News Briefs: Los Angeles Aims to Recycle All Its Water By 2035

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, Austin (Texas) Water officials say a solution to the city's malodorous water problems caused by zebra mussels is still 18 months away

Los Angeles, California, Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced a new goal for the city to recycle 100 percent of its wastewater by 2035 — a plan he says would cost $2 billion. Garcetti announced the plan on Twitter:

Officials say upgrades to the 260 mgd Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant would be the largest part of the project. According to Garcetti, 75 percent of the plant’s nonpotable water ends up back in the ocean. “We will sell it to neighboring cities, including El Segundo and West Hollywood and Santa Monica and use it for the city of L.A.,” he tells LAist News. “It gives us everyday almost a quarter billion gallons that we can use for landscaping or putting back into the aquifer for drinking water.”

His office reportedly said in a statement that the city is confident it can finance the project through state and federal funding supplemented by city cash or bond money.

Austin's Zebra Mussel Solution Still 18 Months Away, Say Officials

A solution to Austin, Texas’ zebra mussel infestation could still be 18 months away, according to Austin Water officials.

Residents in the city have been dealing with malodorous, and city officials say an infestation of zebra mussels in a raw water pipeline is causing it. The pipe first became infested with the mussels a year ago.

The utility is working to slow the infestation by using chemical retardants in its pipelines and raw water tunnels. But so far, they haven’t been able to keep pace with the mussels reproduction abilities.

Faced with the idea of millions of mussels covering every hard surface in the city’s lakes, the utility is taking the matter seriously. However, implementing a copper-ion system capable of killing off the mussels is still a year and a half away.

Agreement With Advocacy Groups Will See Pittsburgh Replace Lead Lines

Thanks to a legal agreement negotiated by local advocacy organizations, the Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will safely replace thousands of its lead water lines and take significant new steps toward protecting residents’ drinking water.

“The people of Pittsburgh have been drinking lead-contaminated water for far too long,” says Dimple Chaudhary, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Pittsburgh United — a coalition of labor, faith, and environmental groups — advocated for the settlement, represented by lawyers from NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project. The agreement controls how PWSA will spend nearly $50 million in 2019 to safely remove the lead service lines

Lead levels in Pittsburgh have been high since at least 2016, according to an NRDC analysis. And PWSA estimates there being as many as 10,000 lead service lines remaining on public properties. Estimates aren’t available yet for private properties. NRDC data show that Pittsburgh is the second-largest water system in the country to have exceeded the action level for lead set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — and one of multiple cities to face drinking water crises in recent years.


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