News Briefs: Major WWTP Fire Causes Damage, Evacuations in New Zealand

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, an Ohio water district plans a tank relocation project as potential disaster looms

A major wastewater treatment plant fire in Christchurch, New Zealand, sent thick clouds of black smoke into the sky, resulted in extensive damage to the Bromley facility and caused local evacuations of nearby residents.

Officials say the fire likely started on the roof of a building where crews were working before it jumped to another building. Both the buildings eventually collapsed.

Despite damage to the trickling filter system, operators say the facility can still accept the full amount of wastewater from the city.

One contractor on site reported a superficial injury, but other than that, no injuries were reported.

Ohio Water District Plans Tank Project as Potential Disaster Looms

The Scioto County (Ohio) Regional Water District 1 has received a $1.02 million grant from Ohio BUILDS to address an impending disaster by relocating two large storage tanks threatening to slide over a hill.

Expensive studies and excavation efforts have shown that the ground 27 feet below the tanks is sliding. “The tank movement is continual, but it’s not speeding up nor is it slowing down,” Jonathan King, general manager, told WSAZ News. “One firm told us to keep the tanks completely full because they were actually pinning the earth to the bedrock, and another firm said we don’t think you should keep them full.”

Officials say if the tanks aren’t moved, they could spill 1.2 million gallons of water onto houses in the area and leave upward of 30,000 customers without drinking water service for eight or more months.

South Carolina Governor Announces Rural Water/Wastewater Infrastructure Proposal

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster recently announced a major rural infrastructure proposal that would provide $500 million in American Rescue Plan funds to revitalize South Carolina's water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. The proposal would aim to modernize rural water systems statewide, providing safe drinking water and the infrastructure needed for economic development in rural communities. 

“In rural South Carolina, water and sewer are key to life. The right water and sewer systems in a county can transform a tax base, creating jobs, good schools and a vibrant community,” says McMaster. “With this investment of $500 million into rural water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure, we can ensure that South Carolina will have the workforce, the infrastructure and the quality of life necessary to compete nationally and globally for jobs and investment for generations to come.”


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