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Hi, I'm Angela Godwin, digital media editor for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you this week's water and wastewater news headlines. Coming up...
• Texas community out of water
• Water utility contests Cabot claim
• Online water event opens registration
• Tubing at nuke plant shows unusual wear
• Fire at Cedar Rapids wastewater plant
• Water leaks reported at Fukushima
While some parts of Texas have gotten a little relief from the crippling, year-long drought, water levels in Spicewood Beach, just outside of Austin, have now dropped so low, the community has to have drinking water trucked in from 10 miles away.
Each day, a 4,000-gallon water delivery is pumped into a storage tank, at an estimated cost of about $1000 per day.
The well in this community of 1,100 served four subdivisions. It's one of thirteen public water systems in Texas in danger of running dry in the next six months.
Pennsylvania American Water is refuting a claim by Cabot Oil that a Dimock water sample used by EPA in its drilling investigation there actually came from the Montrose public water supply, not homeowners' wells.
The sample showed arsenic levels nearly four times the federal standard.
Pennsylvania American Water rebutted Cabot's claim with six years of test results showing no evidence of arsenic in the Montrose public water supply. And a spokesperson from the water utility said they've request additional information about Cabot's source of information.
Cabot raised the issue in response to EPA's decision to provide water deliveries to four Dimock families and conduct more water sampling at the request of homeowners.
Cabot called the investigation "unwarranted" and the water deliveries "unnecessary." And the company accused EPA of cherry-picking data to support a "predetermined" result.
Registration is now open for VirtualH2O, the premiere online water industry conference and exhibition taking place February 21st from 8 am to 6 pm Eastern.
There is no cost to attend, and because it's virtual, you don't have to spend time away from your office or plant, or spend hundreds of dollars on travel and accommodation.
The event combines a virtual exhibit floor with an online conference program to give you a tradeshow look and feel without the hassle.
The conference program features a line up of presentations addressing topics such as nutrient removal, odor control, water reuse, and more.
The event also features several live, interactive roundtable webcasts.
Attendees who complete a conference session will receive a certificate of attendance that can be used to apply for professional development hours with their respective state organizations.
For more details on the event -- or to register -- visit virtualh2oevent.com.
Initial testing on steam generator tubing at Southern California's San Onofre Unit 2 nuclear plant is raising concerns.
Inspectors found unusual wear in many of the tube walls -- on a couple of tubes, more than a third of the tube wall had been worn away.
The 3/4'' tubing conveys hot water that heats feedwater outside of the tubing, eventually generating steam, which is in turn used to generate power.
A leaking or broken tube could allow radioactivity to escape into the atmosphere.
The discovery is particularly alarming to officials because the unit underwent a complete makeover in 2009. It's unusual for the tubes to degrade so quickly.
Southern California Edison, the plant operator, said further, more sophisticated testing will be conducted.
Firefighters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, responded to flames at the wastewater treatment plant there on Friday, possibly related to testing of the plant's biosolids incinerator.
Initial investigations suggest the fire may have started on or near a biosolids conveyor.
The incinerator has been shut down for several months as the facility continues renovations from extreme flooding in 2008. Recently, the equipment has been undergoing testing for coming back online at the end of February.
A full investigation is underway. In the meantime, the fire has not disrupted plant operations.
In international news...
Tokyo Electric Power Co. is investigating what could have caused a pipe to detach at Fukushima Dai-ichi's Unit 4 reactor last week, leaking 8.5 tons of radioactive water.
It's one of many leak issues TEPCO has been battling lately. On Friday, workers found a leak at a water reprocessing unit. They were able to fix it by tightening some bolts on a tank.
Cold weather is also an issue, causing pipes to freeze. Leaks have been found in more than thirty locations just over the past few weeks.
Fortunately, officials have found no evidence of any contaminated water from the leaks reaching the ocean.
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency will begin inspecting the plant this week to ensure its continued stability.
For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.