News Briefs: Door-to-Door Water Treatment Salesman Faces 112 Charges

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, New Jersey's lead problem could cost billions of dollars to fix

The Canadian province of Ontario recently filed 112 charges against a door-to-door salesman using misleading claims to offer water treatment services in Ottawa.

A spokesperson from the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services says the man, Saeed Torbati, has been running a business called Ontario Safety Standards and made false, misleading or deceptive statements to sell homeowners water filters and other equipment. Some stated that the Torbati claimed the installations would save them money on their water bills.

“It is also alleged that the corporation used a contract that did not comply with the Consumer Protection Act and failed to provide refunds to consumers as required,” a ministry spokesperson tells the Ottawa Citizen.

The charges originated with complaints from 19 different people living in Ottawa.

Jersey's Lead Contamination Issue Could Cost Billions to Fix

One problem that could end up costing New Jersey $2 to $3 billion is its lead contamination issue. More than 1.4 million people are getting drinking water from systems that are testing above the government threshold for lead contamination, according to

Meanwhile, NJ Spotlight reports that the multibillion dollar figure is an estimate of what it will take to replace the state’s 350,000 lead service lines, which due to corrosion-control problems, are now leaching lead into customers’ drinking water.

EPA Announces $99.7 Million Loan to Miami-Dade for Wastewater Infrastructure

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Florida officials recently announced a $99.7 million loan to Miami-Dade County for wastewater infrastructure upgrades that aim to help protect the environment and create jobs.

The loan for Miami-Dade’s water and sewer department will help it build 14 injection wells in an effort to stop wastewater from discharging into the Atlantic Ocean.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says President Trump’s administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to helping address Florida’s unique water challenges. “These federal dollars being released by the EPA will be invested in critical water infrastructure upgrades and help protect the water supply for millions of Floridians for generations to come,” he says. “We continue to do our part at the state level to push for historic investments to protect and restore our environment and water quality.”

Wheeler also recently announced the availability of funding to provide an estimated $6 billion in Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans in 2019.

“This new round of WIFIA funding provides up to $6 billion in credit assistance which, combined with other sources, could support $12 billion in water infrastructure projects and create more than 180,000 jobs. For this round, we are prioritizing construction-ready projects in three areas: water reuse and recycling, reducing exposure to lead and addressing emerging contaminants, and updating aging infrastructure.”

Akron, Iowa, Calls on Citizens to Stop Using Flushable Wipes

Reporters from KMEG News televised an image of a city employee pulling out a massive wad of so-called flushable wipes at a lift station in Akron, Iowa.

The public works department in Akron is urging its customers to stop flushing wipes due to the damage it's causing the wastewater system. The city is spending as much as $1,800 every three months repairing problems caused by the wipes.

See the image of the wipes at Akron’s lift station in KMEG News report.


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