News Briefs: Operator Gets Settlement After Exposing E. Coli Cover-Up

In this week's water and wastewater news, a former wastewater superintendent is awarded a settlement after getting fired for exposing an E. coli cover-up; and a California utility sets a world record for converting the most wastewater to potable water

News Briefs: Operator Gets Settlement After Exposing E. Coli Cover-Up

A former wastewater treatment plant superintendent was awarded a confidential settlement after he sued the city of Maryville, Tennessee, for firing him.

The complaint by Mark Skeen alleged that he was dismissed for not participating in a cover-up effort surrounding E. coli violations at the Maryville Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The suit was filed in early 2017, although he’d been fired in mid-2016 after uncovering attempts to disguise E. coli levels in effluent during heavy rains.

Source: The Daily Times

Orange County Sets World Record for Reclaimed Water

As part of an ongoing effort to promote appositive public perception of reclaimed water, the Orange County (California) Water and Sanitation District recently set a world record for converting the most wastewater into drinkable water within 24 hours.

The district produced 100,008,000 gallons of potable water in that time period, which Guinness judged sufficient to set the record.

Although the district has produced a similar amount of drinkable water every day for years, the official record could inspire other utilities to chase the total. The district pumps that water into the ground basin.

Source: The Orange County Register

Water Workers Save Cow From Drowning in Ditch

Water department workers from Lehi City, Utah, recently spent a morning saving a dying cow that was stuck in a muddy water ditch.

With overnight snow passing through the area, the water had become quite cold, and the cow kept trying to lay down and give up. But the city workers managed to get a strap underneath the animal and lift it out with a mini-excavator.

The cow, after being pulled to safety, charged after her rescuers, scattering them in fear.

Source: Fox 13 News

Kentucky Utility Starts Apprenticeship Program for Water Operators

Prestonsburg City Utilities of Floyd County, Kentucky, recently partnered with Big Sandy Community & Technical College and the Kentucky Labor Cabinet to make an apprenticeship program to train people for careers in water treatment plants.

The end goal with the program is for the apprentices to become certified water treatment plant operators.

“So you want to be bringing along people that could not only be ready to fill in eventually or step in, but also to be garnering some knowledge from these older guys that have so much experience and passing it on to them,” Prestonsburg City Utilities CEO Eddie Campbell told Mountain News.

Source: Mountain News


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