News Briefs: Watertown Cited for Safety Violations in Operator’s Death

In this week's water and wastewater news, New York officials hand down seven safety citations in the wake of a wastewater operator's death; and California puts a structure in place for indirect potable reuse in its reservoirs

News Briefs: Watertown Cited for Safety Violations in Operator’s Death

The city of Watertown, New York, has been cited by the state for seven safety violations related to the death of wastewater treatment plant worker Gregory Eliopoulos last year.

An investigation by the Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau found that an injury sustained by Eliopoulos while he was adjusting a fitting on a high-pressure hydraulic line caused his death.

“Mr. Eliopoulos should have never been placed in this dangerous situation that ended up costing him his life and it was absolutely appropriate for the state to cite the city and hold them accountable over these violations,” says CSEA spokesperson Mark Kotzin.

The CSEA claims the city failed to train workers appropriately, provide isolation equipment, and have an energy-control plan.

Source: WWNYTV News

 California Board Approves Rules for Indirect Potable Reuse

The California State Water Resources Control Board recently approved new measures to allow recycled water to be added to the state’s reservoirs in new rules that could be implemented by 2023.

“This is a type of indirect potable use,” says Miryam Barajas of the board. “It’s not treated recycled water that goes directly to someone’s house. It’s highly treated.”

The new regulations could, according to Barajas, affect all 36 of California’s reservoirs. The decision was made after a two-year public review process and hearing by an expert panel.

The board also continues its work to implement a direct potable reuse program in the state.

Source: SF Gate

Memphis Pumping Untreated Waste Into Mississippi After Plant Failure

After multiple failures at the wastewater treatment plant in Memphis, Tennessee, operators are pumping untreated waste directly into the Mississippi River in an effort to deal with a huge overflow near the General Dewitt Spain Airport.

The water is a mix of one part waste to five parts river, according to Action News 5, and the water continues rising.

“We do not have water on the runway, or at the hangers yet, but as you can see from some of the efforts around the airport, it is getting a little closer,” Terry Blue, with Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority, told Action News 5.

Source: Action News 5

 Cape Town Delays ‘Day Zero’

Although its reservoir levels continue to decline, officials in Cape Town, South Africa, have pushed back the city’s Day Zero to early 2018.

Water restrictions remain in place for residents and visitors, as the day Cape Town runs out of water still looms.

“The city now projects that, if there was to be no rainfall, Day Zero would arrive on Aug. 27, 2018,” the city’s executive deputy mayor, Ian Neilson told The Independent. “As this date falls deep within the normal rainfall period, it is no longer appropriate to project the date without any consideration of rainfall. Thus, provided we continue our current water savings efforts, Day Zero can be avoided completely this year.”

Source: The Independent


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