WaterWorld Weekly Newscast, February 13, 2017

Feb. 14, 2017
A transcript of the WaterWorld  Weekly Newscast for the week of February 13, 2017. 
Workers begin filling Fla. sinkhole at Mosaic plant; Tornado-damaged water tower demolished; Wastewater biogas pilot gets DOE funding; Congress repeals Stream Protection Rule; Constructed wetlands expansion to treat industrial wastewater in China

The following is a transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast for the week of February 13, 2017.

Hi, I'm Angela Godwin for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you water and wastewater news headlines for the week of February 13. Coming up...

Workers begin filling Florida sinkhole at Mosaic plant
Tornado-damaged water tower demolished
Wastewater biogas pilot project gets DOE funding
Congress repeals Stream Protection Rule
Constructed wetlands expansion to treat industrial wastewater in China

A massive sinkhole in Florida that swallowed 215 million gallons of radioactive water is now in the process of getting filled.

It's been roughly six months since the sinkhole opened up at Mosaic's New Wales plant in Mulberry, Florida, where phosphate rock is converted into fertilizer.

Ever since the 150-foot wide sinkhole opened up underneath a gypsum stack, workers and contractors have been trying to figure out the best way to stabilize and fill the hole.

Aerial video from WFTS-TV last week shows a built-up work platform around the sinkhole and crews have begun pumping in a concrete-like mixture to fill the hole.

The company actually built a concrete plant nearby to ensure continuous supply during the "stabilizing phase".

Although more than 200 million gallons of contaminated water reportedly spilled into the aquifer, Mosaic says tests show that, so far, contaminated water has not left the company's property.

The state ordered Mosaic to keep testing the wells every quarter this year and twice in 2018.

A Dallas-area water tower that was severely damaged during a 2015 tornado outbreak was demolished last week.

City crews in Rowlett brought down the tower in a process that involved heavy equipment, cables and cutting part of the support legs.

The tower fell onto a field that had been cleared.

Rowlett authorities say that months ago the city's water utility system took over the functions of the tower, which won't be replaced.

Officials expect demolition and site restoration to take about three weeks.

A pilot hydrothermal wastewater processing project has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive up to $1.2 million in federal funding.

The project will use hydrothermal processing technology at a municipal wastewater treatment facility near Oakland, California, to convert wastewater solids into renewable natural gas as well as liquid fuels.

Southern California Gas, which is part of the consortium conducting the pilot, will help oversee the project's design and assist in obtaining state and federal regulatory approvals and incentives.

The consortium is being led by the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation and comprises nearly two dozen partners.

The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, near Oakland, California, will host the pilot system.

Congress passed a joint resolution last week nullifying the Obama administration's Stream Protection Rule, which was finalized last December.

The rule was intended to minimize the impacts of surface coal mining operations on surface water, groundwater, and other natural resources by updating 33-year old regulations.

Opponents of the rule argued that it was an example of federal overreach that would further cripple the already declining coal industry.

The joint resolution currently awaits President Trump's signature.

In international news, SUEZ has won a $19.6 million design contract for the rehabilitation and expansion of the discharge constructed wetland at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, the largest petrochemical platform in Asia.

Called a Zone Libellule -- or Dragonfly Zone -- this is SUEZ's first such project in Asia and the largest for treating industrial wastewater.

Under the project, the existing 32 acres of discharge constructed wetland will be rehabilitated and another 56 acres added.

The Dragonfly Zone, located downstream from the SUEZ-operated wastewater treatment plant will provide tertiary treatment of effluent, removing pollutants and improving the quality of the water being discharged into the environment.

Construction is expected to begin in mid-2017, and completed in 2018.

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