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The following is a transcript of the Jan. 5, 2012, edition of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast.
Hi, I'm Angela Godwin, digital media editor for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you this week's water and wastewater news headlines. Coming up...
• South Bend to reduce CSOs under new consent decree
• Wastewater well shut down after quakes
• Ski association to file suit over water rights
• Pump maker announces name change
• Typhoid outbreak tied to sewer pipe vandalism
The City of South Bend, Indiana, has agreed to make an estimated $509.5 million worth of improvements to its combined sewer system that will significantly reduce overflows of raw sewage to the St. Joseph River, a tributary of Lake Michigan.
Currently, South Bend discharges over 2 billion gallons of untreated sewage into the St. Joseph River during 80 events annually.
After implementing the improvements required under the settlement, the number of raw sewage discharge events will be reduced by 95 percent to only four during a typical year of rainfall. This will prevent an estimated 700,000 pounds of pollutants from entering the St. Joseph River each year.
The settlement also requires South Bend to pay a civil penalty of $88,200.
A series of earthquakes in northeast Ohio -- culminating with a 4.0 quake on New Year's Eve -- prompted officials to shut down a 1.7-mile-deep wastewater disposal well that was linked to the tremors.
Seismologists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory believe the well is responsible for eleven minor Youngstown area earthquakes over the past year.
Thousands of gallons of drilling wastewater were injected into the disposal well daily since it was opened in 2010.
Officials believe that enough pressure had built up in the well, which was located near a fault line, to cause seismic activity.
Researchers are continuing to study the quakes but say tremors could continue despite the shut down of the well.
The National Ski Area Association, a leading ski industry trade group, said it plans to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service over a new permit clause gives the federal government water rights at resorts on federal land.
NSAA says the clause takes tens of millions of dollars in private water rights away from ski resorts, and also raises uncertainty as there's no guarantee the Forest Service would continue to use the water for purposes of ski area business.
The Forest Service maintains that the clause protects the viability of ski areas in the long term by keeping resources tied to the land as opposed to the operator.
A Forest Service representative said the new clause isn't finalized and that the agency intends to work with permit holders going forward.
Godwin Pumps, makers of the Dri-Prime automatic self-priming, dry-running pump, announced that, as of January 1st, it has a new name: Xylem Dewatering Solutions Inc.
President of Xylem Dewatering Solutions Michel Bakhos said the name change reflects the company's efforts to provide customers a broader product range, value-added services, and integrated solutions from a growing branch footprint.
The company said that Godwin will remain the brand name for the Dri-Prime series of pumps.
In international news...
An outbreak of waterborne typhoid in Mufulira, Zambia, that has sickened more than 1,200 people has been linked to an act of vandalism.
An investigation by the Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company found that illegally tapped sewer pipes leaked untreated sewage into nearby water distribution lines, contaminating drinking water.
Farmers were reportedly using the raw sewage to irrigate crops.
The water utility company is reportedly working on both long and short-term solutions. Chlorination points have been set up along the distribution lines and the utility is frequently monitoring water quality.
Fortunately, at this time, no typhoid-related deaths have been reported.
For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.