WaterWorld Weekly Newscast: Feb. 13, 2012

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The following is a transcript of the Feb. 13, 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...

• Man sentenced for bypassing wastewater meter
• Changes to impact MN water operator certification
• Wastewater plant offers Valentine's tours
• WaterWorld launches Middle East conference, expo
• Water violations to cost railroad company $1.5M
• Waterborne bacteria found in more Northern Ireland hospitals

 

[story1]
An Indiana man will serve two years probation and perform 80 hours of community service for diverting wastewater around a Fort Wayne meter.

James Perrin, the former president of the Maysville Sewer and Water District, admitted he periodically used a bypass valve to divert sewage so the district wouldn't be charged the full amount for wastewater services and so the district would keep within its contractual limit of 150,000 gallons per day.

Perrin was facing four years in prison, but since he was able to pay the full $150,000 in restitution, the sentence was suspended.

The city of Fort Wayne estimated Perrin's actions cost it between $150,000 and $250,000.

[story2]
Some changes on the horizon for water and wastewater operators in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced plans to revise the state rules for certification.

The anticipated changes would allow experienced operators to obtain a conditional certificate allowing them to continue working while being trained to operate upgraded or reclassified facilities.

The MDH and MPCA will consider formal comments on the proposed revisions through February 24. To participate or find out more, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's web page at www.pca.state.mn.us and click on Public Notices.

[story3]
Still not sure where to take that special someone on Valentine's Day? Why not treat him or her to a romantic view of the Manhattan skyline -- from the top of the Newtown Creek digester eggs?

That's right. Brooklyn's Newtown Creek wastewater treatment plant -- the largest of New York City's 14 wastewater plants -- is offering special tours on Valentine's Day.

And why not? The futuristic-looking digester eggs are indeed something to see. The stainless steel-clad eggs process as much as 1.5 million gallons of sludge a day. At night, dramatic blue lighting designed by Hervé Descottes sets the plant apart from the surrounding city.

So, forget the flowers and checkout Newtown Creek this Valentine's Day.... On second thought, maybe bring the flowers just in case...

[story4]
Last week, leading water and wastewater organizations and delegates gathered in Doha, Qatar, for the first annual WaterWorld Middle East conference and exhibition. Our own Tom Freyberg was on the scene and is here to tell us more about the event. Tom?

[video clip: Tom Freyberg, Editor, Water & Wastewater International]

[story5]
Under a settlement with EPA, the Union Pacific Railroad Company will pay a $1.5 million civil penalty resolving Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Control Act violations in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

The violations pertain to operations at 20 rail yards in those states, as well as oil and coal spills in 2003 and 2004.

Union Pacific was cited for violating spill prevention, response plan, and stormwater regulations.

In addition to the penalty, Union Pacific agreed to develop a compliance management and reporting system. The company must also take further actions to control stormwater runoff at its Burnham Rail Yard in Denver.

[story6]
In international news, three more hospitals in Northern Ireland have found Pseudomonas bacteria in water taps in their neonatal units.

This brings the total number of affected hospitals to six since the bacteria first started showing up in December.

Four babies have died as a result and another dozen are being treated for having the infection on their skin.

All neonatal units in Northern Ireland have taken steps to project their vulnerable patients, including changing out taps and using only sterile water for direct care.

In addition, hospitals are being urged to check for Pseudomonas bacteria in their water supply, especially in areas where vulnerable patients are treated.

For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.

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