WaterWorld Weekly Newscast: Aug. 18, 2011

Aug. 18, 2011
Transcript of the August 18, 2011, edition of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast.
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The following is a transcript of the August 18, 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...
• Southern U.S. water feud continues
• Unusual critter spotted at Cali wastewater plant
• Mark your calendar for VirtualH2O
• Denver wastewater reuse project gets federal nod
• WV wastewater plant incorporates solar
• Israeli company to commercialize wastewater fuel cell technology

Metro Atlanta's victory in an ongoing water feud with Alabama and Florida could be short-lived.

In late June, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out a lower court ruling that would have significantly restricted the amount of water Georgia could withdraw from Lake Lanier.

This week, Alabama and Florida have filed an appeal asking the court to reconsider the ruling. They maintain that Atlanta uses too much water, leaving too little downstream.

In the June ruling, they claim that the panel of judges failed to prove that the reservoir's operator -- the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- was authorized to earmark water for use by Atlanta.

The appeals court hasn't said whether it will reconsider the ruling.

Of all the things you might expect to see at a wastewater plant, the world's largest rodent probably isn't one of them.

But a few weeks ago, a wastewater operator at the Paso Robles Wastewater Treatment Plant in California saw just that.

He was able to get pictures of a capybara, which was munching on vegetation near the sewer ponds.

Capybaras are native to South America and this one, experts speculated, was probably a former pet.

Officials estimated the rogue capybara could weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. They said it's likely not dangerous but cautioned residents not to approach the wild animal if they see it.

Game wardens are considering setting live traps for the critter if they get more confirmed sightings.

If you're looking for an opportunity to network with and learn from water and wastewater peers, Virtual H2O might be the place for you.

VirtualH2O is a completely online water industry conference and exhibition taking place September 13 from 8 am to 6 pm Eastern. Because it's virtual, you don't have to spend time away from your office or plant, or spend hundreds of dollars on travel and accommodation.

And best of all -- it's free!

The event combines a virtual exhibit floor with an online conference program to give you a tradeshow look and feel without the hassle.

The conference program features two dozen presentations, including four live, interactive roundtable webcasts. Conference topics will include energy efficiency, green infrastructure, security, water reuse, asset management, and much more.

And, attendees who complete a conference session will receive a certificate of attendance that can be used to apply for professional development hours with their respective state organizations.

For more details on the event -- or to register -- visit virtualh2oevent.com.

A wastewater reclamation project in Denver has gotten initial approval from federal water authorities.

The Water Infrastructure Supply Efficiency project -- or WISE -- would divert treated wastewater from Denver and Aurora to 15 or so south metro suburbs through 2030.

The project is estimated to cost around $558 million and would help suburban water authorities reduce their reliance on dwindling underground water supplies.

It's been estimated that the project could deliver 5,000 to 11,000 acre-feet of water a year for the first five years, then as much as 37,000 acre-feet a year to the suburbs.

The project is still in the very early stages of development. Funding mechanisms and agreements with the suburban water authorities have yet to be hammered out.

About 20% of the project's feasibility study has been completed.

A new 19.74-kilowatt solar installation at the wastewater treatment plant in Hurricane, West Virginia, is expected to save the city a pretty penny.

The plant has been equipped with 84 solar panels, which will knock around $1,000 a month off the $15,000 a month it costs the city to operate the plant.

The solar project, installed by Mountain View Solar, was funded by a $193,000 federal stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and is expected to generate 25,000 kilowatt-hours per year.

City Manager Ben Newhouse said they're considering installing more solar panels at the wastewater plant.

Related stories:
Water-Energy Nexus highlighted in London solar installation
Solar power project completed at Cape Cod wastewater facility
GAO Examines Energy Efficiency Options for Water Industry

In international news...
A new fuel cell technology from Israeli firm Emefcy could reduce the total cost of wastewater treatment by 30% to 40%.

The process uses naturally occurring bacteria in an electrogenic bioreactor to treat wastewater. The organic material in the waste produces treated water and power, which is fed back to the grid.

Earlier this summer, Emefcy's technology attracted the attention of a number of international investors, including Energy Technology Ventures, a joint venture between GE, NRG Energy, and ConocoPhillips.

Initial applications for the technology include wastewater treatment in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, with total market potential of US$10 billion annually.

Emefcy's CEO told Bloomberg that the company forecasts annual revenue of more than $100 million by 2017.

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