News Briefs: Plant Employee Charged With Urinating Into Equipment in Pennsylvania

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces that 99% of the lead service lines in Benton Harbor have been inspected and replaced

PennLive reports that police in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, have charged a water treatment plant employee after finding out he had urinated into equipment.

The utility called the police over concerns about water test results that were “misconstrued by deception and possible contamination” in July of 2021. The utility performed additional wastewater testing after discovering the contaminated water, police say.

South Florida Agency Turns to Google Public Sector to Help Manage Water Programs

Google Public Sector is partnering with the South Florida Water Management District to help the agency enable visualization and trend analysis for water quality to inform water management decisions across the district. South Florida Water Management is the largest and oldest water district in Florida, overseeing water resources for more than nine million residents from Orlando to the Florida Keys. 

Through this partnership, Google Public Sector is deploying its Climate Insights for natural resources solution — powered by Google Earth Engine running on Google Cloud and Climate Engine — to help support the availability of drinking water for Florida residents, while also preserving national treasures, like America's Everglades. The cloud-based technology will also help the district combat harmful algal blooms, assist with natural resource restoration and undertake other important sustainability work.

Google Cloud solutions help the district significantly reduce manual work, provide centralized access to analysis-ready data, and connect together its many research and development platforms. The South Florida Water Management District is also building a prototype artificial intelligence model to better understand and anticipate harmful algal blooms before they occur. This will help prevent adverse impacts to regional water quality and wildlife, while supporting recreational activities like fishing, swimming, boating and waterskiing.

Michigan Governor Announces Benton Harbor Has Replaced Nearly All Its Lead Pipes

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced that 99% of the water service lines in Benton Harbor have been inspected and replaced with copper if lead or galvanized pipe was found.

About 4,500 inspections have taken place, and only 40 are left, according to the officials.

The state’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy ordered the city to remove 7% of its lead service lines within a year, beginning in July 2021. State officials worked to speed up that timeline, originally planning on wrapping up the project by March of 2023, but they have finished months ahead of schedule.


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