News Briefs: 'Highly Intoxicated' Swimmers​ Continue Breaking Into Treatment Facility

In this week's water and wastewater news, intoxicated homeless men are using a treatment facility's pond as a swimming hole; and video footage shows a creek running bright red after a chemical spill

A group of routinely intoxicated homeless men are using the Mill Creek Water Treatment Facility’s pond as a swimming hole, according to the San Miguel (Colorado) Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities say via Twitter that deputies are investigating the group for trespassing on plant grounds and swimming in a pond that feeds Telluride’s water supply.

“Although the water is treated before it reaches the public, there is a reason there's a security fence around the facility, and this violation is of great concern,” reads the tweet. “Most of the group are often highly intoxicated and are well known to law enforcement.”

The sheriff’s office added that they’re under investigation for violating the area’s 30-day camping limit and that one member of the group is legally in possession of an AR-15 rifle.

In other water and wastewater news, an 18-year-old construction worker died on the job recently while his crew was working to install a secondary clarifier at a treatment facility in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

No information has yet been released about what exactly happened at the plant, but a coroner’s inquest into the death will be held.

The worker, Michael Henderson, had graduated from Fredericton High School earlier this summer.

The American Chemical Society has presented research indicating that 20 percent of more than 400 contact lens wearers randomly recruited for a survey reported flushing lenses down the toilet or rinsing them down the drain rather than putting them in the garbage can.

But the scientists say those lenses don’t biodegrade very well, and their research shows the lenses are fragmenting and making their way into surface waters where they can add to the growing problem of microplastic pollution.

Video footage posted online by a resident of a Lawrenceville, Georgia, subdivision shows reason for water-safety concerns, as a creek running through the resident's neighborhood was running an alien-planet shade of bright red.

Users on the Nextdoor website — social media for neighborhoods — were asking questions. “Any idea why water is red in (the) creek running behind Hadaway trail?” one resident asked. “It’s really quite bizarre and disturbing looking!!!”

A hazmat team responded to the red stream and located the source about a half-mile upstream in someone’s backyard. The homeowner said he was using a 250-gallon tank to irrigate his yard and spilled its unknown contents onto the ground. The hazmat team closed the valve to stop the leak.

This story raises some eyebrows about what that homeowner was up to, but if you’re interested in seeing the bright-red creek, here’s a link to a video.


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