News Briefs: High-Speed Chase Ends With Significant Treatment Plant Damage

Also in this week's sewer and water news, scientists with the University of California-Berkeley launch a pop-up lab to test wastewater for COVID-19

A man in Bradford, Pennsylvania, led police on a high-speed chase that ended with a crash into the Bradford City Water Authority water treatment plant, according to The Bradford Era.

Although the crash didn’t affect water quality for the city’s residents, the utility’s executive director says the plant saw significant damage as a result of the crash.

Authorities say the driver smashed his car through a gate before hitting the side of the treatment plant building. Images on the newspaper’s site show a destroyed exterior wall with insulation strewn about.

California University Launches Pop-Up Lab for COVID-19 Wastewater Tests

Scientists from the University of California-Berkeley recently launched a pop-up lab to test Bay Area wastewater for COVID-19.

The team wants to monitor a number of sewersheds in the Bay Area as part of the project. At this point, it’s capable of testing up to 30 samples per week.

“One of the huge bottlenecks in wastewater testing has just been testing capacity,” UC Berkeley professor of civil and environmental engineering Kara Nelson tells KPIX News. “This pop-up lab is the first high-throughput lab in the Bay Area that has the capacity to bring in a large number of samples and provide results quickly to public health officials.”

Hurricane Causes Treatment Plant Power Outages in New Orleans

Hurricane Zeta caused widespread power outages in New Orleans at the end of October, causing water and wastewater treatment plants to run on backup generators and prompting city officials to plead with city residents to limit their water use.

Crews were working to restore power to lift stations, and the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans asked residents to skip long showers, washing dishes and doing laundry during that process.


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