Second US Steel spill, new water purification method, Pennsylvania water treatment plant flooding – Great Lakes Now
From lead pipes to PFAS, contamination of drinking water is a major problem plaguing towns and villages all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe drinking water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.
Keep abreast of developments related to drinking water in the Great Lakes region.
Click on the title to read the full story:
The US Steel plant in Portage, Ind., Has released chemicals into the water twice in the past two weeks. Thursday, October 7e, the plant spilled oil at a port on Lake Michigan. While the factory claims the crash was contained, authorities continue to test the scene. Due to the state of progress of the investigation, no repercussions on the company have yet been made.
As of earlier this month, residents of Bloomington and surrounding areas have claimed their drinking water smells foul and tastes bad. Authorities tested the water several times a day and found two organic chemicals in the water. However, they claimed they posed no threat to residents and instead attributed the problem to the current period of dry and hot weather. Water quality teams continue to solve the problem by adding powdered activated carbon to the rinse lines.
Only 22 of Indiana’s more than 500 municipalities have been selected to receive state and federal funding to support water infrastructure improvements. The state recently realized that several service lines needed to be replaced and various water installations needed to maintain utilities each year. In addition, communities have experienced periods of more frequent heavy rainfall due to climate change. These storms increased the amount of sewer overflows and damaged water supply systems. The article summarizes which districts have received grants, how much funding has been provided to them and what they plan to use with that money.
The Springfield, Illinois city council recently said they would replace their resources to tackle the city’s poor drinking water conditions. Since August, residents have complained about the musty smell and taste of their drinking water. Authorities have traced the cause of the high levels of algae in the water. However, they assured the citizens that although the algae influenced various sensory effects of the water, the plant never affected the actual safety of the residents.
An anonymous panel of panelists from Michigan and outside states plans to provide advice on how to reduce lead levels in drinking water. In addition, authorities have provided bottled water to residents of Benton Harbor, who have been most affected by the dangerous lead levels in their water. Additionally, state governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she will invest $ 20 million to replace lead pipes at Benton Harbor over a 5-year period. However, the official approved budget actually only offers the city $ 10 million.
High levels of a potential carcinogen were recently discovered near the town of Andover. The chemical, 1,4-dioxane, has been found near various industrial buildings. Authorities reassured residents that those who use a municipal water supply always drink clean water. Residents who do not use this supply are strongly encouraged to drink only bottled water at this time. The city plans to work on finding a long-term solution to this problem, but for now, the city is trying to connect private wells to municipal water systems.
MIT engineers recently discovered a new method to extract contaminants from drinking water. In fact, this breakthrough is more energy efficient and cost effective than various existing approaches. By using shock electrodialysis to create a shock wave in the contaminated areas, the metal ions are depleted, essentially separating the brine and the cool streams. However, the method has only been tested in laboratory environments. If successful in other modes of testing, this process can certainly help scientists and communities with future water contamination issues.
Recently, a plastics company in New York City paid $ 23.5 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed it knowingly polluted drinking water. The deal would allow hundreds of residents to undergo medical follow-up for 15 years, as exposure to pollutants in water has actually been linked to diseases like cancer.
Thursday, October 7e, an advisory was issued in the Horseshoe area to boil all potable water. However, no trace of contamination was found in the water, the advisory was therefore lifted on Sunday, October 10. The region obtains its drinking water from a water table, which has never been contaminated before. Water is frequently tested and sampled to ensure safety.
Kawartha Conservation is working with Conservation Ontario on a three-week campaign to establish drinking water protection zone signs. The signs help residents identify the most vulnerable water sources and inform citizens about the areas they need to protect. This is just one method by which the community plans to keep their drinking water safe and uncontaminated.
At the onset of Hurricane Ida, Pickering West, a major water treatment plant, was inundated. Today, a month later, the plant is only operating at half its capacity. The neighboring municipalities are currently subject to a boil water advisory. About ten years ago, the plant spent $ 20 million trying to protect the area from flooding; However, their raised walls were still not high enough to repel the heavy storm water from the hurricane.
To learn more about the Great Lakes now:
Roundup on drinking water: US Steel spill, lead pipes, First Nations boil water advisories, Ohio wetlands
In Benton Harbor, residents’ complaints about lead-contaminated water are echoing
Featured Image: Filling a Glass with Tap Water (Great Lakes Now, episode 1025)