WaterWorld Weekly Newscast, February 25, 2019
A transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast for February 25, 2019.
The following is a transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast for February 25, 2019.
Hi, I'm Angela Godwin for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you water and wastewater news headlines for the week of February 25. Coming up...
Liverpool fatberg is 100-ton monster
Hawai'i wastewater case heads to Supreme Court
Pennsylvania announces own plans to regulate PFAS chemicals
Addressing water loss -- with special guest Sue Mosburg
United Utilities is battling the biggest fatberg to hit England's North West, chipping away at the 275-foot-long mass that apparently weighs as much as 13 African elephants.
Crews are working around the clock to remove the blockage, but it could take eight weeks to clear.
United Utilities has estimated that the removal could cost more than $130,000.
On a positive note, the fatberg pieces will be put to good use -- they'll be recycled into biofuel.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a wastewater case that could have far-reaching impact into clean water law.
The case centers around the permitting of injection wells at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Maui.
For nearly 40 years, the facility has been injecting treated wastewater into the wells under state and federal UIC (or Underground Injection Control) permits, which are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
However, in February 2018, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that -- because some of the treated wastewater eventually makes its way to the ocean via groundwater -- the wells should be operated under an NPDES permit.
As a result, the court ruled that the facility was in violation of the Clean Water Act -- and has been since the early 1980s when it was put into operation.
Maui County is fighting the ruling, maintaining that the court expanded the reach of the Clean Water Act incorrectly.
Following the U.S. EPA's announcement that it will begin the MCL process for two perfluorinated compounds -- PFOA and PFOS -- in drinking water, the Pennsylvania DEP said it will forge ahead with its own plans to establish limits.
According to reporting from StateImpact Pennsylvania, DEP plans to hire a consulting toxicologist to examine existing health data on the two chemicals.
DEP will also gear up for in-house testing of PFAS, getting the necessary lab equipment and training for staff.
In the coming weeks, DEP intends to release a sampling plan and expand its monitoring efforts.
DEP spokesperson Neil Shader told StateImpact Pennsylvania that, while the agency welcomes EPA's "first steps" toward regulating PFOA and PFOS, DEP believes it can act more quickly.
According to the U.S. EPA, water utilities in the U.S. lose an average of 16% of their treated water, through leaks, theft, and other inefficiencies. It's further estimated that 75% of that loss is recoverable. Here to discuss her experiences with water loss control is Sweetwater Authority program manager Sue Mosburg. Sue, thanks for joining us.
For many utilities, getting a handle on water loss it can be a huge challenge. What are some tools available to help?
Now, how about your utility? How did you approach water loss and what changes or impacts have you seen?
Right! It sounds like that is a key component of getting a handle on water loss.
So, in addition to being the program manager at Sweetwater Authority, you are also the director of the California-Nevada Section of AWWA. Can you tell us a little bit more about your background and involvement there?
That's great! Now, I know water loss is a major theme during your conferences, and that's no different at the upcoming CA-NV spring conference. What programs or sessions are going to be offered there around water loss?
Excellent! Now, I know you're finalizing preparations for the conference -- it's coming up in just a few weeks. Could you give our viewers a little more information about the event and what to expect?
Well, Sue, it sounds like a great lineup and we wish you all the best of luck with it. And, we thank you for joining us today.
If you'd like more information about the upcoming spring conference, please visit the event website at ca-nv-awwa.org/sc2019.
For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.