The following is a transcript from the August 11, 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...
• St. Louis to spend $4.7B on wastewater improvements
• Texas water reclamation plant breaks ground
• Rural water systems to benefit from new USDA, EPA partnership
• Water returns to Kemp after emergency shut-down
• Fifth desal plant planned in Israel
Under a new settlement, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, or MSD, will spend $4.7 billion dollars over the next 23 years on extensive improvements to its sewer systems and treatment plants.
MSD will install a variety of pollution controls, including three large storage tunnels ranging from two to nine miles long. MSD will also expand capacity at two of its treatment plants.
Ultimately, with these and other pollution controls in place, the utility expects to reduce sewer overflows by nearly 13 billion gallons per year.
MSD will also be required to invest at least $100 million dollars in green infrastructure for 'environmental justice' communities, which are low-income or minority communities that have been disproportionately impacted by air, water or land pollution.
MSD is the nation's fourth largest sewer system, covering more than 525 square miles and serving 1.4 million people.
In West Texas this week, construction began on the $13 million dollar Big Spring Water Reclamation Plant, which will turn wastewater into drinking water for half a million people in and around Midland, Texas.
Severe drought conditions over the past several months have seriously impacted local water supplies. The Big Spring facility is expected to provide an additional 2 million gallons of water to Colorado River Municipal Water District customers when it's completed late next year.
Plans are underway for two additional water reclamation plants in the area. When all three plants are online, they are expected to provide about 20% of the area's drinking water.
The USDA and the US EPA have teamed up to promote water-related employment opportunities in rural drinking water and wastewater systems.
With their limited funding and resources, these smaller systems often face difficult challenges when it comes to rising costs and aging infrastructure.
The partnership aims to bring greater public visibility to the workforce needs of the rural water and wastewater industry and develop a new generation of trained water professionals.
The two agencies will work together to target specific audiences, provide training for new water careers and coordinate outreach efforts.
They will also help stakeholders, including states and water industries, with recruitment and training strategies.
The water in Kemp, Texas, is back on after Mayor Donald Kile declared a state of emergency and shut down the municipal water system for 48 hours.
The mayor's decision followed several weeks of dry conditions and more than a dozen water line breaks.
Nearby communities and businesses offered support to the city's 1,100 residents, who were without running water for two days. Donations of bottled water and tanker trucks helped alleviate the water shortage.
Water service was restored on Tuesday, although a boil order was issues per state regulations.
The city of Kemp is in the process of a $350,000 dollar pipe replacement project.
In international news...
Plans are now underway for Israel's fifth desalination facility, which will be built in the coastal city of Ashdod.
The $423 million dollar seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant will produce 100 million cubic meters of drinking water per year, or 15% of Israel's household water use.
Israel's Finance minister noted that desalinating water from the Mediterranean instead of drawing water from the Sea of Galilee is a must for the country.
Israel has become a leader in the Middle East for desalination and water reuse. Last year, the Hadera desalination plant came online with the capability to produce 127 million cubic meters of drinking water per yer.
For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.