team of researchers from Environment Canada and Climate Change Canada and McMaster University recently found that fish living downstream from a wastewater treatment plant showed changes to their normal behavior, making them vulnerable to predators, when exposed to elevated levels of antidepressants in water.

The findings — published as a series of three papers in the journal Scientific Reports — point to the ongoing problem of prescription medications, personal care products and other drugs ending up in the watershed and the impact they have on the natural environment.

“Fish can be seen as the canaries in the coal mine,” says Sigal Balshine, a professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster and one of the authors on the papers. “The fish that make their homes in the receiving waters downstream from wastewater treatment plants absorb these chemicals and therefore can be our water sentinels.” 

Source: McMaster University

Wastewater Employees Find Human Remains in Youngstown, Ohio

Wastewater employees in Youngstown, Ohio, recently found human remains while checking manhole covers.

According to police, the employees check the manholes about once per month, but there’s no telling for certain how long the human body parts were in the sewer.

Police will look to missing persons reports for clues in identifying the body.

Source: WSAZ News


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