News Briefs: Goats Clearing Brush at Massachusetts WWTP

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, the World Health Organization releases a report saying there's likely no health risk associated with microplastics in drinking water

Instead of relying on manual clearing of brush and overgrowth at the Barnstable (Massachusetts) Wastewater Treatment Plant, workers are relying on goats’ fierce appetites to get the job done.

Andrew Boule, water pollution control division supervisor for the Barnstable Department of Public Works, hired seven goats from Goat Green of Cape Cod instead of applying expensive herbicide or delegating the work to overqualified employees.

Goats, it turns out, are perfectly qualified and well suited to offer an environmentally friendly solution. “I think this actually does a better job,” Boule tells the Cape Cod Times.

About a third of Goat Green’s herd is spending two weeks at the plant removing brush along 1,000 feet of fencing — at total area of 15,000 square feet, according to the newspaper.

Check out a video of the goats below:

World Health Organization Releases Microplastics Report

A 124-page report recently released by the World Health Organization says there’s likely no health risk associated with the presence of microplastics in drinking water, but nonetheless recommends a crackdown on plastic pollution.

WHO says in the report that microplastics are not likely to be absorbed in the human body.

“Routine monitoring of microplastics in drinking-water is not recommended at this time, as there is no evidence to indicate a human health concern,” reads the study. “Concerns over microplastics in drinking water should not divert resources of water suppliers and regulators from removing microbial pathogens, which remains the most significant risk to human health from drinking-water along with other chemical priorities.”

Newark to Continue Testing Homes for Lead for a Few Weeks

The city of Newark, New Jersey, will continue testing residential tap water for the next few weeks to get a read on whether the filters it issued to residents are removing enough lead.

According to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, 225 homes are being tested, while the remaining 14,000 homes likely to have lead service lines will continue to be given free bottled water in part of an effort that started Aug. 12.

Wisconsin Governor Initiates Crackdown on PFAS

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is directing the state’s Department of Natural Resources to work alongside other agencies to mitigate the impact of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.

Specifically, the governor’s executive order mandates the agencies build a website to inform the public about the possible dangers of PFAS, and work with municipalities to find potential sources of PFAS pollution.

Evers also recently asked the DNR to create PFAS regulatory standards.


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