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WaterWorld Weekly Newscast, April 24, 2017

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The following is a transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast for April 24, 2017.

Hi, I'm Angela Godwin for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you water and wastewater news headlines for the week of April 24. Coming up...

EPA to reconsider ELG rule
Flint mayor recommends staying with Great Lakes Water Authority
Kenosha water utility honored for resource recovery efforts
Investigation suggests missteps in Oroville Dam crisis

 

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will review and reconsider the ELG rule -- the final rule that amends the effluent limitation guidelines and standards for the steam electric power generating category under the Clean Water Act.

The ELG rule, promulgated in 2015, is currently being challenged in litigation. While that's ongoing, EPA has issued an administrative stay to delay compliance deadlines to give the agency the opportunity to consider and review the rule.

According to EPA, the ELG Rule has been estimated to cost $480 million per year and has a reported average cost of $1.2 billion per year during the first five years of compliance.

 

Last week, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver announced her recommendation that Flint stay with the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) as the city's primary source of water.

"So we've been working on this for six or seven months now. It was that important that we took that much time. We analyzed over a dozen different water source options. In the end, protecting public health is our primary consideration, along with addressing social and economic concerns being the driving factors in our decision. So, with that in mind, I am recommending that the City of Flint stay with Great Lakes Water Authority as its primary source of water."

Mayor Weaver added that staying with GLWA would allow the city to use federal dollars from the Drinking Water Revolving Fund Program to update the city’s aging water distribution system.

"We know we're losing 35 to 40 percent of our water. We know we need more than just lead service lines and galvanized lines replaced. We know we need the infrastructure redone in the city of Flint. And so that allows us to have the funds to be able to do that."

An added benefit, she said, was that the 72-inch transmission line would be returned to the city, "and residents would also gain access to a low-income assistance program to help pay their water bills."

 

The Kenosha, Wisconsin, Water Utility was recently honored by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) with the prestigious Grand Award for its Energy Optimized Resource Recovery Project.

The Kenosha Water Utility's goal was to have a more sustainable wastewater treatment plant -- particularly with regard to biosolids removal and energy management.

The plan, developed by Donohue and Associates, featured the installation of the PONDUS system, the first use of that technology in North America.

Because of the innovative way it breaks down waste solids, the system delivers a 30 percent increase in biogas production.

Coupled with centrifuges provided by Centrisys that significantly reduce the amount of water used in the system, the facility was able to cut the number of digesters in half, saving money on operations and maintenance costs.

Overall, the new process is expected to save the utility in excess of $500,000 per year.

 

In February, damage to the spillway at the Oroville Dam in northern California forced the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people. But could the near-disaster have been avoided? An Associated Press examination suggests there was a series of questionable decisions and misjudgments before and during the crisis at the nation’s tallest dam. AP's Haven Daley has more.

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