News Briefs: WWTP Superintendent Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Wastewater Samples

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, a wastewater treatment plant in Danbury, Connecticut, is officially named after John Oliver after he started a feud with the city's mayor on his TV show

Associated Press is reporting that a former wastewater treatment plant superintendent has pleaded guilty to manipulating water sample test results so they appear to comply with federal standards.

A former supervisor at the plant also pleaded guilty to the same charges in January 2019 — conspiracy and falsifying or providing inaccurate information.

According to court documents the supervisor and superintendent told operators to raise chlorine levels on the days when E. coli samples were taken.

WWTP in Connecticut Named After Comedian John Oliver

A wastewater treatment plant in Danbury, Connecticut, officially bears the name of British comedian and TV host John Oliver after he jokingly started a feud with the city's mayor on his show, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.

“Yup … It’s official the Danbury Sewer Plant is now the John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant. Your move John. Bam!” Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton posted on Facebook Oct. 8.

You can read details about the feud and how it brought the city of Danbury together on CNN. Apparently, Oliver offered to donate $55,000 to local charities if the city followed through on its original threat to name the wastewater plant after him.

Star Tribune Features Educational Drinking Water Treatment Story

It’s always nice to see mainstream reporting that educates the public about water treatment, and a recent article by Minneapolis’ Star Tribune does a great job of taking an educational deep dive into the subject.

It explores how the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul make water from the Mississippi River safe to drink, delving into water treatment history before talking about modern processes like softening, filtering and disinfection.

Green Bay Removes Its Last Lead Pipe

In other news, the Green Bay (Wisconsin) Water Utility recently announced that it has removed its last lead pipe in the city, a milestone that has seen 1,782 utility-owned lead pipes replaced since 2016, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.

The utility’s general manager tells the newspaper that the city’s lead levels are far lower than they used to be. In 2011, Green Bay Water Utility discovered that lead levels in some homes exceeded U.S. EPA limits.

Flint Residents Accuse Banks of Aiding in Water Crisis

According to The Detroit News, residents of Flint, Michigan, who are involved in lawsuits over the Flint Water Crisis are now accusing three investment banks of aiding the city’s plan to switch its water source in 2014.

The lawsuit alleges that the three banks knowingly put Flint at risk when they financed the city in a $220 million municipal bond sale to construct a new water pipeline.


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