News Briefs: Mississippi City's WWTPs in Jeopardy Due to Lack of Qualified Operators

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, a city in British Columbia is under an evacuation order after flooding caused its wastewater treatment plant to fail

The public works director for Jackson, Mississippi, recently urged the city council to pass an emergency order to pay its staff more, as operations at the city’s treatment plants are now in jeopardy due to a shortage of qualified operators.

The city currently has five to six Class A operators, and at least 12 are needed to keep its two treatment facilities running.

The director says he’s hopeful there will be a new pay structure within the next few months to attract more workers, according to WLBT News.

B.C. City Under Evacuation Order Due to Flooding, Failed WWTP

The city of Merritt, British Columbia, is under an evacuation order after flooding caused a wastewater treatment plant to fail.

The evacuation order came only hours after city officials released an alert ordering citizens to stop using water or flushing toilets due to an inundation of stormwater.

As of Nov. 15, officials were saying the situation is an "immediate danger to public health and safety." Read more about the flood and evacuation on CBC News.

Discovery of Chemical Contamination Delays WWTP Expansion

The discovery of toxic chemicals at a construction site in Kokomo, Indiana, has resulted in the postponement of an expansion project at the city’s wastewater treatment facility.

On the east end of the property where the expansion was being planned, soil tests revealed polychlorinated biphenyls at concentrations of 584 ppb. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires 10 ppb after cleanup.

The PCBs are from an old Continental Steel Corp. factory that produced nails and wires from 1914 to 1986, according to the Kokomo Tribune.

Florida Governor Announces $481 Million in Awards to Improve Water Quality

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced funding awards for 103 wastewater and springs projects totaling $481 million. The projects awarded will improve water quality in waterbodies across Florida, reducing total nitrogen loading by a combined more than 700,000 pounds per year.

“Today, we are taking another step forward for the protection of our state’s natural resources,” says Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “This funding will support 103 important projects to construct, upgrade, or expand wastewater treatment facilities to provide advanced waste treatment, upgrade or convert traditional septic systems, and acquire land that will restore and protect our springs and other waterways.”


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