News Briefs: Illegal Oil Dumper Costing WWTP Thousands Per Week

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, officials in Tampa, Florida, are considering an indirect potable reuse project

The town of Speedway, Indiana, is looking for more information about illegal dumping activity that is costing the wastewater treatment plant $2,000 to $3,000 per week to clean up.

Treatment plant officials say someone has been dumping hundreds of gallons of oil down the drain during the morning hours on weekends. As a result, the plant’s superintendent has had to buy extra oxygen to keep the facility’s microorganisms alive amidst all the oil.

Based on the large amount of oil seen at the plant, operators say it’s likely coming from a business and is asking the public for any information it may have about who is responsible. That person could be looking at criminal charges and fees to reimburse the town for what it has spent cleaning up the mess.  

Tampa Officials Consider Indirect Potable Reuse Project

Public works officials in Tampa, Florida, are working with Mayor Jane Castor on a $3.1 billion proposal to rehabilitate the city’s aging sewer and water infrastructure and build a new water source via indirect potable reuse.

Some residents, however, have expressed that they aren’t happy about a proposal that could double their water bills by 2026. In response to that, seven city council members came out in opposition of part of the plan that would cost $300 million to build a 50 mgd indirect potable reuse system.

It’s also worth noting that critics are using the derisive moniker “toilet-to-tap” to describe the project, largely thanks to the innumerable mass media outlets that have popularized the term the past few years.

As for the rest of the project, Castor says it’s not a matter of choice. This is something we have to replace,” she tells Tampa Bay Times. “We’re in a position now where we’re going to have to pay more in responding to water main breaks than it will cost to replace. So it’s not a question of if.”

Great Lakes Water Infrastructure Conference Slated April 2020

The 2020 Great Lakes Water Infrastructure Conference will be held April 28-30 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan.

The conference is hosted by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and will identify the water infrastructure challenges faced by the Great Lakes region.

Speakers and attendees will discuss those challenges with key topics including funding and finance mechanisms, water affordability, environmental health, water infrastructure planning and reinvestment, innovative water quality solutions, green infrastructure techniques, cybersecurity strategy, and communications practices.


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