News Briefs: Houston Lifts Boil-Water Order That Affected 2 Million Customers

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, the City of Hamilton, Ontario, discovers a 26-year-old sewage leak that spilled an estimated 337 million liters into Hamilton Harbor

Officials in Houston have lifted a boil water order that affected more than 2 million customers in the city. The order had been in effect since Nov. 27 due to a power outage at a treatment facility that caused a reduction in water pressure.

Schools in the city closed as a result of the water issues, according to the Houston Independent School District.

Meanwhile, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is ordering a “diagnostic review” of the incident, including a review of the delayed public notice of the problem.

Amazon Web Services Claims it Will be Water Positive by 2030

In other news, Amazon Web Services has announced it will be water positive by 2030, returning more water to communities than it uses in its direct operations. The company also announced its 2021 global water use efficiency metric of 0.25 liters of water per kilowatt-hour. AWS is already on the path to becoming water positive, and as part of this new commitment, will report annually on its WUE metric, new water reuse and recycling efforts, new activities to reduce water consumption in its facilities and advancements in new and existing replenishment projects.

“Water scarcity is a major issue around the world and with today’s water positive announcement we are committing to do our part to help solve this rapidly growing challenge,” says Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS. “In just a few years half of the world’s population is projected to live in water-stressed areas, so to ensure all people have access to water, we all need to innovate new ways to help conserve and reuse this precious resource. While we are proud of the progress we have made, we know there is more we can do. We are committed to leading on water stewardship in our cloud operations, and returning more water than we use in the communities where we operate. We know this is the right thing to do for the environment and our customers.”

City of Hamilton Discovers Large 26-Year-Old Sewage Leak

The City of Hamilton, Ontario, recently discovered a leak in its sewer system that went undetected for 26 years, spilling 337 million liters of sewage into the Hamilton Harbor.

The leak, which had gone undetected since 1996, was the result of a hole in a combined sewage pipe downstream from about 50 residences that had been flushing directly into the storm sewer that leads to the harbor. 

An investigation into the leak led city workers to theorize that the hole was created by contractors in 1996. “A contractor completing work on a city project was under the impression that all pipes in the area were storm sewers and were designed to directly connect to box culverts leading out to the harbor,” reads a city statement, according to MSN News.


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