News Briefs: Researchers Create ​Eco-Friendly Biosolids Bricks for Construction

Also in this week's news briefs, cocaine levels in the London River could be making eels hyperactive

A team at RMIT University in Australia recently created a environmentally friendly fired-clay building bricks made out of 10 to 25 percent biosolids.

The biosolid bricks are more porous than conventional bricks and have a lower conductivity.

According to the team, the bricks made of 25 percent biosolids also cost 48 percent less firing energy to produce, which could save factories money.

Cocaine in London River Overflows May Make Eels Hyperactive

Cocaine levels in wastewater overflows into the London River could be making eels hyperactive, according to King’s College London researchers and a separate 2018 study about eels by the University of Naples Federico II 

King’s College scientists recently studied wastewater overflows during storms and found traces of cocaine within 24 hours of the overflow events.

“Drugs which affect us will almost always affect all animal life, and invertebrates a little bit more because their biochemistry is much more sensitive,” James Robson, SEA LIFE London curator, tells Fox News. “Essentially everything in the water will be affected by drugs like these. A lot of the triggers and the ways that cocaine affects the system is really primal.”

Phony Utility Workers Arrested for Attempted Robbery

Two individuals in Phoenix, Arizona, recently were arrested for posing as utility workers and attempting to rob an elderly couple in their home.

The suspects are a man and a woman in their mid twenties, and the two victims told officers they saw one of the suspects wearing a safety vest. The suspects knocked on the couple’s door and told the victims they were water department employees and needed to check the water inside the residence.

Authorities say the couple watched as the suspects turned on a kitchen faucet and filled a cup with water.

“He actually spit in the cup, gave it to the homeowner and said, ‘See?  You have bubbles in your water. This needs to be repaired,’” Armando Carbajal with Phoenix Police Department tells

Apparently the suspects had a young child with them who was wandering around the house picking up items like jewelry, and the couple then asked the suspects to leave. They got a photo of the vehicle as it left the area, which allowed police to initiate a traffic stop and arrest them later on.

New York Governor Proposes $150 Billion Infrastructure Plan

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently proposed a five-year plan that includes $150 billion in infrastructure projects during a State of the State Address.

As part of that proposal, Cuomo called for a new $10 billion Green Future Fund allocating $5 billion for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, along with $300 million toward an existing fund that includes financing for waterfront revitalization projects.


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