The following is a transcript of the Oct. 3, 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...
• Final health assessment for TCE released by EPA
• Former TN wastewater operator pleads guilty to falsifying records
• Water reclamation facility opens in Henderson
• Center of Excellence for Watershed Management designated at U of Florida
• Water resources in south Tunisia get boost
The U.S. EPA has released the final health assessment for trichloroethylene to the Integrated Risk Information System database.
The chemical has been characterized as carcinogenic to humans and as a human noncancer health hazard.
TCE is a man-made chemical commonly found in the environment. It's a widely used chlorinated solvent and is frequently found at Superfund sites.
This assessment is expected to provide a better understanding of the risks of exposure to TCE in soil, water and air, and will provide policy makers with the latest scientific information to make decisions about cleanup and other actions to protect public health.
EPA already has drinking water standards for TCE but the toxicity values as reported in the assessment will be considered in revising EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level for the chemical.
Donald Clark pleaded guilty this week to 12 counts of falsifying documents while he was the operator of the City of Niota's wastewater treatment plant.
Clark admitted creating 12 false Discharge Monitoring Reports between January 2008 and December 2010. The reports misrepresented that the wastewater had been properly disinfected and tested prior to discharge, as required under the city's permit.
Clark faces a maximum punishment for each of the counts of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a maximum term of supervised release of three years.
Sentencing is set for January.
The city of Henderson, Nevada, celebrated the opening of its Southwest Water Reclamation Facility this week.
The facility has the capacity to treat 8 million gallons of wastewater per day, but will initially operate at 4.5 mgd. It's the city's first satellite treatment plant and will serve West Henderson, supplementing the capacity of the city's primary water reclamation plant.
The SWRF will utilize a number of technologies to treat wastewater, including membrane bioreactors and ultraviolet disinfection.
Henderson reclaims 100% of water used indoors, and reuses over one-third of it annually for landscape irrigation, saving potable water resources for other more important uses.
It cost $94 million to construct the facility, which is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.
The Water Institute at the University of Florida has been designated by EPA as a Center of Excellence for Watershed Management.
With that designation, the Water Institute will receive EPA technical assistance, promotion of the Center of Excellence to stakeholders, letters of support for grant opportunities, and input on opportunities for the Center to get involved in local and regional watershed issues.
EPA Regional Administrator Gwen Keyes Fleming said, "A watershed approach is the most effective framework to engage communities and address today's water resource challenges."
"This designation," she said, "will allow the University of Florida to continue developing the strong partnerships with other institutions, organizations and agencies to protect and restore the unique watersheds throughout Florida."
To become a recognized Center of Excellence, the institution must demonstrate a number of criteria including technical expertise in identifying and addressing watershed needs; involvement of students, staff and faculty in watershed research; and willingness to partner with other institutions.
This is the second such institution in Florida.
Thousands of refugees fleeing conflict in Libya have put tremendous pressure on water resources in southern Tunisia.
The International Committee of the Red Cross is helping to meet needs there by providing support for the national water board to boost the supply of drinking water in hard-hit border areas.
In one community, a 3 mile pipeline has been built to link an existing well with the local reservoir, serving the city of Ben Guerdane and nearby villages.
By mid-December, a second 7 mile long pipeline will improve the supply of water in Remada.
The ICRC has also built a water desalination and distribution system to improve access to drinking water for the refugees and migrants in a nearby refugee camp.
Altogether these projects are expected to improve the water supply for some 100,000 people.
For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.