WaterWorld Weekly Newscast, January 28, 2019

Jan. 28, 2019
A transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast for January 28, 2019.
N.J. focuses on lead in drinking water; University gets piece of Michigan fatberg; Former plant worker pleads guilty to tampering with samples; New certification program targets advanced water treatment operators, with special guest Yan Zhang

The following is a transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast for January 28, 2019.

Hi, I'm Angela Godwin for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you water and wastewater news headlines for the week of January 28. Coming up...

N.J. focuses on lead in drinking water
University gets piece of Michigan fatberg
Former plant worker pleads guilty to tampering with samples
New certification program targets advanced water treatment operators, with special guest Yan Zhang

A task force made up of 25 representatives from water agencies, advocacy groups, academia, public health organizations and all levels of government will be working on developing practical and effective policies for eliminating lead in New Jersey’s drinking water.

The task force has been convened by Jersey Water Works, a collaborative effort of diverse participants whose aim is to transform New Jersey’s water infrastructure.

It's estimated that New Jersey has 11 cities with a high proportion of lead-affected children -- higher even than Flint, Michigan.

The number of homes and businesses with lead lines coming into their buildings -- some 350,000 -- is the fifth highest of any state.

The task force expects to release a report in September 2019 outlining policy recommendations, planned actions, and best practices from around the country.

Who doesn't love a good fatberg story? And this one has a happy ending.

A piece of the enormous fatberg discovered in Macomb County, Michigan, last fall will be donated to Wayne State University for research.

Scientists will work to advance knowledge of the physical and chemical structure of fatbergs in order to identify potential risks associated with blockages and inform future targeted prevention and mitigation efforts.

The 19-ton Macomb County fatberg was about 100 feet long, 10 feet wide and as much as 6 feet tall when it was discovered and broken up.

An ex-worker at the Sioux City, Iowa, wastewater treatment plant pleaded guilty to charges that he tampered with wastewater samples.

According to prosecutors, the ex-employee added chlorine to the wastewater on sampling days to ensure results would be compliant with federal standards for fecal coliform and E. coli.

The worker and the plant superintendent were both fired in 2015 after an investigation.

As water and wastewater treatment systems become more advanced, those who operate them are having to expand their skillsets. In California, there is an effort underway to establish a new certification for advanced water treatment operators.

Joining us this week to discuss the program is Dr. Yan Zhang. She is a senior civil engineer with Long Beach Water Department, and also the certification director for the California-Nevada section of AWWA.

Yan, thank you for joining us!


Tell us a little bit about this Advanced Water Treatment Operator certification. How does it differ from other water treatment certifications that currently exist?


I understand that setting up the AWTO certification was quite a collaborative effort. Who was involved in the initiative?


Is the certification required (or going to be required) by California water agencies?


When will the exam be ready? Is that still in process?


How could interested parties learn a little bit more if they wanted further information?


So for anyone attending the upcoming CA/NV spring conference, there will be some information there?


Great! We really appreciate your time today. Thank you very much for joining us. Best of luck with the certification program!


Thank you, Yan.


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