News Briefs: Suspect Rampages at Washington WWTP in Front-End Loader

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, wipes clog all four pumps at a pumping facility in Boca Raton, Florida

The Pierce County (Washington) Sheriff’s Department is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect who went on a rampage with a front-end loader damaging property and buildings at Tehaleh Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In the early morning hours of April 14, the suspect broke into the plant, got into a front-end loader and “tore through fences and gates, destroyed several steel roll-up doors, busted holes into walls, broke pipes that flooded buildings and smashed a work van and truck,” according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

The department shared security footage of the incident via Twitter:

EPA Announces Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced 15 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grants totaling $9,056,711 to fund projects addressing excess nutrient runoff from nonpoint sources, including stormwater and agriculture, to the Great Lakes. 

These grants are part of a larger effort to restore and protect the Great Lakes under GLRI Action Plan III, which was unveiled by EPA Administrator Wheeler in October 2019. The Action Plan provides an aggressive roadmap that aims to guide Great Lakes restoration and protection activities by EPA and its many partners over the next 5 years.

For more details about the grants, click here.

Wipes Clog All Four Pumps at Boca Raton Pumping Facility

Officials at the Palm Beach County (Florida) Water Utilities Department reported in a Facebook post that for the first time, all four pumps at its Boca Raton facility clogged with wipes.

It apparently took a team of three mechanics to disassemble and reassemble the pumps to remove the wipes.

“This facility processes 4 million gallons a day from local homes and businesses in southern Palm Beach County before treatment,” the utility wrote. “If you’re staying at home and low on toilet paper remember, no wipes in the pipes!”


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