WaterBriefs: USGS reports Mid-Atlantic groundwater levels declining

Also in this report: B&V-designed Minn. water treatment plant a global winner; Cannon-Itron partner to take AMR beyond meter reading; KTA-Tator staff pull in coatings honors; Calif. DWR chief testifies to Congress on anti-flooding efforts; Pennichuck brings water to two towns; Doe Run Peru celebrates water treatment plant; Water Innovate's N-Tox technology wins UK award; Hydraulic Institute honors ITT Flygt, Flowserve execs; Pittcon 2006 stats show rebound; Tyco Flow Control presents awards...

In other news below:
-- Black & Veatch-designed Minneapolis water treatment facility wins global water award
-- Cannon-Itron partnership takes AMR beyond just reading meters
-- KTA-Tator staff pull down key coatings industry honors
-- Calif. DWR chief testifies to Congressional subcommittee on anti-flooding efforts
-- Pennichuck brings water to Exeter and Bow, N.H.
-- Biocide manufacturers develop new formulations to meet changing market demands
-- Doe Run Peru celebrates water treatment plant
-- Water Innovate's N-Tox technology wins Shell Springboard award
-- Hydraulic Institute honors ITT Flygt's Stefan Abelin, Flowserve's Fred Buse
-- Pittcon 2006 releases final registration statistics
-- Tyco Flow Control hosts sales meeting, presents awards to top performers
-- Preventing ion exchange resin fouling by oily wastes

Mid-Atlantic groundwater levels starting to decline: Region's streams still at record lows
WASHINGTON, DC, April 7, 2006 -- Despite recent rain, water levels in streams throughout the Mid-Atlantic and surrounding regions remain near record lows for this time of year, according to hydrologists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Although rains over the past week have improved conditions in parts of the Midwest, West Virginia and Ohio, rivers and streams from northwestern Pennsylvania to southeastern North Carolina are still flowing at levels below normal.

"Stream data collected for 109 years by the USGS on the Potomac River at Point of Rocks tell us that normal flows this week should be about 15,000 cubic feet per second, but the actual streamflows are less than 4,000," said Dan Soeder, hydrologist at the USGS Water Science Center in Baltimore, Md. "Levels this low usually don't occur until July or August. Streams were flowing at essentially normal conditions until about mid-February, but have been dropping steadily since then."

The National Weather Service reported that only 0.05 inch of rain fell in March 2006 at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. compared to a normal value of 3.60 inches for the month. Thurgood Marshall BWI Airport near Baltimore recorded similar low values -- just 0.18 inch of rain in March 2006 compared to 3.93 inches during a normal March.

Spring is usually the wettest time of the year in the eastern United States, with high flows in streams from rainfall and snowmelt, and significant infiltration of water into the soil to recharge groundwater aquifers. The dry spring could have impacts later in the summer on regional water resources and on the Chesapeake Bay.

Groundwater levels so far are generally showing relatively minor drops from the dry weather. Declines in water levels of a few feet were observed in wells in eastern Maryland and Delaware during March, but wells in Frederick, Washington, and Allegany counties showed more significant drops.

Although the declines in regional groundwater levels are generally modest, the fact that levels are declining at all is of concern. Spring is the time of year when ground water normally recharges, and the water levels should actually be rising in March, not falling. Seepage of ground water provides the majority of flow to streams during the absence of runoff, and drawdown of the shallow ground water by streamflow will continue as long as precipitation remains below normal.

Most of the municipal ground water used in the region is supplied from deep, confined aquifers, which remain relatively unaffected. If the dry weather continues into the late spring or summer, however, these water resources could face increasing demands.

According to the Baltimore city government, storage in the Baltimore reservoir system is at 100 percent of capacity. The Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission reports that Triadelphia and Duckett reservoirs on the Patuxent River, which serve Montgomery and Prince George's counties, also have nearly full storage, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is showing a near-normal pool elevation in Jennings Randolph Reservoir on the Potomac River.

Freshwater flow into the Chesapeake Bay set a new record low in 2006 for the month of March, averaging 51,500 cubic feet per second (cfs), equivalent to 313 billion gallons per day. This is 65 percent below average for March, and 10,000 cfs lower than the previous March low-flow record set in 1981.

Consequences of the low river flows include reduced nutrient and sediment loads to the bay, and higher salinities because of less freshwater input. Fewer nutrients and less sediment could result in improved water quality conditions for fish and crabs this summer. On the other hand, higher salinities could make oysters more susceptible to disease, impact fresh-water species of underwater grasses, and favor greater numbers of jellyfish.

In May, the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) will be producing an ecological forecast of summer conditions. The USGS interacts with the CBP partners to produce the ecological forecast by providing river flow and nutrient loads to the bay as one of the critical pieces of information for the predictions. More information about USGS studies to help with the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed can be found at http://chesapeake.usgs.gov.

Streamflow and groundwater levels are used to assess current water conditions and help to predict the potential for flooding and drought. These USGS data are provided to state and local water resource managers, and are critical for making appropriate decisions on water regulation.

Real-time and historical data on streamflow and groundwater levels in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, DC, are available on the web at WaterData.

The USGS national streamflow map is updated daily at WaterWatch.

The U.S. Geological Survey (www.usgs.gov) serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to: describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Also see:
-- "New USGS report compares past, present and future water quality"
-- "Coral reefs and sea-level rise don't mix"
-- "Century of data shows water cycle intensifies, but no increase in storms or floods"
-- "Popular groundwater model updated"
-- "USGS report details pesticides in nation's streams, groundwater"

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Among other recent headlines:

Black & Veatch-designed Minneapolis water treatment facility wins global water award -- KANSAS CITY, MO, April 7, 2006 -- Black & Veatch, a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company, won the prestigious Water Project of the Year award at the 2006 Global Water Awards for the Columbia Heights Membrane Ultrafiltration Plant, located near Minneapolis, Minn. With a current capacity of 70 million-gallons-per-day (264,979 cubic-meters-per-day) and an ultimate capacity of 78 mgd (295,262 m3/day), the Columbia Heights membrane filtration plant is the largest facility of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and represents the leading edge in membrane filtration technology for potable water. The Minneapolis Water Works contracted with Black & Veatch to provide study, design, construction, training and startup services for the facility to meet the challenge of more rigorous regulatory standards. The project is already influencing emerging trends in water treatment facility design and pointing the way to increased effectiveness, economy, size and sophistication of membrane filtration facilities around the world...
Also see:
-- "Report from Black & Veatch's Enterprise Management Solutions Division examines globalization's impact on U.S. energy industry"
-- "Constance Ward joins Black & Veatch as global communications director for B&V water business"

Cannon takes automatic meter reading beyond just reading meters -- Cannon Technologies makes MCT-410cL personality module for the CENTRON meter commercially available; Cannon-Itron partnership fosters new low-cost, two-way metering communication -- SPOKANE, WA, April 7, 2006 -- Itron Inc. announced today that the Cannon Technologies MCT-410cL Personality Module for the CENTRON Meter is now commercially available. The MCT-410 series metering and control transponders uses two-way Cannon Power Line Communications (PLC) to provide low-cost remote meter reading and advanced data collection. The company is installing its PLC technology in Itron's CENTRON meter to provide end-to-end solutions that utilize Cannon's 19 years of expertise in distribution automation, automated metering, and demand response. The unit is designed to replace a residential meter, plugging into a standard meter socket. The MCT provides high speed, cost-effective remote meter reading from customer or line locations using two-way Cannon PLC. The Cannon PLC system uses utility power lines to provide reliable communications from the distribution substation through the distribution transformer to the end metering or control points...

KTA-Tator staff pull down key coatings industry honors -- PITTSBURGH, PA, April 6, 2006 -- KTA-Tator Inc. recognized recent honors for two employees by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and Mid-Atlantic Region Quality Assurance Workshop (QAW). AIHA awarded its Fellow Award to KTA chief operating officer Daniel P. Adley, CIH, CSP, a 30 year EH&S specialist who's worked in policy-setting and standards development for OSHA, NIOSH, New York City, Standards Australia representing SSPC: the Society for Protective Coatings and Industrial Painters Coalition. Adley also served as principal consultant and managing director of KTA/SET Environmental, a general partnership company of KTA and SE Technologies Inc., which specialized in industrial lead paint management. Likewise, KTA's Bill Wallhausser was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the 39th Annual Mid-Atlantic Region QAW at its meeting in Norfolk, VA...

Calif. DWR's Snow testifies to Congressional subcommittee on anti-flooding efforts -- Announces Corps of Engineers will fix 10 critical levee sites -- WASHINGTON, DC, April 6, 2006 -- In support of Gov. Schwarzenegger's plan to restore California's failing levees, Department of Water Resources (DWR) Director Lester Snow today told Congress that funds will be advanced to the federal government for levee repairs. In testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Water and Power, Snow announced the state will provide about $30 million in advance funds for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair 10 of the 24 most critical erosion sites on California's ailing levee system. The state will also be seeking federal credit for the advance payments and is requesting expedited permitting processes by federal agencies to complete repairs for the other critical sites...

Pennichuck brings water to two N.H. communities -- Utility will provide water service for first time in Exeter; signs another system in Bow -- MERRIMACK, NH, April 6, 2006 -- Riding momentum built over the last several years, Pennichuck East Utility Co. will provide water service to two newly-built small living communities, one in Bow and the other in Exeter. Forest Ridge, a new 74-unit condominium community, will be the first hook-ups Pennichuck has in the town of Exeter. Currently, Pennichuck owns 58 water systems and operates an additional 90 systems throughout 25 communities in New Hampshire...

Biocide manufacturers develop new formulations to meet changing market demands -- DUBLIN, Ireland, April 6, 2006 -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of "Biocides in Water Treatment Global Report - 2006" to its offering. This report provides in depth information on the market for biocide products within Water Treatment. It includes detailed market analyses and discussions of industry trends. It assesses the impact of current and emerging regulations on the biocides used. The report develops forecasts for biocides from 2004 through 2009. It discusses the efforts of biocide manufacturers and formulators in launching new biocide formulations to meet changing market requirements, for example build up of resistance, lower costs, regulations...

Doe Run Peru celebrates water treatment plant -- 7,000 Peruvians may benefit from improved, expanded water and sewage system, supported in part by the company -- ST. LOUIS, MO, April 6, 2006 -- On March 21, The Doe Run Company's subsidiary, Doe Run Peru marked the opening of the new Huaymanta Sewage Water Treatment Plant, which will reduce contamination to the Yauli River, a tributary of the Mantaro River in Peru. Pursuant to its environmental operating agreement (PAMA), Doe Run Peru has committed more than $7 million to the total Sewage Water Treatment Project. The Huaymanta plant commenced operations last week and will treat sewage waters from the homes of up to 10,000 people, between local Doe Run employees and their families, living in the residential areas surrounding La Oroya, Peru...

Water Innovate's N-Tox technology wins Shell Springboard award -- CRANFIELD, United Kingdom, April 6, 2006 -- Shell has awarded Water Innovate nearly $70,000 to help extend the market potential of its N-Tox® nitrous oxide monitoring technology. The product was one of just three Southern Region finalists out of 265 entries selected to go through to the Shell Springboard National Final in London. Springboard judges were looking for commercially viable business plans for innovative products and services which would lead to greenhouse gas reductions. Prof. Tom Stephenson, Water Innovate's technical director, explained that N-Tox detects nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with almost three hundred times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Having recognized this issue, Water Innovate has invested significant resources in developing N-Tox to enable wastewater plant operators to detect nitrous oxide, thereby helping to reduce greenhouse gas release and mitigate global warming effects. The new technique has the additional advantage that, at the same time, it can be used for evaluating nitrification efficiency in industrial and municipal activated sludge systems...

Hydraulic Institute honors Stefan Abelin as 2005 Member of the Year -- PARSIPPANY, NJ, April 6, 2006 -- Stefan Abelin, operations director for Flygt - ITT Industries, based in Trumbull, CT, has been named the Hydraulic Institute (HI) 2005 Member of the Year. The award was presented to Abelin at HI's 89th Annual Meeting, recently held in Marco Island, FL. HI executive director Robert Asdal noted Abelin's continuing work on the establishment of a new global test standard for Rotodynamic Pumps. When completed, the standard, a result of a harmonization of HI pump test standards and ISO 9906, will provide the pump industry with one common worldwide pump test standard for the first time in history. HI anticipates that a completed draft will be introduced into the ISO process, with the joint support of Europump and HI, later this year...
Also see: "Hydraulic Institute honors Flowserve's Fred Buse with Lifetime Achievement Award"

Pittcon 2006 releases final registration statistics -- -- A strong technical program and logistical improvements highlight the premier annual analytical instrumentation scientific conference and exhibition. -- PITTSBURGH, April 6, 2006 -- The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon) announced the final registration statistics for Pittcon 2006 which was held March 12-17 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The 5-day Conference and Exposition was attended by 19,872 Conferees and Exhibitors representing over 85 countries. A complete breakdown of attendee statistics is available at the organization's website...
Also see:
-- "Instrument Business Outlook: Pittcon stabilization efforts pay off"
-- "Pittcon 2006 regroups in Orlando"

Tyco Flow Control hosts sales meeting, presents awards to top performers -- PRINCETON, NJ, April 6, 2006 -- Tyco Flow Control North America (TFCNA) held a sales meeting Feb. 20-23 at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Themed "Winning through Team Work," the gathering rewarded outstanding performances in 2005 and allowed colleagues from around the nation to meet and share best practices. Over 200 sales and marketing professionals from Canada and the United States attended the meeting, which opened with remarks from chairman and CEO Ed Breen on the strategy behind the decision to split Tyco into three separate companies...

Preventing ion exchange resin fouling by oily wastes -- FERNDALE, MI, April 6, 2006 -- The latest technical advisory (No. 22) from Ferndale, MI-based Biomin Inc. discusses how to reduce resin fouling in ion exchange applications because of oil. To understand the problems associated with the effects of oily waste on deionization resins, it's important to first understand the categories of oily waste materials. In general, oily wastes fall into three categories: Free, emulsified and dissolved...
Also see:
-- "Organoclay protects an RO unit for aircraft component maker"
-- "Organoclay aids water reuse at Canadian refinery"
-- "Organoclay media aids groundwater treatment of crude oil"

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In earlier newsbriefs, see: "WaterBriefs: Severn Trent Services helps Mississippi steel mill treat wastewater" -- Also in this report (April 5, 2006): EPA launches program to hire world-class scientists, engineers; Pepperl+Fuchs voted No. 1 for technical innovation by readers of UK's HazardEx; CarteGraph adds seven new clients; JMAR enters into distribution agreement with GMP Systems; WaterChef signs memorandum of understanding for international market development; Verint announces Nextiva critical infrastructure video security solution; Global consumption of biocides in recreational water up 40% since 1995; Food industry merger & acquisition activity continues to decline...

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