News Briefs: Contractor Rescued After 20-Foot Fall at WWTP

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, a Florida man pays past-due utility bills for 36 families in need during the holiday season

A contractor from Raleigh, North Carolina, was rescued after a 20-foot fall at a wastewater treatment facility in the city.

City of Raleigh officials say the man fell into an empty concrete vat. More than 40 emergency officials responded to the scene to rescue and treat the man, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to WRAL News.

Florida Man Pays Past-Due Utility Bills for 36 Families in Need

A generous man in Florida recently made sure 36 families in the city of Gulf Breeze could enjoy Christmas without fear of gas or water shutoffs. He paid nearly $4,600 in utility bills for families who were at risk of shutoffs to service during the holidays.

The man, Mike Esmond, says he and his three daughters went without heat during an abnormally cold Christmas in 1983 due to a past-due utility bill. He didn’t want other families to have to go through that.

He got the idea after he noticed the cutoff date on his utility bill was Dec. 26. “I went to the city and asked how many people were going to have their gas or water shut off before Christmas, so they gave me the numbers and I paid them,” he tells the Pensacola News Journal. “I wanted to do something that I felt would really help people at Christmas time who are trying to decide between paying bills and maybe having something cut off, or buying presents for their family.”

Denver to Begin 15-Year Lead Line Replacement Program

The Environmental Protection Agency has given the go-ahead for Denver, Colorado, to begin a trial of its 15-year plan to replace all lead service pipes.

Denver Water estimates that between 64,000 and 84,000 homes get water via lead pipes, and the replacement project could cost approximately $500 million.

The agency’s approval of the plan is good for three years, and to get it approved for the remaining 12 years, Denver Water must replace an average of at least 7% of its lead pipes each year. If it can’t, the utility would be required to treat the water system with orthophosphate.


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