News Briefs: Waste Spill Fills Pump Room to Its Ceiling in Colorado

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, a weeklong wastewater spill in Miami-Dade, Florida, is finally contained

Wastewater treatment plant workers in Craig, Colorado, came into work recently to find wastewater up to the ceiling. Turns out, a lightning strike knocked out the plant’s power, including its entire alert communications system.

Officials say it will take weeks or months to recover from the incident, which left sewage backing up its 36-inch line toward homes and businesses once the pump room filled.

After about 16 years working with the city, wastewater manager Carl Ray tells Craig Press it’s a significant disaster. “It’s one of the worst events I’ve ever been through.”

The city is hopeful insurance will cover some of the repairs, and officials say they plan to install additional redundancies to prevent similar events from occurring in the future.

Pennsylvania Officials Search for Source of Mystery Foam

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is working to identify a substance that created a bunch of white foam after agitation at the York City Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The mysterious substance came via the plant’s sewer collections system and appears to be a surfactant, according to officials. Water containing the substance was discharged into a creek, where samples are being taken.

The substance is no longer flowing into the plant, say operators.

Weeklong Miami-Dade Wastewater Spill Contained

A 1.6 million gallon spill of untreated wastewater into Miami-Dade, Florida’s Oleta River has been contained, according to officials. The leak originated from a ruptured pipe 12 feet underground.

The leak was first noticed by a kayaker, and it eventually led to a no-swim advisory in the area. The leak was finally patched a week later using a device to collect wastewater from the leak and reroute it to the sewer system.

The city couldn’t close off that sewer line because it would have affected wastewater services for thousands of residents, say officials.

New York Communities to Divide $10 Million in Lead Line Replacement Funds

In New York state, 18 communities will divide $10 million in state funding earmarked for lead service line replacements, according to Associated Press.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the projects are part of a larger $2.5 billion effort to improve water systems in the state.

Some of the cities accepting the funds, according to AP, were Hudson, Oswego, Yonkers and Plattsburgh. 


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