News Briefs: Suspect Flees After Setting Fire to Water Treatment Facility

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, Denver (Colorado) is considering a plan to replace all its lead service lines citywide

Police in Cross County, Arkansas, are investigating a possible arson case, as they claim someone set a fire at a local water treatment facility.

First responders say a building and a trailer were on fire when they arrived at the Wynne Water Treatment Plant. Authorities discovered the fire was set intentionally and that a suspect had fled on foot into a nearby forest.

Minneapolis Homeowner Responsible for $20,000 Waterline Repair Across the Street

A homeowner in Minneapolis with a leaking waterline is financially responsible for a $20,000 repair, according to the city.

The homeowner, Dan Wilke, saw water coming out of his front lawn about a month and a half ago and called the city for help, but a city ordinance states that the leak is his responsibility.

The waterline is on the other side of the street from his house, across four lanes of traffic. Bids for the work came in between $17,000 to $21,000.

Denver Considers Replacing All Lead Service Lines

Officials with Denver Water are looking at replacing thousands of lead service lines throughout the city in an effort to provide lead-free tap water to every home, business and school in the system at a cost of up to $500 million.

The utility serves 1.4 million people in Denver and its suburbs, and the system includes somewhere between 50,000 and 90,000 lead service lines.

Denver Water is proposing a water rate increase to fund the project.

Overnight Shift Suspended at Phoenix Water Services Department Due to Harassment, Abuse

Recent reports from two investigations into employee conduct at the Phoenix Water Services Department revealed harassment, abuse and racism that led to the entire overnight shift being suspended, according to the Phoenix New Times.

Some of the complaints include being hit in the face with a dildo, butt and chest grabbing, frequent use of racial slurs by multiple employees on the overnight shift in the water distribution division, says a report by the city’s Equal Opportunity Department.

Five of the nine employees who violated policy had been fired in May, and another was reprimanded in writing. Another two still work for the utility, while the entire overnight shift has been suspended and repairs are being handled through an on-call system.

“The actions of these employees are a disservice to, and in no way reflect the excellent work of the 1,400 other Water Services employees,” Stephanie Bracken, a spokesperson for the department, tells Phoenix New Times.


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