News Briefs: Colorado WWTP Sees 40% Flow Reduction After Virus Closes Ski Resorts

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, a boil-water advisory will likely remain in effect until September for Fort McMurray in Alberta due to local flooding

Wastewater treatment plant operators working for the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District serving Vail and Aspen, Colorado, recently saw a 40% reduction of flow as ski resorts were ordered to close due to COVID-19 — a change that threatened the delicate biological balance of the facility.

“In Vail, our staff had to basically turn off two-thirds of the plant in only four days,” Diane Johnson tells the Colorado Sun. That meant staff had to adjust the biological processes for billions of microorganisms.

Thankfully, workers were able to respond to the unexpected change quickly enough, since they deal with a similar change every April when the skiing season ends.

Boil-Water Notice in Place Until September for Fort McMurray

A boil-water advisory will likely remain in effect until September for all of Fort McMurray near Wood Buffalo, Alberta.

The water treatment plant started having problems when the rising Athabasca River caused water to flow the wrong way down and overflow pipe, mixing river water with treated drinking water, according to the Edmonton Journal.

Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Matthew Hough tells the publication that the water treatment plant is operational and safe amidst local flooding.

“Just like you would need to clean a glass with milk that may have been left a little too long, you can’t do it just with water,” says Hough. “When it comes to water treatment and the safety of the consumer, there’s no gray area.”

Philadelphia Mayor Asks Residents Not to Flush PPE

Philadelphia wastewater workers are seeing 12 times more clogging than normal in their treatment plants, partly due to the fact that residents have been flushing personal protective gear.

The city’s mayor is imploring residential sewer customers to stop flushing gloves and wipes, which are straining sewer infrastructure.

“We are seeing a large increase in the amount of PPE and other items being discarded through people flushing these items down the toilet,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tells WPVI News. “This is taking a toll on our water treatment infrastructure and residents' private property.”

Flint Residents Have a Month to Comment on $31 Million Wastewater Project Plan

Residents in Flint, Michigan, have until the end of the month to send the state their comments about a proposed $31 million wastewater project.

The city’s director of public works, Rob Bincsik, says the improvements are necessary to prevent “catastrophic failure,” according to

If Flint’s city council approves applying for the $31 million loan from the state, it’ll be used to improve the wastewater treatment plant and a pump station. If the pump station remains as is, a failure could soon “take out the whole northwest section of town,” says the city’s wastewater control manager, Jeannette Best.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.