News Briefs: Watch a Bald Eagle Get Rescued from a Settling Pond

In this week's water and wastewater news, treatment plant operators assist a wildlife rehabilitation group in British Columbia in the rescue of a bald eagle that had landed in a the facility's settling pond

A wildlife rehabilitation group based out of Delta, British Columbia, recently rescued a bald eagle that had landed in a wastewater treatment plant settling pond.

The bird couldn’t get airborne again because its wings became coated in the floating sludge. Due to the fact that nets couldn’t reach, a boat couldn’t be used due to safety concerns, and the pond is in restricted airspace, the rescue operation was more complicated than the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society is used to dealing with.

“OWL staff and volunteers brainstormed and came up with attempting the rescue with a volunteers 32 foot volleyball net and 600 feet of marine rope,” the society wrote on Facebook. “When staff and volunteers arrived at the location they received help from Iona Wastewater Treatment Plant workers and the use of their front end loader to hold one end of the rope high to drag the volleyball net towards the bird. Realizing we needed more equipment we called the Richmond Fire Department told them about our predicament and they graciously offered to help.”

See a video of the rescue below: 

New Waste Management Facility Fined for Dumping Bleach Into Sewer

A new waste management facility in Hampden, Maine, acknowledged that it accidentally dumped 6,500 gallons of bleach into the city’s sewer system, and will now pay a $4,390 fine issued by the Bangor Wastewater Treatment Department.

The spill, which occurred this summer, killed off some of the treatment plant’s microorganisms. More recent, the waste management facility — Coastal Resources of Maine — says it replaced the faulty valve which caused the spill.

Boston Test Results Spark Conversion About Biosolids in PFAS

Recent testing by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority found that the biosolids fertilizer that Boston’s Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant has sold for 30 years contains 18,000 ppt of the three PFAS the study was looking for.

The test results sparked a recent article in the Boston Globe sounding alarm bells for the public, but MWRA spokesperson Ria Convery tells the newspaper that the biosolids product complies with all current regulations.

“In the absence of existing state or federal standards for PFAS in biosolids, the Commonwealth, through the Department of Environmental Protection, will begin developing testing protocols and screening levels for biosolids and continuing to require entities that sell, distribute and apply biosolid products to test for PFAS,” says Convery.


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