News Briefs: Residents Report Illness After Fluoride Pump Malfunction

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, a 51-year-old worker dies in an equipment accident at a water treatment plant in Lethbridge, Alberta

Sandy City, Utah, was recently cited by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality after testing revealed high levels of lead, copper and fluoride in the water it was distributing to customers. Apparently, a fluoride pump malfunctioned, releasing too much of the chemical and flooding the distribution system with unsafe mineral levels.

Residents in at least eight locations reported illnesses that may have been related to the contamination, and in two instances, the illnesses prompted calls to 911. One caller told dispatchers he and his wife felt sick to the stomach after drinking the water. “It almost tasted like too much chemicals or sewage. I don’t know what it was,” he told a dispatcher, according to KSL.com.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert released a statement saying he was concerned about the health of the families affected by the contamination. “That is why I have directed our Utah Departments of Environmental Quality, Health and Public Safety to work closely with Sandy City and the Salt Lake County Health Department to ensure that every precaution is taken to protect the safety and health of our citizens.”

Worker Dies in Telescopic Handler Accident

A 51-year-old male worker reportedly died in an equipment accident at a water treatment facility in Lethbridge, Alberta, according to Lethbridge News Now. Occupational Health and Safety is investigating the incident.

The man was reportedly struck by a telescopic handler. He had been employed by a temporary staffing firm.

Further details about the accident aren’t being made public currently, but OHS issues stop-work orders to the contractor while they provided proof of adequate worker safety on site.

Florida Legislators Amend Bill Seeking to Ban Biosolids

A legislative committee in Florida recently amended a bill that aimed to ban biosolids in the upper St. John’s River watershed, altering it to require any regulations on biosolids to be applicable statewide.

Among the amendments to the bill were stipulations saying it’s in the best interest of the state of Florida to: regulate biosolids management statewide to minimize nutrient pollution in waterways; expedite the implementation of any recommendations made by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s biosolids technical advisory committee; and expedite the implementation of innovative technologies that process biosolids.

Operators Evacuated from Plant in Flooded Nebraska City

Recent floods in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, required the workers at a wastewater treatment plant to be evacuated due to rising waters from the Missouri River.

Emergency crews worked to transport workers to higher ground, and another person was rescued from the nearby Morehead Island Recreational Park.

According to operators, the facility is secure and sewage overflows into the Missouri River aren’t expected.



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