WaterWorld Weekly Newscast: July 28, 2011

July 28, 2011
Transcript of the July 28, 2011, edition of the WaterWorld Weekly newscast.
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The following is a transcript of the July 28, 2011, 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...

• Sewage spill closes NYC beaches
• Girl brings clean water to needy, even after death
• WV water contamination lawsuit settled
• Rainwater harvesting OK'd as drinking water source in King County
• Wastewater projects in Jamaica get funding

Four New York City area beaches were closed this week after an estimated 200 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Hudson River.

Tests showed elevated bacteria levels at Staten Island's South Beach, Midland Beach and Cedar Grove Beach, and Brooklyn's Sea Gate Beach.

The sewage spill occurred when one of the main pump engines at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Harlem caught fire, knocking the facility offline.

Although the incident is still being investigated, officials said the fire did not seem suspicious.

The Hudson and East rivers are also closed to swimmers and kayakers at this time.

More articles about wastewater spills >

A young Bellevue, Washington girl had a special request this year: instead of gifts for her 9th birthday, she asked friends and family to contribute to her goal of raising $300 dollars for charity:water, a non-profit that brings clean water to people in poor countries.

On her donation page, Rachel wrote:

On June 12th 2011, I'm turning 9. I found out that millions of people don't live to see their 5th birthday. And why? Because they didn't have access to clean, safe water so I'm celebrating my birthday like never before. I'm asking from everyone I know to donate to my campaign instead of gifts for my birthday. Every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund freshwater projects in developing nations.

When Rachel Beckwith turned nine in June, she was only $80 dollars away from her goal. But then, tragically, just a few weeks later, Rachel was killed in a car accident.

News of her wish to raise money for charity:water continued to spread, however. And her donation page to date has attracted more than $437,000 dollars in contributions from people all over the world moved by her story.

More articles about charity:water >

Alpha Natural Resources, the parent company of Massey Energy, has settled a lawsuit with about 700 current and former West Virginia residents who said their water supplies were contaminated by a Massey subsidiary's coal mining activities.

The suit, which dates back to 2004, alleges that water below the mines was affected by the company's slurry injection operations, which took place from the late 70s until 1987.

Residents alleged that prolonged exposure to the toxins in their water supply resulted in numerous ailments such as birth defects, cancer, learning disabilities and other problems.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed but a judge on the litigation panel said that, as is typical in these types of agreements, Massey admits no wrongdoing.

It was the third attempt to settle the case.

More articles about coal slurry >

Eco-minded homeowners in King County, Washington, now have the option to use rainwater as a sole source of drinking water.

Previously, rainwater was only allowed as a supplement to public water, well water, or a spring.

There are a few stipulations to the measure, including the use of certain roof materials and specific qualifications for designers of rainwater-catchment systems.

Also, filtration and disinfection systems would be required and cisterns would need to have enough storage capacity to last through typically dry summers.

The Board of Health's decision follows the state Department of Ecology's recent removal of permit requirements for rainwater harvesting.

More articles about rainwater harvesting >

In international news, the Jamaican government has secured $3 million dollars in financing for major wastewater projects planned there.

Forty-four wastewater facilities have been identified for rehabilitation under the project. Eleven of those are already underway.

The funding support comes from the Inter-American Development Bank and falls under the Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management -- or CReW -- initiative.

CReW aims to establish innovative, feasible financial vehicles for cost-effective and sustainable financing of wastewater management in the Caribbean region.

More articles about wastewater treatment in the Caribbean >

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


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