Page II, Archived News & Articles.....

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The BACKFLOW PREVENTION TECHZONE is a regularly updated compendium of backflow prevention / drinking water related resource materials & information links collected from around the world.  Recent to archived news stories' excerpts, and web site reviews are this collection's focus, for anyone involved or interested in the safety of potable water distribution systems, and backflow prevention or cross connection control programs.  Backflow prevention or cross-connection control education and training, for waterworks personnel, public health and municipal officials, architects, engineers, contractors, plumbers, backflow preventer testers, and students of all ages, are the central point of a series of references and links to basic through advanced technical information about the appropriate use and correct installation of drinking water system backflow preventer devices.  Why they are essential to drinking water plumbing safety and our health  will be explored extensively.  Historical to current web page links,  information, ideas, and techniques from around the world, related to backflow prevention and cross connection control between potable water plumbing, and drainage or non-potable systems, as well as other safe drinking water supply issues encompass the aim of the Backflow Prevention TechZone......


LEGISLATION - PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES "Drinking liquid manure with your cup of tea, finding blood from the local abbatoir in the tap water or discovering glowing, growing green aglae fillling your sink may sound like the plot of a Hollywood movie, but it's not. These are just some of the real incidents that have occurred in Australia and New Zealand because proper backflow prevention measures were not in place. Backflow prevention is not a new issue. It was developed in the late 1800s after large companies realised that one of the major reasons for employee illness, and consequently loss of production, was contaminated drinking water. Yet some two hundred years later, many water utilities still struggle to convince people of the potential dangers associated with backflow and cross connections. ...Recognising the importance of both protecting mains water quality and the health and safety of their communities, most water utilities in New Zealand and Australia require their commercial and industrial customers to install and maintain backflow prevention devices at the water meter to ensure that contaminated water does not find its way into the mains.  This commitment to backflow prevention is not a worldwide trend. With the exception of the United States, Canada, Australia and, of course, New Zealand, the issues of cross contamination and backflow prevention are primarily seen as the accountability of the individual business with the governing bodies, both at a local and national level, taking little or no responsibility. This is illustrated by the French and British models. In France there is a mixture of private and public ownership, with the latter assuming a minimal amount of responsibility. In the United Kingdom there are limited formal standards for the types of backflow devices used (primarily head and break tanks) and the competence of the installers." Metrowater, Aug. 29, 2005 

Boil advisory issued after E. coli found "Customers of a north Spokane water district have been advised to boil their drinking water after E. coli bacteria were found during a monthly check. About 4,000 people in 1,300 homes and businesses are affected in Spokane County Water District No. 3, north of Francis Street and West of North Division Street, Dan Sander of the state Department of Health drinking water division said Friday. It was not known if anyone had become infected, but health officials urged water district customers with flu-like symptoms to contact their health care providers. A cause of the contamination was not immediately known after district employees checked the closed system's wells and reservoirs for vandalism or tampering... ...Sander and Wick  said it is possible someone blowing out a yard irrigation system with high-pressure air may have forced contamination into the system. Each fall, many Spokane residents blow out their sprinkler systems to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting during winter. Backflow preventers are required by health and building codes, but some homeowners may not have installed them, Wick said. The north Spokane district has never had a contamination problem in the 30 years he has been with the state agency, Sander said. " Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Oct. 1, 2005

City advises water boiling "An advisory to boil water remained in effect today for up to 10,000 residents in seven pockets of the city and Manheim and East Lampeter townships following Thursday’s break of a main water line in the city. ...The advisory issued Thursday evening, 10 hours after the water line break, is a precaution, said Mayor Charlie Smithgall, who said he drank city water throughout the day. Whenever there is negative water pressure, the state Department of Environmental Protection requires an advisory to boil water for drinking, brushing teeth, washing dishes or preparing food. Theoretically, negative pressure could allow groundwater or toilet water to be sucked into water pipes in buildings where there isn’t backflow prevention devices, Katzenmoyer said. ...Crews worked through the night to repair a 4-foot section of 1930s-era cast iron pipe that cracked open shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday on Burle Industries property, off New Holland Avenue. They were hindered because the pipe sits on solid bedrock that had to be removed. Though old age was probably the chief cause for the rupture, it didn’t help that the pipe did not have a gravel “cushion” around it and received decades of vibrations from the adjacent Amtrak rail line, Katzenmoyer observed." Lancaster Online, Sept. 30, 2005

Backflow and Water System Safety "Protecting and maintaining water quality is one of the most important aspects facing us today. Since we cannot increase our supply of water, we must insure measures are in place to keep it safe. Fortunately, there are simple solutions to protecting the quality of this valuable resource. There are three basic elements to maintaining water system safety; backflow prevention, security, and the ability to monitor the backflow assemblies. Understanding the health risks of cross-connection and backflow, and the solutions available, is paramount to insuring a continued source of safe and secure potable water systems. ...The proper selection of a backflow preventer is crucial to insure that the device works properly and is providing adequate protection for the specific application. It must be stressed that these devices are not all equally acceptable as protection against all types of hazards..." Reeves Journal, Aug. 30, 2005

Pathogens in Drinking Water – The Next Battleground  (TechZone Ed.: 10 years, old but still relevant article found on the WWW) "Municipal water treatment techniques developed 95 (now 105 yrs.) years ago used chlorine compounds to disinfect drinking water. This has dramatically reduced the incidence of waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and amoebic dysentery.  Third world countries still fight this pitched battle where human and animal wastes pollute water supplies and little or no mechanisms exist for proper disinfection. ...Since the early 1900's, the rule of thumb "potability" standard has been the absence of coliform bacteria in a measured minimum volume of water. ...However, as our understanding of microbial contaminants and their detection has improved, scientists have found that a wide range of microorganisms, including viruses, parasites/protozoa and bacteria, may persist in "potable" or so-called "safe" drinking water. ...Recent research studies have identified a wide range of microbial problem areas including community drinking water supplies, delivered and store-bought bottled water, water coolers, water lines in dental offices, shower heads, air conditioning systems, ship holds, home plumbing systems and even under-sink reverse osmosis water treatment systems purchased, ironically, for the removal of water contaminants. ...Legionella were formerly regarded as a hazard only when inhaled in aerosolized water(remember the original problem in Philadelphia years ago with the air-condition system in the hotel where dozens died), but there is considerable new evidence that aspiration from drinking water leads to many cases of Legionnaires' disease. ...This raises the next question: Are defective or inadequate anti-siphon valves, water faucets and other home, school, office and industrial plumbing apparatus permitting infectious material from one infected family member(or even a neighbor) to be "sucked back" into the home plumbing lines--breeding there on the surfaces of water pipes in a cooperative biofilm environment--and then being released when water flowing past the microbe growths breaks a group free and carries it into the next glass of water?"  Willow Glen Times, Oct. 1994
Highlanders in full cry... (scroll down to the bottom) "DEFRA and the British Horse Society are to hold talks next month to clear up the scare over hosepipe restrictions on equestrian yards. A yard owner in the South was told that she had to use storage systems for the pipes, or remove the fittings because of the danger of backflow of animal waste into the public water supply. The action was covered by the Water Supply (Water fittings) Regulations of 1999. It was the first time I had heard of the alleged danger, or anyone in authority taking action about an equine yard. It was talked up as a big issue when reported at the time. But her local water supplier has compromised for now because she has fixed a hose to never touch the ground. But the whole thing could have been sorted by fitting a non-return valve to her pipe, available at a builder's merchants and completely ruling out the unlikely chance of waste getting into drinking water." Equestrian Today, Sept. 26, 2005
Water Supply Industry Interpretations and Advice e.g. "...In general, laboratories should be regarded as presenting the highest level of backflow risk (Fluid Category 5) unless, following a risk assessment, there is evidence to the contrary. However, arising from Health and Safety restrictions which should be in place, the laboratories of secondary schools can be considered less than a Category 5 risk.  ...Steam ovens that are pressurised are to be classified as Fluid Category 5. Unpressurised steam ovens may be regarded as Fluid Category 3 - with protection by a double check valve or equivalent device." (etc.) Water Regulations Advisory Scheme
Backflow: Levels of risk "The water utilities have a duty to supply water, which complies with the water regulations, and the water industry act 1991. This ensures the supply of clean wholesome water suitable for domestic or food production purposes. Drinking water should therefore be obtained direct from the mains water supply without any intervening storage before use. For the purposes of classification this quality of water is called 'fluid category 1' and is the category that needs to be protected against all forms of contamination and pollution. There are four further categories that have an increasing degree of risk these are described below. Links are provided to the backflow prevention components that are acceptable under the new regulations."
Love that dirty water? Holliston waits out ban "An emergency water ban remains in effect for west Holliston after a fan sucked in epoxy fumes from a painting project Wednesday at a water treatment plant. As a result, about 1,500 households have been warned not to drink, bathe or cook with the water until further notice. ...Town officials said water testing is stillunder way, but that initial results are safely within drinking water standards. But the town advised affected residents to avoid public water use until at least tomorrow." Boston Herald, Sept. 25, 2005
Bacteria Find Delays Move "WALSGRAVE Hospital bosses have delayed moving into new buildings after potentially-killer bacteria was found in the water. Staff at the Coventry hospital discovered legionella, which causes the lung infection Legionnaires' disease, in the new radiotherapy unit this month. ...Walsgrave staff estimate it will take about four weeks to ensure the water supplies are clear. A hospital spokesman said: "All buildings get regularly treated and the legionella was found as a result of routine maintenance. "Immediate action was taken to eradicate it from the system. No patients have been affected and we have postponed moving into the new buildings. "My understanding is it (legionella) can be in any water system anywhere."  ...Bug facts:  The legionella bacteria ...was discovered in 1976 after delegates at the Philadelphia convention of the America Legion were struck down with the disease. Legionnaires is contracted by inhaling water droplets contaminated by the bacteria. Legionella in large building water supplies is relatively commonplace and normally poses little risk to the public. It is found naturally and grows best in warm, stagnant water, like the kind found in hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, plumbing systems or parts of air conditioning systems." Red Nova, Sept. 22, 2005
Construction fees for school project waived by Council "...the city has to have its Cross-Connection Control Program in place by the end of the year, per the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). The program regulates the safety of the public water system and the prevention of backflow out of factories, businesses and homes in the event of a water main break. Scheffler said backflow filters have been installed at 40 locations and have to be inspected each year by a certified inspector. He added that he has questions about whether filters should be installed at dentists offices, hair salons and restaurants, among other businesses. The owners of the businesses with filters have to provide the city with a receipt from a certified inspector each year. Scheffler said he will be sending out letters to business owners explaining the process. The letter will state either city or the ADH can provide business owners with a list of certified inspectors." The Piggot times, Sept. 21, 2005
Dying for A Drink of Clean Water "In the United States and Europe, people take it for granted that when they turn on their taps, clean water will flow out. But for those living in U.S. cities devastated by Hurricane Katrina, as in large parts of the world, obtaining safe water requires a constant struggle. Water is essential to all aspects of life, yet 99 percent of water on Earth is unsafe or unavailable to drink. About 1.2 billion people globally lack safe water to consume and 2.6 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. There are also stark comparisons: Just one flush of a toilet in the West uses more water than most Africans have to perform an entire day's washing, cleaning, cooking and drinking. ...But most of all, water is a fundamental global health issue. Unsafe water and sanitation is now the single largest cause of illness worldwide, just as it has been a major threat to the health of people affected by Hurricane Katrina. ...If action is not taken now, 135 million people could die of water-related diseases by the year 2020." Washington Post, Sept. 20, 2005
Potential Contamination Due to Cross-Connections and Backflow and the Associated Health Risks "...The purpose of this document is to review existing literature, research, and information on the occurrence, magnitude, and nature of the public health risks associated with cross-connections and backflow, from both acute and chronic exposures,and methods for detecting and controlling the occurrence of cross-connections and backflow withindistribution systems. More specifically, the goal of this document is to review what we know regarding: (1) causes of contamination through cross-connections; (2) the magnitude of risk associated with cross-connections and backflow; (3) costs of backflow contamination incidents; (4) other problems associated with backflow incidents; (5) suitable measures for preventing and correcting problems caused by cross-connections and backflow; (6) possible  indicators of a backflow incident; and (7) research opportunities."  EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, Aug. 13, 2002
RMWD backflow device issue a joke "William “Bill” Bopf is supposed to be on the board of directors for Rainbow Water. The battle with Rainbow over the “backflow” requirements is out of hand. Lyons says they are legal, but Rainbow says they are not. Rainbow says they must be tested, but the board says you don’t even need one if the pipe is less than one inch. The whole thing is a joke. You call the people at Rainbow and if they return the call he gives you the same song and dance he has been spouting for over a year. He says the board needs to determine the specifics, but in a year they have never dealt with the issue of need for a residence. In the meantime, we keep paying a monthly surcharge to have the backflow tested — but it never gets tested." The Village News, Sept. 15, 2005
Irrigation systems' backflow preventors "Found this short video regarding backflow prevention devices on irrigation systems' waterlines" Unknown author/videographer
Vessel Sanitation Program "Request: Exemption from installing backflow prevention devices on the international shore connection(s) for the fire suppression system(s). VSP Operations Manual Requirement: "The vessel shall provide a comprehensive cross-connection control program that provides safe connections to the potable water system through air gaps or appropriate backflow devices for specified locations aboard the ship including the international shore connection." Denied: Backflow prevention devices on the international shore connections for the fire suppression systems are required to protect the shoreside water system.  This system is connected to the ship and other ships during emergency situations that may be bunkering water from the same system at that time.  This variance was denied because not using a backflow prevention device puts other water systems at risk of becoming contaminated." CDC
New homes must have 1000-litre rain tanks "ALL new homes in South Australia will have to have a 1000-litre rainwater tank, under strict new water conservation laws detailed yesterday. Premier Mike Rann and Environment and Conservation Minister John Hill announced the requirements for new homes and significant home extensions. Mr Hill said a tank that could hold at least one kilolitre, or 1000 litres, would be compulsory from July 1 next year. New homes will also have to comply with other requirements, such as: AUTOMATIC switching between tanks and mains water, mosquito control and backflow prevention devices." The Advertiser, Sept. 12, 2005
Luxury nail industry faces health risks "The sign in the window of Chau's Nails on Aurora Avenue North in Shoreline proudly advertises "SPA PED," a pedicure in a padded leather massage chair that sits like a throne atop a footbath. Salon owner Chau Nguyen said she paid a total of $6,100 for two of the chairs and footbaths — hard earned at $20 a pedicure — because customers kept asking for them. But she knows such luxury comes with risks. "If I don't clean, they get infection. They don't come back," said Nguyen as she poured hospital-grade disinfectant into the bubbling water. Whether in a suburban storefront like Nguyen's, or a ritzy downtown salon, the booming $6 billion nail-service industry in the United States has become as much about preventing the spread of disease as it is about making fingers and toes pretty. ...While Washington licensing officials are considering beefing up regulations, only five state inspectors are assigned to check out more than 10,000 salons and 83 cosmetology schools in Washington. The law requires salons — which include barber, hair, nail and skin-care businesses — to be inspected every other year and schools once a year. And while inspectors uncover hundreds of unlicensed cosmetology businesses every year, the inspection schedule is three to four months behind. ...The worry about infections in nail salons first emerged in October 2000, when more than 100 customers of one California pedicure salon got boils on their legs that left scars. The cause was mycobacteria — commonly found in tap water — which presumably entered the footbaths through the plumbing and multiplied in the warm bits of hair and skin in the baths' filter screens. Since then, cases of the disease have popped up in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois and Oregon. ...Neither public-health officials nor the Department of Licensing randomly tests salon footbaths for the bacteria, or even asks doctors to keep an eye out. ...Two years ago, after learning about the California outbreaks, inspectors started unscrewing the filters in footbaths to see if operators were keeping them clean. The answer usually was no. Now salons are advised to rigorously disinfect footbaths, and conditions are cleaner, Touchette said." The Seattle Times, Sept. 6, 2005
Oak Bluffs building office worker fired "Following a number of complaints to their office, and one to the Oak Bluffs police department citing missing documents, the Oak Bluff’s selectmen’s office fired the building department administrative assistant this week. Eliza Usher, who had worked for the town since 2001, was fired on Monday. She had worked as the administrative assistant for the building inspector since 2003... ...Ms. Usher was a union employee, and under the town’s union contract, she still has the right to appeal the selectmen’s decision.  ...Jerry Wiener, the recently appointed Oak Bluffs building inspector, said, "The job was not getting done. It’s a personnel matter, so I really can’t say more than that." At least part of the problem, according to town officials, was that documents, ...and material for building permits, were missing from the building department offices at the town hall. Chip Mitchell, an Oak Bluffs contractor, told The Times last week that a zoning board of appeals decision on one of his projects back in early June was never filed with the town clerk. ...On August 4, Mr. Mitchell filed a civil complaint with the Oak Bluffs police department detailing his dilemma. While he was the only one who went to the police with his grievance, Mr. Mitchell was not the only person to report missing documents. Casey Sharp, Oak Bluffs town administrator, who is also the sister of Ms. Usher, said that the selectmen’s office had received a number of complaints of lost or missing documents in recent weeks. When she was fired, Ms. Usher was ordered to return any and all documents that she had in her position, town officials said. On Monday, large stacks of documents were returned to the town hall. Ms. Sharpe said that all documents that were missing had been returned. On Tuesday afternoon a number of town employees continued to sift through hundreds of pages of paper spread out on a large folding table in the building inspector’s office." The Martha's Vineyard Times, Aug. 11, 2005
Contractors' costs, nation's health still concerns for Stack "Considering how many centuries that plumbing was made out of lead, it's ironic that Jim Stack suffered lead poisoning from paint. That was good for the plumbing business and bad for the painting business. Stack, the incoming president of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors --National Association, was flat on his back in a hospital room in 1970 from the effects of lead poisoning as a result of his work painting bridges. The man in the bed next to him, dying from congestive heart failure, owned a plumbing firm that his son had taken over. Stack knew he couldn't paint another bridge, so he went from being an $ 8 an hour painter to a $2 an hour plumber's helper. Stack learned the trade and worked for the firm for about 10 years. In 1983, he decided it was time to do his own thing, so he founded Stack Plumbing in the Seattle suburbs. ...As president, Stack is working with a long-range strategic plan, so he doesn't have big initiatives that would be unique to his presidency. But he does, see ...areas of concern.  (One major) ...concern is that plumbers have done such a good job protecting the health of the nation that nobody remembers cholera. He's seen do it yourself installations without traps, or with S-traps, or lawn sprinklers without backflow protection. " The codes were created for a reason, but people think they can do it themselves," he said. "Sometimes they do it illegally and they put their families in harm's way."
Towanda Remembers Storm Victims "Wed-nesday at 7 p.m., the City of Towanda opened its council meeting with a moment of silence for the victims of hurricane Katrina. ...The council revisited a current ordinance that requires a breakdown and cleaning of irrigation systems every five years. The members unanimously approved a new ordinance to meet state regulations by requiring a yearly inspection of systems with cleaning as needed. The inspection will concentrate on backflow devices, and a report must be filed."  El Dorado Times, Sept. 5, 2005
Water advisory steams residents "Notice fails to precisely describe affected area and inform residents... Patrons of Ancaster Rotary Centre got a rude start to their Monday morning workout when they entered the recreational complex earlier this week. Posted to each entrance door was a boil water advisory. The note went on to tell people the water supply was contaminated with bacteria and should not used. "This water can make you sick if you use it as it comes from your tap," read the announcement dated Aug. 28. ...the notice also failed to precisely describe the affected area and inform residents what the issue was. ...Mr. Ferguson said city staff believe the contamination was caused by the high school which hasn't used the water system since school finished in June. With teachers returning to classrooms in preparation for next week water was again used which caused negative pressure in the system and flushed bacteria into water pipes. The city's theory could account for why the contamination was so localized. Eric Matthews, a manager with public health said the bacterial contamination was not found either upstream or downstream of the contaminated site." Ancaster News, Sept. 2, 2005
Auburn seeks public's help on hydrant safety "Auburn utility officials want residents to get involved with homeland security by keeping an eye on city fire hydrants. There are about 2,800 hydrants in Auburn and each one is a potential avenue to contaminate the city's water system, according to Dennis Dowdy, the city's public works director. Theft of water from hydrants also is a problem, he added. The contamination could be done unwittingly by people who take water improperly from a hydrant without a permit or without training in how to do it. Dowdy said the city is asking residents to report any suspicious activity around hydrants or people taking water illegally. Police and city workers can't check them all. ...We have two people full-time hired for backflow protection where irrigation is tied into the system,'' the public works director said. ...He said the city has implemented two legal methods to allow third parties to buy and obtain water from water hydrants. The first involves taking water from a dedicated hydrant. There are six of those dedicated hydrants scattered about the city. They are painted red and have a white tubular assembly (backflow preventer) attached to them. Construction companies can use those dedicated hydrants with a city permit. Nondedicated hydrants are painted yellow. Water may also be withdrawn from those fire hydrants only through the use of a special Hydrant Meter Cart and a permit. The cart is a two-wheel dolly with a valve assembly attached to it. Dowdy said any other activity around a hydrant should be reported immediately to 911." King County Journal, Aug. 29, 2005
Guidance Document: Cross-Connection Control for Small Water Systems "The purpose of this manual is to provide guidance on the development and implementation of a cross-connection control (CCC) program that will comply with the drinking water regulations, Chapter 246-290-490 Washington Administrative Code. This manual was prepared for Group A public water systems with less than 1,000 connections. Although the elements of a CCC program for small, medium, and large water systems are essentially the same, a small water system program may often be streamlined to: Suit the lower health risk posed by a predominantly residential customer base; and Reduce the purveyor's program administration, and thus, operating costs. ...There are numerous well-documented cases where drinking water has been contaminated via unprotected cross connections. These cases have caused illness, injury, and in some cases, death, to consumers served by the system. The task of eliminating all cross connections is enormous. However, all purveyors can implement CCC programs that reasonably reduce the risk of contamination to their systems." Washington State Department of Health 
Parasite outbreak among worst in U.S. "The contamination at Seneca Lake State Park's Sprayground is likely one of the largest waterborne parasitic outbreaks nationwide in a decade. According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it appears that only two other contaminations in Wisconsin and Georgia beat out the 3,131 people and counting who reported becoming ill from water contaminated with the parasite cryptosporidium at the sprayground near Geneva, Ontario County, sometime between July and mid-August. Revelers were struck with a gastrointestinal illness that brings with it diarrhea and low-grade fever, the symptoms of which can last up to two weeks. Cryptosporidium is a one-celled parasite that lives in infected human and animal intestinal tracts. ..."We recognize this is a significant outbreak and our priority is to continue working with counties to increase public awareness about the precautions everyone should take to stop further spread of illness," said state Health Department spokesman Jeffrey Hammond. Wendy Gibson of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation would not comment on the CDC statistics. Gibson also declined to comment on why crypto was found in the sprayground's two water tanks last week. She said the investigation is continuing." Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Aug. 26, 2005
City to seek action against illegal water tap "Despite evidence of an unapproved water tap into an Ely city water main, the city may not be able to press criminal charges. According to a memo from City Engineer Dean Day to City Clerk-Treasurer Jim Alworth, he discovered an addition to a city water line at the White Pine County Industrial Park. After finding the extension, Day said he checked with city staff to see if anyone had information about the extension. Day said he had several problems with what happened. The connections were made without contacting the city and there was no plan submitted to him showing what was going to be done. Additionally, whoever put in the extension shut off a city water main which terminated service to a paying customer and discontinued fire protection to the area without notifying the Ely Volunteer Fire Department. That created a health hazard and a public safety hazard. Also, neither Day nor the water supervisor inspected the connections and did not approve of how the connections were done. ...Alworth contacted White Pine County Sheriff Bernie Romero about enforcing a city code for an illegal water tap. However, because the water tap occurred outside the city limits, the city code cannot be enforced. At the Aug. 11 meeting, Utilities Board chairman Art Olson said there were several violations, including that the work that was done was substandard. He said while city ordinances cannot be applied outside city limits, he believed there were violations of state and federal standards. ...Mayor George Chachas said he would like to have the city water department dig up the illegal water taps, photograph them and document them to build a case." Ely Times, Aug.19, 2005
HydroGap Animation "These two animations show how the Hydro Gap - Air Gap Eductor mixes water and chemicals to dilute concentrations while preventing against backflow."
Oxnard Water Backflow Animation Also see the main page of City of Oxnard California Water Division and it's comprehensive Backflow Prevention/Cross-Connection Control Program Evaluation "...A reversal of flow in a public water distribution main or in the consumer's system can be created by any change of system pressure wherein the pressure at the supply point becomes lower than the pressure at the point of use. When this happens, in an unprotected situation, the water at the point of use will be siphoned back into the system, thus potentially polluting or contaminating the remainder of the consumer's system. It is also possible that the contaminated or polluted water could continue to backflow into the public water distribution system. The point at which it is possible for a non-potable substance to come in contact with the potable drinking water system is called a cross-connection." City of Oxnard Water Division
Businesses get letters on water regulations (scroll down page) "As the city of Franklin works to fix problems with its water system, local businesses have received letters with stern instructions to install a backflow device in their buildings. ..."It protects the city and drinking water system as best you can," said Chris Milton, acting water and wastewater director. ...Milton said between 55% and 60% of all the businesses surveyed didn't have the device. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation recently slapped the city with a failing report and put the water system on a list of "unapproved" public water systems in the state.", Aug. 21, 2005
Geneva water playground closes after hundreds report illness "Debbie Pierce of Ithaca called the illness her children experienced after visiting Sprayground in Geneva horrible and debilitating. An outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses possibly stemming from the state-run water playground spread to 20 counties on Thursday, the state Health Department said. “The numbers are growing significantly,” said Rob Kenny, spokesman for the Health Department. By Wednesday night, the total number of cases affecting mostly children and teenagers had jumped to 746 across eight counties, up from 100 cases the night before.   Seneca Lake Park's popular Sprayground, which features water jets shooting up from a hardtop surface, will be closed for the remainder of the summer. Tests show the tank system that feeds the water jets was contaminated with a common waterborne disease called cryptosporidiosis or “crypto.” Drinking fountains and a nearby snack bar are also being tested for contamination, Kenny said. ...According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, crypto is very contagious and can cause symptoms including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and fever that can last for weeks.", Aug. 19, 2005
American Society of Sanitary Engineering  History "The American Society of Sanitary Engineering grew out of a meeting held in Washington, D.C., January 29-31, 1906. Henry B. Davis, Chief Plumbing Inspector for the District of Columbia, believed it was vital that plumbing practice in the United States be standardized. ...In the 1940's the Society and the industry undertook an extensive effort to prove that polio, than a major scourge -- was a waterborne disease. ASSE and the industry contended the viral disease was spread through polluted potable water, much caused by such faulty plumbing practices as cross-connections which led to backsiphonage. Surprisingly, this theory was not universally accepted, as obvious as it may seem today."  
Ancient water system discovered near Jerusalem "...archaeologists have discovered what they term a "monumental rock-hewn water system" near Jerusalem dating back to the eighth century B.C. ...A statement by Gibson and archaeologist James Tabor from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte said that the latest excavations have revealed the cave to be part of "a much larger Iron Age water system, rock-cut in places to a depth of 65 feet." The archaeologists said the cave, which dates back to the time of King Hezekiah (according to pottery shards from that period), contains a vertical shaft, an open horizontal corridor, a flight of stone steps above a tunnel and three external plastered pools, all of which was on the slope above an underground reservoir. ...Although elaborate water systems "have been found elsewhere," Gibson said, until now they were discovered only within Israelite cities such as Beit Shemesh and Gibeon. "Never before has such a massive water system been found isolated in the countryside without a town or city attached to it," Gibson said, leading the team to believe that the project had been undertaken "by the Kingdom of Judah." Biblical Recorder, Aug. 11, 2005
Water company surveys users "The 395 Montezuma Water Co. members who didn't fill out and return a cross-connection - water line - survey may get a knock on their door soon. The survey asks customers what additional water lines might be in their ground in proximity to the water company’s delivery system. Company officials are attempting to locate any possible or existing water contamination points already buried that could pose a current or future threat to drinking water. ...Sending and receiving questionnaire forms back allows the water company to comply with a relatively new Colorado law. The regulation states a water supplier’s responsibility to customers starts at the supply, or point of origin, and ends at the ser vice connection. “If you have anything hooked up to our system, then something can be thrown back,” Director Allen Lichliter said. ...As a possible solution, water user Eric Gray mentioned that the company could install back-flow preventers. “You could put those in and address any (water-related) problems from there,” he said. If preventers are installed, MWC would have to check all of the devices annually. The cost for a back-flow device is about $1,800 each — or $7.2 million for 4,000, which is the number of MWC users. Board members debated who should pay for the back-flow devices. “The owners of our company should realize there will be annual inspections at an unknown cost,” Director Glenn Fish said. Officials of the water company are rolling the dice..." Cortez Journal, Aug. 12, 2005
Water company brands hosepipes ‘hazardous’ "A Dorset yard owner's dispute with her local water company over use of hosepipes around horses has uncovered longstanding but little understood legislation that could cost the equestrian world millions. Gillian Makey-Harfield, a List Three British Dressage judge, had no idea she was breaking the law by using hosepipes directly from the water mains at her private four-horse yard until she was inspected by Wessex Water Ltd on 7 July. She contacted Horse & Hound after being issued with a contravention report telling her to switch to a water storage cistern by 15 August or remove hosepipe fittings. ...According to DEFRA and the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS), using hosepipes from the mains exposes public drinking water to potential contamination from animal waste due to “backflow”. Backflow can occur when the main water supply comes under high demand, for example due to a fire, burst main or mass use of garden hosepipes, resulting in a loss of pressure and suction action on the system. Contamination may happen if the end of a hosepipe is in contact with fluid containing animal waste (faecal matter) at the exact moment the water system experiences a loss of pressure.  ...Makey-Harfield felt she was being unfairly singled out, given that hosepipes at neighbouring equestrian properties, including the Cattistock hunt kennels, had gone undetected. Now seeking legal advice and willing to take her fight to court, she said her situation set a dangerous precedent across the industry." Horse and Hound, Aug. 11, 2005
Health Official Says Deadly Infection May Be Treatable " Researchers say there might be a new weapon to fight the deadly infection that killed two Tulsa boys last week. Tulsa hospitals now know of the possible new treatment. ...naegleria is caused by an amoeba and it's usually found in warm bodies of fresh water and under-chlorinated pools. If the amoeba gets into the nasal passages, it can be deadly. The two boys killed by the rare infection played at a splash pad at Mohawk Park. And the boys might have also played in other nearby water. Officials believe two small, stagnant ponds next to the pads might be the source of the infection. The water at the splash pad is chlorinated, but city officials drained the area Now a researcher at Oklahoma State University's Center for Health Sciences says a drug might treat the infection. The researcher says Zithromax, which is used to fight other sinus infections, worked the only time it was used in treatment.", Aug. 9, 2005
Tulsa Waterpark May Be Link In Boys' Deaths "Health officials believe a Tulsa water park may be a link between two Tulsa boys who died Friday from a rare, waterborne disease. The Health Department is testing stagnant water in a drainage area near a "splash pad" in Mohawk Park. The two boys had apparently played at the water park about two days apart within the last two weeks, health officials said. "We don't believe at this time that the sprinkler is what could have caused this," said Melanie Christian, a spokeswoman for the Tulsa City-County Health Department. "It looks like a cross-contamination issue." Children playing in the water park's sprinklers apparently also were playing in stagnant water that was pooling about 30 feet away, Christian said. Water from the sprinkler was an unlikely source of contamination because it is cold, chlorinated and moving, she said. ...Local parents were warned Friday to keep children from swimming underwater in lakes and ponds after health officials reported the deaths of the two boys as a result of naegleria. ...The boys, who apparently did not know each other, went to doctors with symptoms of fever, hallucinations and headaches. Naegleria is caused by an amoeba that lives in warm water. The condition cannot be caught by drinking water or merely wading in it; the water must go up a person's nose, where the amoeba enters the body through the nasal passage and from there follows the central nervous system to the brain. ...A total of 24 Naegleria infections were documented in the United States between 1989 and 2000." Aug. 7, 2005
Details emerge in city official’s bribe case "The instructions were simple: Just sit there and "look intelligent." That, according to a federal affidavit, is what Albert Carothers, then chief assistant plumbing inspector for the city of St. Louis, told a man he thought was bribing him to help the man cheat on a license exam. Carothers gave the man a copy of the test with the answers already filled in and sat him in the back so no one could look over his shoulder. But it was Carothers who was being watched. The man taking the test was a paid informer who had been secretly recording their conversations for months. On that particular day in February 2004, the man wore a hidden video camera that captured the day's events.Carothers, 64, was arrested last month, charged with mail fraud, conspiracy and aiding and abetting. Two local contractors accused of helping Carothers face similar charges. ...Court documents paint Carothers as the mastermind of the scheme who kept those who didn't bribe him from getting a city license. ...Carothers was the secretary for the plumbing exam board. ...The accusations in the plumbing office come as Comptroller Darlene Green announced the first three months of her fraud hot line yielded 28 substantive tips. Of those, three have been referred to federal agencies, including the FBI and Internal Revenue Service." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 12, 2005
 Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations "Subject to the following provisions..., every water system shall contain an adequate device or devices for preventing backflow of fluid from any appliance, fitting or process from occurring. ...The device used to prevent backflow shall be appropriate to the highest applicable fluid category to which the fitting is subject downstream before the next such device." Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs
  Domestic Cold-Water Systems "Domestic cold-water systems are not a major site for Legionnaires' disease bacteria (LDB) growth. However, elevated levels of LDB have been measured in ice machines in hospitals. ...Dental water lines have been recognized as sources of water contaminated with high concentrations of microorganisms including LDB. ...Cross-contamination of a domestic cold-water system with another system should always be suspected of promoting bacterial growth. ...Emergency water systems such as fire sprinkling systems, safety showers, and eye wash stations are other domestic cold-water sources from which LDB have been cultured. These systems experience little water flow and can be subject to periods of elevated temperatures. In addition, operation of these devices will aerosolize water. ...Operating conditions for dental water lines are especially appropriate for LDB proliferation because the water is stagnant a majority of the time, the narrow plastic tubing encourages bio-film formation, and the water temperature is usually 20°C (68° F) or higher... ...How do I maintain a cold water system? ...Protect all connections to process water with a plumbing code-approved device such as a back-flow preventer or air gap."
Palm Beach County warns of scams targeting its water utility customers "Scam artists have approached about a dozen Palm Beach County households, according to the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department. “We want to make sure that innocent people are not tricked into believing that they need to purchase unnecessary filters to treat their tap water,” department director Bevin A. Beaudet said. County Commissioner Mary McCarty’s office said that calls to the department’s customer service center alerted county officials that someone is targeting utility customers with an erroneous letter. The letter states that customers who suffered diarrhea between February 20 and May 30 were exposed to fecal matter in drinking water. The letter also recommends that customers install a reverse osmosis filter and contact a plumber to install a backflow valve system. “Whoever mailed this letter is posing as our water utility to frighten people into believing that they need to hire a plumber and buy expensive water treatment systems,” Beaudet said. “We suspect that they will follow up by soliciting business from the people they have scared with the letter.” “Please don’t be misled into believing that your water is unsafe,” Beaudet said. “There is no need to call a plumber or purchase a reverse osmosis filter. This is a scam. ...Stephen K. Lower, retired department of chemistry professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia has examined the many way in which con artists have used water as the source of a scam. He said such scams have included “magnets and ‘catalysts’ for softening water, magnetic laundry balls, waters that are ‘oxygenated’, ‘clustered’, ‘unclustered’ or ‘vitalized’ (purporting to improve cellular hydration, remove toxins, and repair DNA), high zeta-potential colloids and vortex-treated waters to raise energy levels, halt or reverse aging “and remove geopathic stress.” “All of these wonders and more are being aggressively marketed via the Internet, radio infomercials, seminars, and by various purveyors of new-age nonsense,” Lower said. “The hucksters who promote these largely worthless products weave a web of pseudoscientific hype guaranteed to dazzle and confuse the large segment of the public whose limited understanding of science makes them especially vulnerable to this kind of exploitation.”" Boca Raton News, August 4, 2005
 Your Drinking Water "Considering the fact that safe drinking water is vital to human survival, it seems strange that the utility companies (purveyors) charge so little for the life-giving product they sell. The courts have deemed that water is a product and not a service to the public. The water purveyors take the raw material and process this material through their factories (water plants) and then sell this product to their customers for a profit. In the U.S. products which are sold for a profit have an implied warranty that the products are usable. Water has a warranty that it is fit for human consumption. The water purveyors deliver the product through a series of pipes (transmission mains and distribution mains) to the customers' water meters. Once the product (clean water) is delivered through the water meters to the customers, the water purveyor does not want this same water to return back through the meters and out into the public water supply.", June 10, 2005
Aging waterlines require repairs, replacement "Frequent reports of water main breaks and media coverage of a spectacular water spout in Green Tree notwithstanding, local water authorities believe they're maintaining the viability of their aging infrastructures. ...Water main breaks are as inevitable as rain at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, despite millions of dollars water authorities spend upgrading their systems. ...But a national industry group says that might not be enough for Pittsburgh or any other aging city over the next few decades as pipes reach the end of their projected life spans. "Now's the time to start talking to the public about the need to replace the infrastructure," said Jack Hoffbuhr, executive director of the American Water Works Association, a technical and professional society that does education on water issues. "It's not going to go away, and the longer you put it off, the larger the problem you're going to have eventually."  Perhaps, but any kind of complete, systematic replacement is, in the eyes of officials from Pittsburgh area authorities, impossible. "[The cost] would be astronomical, and it would be a needless expense," West View's Bruno said. ...The American Water Works Association's doomsday attitude stems from a 1991 study called "Dawn of the Replacement Era," which looked at 20 utility companies' needs for repair and replacement of drinking water infrastructure. It cited the fact that three different types of pipe installed in different eras will be reaching their life expectancy over the next 20 to 30 years. That includes the durable cast iron pipe installed late in the 19th century up through the lighter-weight and less durable pipe called transite that was used in the post-World War II era. Now pipe is either ductile iron or plastic, primarily the former here, expected to last 100 years.", August 1, 2005
We will overcome space setbacks "It was not a pretty sight. I was down on all fours in my front yard, butt in the air, fumbling with a wrench trying to shut off a submerged valve I couldn't see. Necktie drooping into a bubbling pool of water spreading across the lawn, it was clear I'm no plumber. Minutes earlier I had been in The Herald's East Manatee newsroom, watching the televised launch of the space shuttle Discovery. That's when my wife called with news that the backflow apparatus at home had sprung a big leak.  Speeding home, I tried to recall how I handled a similar emergency a year earlier. Then I remembered. All it took was a turn of a wrench and bit of skin off my knuckles. Considering how the same species that struggles with simple tasks - like closing a water shutoff valve, or loading plastic line into a string trimmer - also launched the Discovery, it makes you wonder, "Just how do they do it?" The ground crew that readies the vehicle and the men and women who fly the shuttle are the best and brightest. But in many ways they are people just like you and me and the guy down the block. ...The next generation of manned space exploration is intriguing: back to the moon and on to Mars.  Not bad for a race of knuckle-busters.", July 31, 2005
 Martin v. The Department of the Army "This is a proceeding under the employee protection provisions of the Safe Water Drinking Act, 42 U.S.C. § 300.  John W. Martin (Complainant), a plumber employed at Ft. Jackson, a Department of the Army facility filed his complaint on May 5, 1992. The District Director issued his decision rejecting Mr. Martin's complaint on October 13, 1992.  ...Ft. Jackson is required to have a backflow prevention  program.  The regulations on backflows apply to this facility as they would to any municipality or water district. ...Complainant in the period March 14 to mid or late April went to Mike Munn, Mr. Pittman's supervisor telling him that he was having problems and could not get answers concerning backflow preventer test procedures.  Mike Munn also was unable to answer his questions. ...Mr. Martin informed Mr. Pittman that the list of backflows provided to him, was incomplete and therefore it would take longer to complete the testing.  Complainant found some 341 backflows on the base.  More building inspections were needed to locate the additional backflows...  ...Complainant concluded there were many instances of non-compliance with respect to backflow and cross connection control at Ft. Jackson of the State Safe Drinking Water Act.  He could not figure out why. "I found that the new buildings were not being tested, or not being -- backflows were not being installed on the newer buildings, as required by law.. The law said that any cross-connection, which is potable water tied into two lines, potable water tied into a contaminated source, the law says there shall be no cross-connection.  And we had plenty of them at Ft. Jackson, and nobody was doing anything about it."" U.S. Dept. of Labor
Warning about tainted water in West Boca is a fraud, official says "Someone posing as the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department has sent fraudulent letters to homeowners west of Boca Raton saying their tap water had been tainted with fecal bacteria. The county issued a consumer alert Wednesday after receiving calls about the letter -- which targeted the Woodcrest section of Boca West -- from a handful of recipients. ..."It's sort of like a foot in the door," water utilities spokeswoman Brenda Duffey said. "The tactic is to try to frighten people into thinking there's something wrong with their water, when in fact our water quality is great."  The letter suggests that coliform bacteria may have caused diarrhea in drinkers of unfiltered water during the period of Feb. 20 to May 30. It recommends installing a reverse osmosis filter and contacting a plumber to put in a backflow valve." South Florida Sun-Sentinal, July 28, 2005
Mayor steamed over 'stinky' water "Those residents of Andalusia who think they have "stinky water," will just have to suck it up for now. "I was frustrated," Utilities Superintendent and Andalusia Mayor Jerry Andrews said. "I am real concerned with them (utilities board members) not wanting to address the water situation. "People are concerned about it and they have complained about it," Andrews added. The superintendent brought in Tom Walters, a representative of CH2M Hill (a professional engineering firm based in Montgomery), to give a proposal to the Utilities Board Tuesday evening about the steps his company could take to get to the bottom of the odor some are saying emanates from the city's water supply. ...Andrews' proposal died due to lack of a motion.  ...Walters told the utilities board that the smell and other problems with the water was most likely caused by hydrogen sulfide, which gives off an odor similar to rotten eggs. ...The representative said hydrogen sulfide in the water supply is not in and of itself harmful. The smell, Walters noted, is usually generated from a biological reaction  occurring somewhere within the system itself. Kenneth Blackburn, Water and Sewer Operations Manager for the utilities department, said that water will "stink" if lines aren't frequently flushed out. For those who go on vacation or leave their homes for extended periods of time, that could be the source of their problem, Blackburn noted." Andalusia Star News, July 27, 2005
Preparing for the big show "On Thursday, the first 2005 Fayette County fair-goers will flood through the entrance gates to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of all the fair has to offer. But, more than likely, not one will give a thought to the time and effort it takes to make the fair a possibility. On the other hand, Chris Piwowar, head of the fair's maintenance crew, is not likely to forget any time soon. In order to get the grounds ready for the annual event, Piwowar and his crew began working at the end of May. "Over the winter all of the waterlines are drained because the buildings aren't heated, so we have to start turning on all of the water and make sure everything is working," Piwowar said. That includes flushing every toilet on the grounds, at least a few times, to make sure they will function when the public comes. This year, hooking up the water once again, was a more difficult task than it has been in the past. That's because of a law that made it mandatory for backflow preventers to be installed. ..."There is just so much that needs done," Piwowar said. "People just don't realize all that goes into this. You'd be amazed how many people ask what all has to be done."" Daily Courier, July 26, 2005
HOA to change water times "Highlands at Arrowhead Ranch resident Carol Monnig was so concerned about the reclaimed water that sprays out of nearby sprinklers, she took a sample from a sprinkler head for testing. ...Sprinklers spray the grass several times a week during the day and when the wind blows, Ms. Monnig said the mist reaches her front and back yard.  "We cannot be out in the yard when this is going on. It gets in our faces, it gets on our skin," Mrs. Monnig said. "We're like prisoners in our home." The water has 70 colony-forming units per 100 milliliters of fecal coliforms, based on lab results presented July 19 to the Highlands Homeowners Association. Fecal coliform is a type of bacteria that could include E. coli but does not necessarily, said Susan Butler, a lab technician for Legend Technical Services, Inc. in Phoenix. "I would think it's a little bit high," Ms. Butler said...  ...Arizona Department of Environmental Quality officials note state law requires fecal coliform to be nonexistent in drinking water, a restriction that does not apply to reclaimed water because it is not intended to be consumed. It was after her daughter's doctor said the water quality could be unsafe for someone with medical problems that Mrs. Monnig wanted to make sure her HOA was aware. ..."Somebody's going to get sick one of these days and then there's going to be a lawsuit," Mrs. Monnig said. Reclaimed water is wastewater treated well enough to be used for non-drinking purposes, such as irrigation, industrial coolant or water features. It is significantly cheaper than potable "drinking" water that comes out of the tap. Water experts do not recommend drinking reclaimed water but say it is cleaner than it used to be and considered safe to use on lawns.  ...Paul Bennett, an eight-year Highlands resident, said the sprinklers spray during peak hours when homeowners walk around the lake and children ride bikes on the sidewalks. The mist creates a slippery surface and must be dodged by park users, he said. ...Arizona Administrative Code Title 18 requires entities to "reasonably preclude" the public from coming in contact with reclaimed water.", July 25, 2005
Water tank break-in detected "The day before Akron responded to a national Orange Alert for mass transit on July 7 by increasing vigilance in the city's sprawling multicounty watershed, Akron police were investigating a security breach much closer to home. Someone broke open an access hatch and crawled inside an East Akron water tower and lit candles on a platform overhanging 2 million gallons of the city's drinking water. City workers discovered the break-in during a routine inspection on July 6 and speculated that someone perhaps swam in the water. ``We're thinking it was probably some time over the July Fourth weekend,'' said public utilities manager Michael McGlinchy. ``They did find Slim Jim wrappers, pop cans and cigarette butts.'' The big cylinder-shaped tower at Eastwood Avenue is surrounded by a barbed wire fence. The first rung of the access ladder is 8 feet off the ground. The first few rungs are covered by a hinged sheet of metal. ...Although no system is 100 percent safe in the ``new normal'' after 9/11, Akron Health Director Dr. Michael Moser said, he won't stop drinking from the tap. For one thing, the water supply retains its treatment chemicals -- which keep bacteria and many viruses at bay -- between the time it leaves the plant and it arrives at the tap. Any nasties dumped intentionally or accidentally inside a water tower would have to survive those chemicals." Akron Beacon Journal, July 23, 2005
City's water the result of much planning, hard work "When people in Corvallis turn on their tap, they expect a safe and reliable water supply. What they don't know is what it takes for the city to ensure that safety and reliability. Most people have some understanding about the city's process to treat and filter water to ensure bacteria and contaminants have been removed. But this is only the first step in protecting the water supply. Once the water has been treated to a level that it meets or exceeds all state and federal regulations, it is put into the distribution system of pipelines, pump stations, and reservoirs, where it is available for use by customers. While in the distribution system, the city continues to monitor the water quality. ...The city also protects against contaminants flowing back into the water system. Devices to prevent backflow are required in specific circumstances where the threat is highest, such as industrial facilities. The device protects the water supply from any dirt, bacteria or chemicals that could back-flow to the water system. On residential properties, a backflow prevention device is required for irrigation systems. The city operates a state-mandated program to ensure appropriate backflow prevention devices are installed and tested annually." Corvallis Gazette-Times, July 22. 2005
Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink "Drink the water. Don't drink the water. Residents, businesses and municipal officials spent most of Wednesday deciding what to do. Mass confusion followed the boil water advisory issued by Indiana American Water Co. late Tuesday evening. A power outage caused a loss of power, then pressure, at the company's Gary and Ogden Dunes plants. Restaurants closed. Traffic snarled. Rumors spread. ...Porter County Health Department Administrator Keith Letta said his department decided to order all restaurants in the affected areas closed out of concern for public health. "They cannot tell us they did not have back siphonage and sucked in contaminants. There are a lot of people who could be affected," Letta said. "State code said they can't be in operation without a potable water source. If we are going to make a mistake, we are going to make it on the side of public safety." ...Hospitals also had to change their routines because of the advisory.", July 21, 2005
Backflow Prevention Cross Connection Control Handbook "Man has long recognized the need for pure drinking water, but only in the last 50 or 60 years has there been any real effort to prevent contamination caused by cross connections. Although double check valves came into use around the turn of the century to isolate fire mains and industrial water lines from the potable water supply, little interest was shown in the individual treatment of plumbing fixtures. In 1929 the major breakthrough came when a device consisting of two check valves with a relief valve between them was successfully tested in Danville, Illinois. However, this valve was not produced commercially and it was not until the late 1930’s that the real development of effective vacuum breakers and backflow preventers took place. It was in this period that ordinances for cross connection control began to be enforced" SPX Valves & Controls
Back to Basics: Backflow Prevention "The basic principles of cross-connection control are very simple, yet there are thousands of variables that enter the formula in designing and engineering backflow prevention into any potable water system. It is a complete understanding of the elementary aspects of cross-connection control that will allow us to engineer and design systems that achieve the goal of preventing backflow in an effective and cost-efficient manner. The goal is to assure a backflow event does not cause an unintentional reversal of flow of any substance into the potable water system that can affect water quality by means of a cross-connection. Backflow can happen because of two hydraulic conditions, backpressure and/or backsiphonage. Backpressure is a condition where a greater pressure is created on the outlet side of a piping system than from the inlet side. Pumps, thermal expansion or elevated storage tanks are different examples that can cause this condition to occur. Backsiphonage is a reversal of flow caused by a negative or sub-atmospheric pressure. Broken water mains often cause negative pressures in a potable water system by increasing demand to a point where a negative pressure can be created. The hydraulic conditions of backpressure and backsiphonage can only cause a problem if there is a passageway from the unwanted material and the drinking water. This passageway is called a cross-connection. There are two types of cross-connections that can be created: either an actual (direct) or potential (indirect) connection. An example of an actual connection would be the feed line from the potable water supply connected to the boiler feed. An example of a potential connection would be a janitorial sink faucet with a hose thread outlet. This has the potential of connecting an open-end hose into the sink of soapy water or dangerous chemicals…" pmengineer, 1/7/05
Illegal connections: Mayor warns of action against defaulters "MAYOR Nahar Singh Gill today stated that the mixing of water, ‘‘if any’’, in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony and adjacent areas where gastroenteritis cases have been reported are due to illegal water connections taken by the residents.  The mayor added that such connections are being checked, while a few have also been disconnected. The Mayor specified that anyone who has illegal water/ sewer connections should get them rectified, or the Municipal Corporation (MC) will initiate legal action against the culprit.  Earlier in March when gastro outbreak had been reported at Tibba Road colonies and Karamsar Colony, the Operation and Maintenance Cell of the Municipal Corporation had conducted a thorough survey of illegal water and sewer connections in the city.  Nearly 20,000 such connections had been identified in various areas. The survey found that most of these illegal connections had been taken by residents in the outskirts of the city..." Ludhiana Newsline, July 15, 2005
Tap-water worries "Colorado's system to oversee the safety of drinking water is significantly understaffed, threatening the integrity of a program designed to protect public health, a federal report says. The Environmental Protection Agency, in a review of the state health department's drinking water program, repeatedly warned that staffing levels far below national standards spread supervisors too thin and could delay important new regulatory initiatives. "The drinking water program must be able to respond to . . . emergencies, maintain (its) basic program and be able to move the program forward in a comprehensive manner to . . . ensure the safety of drinking water," the report said. "The current level of resources simply does not make this possible, and this course of action is not without its risks to the public health."  Despite a number of strongly worded concerns in the report, an assistant administrator at the EPA downplayed the notion that staffing shortfalls posed any imminent risk to public health. ...The EPA's emphasis on staffing shortfalls marked the latest red flag over personnel levels at Colorado's Water Quality Control Division, a branch of the state Department of Public Health and Environment. A draft report by the division itself last year found that the state's water pollution watchdog agency was staffed 40 percent below states of comparable size and responsibilities, and could be at risk of takeover by the federal government." Rocky Mountain News, July 18, 2005
World supply of clean water at risk "The lack of clean drinking water throughout the world and resulting disease could kill millions of people in coming decades, a Montana State University professor said Friday. "Unless we're extremely careful, at least half the world is going to be facing a water shortage by the year 2050," Tim Ford, head of MSU's microbiology department, told more than 50 government officials, environmental advocates and journalists from around the globe who gathered in Bozeman. ...Drinking water polluted by human waste, heavy industry and other sources is the cause of 80 percent of infectious diseases, Ford said. And contaminated water causes 3 million deaths a year and 4 billion cases of intestinal diseases. ...But, Ford noted, the shortage of clean drinking water isn't a problem only in far-off, underdeveloped countries. Throughout the world, including in the United States, aging municipal water systems are crumbling. Ford showed pictures of a century-old Boston water pipe caked with residue, which makes it a perfect host for disease-carrying bacteria. To tackle the problem, communities throughout the world need better training for water system operators, improved public health monitoring and stronger enforcement of water standards." Bozeman Daily Chronicle, July 16, 2005
Plumbing Employment: An Additional 110,000 Plumbers Are Needed by 2012 "According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the demand for experienced Plumbers is likely to increase by 10 – 20% over the next seven years. Based on the labor statistics from 2002, an additional 110,000 Plumbers could be needed by the year 2012. About 70% of these Plumbers would be working for contractors engaged in new construction, repair, modernization, or maintenance work. As the demand for experienced Plumbers increases, so does that of Plumbing Sales People, Estimators, Project Managers, Designers/Drafters, Foremen, Superintendents, etc… Although much of this growth is likely due to residential and commercial new construction in the United States, there’s always a need to modernize existing structures which provides consistent work for industry professionals. With the demand for skilled Plumbers outpacing the supply, compensation levels are expected to increase as employers continue to get more aggressive in their recruiting strategies." eMediaWire, July 13, 2005
Council revises ordinance... "The City Council approved changes Tuesday to ordinances it adopted earlier this year aimed at curbing false burglar alarms and requiring some businesses to install safety devices on water lines. ...The council ...adopted extensive revisions to an ordinance requiring certain businesses to install "backflow" prevention devices between their buildings and the city's water line. The devices are designed to prevent liquid materials used in the businesses from contaminating the water supply. The ordinance also applies to buildings with sprinkler systems for fire suppression. The city is under pressure from the state Department of Health and Hospitals to adopt an ordinance that complies with state health regulations, according to a discussion at a meeting last month. Mayor Charlene Smith and council members said last month they had received complaints from some owners after about 40 letters went out to businesses informing them of the requirements. The city adopted the original ordinance in February, but the revisions include numerous technical changes and specific references to standard plumbing and building codes.", July 13, 2005
St. Louis Assistant Chief Plumbing Inspector Arrested On Bribery Charges "A St. Louis Assistant Chief Plumbing Inspector was one of three people arrested in what prosecutors are calling a bribery scheme. St. Louis City Assistant Chief Plumbing Inspector Albert Carothers, 63-years-old, is accused of taking bribes to give out drain layers' and plumbers' licenses. Prosecutors say a witness who cooperated with investigators paid Carothers $3,000, and that Carothers gave the witness a test with all the answers already filled in before issuing the license. Two contractors were also arrested. ...The U.S. Attorney's Office says each defendant could face up to 20 years in prison if they are found guilty.", June 22, 2005
Fairview in wake of E. coli scare "The city’s monthly water quality tests revealed that three out of 10 water samples taken Thursday, July 7, contained E. coli bacteria. Public Works employees canvassed Fairview neighborhoods Friday morning issuing health notices telling residents not to use any tap water without boiling it first, even for brushing their teeth. ...Ron Hall, the manager for the drinking water program with the Oregon Department of Health and Human Services, said there are more than 200 types of E. coli bacteria, most of which are relatively harmless. However, some strains of E. coli can cause illness and are of particular concern to people with weakened or suppressed immune systems and infants and children. People infected with the E. coli bacteria could experience diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms. The bacteria was discovered during a routine monthly water test required by the state, Cochran said. Bacterial contamination can occur when there is a break in the water main, through an illegal cross connection like a residential irrigation system or when new water lines or facilities are constructed, health officials said. The source of the problem is still unknown..." Gresham Outlook, July 10, 2005
Water may be unsafe to drink "State inspectors have found sand in the drinking water of a lower Richland home and evidence of leaking pipes in the surrounding neighborhood — both signs that pollution threatens the water system at Albene Park.  The discovery Wednesday prompted one state inspector to caution Albene Park residents against drinking the water. “As far as Albene Park, considering what we did find on Wednesday, it may not be in the customer’s best interest to consume that water,” said Willie Morgan, an official with the state Office of Regulatory Staff. The regulatory staff agency ran across the problem while looking into complaints of poor water service by Piney Grove Utilities Inc. The company faces a total of more than $4.4 million in state health department fines levied over water and sewer system violations. ...The threat occurs because such outside contaminants as bacteria, which can cause stomach ailments, could filter into water lines. ...Nearby Franklin Park also is served by Piney Grove Utilities. But Morgan said he could not address whether people should drink the water there.  The regulatory staff office found evidence of leaking water lines in each neighborhood, but the sand in the tap at Albene Park provided more cause for concern, he said." The, July 9, 2005
Money dispute left town's water problem simmering "When an O'Fallon, Ill., city worker turned on a faucet in his home and water only dribbled out, he "acted like Paul Revere, and we headed out to the pump station," recalled city engineer Dennis Sullivan. They were able to avoid water crisis No. 1 that day in early June. Just three weeks later, demand surged, and water pressure plummeted again in O'Fallon and eight other Metro East communities. Water crisis No. 2 could not be defused. Water pressure sank below the state-mandated minimum, potentially contaminating the water supply with bacterial backflow. The city and Illinois-American Water Co. were forced to call a three-day boil water order affecting at least 100,000 people. Residents and businesses were caught off-guard and upset.  But the water utility and O'Fallon officials had known for years about a distribution problem that led to these two incidents, interviews and documents show. The two sides had battled over who should pay for the costly fix. ...Water is often taken for granted. The power may go out. The cable may go on the fritz. But the water? For at least two decades, no major water utility supplying the Metro East area, the city of St. Louis, or the counties of St. Louis and St. Charles had suffered a broad pressure crash and systemwide boil order. Then it happened once - and nearly twice - in one month to Illinois-American and O'Fallon. "It's an interesting and perplexing situation," Sullivan said." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 10, 2005
Legionnaires’ Disease Contracted from Patient Homes: The Coming of the Third Plague? "In biblical times, 10 plagues were inflicted on Egypt,  causing fear and consternation. The plagues included locusts, frogs, hail, and, ultimately, the deaths of the first-born sons of Egypt [1]. Similarly, Legionnaires’ disease swept into our medical consciousness like a plague, causing fear and consternation. The first plague was discovered as an outbreak of severe pneumonia during an American Legion convention at a Philadelphia hotel in 1976. The abruptness of the outbreak, the high mortality despite antibiotics and modern ICU care, and the unknown cause contributed to its notoriety, which has endured today. The general public and the lay media retain their fascination with Legionnaires’ disease. ...The second plague was the discovery of outbreak- related pneumonia in the hospital setting in 1978. This plague occurred when, over a course of 4 years, hospital acquired Legionnaires’ disease was diagnosed in over 300 patients in U.S. Veterans Hospitals in Los Angeles,  CA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Togus, ME. ...Panic and consternation occurred among patients and hospital employees and was fueled by media coverage. The third plague is the emerging recognition that sporadic community-acquired legionellosis can be contracted from drinking water in patient homes. ...Attention initially focused on cooling towers and air conditioners, which became convenient lightning rods that could defuse panic because these sources could be easily confronted and disinfected. However, in the era of molecular epidemiology with case-control studies and DNA fingerprinting, it soon became clear that potable water was the primary source. Air conditioners have never been scientifically linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, and its role now approaches mythical folklore. Nevertheless, cooling towers and air conditioners continue to be identified by health departments as sources, especially in Europe and Australia...  ...Given the fact that, for the majority of cases, the source has been linked to drinking water supplies, prevention can be successfully enacted by water system disinfection. Unfortunately, a strong bureaucratic tendency to publicly avoid consideration of drinking water as the source soon appeared among public health authorities, given the panic and irrational action that often followed such a discovery."
Water bills to rise 7-10% "Residents and businesses could see their water bills increase an average of 7 to 10 percent as a massive project to replace every water meter on Guam with new, radio-transmitting meters is expected to begin soon. The Guam Waterworks Authority is expected to close a $15.38 million loan with Colorado-based finance company Municipal Services Group to fund a project to install 2,000 large meters and 36,000 small meters, said GWA General Manager David Craddick. "This will replace every water meter on Guam and will allow us to more accurately bill customers for their water use," Craddick said.  ...Craddick said the installation work is expected to begin in the next 60 to 90 days. ...There will not be any widespread water outages during the meter project, Craddick said. Water will be out at individual residences only for the few minutes it will take to install each new meter. The replacement of the large, commercial meters, which will happen first, likely will be done at night. "All commercial and agricultural customers are required to have backflow preventors. If people don't have them, they will have to get them installed," Craddick said." Guam Pacific Daily News, July 3, 2005
New center at UCLA researches efficient potable water "The UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science has announced the development of a new Water Technology Research Center to improve methods of water conversion from salt water to potable water and to integrate these methods with more efficient and cost-effective energy sources. Also known as the WaTeR Center, its mission is "to advance water production technologies in order toeconomically develop new and sustainable alternative sources for potable, irrigation and other consumptive water uses." ...The primary goal of the center is to drive down the cost of desalination so it is priced competitively with other water sources..."  Daily Bruin, July 5, 2005
Council sinks rebate plan for plumbing "A move to grant $150 rebates to Middletown homeowners to pay for plumbing repairs is dead in the water. The Borough Council rejected the program last month.  At issue are potential problems associated with the recent installation of backflow prevention valves on water lines at 1,800 homes. The rebates were recommended by a task force formed after angry residents complained that their hot water tanks ruptured or pipes began leaking after the backflow valves were installed. Last month, the council voted 7-0 to advertise an ordinance for the rebates. Councilman David Rhen chastised fellow council members for agreeing to advertise the ordinance and then voting against it. "If you had a problem ... why wasn't the discussion done at that time?" Rhen asked, likening the situation to a "dog and pony show." The valves were installed as safety measures during a $1.1 million project to replace water meters with digital meters. It was later learned that plumbing codes recommend installing thermal expansion tanks along with valves., July 5, 2005
Governor Blagojevich directs state agencies to conserve water "In an effort to weather current drought conditions, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today directed state agencies to conserve water and asked for a similar effort from all Illinoisans.  After the tenth driest month of June on record in Illinois, public water supplies are stressed...  ...Continued large water demands are taxing available water production and distribution systems.  The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has been working with public water supply operators across the state and they report excellent cooperation from their customers. However, during these times, it will be difficult for public water supplies to provide quantities of water that people are accustomed to using.  ...“If consumers do not conserve, there may be shortages due to drops of pressure, said Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott.  “We have required public water supplies in some communities to institute boil orders due to low water pressure.” If water pressure falls below 20 PSI, or pounds per square inch, there is a risk for backflow of water that brings contaminants with it.  Water available for fire protection uses could also be compromised due to the low pressure." Illinois Government News Network, July 3, 2005
Surviving the surprise "Dan Mattern spends a lot of his life walking into buildings and surprising people. Mattern isn't bearing good news, or bad, necessarily. It depends on you. "He never lets us know when he's coming," said the general manager of a Bismarck restaurant. "It depends on the place," said Mattern, a former microbiologist who has spent the last 25 years doing restaurant inspections and other duties for Bismarck's Environmental Health Division of the Fire and Inspections Department. Sometimes Mattern is greeted with smiles. Sometimes not. ...Mattern, who is persnickety at home and here -- "My tendency is to be careful around food. My family ... would attest to that," -- starts his inspection. It will take about one hour.  ...Then he walks downstairs and finds the restaurant's one and only critical violation for the day. There is a hose attached to a sink faucet that doesn't have a backflow prevention device. That could potentially create a major problem. Mattern said that if there had been contaminated water in that sink and at the same time there had been a sudden change in the water pressure -- such as if a water hydrant was suddenly put into use -- the contaminated water would be sucked into the hose, through the restaurant's water system, and eventually into the city's water system. Not allowed. Mattern said those things do happen. He investigated a situation once where a hotel was filling its swimming pool and ran into a major problem. The water was green and had the consistency of antifreeze. Turns out it was a backflow situation. Filling the pool had caused a change in water pressure. When that happened, a corrosion-prevention additive that had ethanol glycol in it -- the same active ingredient in antifreeze -- was sucked through a line attached to the boiler and ended up in the pool. "If there had been someone swimming in the pool, a small amount of water could have killed them," he said. The manager immediately disconnected the hose and the hose has been thrown away. They never found out which employee did it. "I guess it was a ghost," the manager said later." Bismark Tribune, July 3, 2005
New laws in effect July 1st "Starting July 1st, a number of new (Florida State) laws take effect.  ...CS/CS/CS/CS/SB 442 — Building Safety -- by Government Efficiency Appropriations Committee; Banking and Insurance Committee; Regulated Industries Committee; Community Affairs Committee; and Senators Bennett, Haridopolos, and Campbell.  This bill addresses a number of issues relating to the development and administration of the Florida Building Code (code) and related building safety requirements. Specifically, the bill implements the following provisions: ...Requires the inspection of backflow prevention assemblies every three years.", June 30, 2005
Water you'll do? Boil it, city sez "City officials warned sick and frail New Yorkers to boil their tap water until noon today after muddy runoff into one of the city's reservoirs caused a glitch in purifying drinking water. Infants, the elderly and pregnant women also should avoid drinking tap water, and should consider using boiled or bottled water for brushing their teeth, Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said. "We don't think this is a major problem. [But] we are asking people to take precautions out of an abundance of caution," Frieden said of the rare citywide warning - only the third of its kind in the past several years. ...The problem began when a storm dumped nearly 5 inches of rain over Kensico, causing runoff from a nearby construction site, which then raised the water's cloudiness, or turbidity, said Natalie Millner, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees water quality. Dirt-laden water can interfere with chlorination to kill waterborne bugs such as giardia and cryptosporidium, which can cause severe diarrhea. "The chlorine just doesn't work when there's a lot of dirt," Mayor Bloomberg said at a news conference with Frieden. Though potential health risks are minuscule for healthy adults, Frieden said, people with weaker immune systems should see their doctors if they suffer from diarrhea or jaundice in the coming days." NewYork Daily News, July 1, 2005
Sewage in water kills six in Pakistan, 500 sick "Six people died in the Pakistani city of Lahore and about 500 were sick after drinking water that was contaminated by sewage believed to have seeped into the city's supply lines, an official said on Thursday. The sewage is thought to have contaminated the water supply in a poor, densely populated part of Lahore, the country's second city and capital of Punjab province. "We think it was because of cross-contamination between sewage and water," the province's health minister, Tahir Ali Javed, told Reuters. ...A majority of Pakistan's 150 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and this week President Pervez Musharraf announced a target of potable water for all within three years. ...About a dozen people died in Hyderabad city in the south of the country last year after drinking contaminated water." Reuters, June 30, 2005
Lack of Water-Borne Disease a Silent Success "Away from the cameras and the headline-grabbing stories is a quiet miracle, of sorts, that has unfolded within the wasteland areas of Asia's tsunami-devastated countries: There was no massive outbreak of water-borne diseases amongst children as initially feared. It is reason for public health officials to breathe a sigh of relief as they shape plans for dealing with the health needs of the youngest survivors of the Dec. 26 tsunami that savaged coastal communities in eight Asian countries. Such good fortune was not predicted by United Nations agencies six months ago, when the powerful waves had destroyed freshwater supply lines and purification systems in the hardest hit areas: Indonesia's Aceh province, Sri Lanka, southern Thailand and southern India. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued dire warnings that water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera could spread easily in the tsunami aftermath, and could kill the most vulnerable in the population: young children. ...Yet that initial fear proved far from the case, say water and public health experts. ...”The rapid response to supply clean drinking water and the education camps about hand washing and personal hygiene in affected areas made a big difference,” says Dr. Stephen Atwood, health and nutrition regional adviser at UNICEF's East Asia and Pacific office. Such relief efforts to supply safe drinking water and improve sanitation were part of an unprecedented outpouring of goodwill to aid the countries hit by the natural disaster that claimed close to 300,000 lives." Inter Press Service News Agency, June 28, 2005
WATER SUPPLY, PLUMBING REPAIRS FACTORS IN LEGIONNAIRES' DISEASE "People living in homes which there have been recent plumbing repairs may be at increased risk of contracting Legionnaires' disease, new research suggests. Researchers here studied 146 adults hospitalized for Legionnaires' disease and 276 hospitalized control subjects matched by age, sex and general illness category. They found that the Legionnaires' patients were more than twice as likely as the controls to have non-municipal water supplies for their homes or to have had recent home plumbing repairs. Further, the researchers found that the Legionnaires' patients were about twice as likely as the control patients to have electric hot water heaters in their homes (as opposed to gas). "Several studies have shown that Legionella bacteria are present in home water supplies," said Joseph F. Plouffe, professor of internal medicine at Ohio State University and a co-author of the study. "However, to our knowledge, this is the first published controlled study to quantify risk factors for acquiring Legionnaires' disease in the home." Legionnaires' disease is an acute respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophilia and accounts for at least 1 to 5 percent of all adult cases of pneumonia in the United States each year, Plouffe said. Symptoms include high fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, dry cough and diarrhea. Unlike most pneumonias caused by infectious agents, Legionella infections are not transmitted from person to person, but from contaminated environmental sources, Plouffe said. "Legionnaires' disease can be transmitted by a variety of devices that produce a water aerosol, such as showers, faucets, humidifiers, whirlpool baths and medication nebulizers," he said. ..."Legionellae exist in the biofilm on the inside of pipes. When you do plumbing work, you create pressure shocks that shake the pipes, loosen the biofilm and get the bacteria into the water," he said. ...These findings suggest that those at highest risk of developing Legionnaires' disease should limit their exposure to water aerosols after home plumbing repairs, Plouffe said."
 Are Our Pipes Safe? "The ability to regularly deliver safe drinking water to people's homes is a constant challenge to water suppliers. While the U.S. and Canada can boast some of the safest drinking water in the world, sometimes the pipes used to transport water are not as safe as they could be. Fragile, aging pipelines and bacterial growth can cause not only water contamination, but also costly infrastructure repairs. Recent events -- including waterborne disease outbreaks and extended "boil-water" notices in major cities -- have focused attention on the hazards associated with contamination of public water supplies. ...Each year, thousands of drinking water and sewage distribution pipes are removed for replacement -- most suffering from severe deterioration and breakage caused by age and corrosion. Pipe breaks can cause water loss, which may result in noticeable water pressure reduction. In addition, streets and residential areas may be flooded or even damaged following a major break. According to a survey conducted by the Canadian National Research Council, each year aging pipes rupture at a rate of 35.9 breaks for every 100 kilometers. ...Fracturing and breaking pipelines can ultimately lead to severe water contamination and leakage. Many cities have suffered waterborne disease outbreaks and extended "boil-water" advisories. ...Biofouling -- the rapid development of an organic bacterial community -- can easily occur in water system pipelines. Commonly known as biofilm, these layers of bacteria attach to the interior walls of water distribution pipes and to one another -- increasing the likelihood for waterborne diseases. ... Health officials frequently cite biofilm as a cause of water contamination. Almost immediately after attaching itself to pipeline walls, biofilm begins building upon itself, adding layer upon layer, forming a plaque-like coating. The bacterial community traps nutrients, microbes, worms and viruses to form an almost impenetrable material. ...Several health-threatening waterborne diseases are found in biofilm, including E. coli, Legionella Pneumophila, Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium, Arthrobacter, Acinetobacter, Sarcina, Micrococcus, Proteus, Bacillus, Klebsiella and Enterobacter." Chlorine Chemistry Council
Tempers flare at Sharon City Board ""Grievances will be heard with all courtesy. We're doing the people's business here to-night." These were introductory words spoken by Mayor James Gary Roberts to an uncharacteristically packed house at the June monthly meeting of the Sharon City Board. Tension, frustration and ag-gravation existed thick enough to be cut with a knife as citizens came forward to voice their displeasure regarding police de-partment practices. ...In other action, board members: ...*Discussed the Cross Connection Control Program and approved a motion to adopt a policy to have a backflow device for each house to keep water from flowing backwards into the water system. ...Alderman Darrell Miller ended the meeting by thanking the citizens for their concern and for their coming out to the meeting."  Weekly County Press, June 24, 2005
Former Antrim inspector faces felony "For a second time in less than a year, Antrim County's former building department director is standing trial on a felony charge of corruption by a public official. Arlen Turner, 69, of Elmira is accused of improperly helping a friend, William Kitchen, in a dispute with a plumbing and heating company. Turner allegedly issued a construction code violation against Great Lakes Plumbing and Heating in 2002 for its work in the Kitchen home. Turner, however, was not trained or certified to perform home inspections and he didn't supply Great Lakes officials with a copy of the citation as required by state law, according to court documents. ...Antrim commissioners fired Turner as county building official last July after the state Bureau of Construction Codes took over all construction permitting in the county, citing multiple violations of state law by the county department. The department returned to county control this spring. Turner also faces three additional felony charges at a separate trial not yet scheduled." Record Eagle, June 23, 2005
Summer storms: Lightning poses greatest hazard  "Every crack of thunder that echoes from a storm is caused by lightning jetting across the sky or to the ground with a potentially lethal force. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service, along with its government, academic and private partners, are educating Americans on the dangers of lightning and ways to stay safe during its annual Lightning Safety Awareness Week, under way and continuing through June 25. ..."Lightning is a potential hazard to people outdoors and indoors and results in millions of dollars in economic losses," said David L. Johnson, director of the National Weather Service. "Lightning kills an average of 67 people in the United States each year and can result in property loss, damage to aircraft and electronics, and can be the spark that ignites devastating wildfires." ..."While about 90 percent of those struck by lightning survive, they frequently have permanent after-effects, such as chronic pain, brain injury and thought-processing problems," said Dr. Mary Ann Cooper, professor, department of emergency medicine, University of Illinois. ...A person can reduce his or her chances of being struck by moving inside a substantial building or hard-topped metal vehicle when thunderstorms threaten. Once inside, avoid contact with plumbing, corded phones or anything plugged into electricity." Waxahachie Daily Light, June 23, 2005
What Is Legionnaires' Disease? "Eyewitness News' Sarah Wallace reported tonight on Legionnaires' Disease at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. So what exactly is Legionnaires' Disease? How is it transmitted and who is at risk? Legionnaires' disease is a form of pneumonia and an infection of the lungs. More than 43 species of Legionella have been identified and more than 20 linked with human diseases. It is often called Legionnaires' disease because the first known outbreak occurred in the Bellevue Stratford Hotel while hosting a convention of the Pennsylvania Department of the American Legion. In that outbreak, approximately 221 people contracted this previously unknown type of bacterial pneumonia, and 34 people died. ...Domestic (potable water) plumbing systems, cooling towers, and warm, stagnant water can provide ideal conditions for the growth of the organism. Inhalation - Legionnaires' disease is most often contracted by inhaling mist from water sources such as whirlpool baths, showers, and cooling towers that are contaminated with Legionella bacteria. There is no evidence for person-to-person spread of the disease. Aspiration - such as may occur when choking or spontaneously during the drinking, ingesting, swallowing process. This allows oral fluids and particles to by-pass natural gag reflexes and enter into the respiratory tract and lungs instead of the esophagus and stomach. ...Legionnaires' disease has an incubation period of 2 to 10 days. Symptoms range from a mild cough and low fever to rapidly progressive pneumonia, coma, and death. ...It is estimated that over 25,000 cases of the illness occur each year and cause more than 4,000 deaths.", June 21, 2005
Legionnaires' disease caused resident's death "Legionnaires' disease was a contributing factor in the death of a 63-year-old Tarrytown man, test results confirmed yesterday. Richard Montesano died April 13 of complications from a massive infection following a medical procedure, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the New York City Medical Examiner's office. Test results yesterday identified the infection as Legionnaires', she said. ...Montesano, a marketing consultant, contracted the disease while he was a patient at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. ...In total, four patients at New York-Presbyterian's Milstein Hospital Building in northern Manhattan tested positive about the same time as Montesano for Legionnaires', a severe form of pneumonia contracted from inhaling particles of contaminated water. The hospital said it detected small amounts of Legionella bacteria in the building's water supply and subsequently took measures to sanitize the water. Carol Montesano used the Milstein tap water to fill a humidifier her husband used for breathing at night. ...The state Department of Health is continuing an investigation into Montesano's death and the death of the other Legionnaires' patients, department spokesman Joe DiMura said. Carol Montesano said she doesn't understand why the hospital didn't do anything to protect her husband from the disease, even after three other patients had tested positive for the illness." The Journal News, June 18, 2005
Garfield paid nearly $300,000 to inspector's company "Maybe you don't need "Deep Throat" to tell you about the Mazzer scandal in Garfield. Just follow the money. Copies of canceled checks obtained by the Herald News show that James Mazzer, the city's building and construction code official, made close to $300,000 from work his heating and plumbing company did for the city's Housing Authority in 2000-03. Councilman James Krone, chairman of the Housing Authority Commission, signed 14 of the checks himself. New Jersey Law Enforcement Commission records show that Mazzer contributed $500 to Krone's 2004 council campaign. Krone has acknowledged to the Herald News that Mazzer contributed to his other campaigns, but couldn't give specifics. In 2003, Krone voted in favor of giving Mazzer a controversial $10,000 raise, even as residents spoke out against the increase. He also was part of a council that has not taken action against Mazzer, after the state revoked Mazzer's license in May for doing contracting work in the city where he is an inspector - a conflict of interest. ...Other documents obtained by the Herald News show that Mazzer was still at least partial owner of Mazzer Inc, also known as Mazzer Plumbing and Heating, well after he became the city's building and construction code official and that the company bid on work in the city. At Tuesday night's regular meeting, members of the council used the "this is the way we have always done it" defense. "If it turns out that this was wrong, then it was not just for the last two years. It was for the last 50 years," said Mayor Frank Calandriello, in reference to permits not being issued for the work Mazzer's company did for the city's Housing Authority, which is also illegal. "It's not just plumbing," Krone added during the meeting..", June 3,2005
Legionnaires' Disease Strikes Two Norfolk Postal Workers "Health officials are investigating after two workers at the main Norfolk postal facility on Church Street recently contracted Legionnaires' Disease. While the conditions of the two workers is not known, one has been hospitalized.  Officials say the two employees worked the same shift, and were both manual mail processors working in the same area. ...Infection comes when humans breathe the mist that comes from a water source like an air conditioning system, hot tub or shower that has been contaminated with the Legionella bacteria.  Legionnaires outbreaks can be especially serious in hotels and hospitals where large numbers of people are served by a single air conditioning system or cooling tower. It was first recognized after an outbreak at an American Legion convention in 1976 in Philadelphia, where it made 182 people sick. ...Legionellosis is a bacterial infection that can cause a variety of illnesses. Some infected individuals may experience fever and muscle aches while others can develop flu-like symptoms. The more serious form of infection characterized by pneumonia is known as Legionnaires' disease.", June 20, 2005
Cross Connection Control Program Surveys "The Drinking Water Section's (DWS) Operator Certification Program is conducting on-site surveys of Public Water System (PWS) cross connection control programs. This is an opportunity for interaction and evaluation of cross connection control  programs implemented by public water systems. The on-site surveys of the cross connection control programs will examine inspections of cross connections, tests of backflow prevention devices, and survey reporting requirements. The intent of these surveys is to increase awareness of the cross connection regulations, assist in cross connection compliance, and gain feedback for the DWS. The review will consist of an onsite assessment, questionnaire, and a follow up review assessment report." Connecticut Dept. of Public Health DWS, June 14, 2005
Big repair bill, $1.4 billion, expected for aging Nebraska water systems "Nebraska municipalities and utility districts need to spend around $1.4 billion to plug up or replace aging or ailing water systems, the Environmental Protection Agency says. An EPA report said pipe repairs and replacements are critically needed because pipe failures waste water and raise the risks of contamination.  The pipe work amounts to more than half of Nebraska's $1.4 billion bill, the report said. ...Jack Daniel, Nebraska's chief regulator for drinking water, said that although water quality remains good, "small-town America needs some help here." ...Last year, he said, the state issued more than 372 citations for water samples that exceeded standards for harmful bacteria or other contamination. The American Water Works Association, which represents large water systems, has said communities handle the repair and replacement costs on their own, that bigger chunks of federal aid isn't needed.", June 17, 2005
Water district non-compliant says state DEP "HARVARD -- The water district in the Harvard town center has been issued a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) notice of non-compliance. As a result, the town was fined $3,900, and representatives for the system met with the DEP to outline how the situation would be addressed. The system was cited in late May with four violations and 14 deficiencies that will require corrective action. The agency also listed 22 recommendations for improvement. The notice stemmed from a comprehensive compliance evaluation done by the agency in April. The violations listed are failure to complete DEP-mandated perchlorate testing, insufficient testing of backflow prevention equipment, lack of a certified secondary system operator and failure to submit an annual system report in 2003.  ...Those concerns were discussed last week between the DEP, Water Commissioner David Swain and town administrator Paul Cohen. ...Swain termed the infractions as being against the rules, not public health.  "We violated the rules," he said. "We don't think in any case we violated public safety. "We told them [the DEP] we're going to straighten up our act, and we're in the process of doing it," he added. ...Asked where the responsibility for the situation lies, Swain said his focus is on correcting the problems and not finger-pointing. But he added it ultimately lies with the water commissioners.", June 15, 2005
Water quality measures up in city "The City of Columbus received a favorable report on its water quality as part of an annual report recently released. The Consumer Confidence Report for 2004 was mailed to all residents, said Chuck Thomerson, public works and environmental services director. ..."The purpose of the report is to ensure confidence in the quality of water produced," Thomerson said. The report also provides information on cross connection, backpressure back flow and factors that can cause back-siphonage. ...Thomerson said the report would also tell residents if the city had any violations with regard to contaminants. "We had no violations," Thomerson said." Columbus Telegram, June 15,2005
Correlation between plumbing and healthcare stressed "Kochi: The global gathering of plumbing professionals, ‘Plumbing Seminar and Expo 2005’, which started here on Monday, highlighted the changing scenario in the sanitation sector. It also stressed the need for creating awareness about the importance of good plumbing works in houses. “Plumbing and healthcare have a direct correlation with the development propaganda of any country. In a developing country like India, absence of proper sanitation systems often results in epidemics. Good plumbing methods are the prime route to cleanliness,” said George Bliss, chairman, World Plumbing Council (WPC), while inaugurating the conference. ...attention must be given to plumbing works. This is needed also to ensure the safety of available drinking water so that water-borne diseases can be put under check to an extent.” In his keynote address, former Chief Secretary of Kerala V Krishnamurthy said, “Plumbing projects especially those affecting a large number of people should be given importance to avert epidemics.” Most of the water-borne diseases are caused by the unscientific water distribution system. Damaged pipelines often carry disease-generating germs, he said.  The exhibition showcases machineries used abroad but uncommon in countries like India.", June 14, 2005.
Villagers demanding water turn unruly, 5 die in police firing "Five people were killed and 22, including 15 policemen, were injured in police firing and heavy stone-pelting by farmers who blocked traffic on the Jaipur-Kota National Highway today, demanding adequate water. The state government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the killings, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria told PTI here. Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Nawdeep  Singh said the villagers, staging a sit-in on the Highway in Tonk district, paralysed traffic and when police tried to disperse them, they pelted stones at jawans. He said when lathi-charge proved ineffective, police resorted to firing to bring the situation under control in which five people were killed. ...Faced with acute drinking water problem, farmers of Sohella village staged the sit-in demanding more water meet their daily requirements. Rapid Action Force personnel had been despatched to the village, where the situation was tense, to assist police in maintaining peace, the IGP said. ...The Minister said the protesters, numbering around 1500, turned violent at around 1545 hours and heavily stoned the police. Police first fired plastic bullets but when this failed to scatter the protesters, they opened fire, he said.", June 13, 2005
Code of misconduct "James Mazzer, the building and construction code official, was suspended without pay Friday after city officials found evidence that he had profited financially from his position with the city and had broken state laws. ...The charges filed against Mazzer with the state Department of Personnel include failure to perform duties, conduct unbecoming a public employee and neglect of duty. The letter also states that Mazzer had "put the public health and safety at risk" by not performing inspections on work he had done illegally within the city while he was making $62,515 a year as a city employee. The documents given to Mazzer by Duch state that he "has engaged in inappropriate and/or illegal activities concerning his involvement with Mazzer Plumbing Inc." Working as a city official and owning stock in Mazzer Plumbing is a conflict of interest and against state law according to the state Department of Community Affairs. On May 4, the DCA revoked Mazzer's license, citing several conflicts of interest. The city's suspension came after an article in the Herald News documented that Mazzer's company made more than $128,000 from work performed for the Garfield Housing Authority while he was also the city's building and construction code official. The report from the city confirmed that Mazzer had performed work within the city without issuing permits, a violation of state and city regulations.", June 11, 2005
Building inspector's assets seized "Detectives have seized the cars, bank accounts and 5,000-square-foot Manorville home of Brookhaven chief building inspector Vincent Dragone, and sources close to the investigation said a grand jury has handed up an indictment against him. The assets, seized part of the Suffolk District Attorney's ongoing probe into political corruption, are worth at least $1.5 million. They include Dragone's home, a 2003 Ford Excursion sport utility vehicle, a 2002 Lincoln LS sedan, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, an all-terrain vehicle, a camper and two bank accounts, said District Attorney Thomas Spota. "The properties we have seized are the proceeds of crimes," Spota said. Under the law, prosecutors can seize assets with a judge's approval if they can demonstrate they were obtained in the commission of a crime -- even if a person has not been charged. ...At least two contractors have pleaded guilty to giving Dragone thousands of dollars in bribes -- including free work on his home -- in exchange for favors from the town building department. Town plumbing inspector Mark Palermo, who in May 2004 pleaded guilty to accepting bribes, said in court that Dragone told him to sign off on building inspections that shouldn't have been approved. Dragone, who makes $86,300 a year, has been suspended with pay since March, after a contractor said in court that he had given him bribes. His prosecution is part of a two-year probe by Spota's office into political corruption in Suffolk County. In an interview two months ago, Dragone maintained his innocence. "Everyone else did something wrong. I didn't do anything wrong," he said.", June 10,2005
Water Safety Tops EPA Chief's List "EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson predicted Wednesday that safeguarding the country's water supply — from terrorists and pollutants — would be one of the pressing environmental concerns of the 21st century. "I believe water, over the next decade and further, will be the environmental issue that we as a nation and, frankly, as a world will be facing," he said. Keeping the nation's water safe and secure is "an area of vulnerability for the United States and also an opportunity for us. Johnson, the first scientist to head the Environmental Protection Agency, said in addition to helping the Department of Homeland Security protect the water supply, he wanted to find economically viable solutions for the 10% of Americans whose drinking water was not healthy. He also spoke of helping cities and municipalities improve aging water treatment facilities. Los Angeles Times, June9, 2005
Col. Falls issues water health advisory "Columbia Falls and Montana Department of Environmental Quality officials issued a drinking-water health advisory Wednesday evening after discovering an unsuccessful attempt to break into the city's water storage tank. The 2 million-gallon concrete water storage tank is located at the Cedar Creek Reservoir north of town. Test results are expected early today, showing whether the city's water supply was contaminated from the vandalism. In the meantime, the city flushing and chlorinating the water tank and city supply line. The health advisory is not an order to boil drinking water. ...Water and Sewer Superintendent Gary Root discovered a damaged hatch and vent on the roof of the holding tank while doing a routine inspection early Wednesday afternoon. Police were summoned and the state was notified. Shaw said rocks were stacked at the base of a metal ladder attached to the side of the 18-foot-high tank and surrounded with a protective cage, apparently to help the vandal or vandals reach the ladder. They tampered with the lock at the bottom of the ladder cage, but did not break it. He speculated that, unable to break through onto the ladder, they scaled the outside of the cage to the top of the tank where they tried to pry off the locked hatch. Although it was battered, the hatch was not broken open. ...Shaw said it is unlikely that any contamination entered the city's drinking water supply. But officials took precautions by issuing the health advisory, which remains in effect until test results are received. To purge any possible contaminants, the water supply to the city was taken out of service and Root and his crew began draining the tank about 6 p.m. Wednesday. ...Shaw said he is puzzled why anyone would do this. "Who knows? It's just vandalism, being destructive for no reason," he said. It's a half-mile hike in from the road to the storage tank, he noted. ...He said the city will take precautions to avoid a future occurrence.", June 10, 2005
Oceanside's deal with union may cost it $2.8M "It will cost the city about $2.8 million over the next two fiscal years for pay raises agreed to in a tentative deal with its largest employees union, according to a report released Friday. The memorandum of understanding with the Oceanside City Employees' Association, which represents more than one-third of city staffers, was agreed to by city officials and union negotiators in talks over several weeks. The City Council will consider the tentative deal Wednesday. The proposal, which would take effect July 1, calls for at least 6 percent in raises for the union's 371 full-time employees. ...The salary schedule changes would give employees in any of 19 job classifications a 15 percent pay boost ---- on top of the 6 percent increase proposed for all workers ---- by March 2007. Those employees ---- including code enforcement officers, cross-connection control technicians, distribution operators, mechanical technologists, meter service workers, parking enforcement officers and utility workers ---- would see their salaries go up 2.5 percent six times from September 2005 to March 2007." North County Times, June 10, 2005
Glick target of RMWD recall "It appears that Director Bob Glick of the Rainbow Municipal Water District (RMWD) will risk the chance of being recalled through a special election. The Citizens Committee to Reform Rainbow Water (CCRRW) said they have collected “over 650 signatures, many more [than] the 462 required for an election.” ...One of the issues the group states citizens are unhappy with is a lack of communication between them and Glick  ...Another point CCRRW presented in their press release was “[Glick] did or said nothing about RMWD forcing residents, starting last year in Division 5, to install costly and often-unnecessary backflow devices.” ...Matt Hickman of RMWD said the original decision to install backflow devices was made in May of 2000 and was updated in September of 2003. Both of these dates are prior to the date Glick was appointed. The minutes from the May 11 regular meeting say the directors voted to “cease enforcement of all backflow installations until an Ordinance has been put in place.” All directors present passed the motion; Glick was absent." The Village News, June 9, 2005
The Rainbow backflow "Per orders from the Rainbow Water District I installed a backflow RP device about 18 months ago. Now I have been advised that it is not necessary for my residential account. I paid over $500 for the installation and will have to pay an additional $275 for its removal and connecting piping. Let’s go back to the Aug. 6, 2003, Rainbow meeting, which I attended. Mr. Ensminger advised the then board that health laws required everyone to have a backflow device, and also they were being installed statewide. This was false information. In fairness, Mr. Ensminger should resign or reimburse those not needing the device, for both installation and removal, out of his six-figure salary." The Village News, June 9, 2005
Boil order is discontinued "A boil order and health advisory have been lifted for Mountain Water Co. customers south of the Clark Fork  River. Late Wednesday, health and water company officials learned Missoula's public water system was not contaminated when a sewage line from a residence on Spurgin Road was improperly connected to a water line that served nearby Reserve Street businesses. ...The mandatory boil order was originally given late Monday after Garden City Floral reported rank smelling tap water earlier in the day and resorted to bottled water. ...While it is difficult to imagine mistaking a      water pipe for a sewer pipe, not only were the pipes mismarked in this instance - leading contractors to believe they were connecting a sewer line to the sewer system - but contractors were working with a pressurized sewer system and used a clean process called a "hot tap" to connect the pipes. The method is so exact they did not see or smell the effluent in the pipes, Hiller said. ...Because of the pressurized system, the household effluent never got past the service line connected to the businesses on the corner of Reserve and Spurgin, Hiller said. Since the problem was discovered Monday, the water lines serving those businesses have been flushed and treated with heavy doses of chlorine and are potable once again. Now that the crisis is over, the next step will be to sit down with Missoula's health and public works departments, contractors and engineers to discuss how to prevent a similar occurrence from happening in the future, Hiller said.", June 9, 2005
Some Missoula residents under boil order "Some customers of Mountain Water Co. were warned to boil their drinking water after a private contractor mistakenly hooked a residential sewer line into a commercial water line. Customers who live south of the Clark Fork River were warned late Monday that their tap water could be contaminated with sewage. ...About half of Mountain Water's Missoula customers -- or about 10,000 households -- were affected by the advisory issued by the Department of Environmental Quality. Kappes said Mountain Water learned of the problem about 5 p.m. Monday and the DEQ issued the boil order about three hours later. Mountain Water said a private contractor accidentally hooked a residential sewer line into a commercial water line last Friday.  On Monday, workers at the business noticed a strong smell of sewage, while at the same time the residence's sewer system was not working properly. When city workers investigated they found the improper hookup and called Mountain Water and the City-County Health Department.  By 9:30 p.m., Mountain Water had flushed the lines, added extra chlorine to the water and collected bacterial samples and residual chlorine samples to determine if the contamination made its way into the larger distribution system or remained within the affected business.", June 7, 2005
City Sets Fines For Builder, Plumber "ZEPHYRHILLS - The city's building department fined a major developer and a Plant City contractor $4,000 each for sneaking in plumbing lines to a new subdivision without the proper permits, city officials said Monday. U.S. Home and David Logue Plumbing Inc. illegally installed initial rough plumbing to eight homesites at the Crestview Hills subdivision, said code enforcement officer Gene Brown. This is the final and most drastic measure the city has taken against U.S. Home officials and the plumber, who ignored previous fines of almost $600 last week for other violations, Brown said. "We kind of take that personal when you ask someone to not do something and they do it,'' Brown said. Monday's citation also is the largest fine to date that the city has levied against anyone accused of building code violations, he said. The maximum code violation penalty is $500. On Monday, the city cited both the builder and the plumber for eight violations of $500 each. ``If they're not following procedures, we have to crack down,'' City Manager Steve Spina said. ``You have to get their attention. They know what they're supposed to be doing.''", June 6, 2005
Lawn and order? "Towns (are) looking to crack down on landscapers filling their water tanks from fire hydrants... It is a distinctly suburban crime. A few unscrupulous landscapers pull up to a fire hydrant and, while no one is watching, illegally fill their trucks with free water. Then they are off to the next customer awaiting the lawn treatment known as ''hydroseeding" -- where grass seed is sprayed onto the ground in a blue-green watery mix that in short order turns to new sprouts. The problem for homeowners is not just that as taxpayers they foot the bill for the water being used. ...When water is drawn from a hydrant, the process often stirs up sediment that discolors the water going into nearby homes. It may also introduce chemical contaminants into the public water system. ...The hydroseeders' tanks are filled with a mix of water, grass seed, paper or fiber mulch, fertilizer, maybe weed killers, and ''tackifier," which glues the combination to the ground. The tanks can hold anywhere from 300 to 3,000 gallons of water. Most hydroseeders fill their trucks from a legal source, whether it's at their own company or at monitored sites set aside by communities. The cost to fill up can top $100. Most landscapers add the cost to their prices. But occasionally a hydroseeder is far away from a legal pump, and there just happens to be a hydrant on a lonely stretch of road with no one around. ...water officials worry mostly that the water supply could be contaminated. It's a small but real risk, they said. If the water pressure should fall while a tank truck is being filled, the chemicals and seeds inside the tank could be sucked backwards through the hydrant and into the water supply. That could happen, for instance, if there was a break in a nearby water pipe. ''That's our great fear," said Brian M. Creedon, water system manager for Brockton. The city requires hydroseeders to buy a permit and use a device that prevents backflow. Some communities also designate hydrants or sites where hydroseeders and contractors can obtain their water. Penalties for stealing water from hydrants range from stern warnings to fines of a few hundred dollars. ...Violators would also be held responsible for any related damage to the hydrants, connections, or water mains. ", June 5, 2005
City cleans house at Water Dept. "A long-awaited housecleaning Friday in the department at the center of the Hired Truck scandal swept out Water Management Commissioner Rick Rice and nine politically connected underlings accused of participating in a payroll scam. "We looked at the totality of what had occurred in the Water Department. . . . It is the job of every commissioner . . . to know what is going on in their department and, when there's misconduct, to take immediate and effective action," said Ron Huberman, Mayor Daley's newly appointed chief of staff.  ...John Briatta, Water Management's $94,827-a-year chief equipment dispatcher, and Frank Cannatello, a $28-an-hour emergency crew dispatcher, were assigned to the "leak desk" at the Jardine Water Filtration Plant. The cushy assignment of answering phones and prioritizing repair requests -- long dominated by 11th Ward loyalists -- was transferred to the 311 non-emergency system Friday morning. Briatta, Cannatello and seven others are accused of falsifying attendance records over a two-month period -- maybe longer -- by swiping each other in and out. An outside audit of the entire department will determine how long the scam has been going on and how much the cheating cost Chicago taxpayers, setting the stage for the city to recoup the losses. ...A career bureaucrat and well-respected budget analyst, Rice spent six years at the helm of a department that federal prosecutors now (also) charge operated as a "racketeering enterprise," raking in more than $500,000 in bribes for at least a decade.  Many aldermen called him a mild-mannered "victim" and the firing "unfair."  ...They claim Rice was "frustrated" from Day One about Tomczak's "rogue army" of Water Management employees who, the feds allege, were rewarded with pay raises, promotions and overtime for doing political work for Daley, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and others." Chicago Sun-Times June 3, 2005
Agreement with Major Airlines to Implement New Aircraft Water Protocols, EPA "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced commitments from 12 major U.S. passenger airlines to implement new aircraft water testing and disinfection protocols. These protocols will further protect the traveling public while existing guidance governing potable water aboard passenger aircraft continues to be reviewed by EPA. ...The announcement follows the public disclosure of EPA testing of drinking water aboard 158 randomly selected passenger aircraft during August and September 2004. Preliminary data released by EPA on Sept. 20, 2004 showed that 12.6 percent of the 158 domestic and international passenger aircraft tested in the United States carried water that did not meet EPA standards. Since that time, the Air Transport Association, which represents the 14 major U.S. airlines and its members, have worked with EPA to  develop an agreement that will immediately reduce public health risks to passengers and provide additional testing to help the Agency determine the nature and extent of the problem. ...The agreements in place call for airlines to increase monitoring and implement quarterly disinfection of water delivery systems aboard  passenger aircraft. They will strengthen public notification requirements when testing reveals water that does not meet EPA standards. Airlines will also be required to perform an analysis of possible sources of contamination that exist outside of the aircraft and to provide information related to practices of boarding water from foreign public water supplies not regulated by EPA." MoneyPlans Archives, June 3, 2005
Irrigation district to tap the wallets of water thieves "The Vista Irrigation District is cracking down on water pirates after 11 thefts were discovered over the past year. The district's board of directors yesterday closed a loophole in a policy that fined thieves $1,000 but didn't make them pay for the stolen water. Now the lawbreakers, who officials said are primarily construction companies tapping water from fire hydrants, will have to pay even more. ...Vista Irrigation District crews or inspectors discovered 11 water thefts across central and eastern Vista from April 2004 to April 2005, according to district records. All involved construction crews and commercial companies. Fire hydrants were tapped in eight cases and backflow pipes connected to existing water lines were used in the other three. The devices are not metered, so the district doesn't know how much water was taken...", June 2, 2005
Hundreds walk off job at Alcan "HUNDREDS of workers have walked off the job over fears of potential water contamination at one of Australia's biggest industrial projects. Work faltered on the $2 billion expansion of Alcan's alumina refinery in the Northern Territory today after fears were raised about elevated levels of mercury found in the drinking water at the remote site. Coincidentally, the strike came as uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia was fined $150,000 in Darwin Magistrates Court after workers drank and showered in uranium contaminated water at its Ranger mine last year. Alcan Gove site manager Doug Parrish said management had been in talks with unions for most of the day over the water issue. ..."We had some industrial issues in the construction workforce in response to an abnormally high sample result which showed some mercury," Mr Parrish said." The Australian, June 2, 2005
ERA fined $150,000 over water contamination "URANIUM miner Energy Resources Australia (ERA) has been fined $150,000 after its workers drank and showered in water contaminated with uranium last year.But the decision against ERA - which made a $38.6 million profit in 2004 - has sparked calls for harsher penalties to be introduced. Darwin Magistrate Vince Luppino convicted ERA on two charges and dismissed a third following the company's guilty plea last month. The first charge related to the water (backflow) contamination at the Ranger mine in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.  ...Twenty-eight workers fell ill with spontaneous vomiting, gastric upsets, headaches or skin rashes after drinking or showering in the water in March last year.  A total of 159 workers were exposed to the contamination after the process water - used during the uranium extraction process - was mistakenly connected to the drinking water supply on March 23.  The error was not discovered for 10 hours until a supervisor drank bitter-tasting water from a cooler in the lunchroom and suspected it was tainted.  The plant was shut down for two weeks while investigations were carried out.  Magistrate Luppino said the contamination was foreseeable and could easily have been avoided by "basic and inexpensive equipment" (backflow preventers) .  ...ERA chief executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney said the company deeply regretted the incidents, which had resulted in ERA's first prosecution in 25 years of operation. "In conjunction with our regulators, we have introduced a wide range of measures designed to prevent incidents of this nature from ever occurring in the future," he said. The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) welcomed the conviction against ERA but said the penalty was not harsh enough.  "We are looking at a situation where 150 people were affected by poisoned and contaminated water," ACF spokesman Dave Sweeney said.", June 1, 2005

Rainwater tanks often host to harmful bugs "Studies show rainwater collected from roofs, far from being pure, mostly fails to meet drinking standards. Massey University lecturer Stan Abbott said e-coli and faecal coliforms were present in more than half of the rainwater storage tanks monitored. Cases of campylobacter and salmonella resulting from contaminated rainwater supply had been recorded, he said, and there was potential for contamination with more harmful pathogens, such as giardia and cryptosporidium. Mr Abbott, who lectures in microbiology and communicable diseases, said about 380,000 people used roof rainwater. That number was likely to increase as more people bought lifestyle blocks in rural areas not served by municipal town supplies. ...During studies of rainwater supply systems, tanks had been found with holes which let in various pathogens, as well as far larger invaders, such as possums, frogs and ducks, which were found floating. Even a passing seagull defecating on a house roof could raise the level of faecal coliforms in water and pass on other pathogens. But Mr Abbott said illness outbreaks attributed to roof water were relatively infrequent. "The health risks associated with contaminated rainwater consumption are not well defined or quantified and relatively few roof-collected rainwater-linked disease outbreaks have been reported in New Zealand and overseas." This lack of concrete evidence linking illness and poor quality roof water inhibited moves to improve systems delivering rainwater for consumption." The New Zealand Herald, Jan. 31, 2005


Councils reject waterwise tank "BUREAUCRATIC red tape is stopping homeowners from installing a Brisbane invention which guarantees that rainwater tanks never run dry. The invention has attracted a $64,000 Federal Government grant and complies with the Australian plumbing standard, which is followed by councils in most states. However, Urban Rainwater Systems director Greg Cameron said Queensland councils – including the big southeast Queensland councils which are battling falling dam levels – refused to approve the revolutionary valve. The device, invented by Acacia Ridge company Sigra, automatically switches tank water supply over to mains water when it detects low storage levels. As soon as rains starts filling a tank, it switches supply back to tank water. "The councils have told us they don't want rainwater contaminating the mains if pressure drops, but we have put a backflow prevention valve on our device, the council has another valve at the water meter and tank owners need to put in another one," Mr Cameron said. ...The.. issues have thrown the focus on rainwater tanks, which until the water crisis hit southeast Queensland, were considered a quaint relic from the past. But a combination of water restrictions and council rebates has seen a renaissance in the backyard tank." The Courier-Mail, May 28, 2005


Attorney General Sues Tri County Plumbing "Attorney General Charlie Crist today announced that his office has filed a civil lawsuit against a South Florida plumbing company alleging numerous violations of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Tri County Plumbing and its owners, Susan and Leslie Gilbert, and their son Randall Gilbert allegedly charged grossly inflated hidden costs for repairs, especially targeting the elderly.  The investigation was initiated after the Attorney General's Office received numerous complaints from consumers in Broward and Miami-Dade counties claiming that Tri County falsely advertised that it would repair leaks and other plumbing conditions in emergency situations. "Preying on citizens in their moment of crisis is unacceptable," said Crist. "This company claimed to provide emergency plumbing services, but instead victimized the elderly. We are committed to putting a stop to such practices and protecting the citizens of Florida." The investigation by the Attorney General's Office revealed the following: - Tri County sent commissioned salesmen to consumers' homes, not plumbers - Representatives charged consumers an initial fee, between $75 and $150, and demanded immediate payment - Investigators determined that senior citizens were charged a higher fee – sometimes as much as $500. Once the initial fee was paid, the Tri County representatives proceeded to inspect the reported problem and then charged an additional fee, between $250 and $350... ...f the consumer refused to pay the additional fees, Tri County abandoned the job and pursued collection activities against the consumer through lawsuits, homestead liens and foreclosure actions." Yahoo News, May 25, 2005


Clean drinking water just a pipe dream "WHILE a legal water connection provided by the Jal Sansthan costs anything over Rs 3,000, an illegal ‘‘plastic’’ connection comes for just Rs 250-400. Of course, there is no guarantee that the drinking water sourced through the latter will be safe or hygienic.  Now, with their illegal connections terminated by a suddenly ‘‘health conscious’’ Jal Sansthan, residents of the neighbourhoods hit by the outbreak of diarrhoea and gastroenteritis are questioning the logic behind spending thousands of rupees on post-epidemic relief while denying them safe water supply.  ...A case in point is that of Ghulam Mahmood. Both his daughters are sick, thanks largely to a leaky connection, barely above the level of the drain water even at the best of times. ‘‘Arre sahab, how do you expect me to have a legal connection? I hardly make enough money to feed my family,’’ he says. Mahmood, who earns Rs 100 to Rs 120 daily by selling plastic goods on the Sitapur Road, took a ‘‘plastic’’ connection with the help of the local plumber six months back. ‘‘If I had gone in for it the legal way, I would have had to spend anything between Rs 3000-Rs 4000,’’ he explains. ...According to the Government Order notified eight years ago, a legitimate water connection is out of reach for anyone with less than middle-class incomes. Besides imposing a daunting list of charges and fees, some of which are not even fixed, the present system also encourages corruption and exploitation. ‘‘The Sansthan officials will not permit the installation of a connection unless we approach them with an ‘approved’ plumber,’’ explains Zohar. ‘‘Not only do these plumbers demand exhorbitant fees for something which any other plumber would do for Rs 100, but they are also difficult to catch hold of,’’ she adds. ‘‘amnesty scheme’’ has been launched under which development charges for smaller households with illegal connections have been waived during ‘‘conversion’’ into legitimate connections." Lucknow Newsline, May 26, 2005


PAKISTAN: Polluted water continues to kill in Sindh "More than 75 people, mostly children, have been reported dead after drinking polluted water while another 6,600 have been hospitalised over last six weeks across Pakistan's southern province of Sindh, a health activist told IRIN. He also expressed grave concern over the negligence of water and sanitation authorities. "The entire summer season is lying ahead but local municipal authorities have not taken any steps to improve the situation. Contaminated water is continuously being supplied and people are falling ill but no one is bothering to stop this," Dr Ghulam Mustafa Talpur, a water and health activist working with the Pakistan branch of the international developmental NGO, Actionaid, told IRIN... ...According to the provincial health department, over 8,300 cases of water-borne disease have been reported across the province in May, with more than 2,700 in Hyderabad district alone, the second largest municipality in the province after Karachi. ...A water quality analysis report produced by the Aga Khan University (AKU) Karachi earlier this month revealed traces of human excrement in water samples collected from different districts in Hyderabad city, according to the Lahore-based newspaper, The Daily Times. The analysis showed that waste and water supply pipes laid underground decades ago had ruptured in many places meaning people were drinking water contaminated with sewage." Reuters AlertNet, May 25, 2005


 Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Flier "All cross-connections pose a potential health risk.  Chemicals burns, fires, explosions, poisonings, illness and death have all been caused by backflow through cross-connections." OhioEPA, June 2004


How Plumbing Standards Can Slow Innovation "National plumbing standards are important because they help protect public health and safety. While there is no doubt that plumbing regulations have contributed to America’s high standard of living, their problem is that they are also incredibly expensive to prepare and sometimes actually stifle innovation and technological progress. ...Local code authorities in most U.S. cities and states subscribe to one of several model codes, which evaluate applicable national standards and incorporate all or part of them. Historically, the national model codes of BOCA, IAPMO, NSPC  and SBCCA have dominated. More recently, the International Plumbing Code has emerged as a fifth competitor. Except for retail, over-the-counter sales, it is very difficult to sell a product nationally without first obtaining multiple local code approvals across the country. Before local code authorities will approve a product, they almost always require that it be approved by “their” model code. Gaining code approval across this country is particularly complicated and expensive for innovations because model codes normally require independent test data that show the product meets the requirements of the applicable national standard.", May 2005


Chap. 15: Corruption in the Construction Industry "The existence of extortion and illegal practices in the construction industry has been well documented in court records, investigatory reports and the press.  Although this Report does not detail instances of illegal activities exhaustively, illustrations of several of the types of corrupt activities follow, some of which have driven up the cost of" Furman Center, Update 2005


 Drinking water alarms in Stockholm and Norrland "Water company, Stockholm Vatten, were keen to calm health fears after a survey revealed traces of prescription drugs had been found in the capital's drinking water. 38 medicinal substances were included in the analysis and four of them were found in measurable quantities leaving treatment works in Norsborg, Lovön and Görvaln. However, Stockholm Vatten, responsible for producing and delivery drinking water to a million people in and around the capital, believe the concentrations to be so small that there's no reason for concern. ...The substances found come from Sobril; the blood pressure lowering drug, Seloken; the anti-inflammatory agent, Naprosyn; and the painkiller, Dextropropoxifen. Stockhom Vatten say the problem occurs because some medicines are not particularly degradable. Instead of being completely absorbed by the body, they are secreted in the urine and faeces, thus ending up in the water supply. "It's perfectly safe to continue drinking water from the tap in Stockholm," reassured Wahlberg. "Considering the negligible quantities, we think the safety margins are more than enough."" The Local, May 20, 2005


Five years after Walkerton, effort to protect drinking water still not over "It was five years ago that a small-town disaster destroyed lives, tarnished personal and political reputations and shattered Canadian complacency about something long taken for granted - tap water.  The deadly May 2000 tainted-water tragedy in Walkerton, Ont., had such a profound impact on public attitudes towards drinking water that Jim Smith, Ontario's chief drinking water inspector, doesn't think it likely that it could ever happen again."I don't see another Walkerton as having a high probability of occurrence," Smith said in an interview. "I believe Ontario's water is safe."  That view is a little too optimistic, say experts and observers, who agree the province has made tremendous progress, but also warn that the job of ensuring tap water never again threatens public health remains unfinished.  ...The crisis that bloomed over the Victoria Day long weekend five years ago went on to kill seven people and sicken 2,500 - half the rural midwestern Ontario community's entire population - after E. coli bacteria from cattle manure was washed into a town well.  ..."The seven deaths and thousands of illnesses were all the more terrible because these people were betrayed by something they thought they could trust entirely - their drinking water."  Walkerton's water system, it turned out, was vulnerable in part because the two untrained brothers who ran it, Stan and Frank Koebel, didn't grasp the importance of monitoring and treating the water properly under what were mostly voluntary guidelines.", May 21 2005


Newsletters -- ABPA Southern California Chapter "Chapter members receive a quarterly newsletter each January, April, July and October. Here are some of our past editions..." American Backflow Prevention Association Southern California Chapter


City utilities worker files lawsuit over suspension Staff engineer claims whistleblower status "A city of Toledo worker claims he was illegally suspended from his job because of action he took to address whether monitoring systems were being used by commercial water customers.  Timothy Troutman, who is employed as a staff engineer in the water distribution division of the Department of Public Utilities, filed the lawsuit against the city in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.  The complaint was brought under the state Whistleblower's Protection Act, and asks the court to pay Mr. Troutman for the 30 days that he was suspended from his job in November.  Harland Britz, an attorney for Mr. Troutman, said his client made vocal and written requests to department managers, asking for information about backflow protection plans being used by commercial customers.  "These users are supposed to have backflow protection plans in place and checked annually. Mr. Troutman had no record of this being done," Mr. Britz said yesterday.  Mr. Troutman said he sent a written complaint about the violation Nov. 10 and was suspended from work the following day. A civil engineer for 43 years, he has been employed by the city for 4 1/2 years.  Barb Herring, director of the city law department, said the city has backflow prevention plans in place that comply with state standards.  "We absolutely dispute virtually every claim Mr. Troutman makes in that lawsuit. We believe that his allegations have no merit," Ms. Herring said." Toledo Blade, May 20, 2005


Purple pipes will signify treated water in Calimesa "To reduce the impact on water supplies of booming development in the San Gorgonio Pass, the residents of a community in the city will rely heavily on recycled water.  SunCal's SummerWind Ranch development, in an agreement with the Yucaipa Valley Water District, plans to lay purple pipes that carry recycled water, along with potable water lines, to every residential lot when the project breaks ground this fall. ..."It's a significant additional cost to bring in the purple pipes, but we think it's worth it,' Johnson said.  Bringing the purple pipes to each lot costs about $2,000 each, he said.  ...Each house will have two water meters, one each for potable (backflow preventers installed??) and recycled water. The recycled water system will be below ground and serve sprinkler and landscaping systems, which will only operate between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., officials said.  All water outlets around the outside of each home will still source potable water, so that residents can still wash their cars and fill their swimming pools with drinkable water, officials said. ...The complete dual-plumbing project, which includes SummerWind Ranch, is about 7,000 homes, making it the state's largest dual-plumbing project." The Sun, May 18, 2005


Physician Preparedness for Acts of Water Terrorism  "Until recently, contamination of water with biological, chemical or radiologic agents generally resulted from natural, industrial or unintentional man-made accidents. Unfortunately, recent terrorist activity in the US has forced the medical community, public health agencies, and water utilities to consider the possibility of intentional contamination of US water supplies as part of an organized effort to disrupt and damage important elements of our national infrastructure.  ...the National Academy of Sciences reported to Congress that water supply system contamination and disruption should be considered a possible terrorist threat in the U.S. As a result of these reports, there continues to be concern that water may represent a potential target for terrorist activity and that deliberate contamination of water is a potential public health threat. ...A coordinated and effective response to acts of water terrorism will depend upon cooperation among a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers, public health and water utility practitioners, law enforcement professionals and community leaders in order to mitigate the potential impact of an intentional contamination event. In order to respond to a potential act of waterborne terrorism, healthcare providers must have access to immediately accessible and constantly updated information."


 Don't drink the sewage "IT DOESN'T TAKE a medical degree to know that drinking poop is bad for us. For centuries, we have protected ourselves from waterborne plagues by keeping human waste out of our water. Why, then, would the Environmental Protection Agency propose a new policy that would allow sewage treatment plants to discharge inadequately treated human waste into lakes, rivers, streams, and coastal waters? ...The EPA's proposal would allow sewage to be dumped into waterways more often without biological treatment, which EPA calls ''blending" because the largely untreated sewage is mixed with treated sewage before it is discharged.  Many older communities ...have combined sewage and stormwater pipes.  Heavy rainfall can overwhelm their sewage treatment capacity, leading to sewage spills. The Clean Water Act requires these communities to work toward a long-term goal of providing full treatment for sewage under all but extreme weather events. ...Over the past 30 years we have identified many germs, such as cryptosporidium and giardia, that can infect us even if we drink a tiny number of them. By skipping full treatment, many will survive to infect us later.  ...No water treatment process is absolutely reliable at removing pathogens. Polluting drinking water sources with sewage is just increasing the odds that something will slip through the treatment plant to cause waterborne disease outbreaks.   ...Congress is about to vote on a measure that would block EPA from allowing sewage blending.  We should remind our elected officials that we want less, not more, sewage in the water.", May 18, 2005

Aquaholics: Addicted to drinking water "To Sarah Schapira's colleagues it's become a running joke. Every half hour or so the pretty 22-year-old PR gets up from her desk and makes a dash for the ladies.  But she isn't suffering from an embarrassing medical condition, the reason for her regular absences is hardly a mystery - every day she downs seven litres of water.  "My argument has always been that water is good for you and helps you to detox," she explains.  ...In modern Britain "aquaholics" such as Sarah are no longer a rarity.  ...Not only that, but the message about the benefits of drinking lots of water have become so confused that there's growing concern that increasing numbers are actually overdosing on it. Take Sarah, for instance, whose health is now beginning to suffer as a result of the amount of water she consumes. ...Excessive consumption of water can lead to a condition known as hyponatraemia (water intoxication), in which levels of sodium in the blood become dangerously diluted leading to complications such as convulsions, coma and even death.  ...Ironically most detoxers are wasting their money by swigging litre after litre of expensive mineral water in the belief that it will flush out the poisons." Daily Mail, May 16, 2005

Many miffed about meters "Bellefonte is nearly finished with its water meter installation project, and officials said they have received a relatively small number of complaints from residents.  That doesn't mean that anyone is pleased with the $2 million project, borough officials acknowledge.  "Our customers aren't happy about it, we aren't happy about it, but our hands are tied," said borough Manager Ralph Stewart. "We would rather have taken some of the money and grants and put it into infrastructure instead of meters, replace some of the old, undersized pipes." ...Installation has been under way since January. The borough is paying for the meters, as well as insulation and backflow protectors, which Stewart said would otherwise cost homeowners $300 to $500 each. ...Gallo said the installers have made their "first big pass through" and are now down to working with home owners who need plumbing upgrades or require additional equipment from the borough. As anticipated, installation of meters has been more difficult in the older sections of the Victorian community, Stewart said. Galvanized steel pipes common in those homes tend to pit, rust and corrode from the inside, he said, making a weak pipe difficult to identify.", May 11, 2005

City to conduct backflow survey "Customers of Shelbyville Power, Water and Sewerage System will receive a cross-connection questionnaire in the next few weeks, accompanied by the latest water quality report.  ...The cross-connection questionnaire is part of local efforts to comply with new state backflow prevention requirements.  ...For several years, SPWSS has been working with commercial customers to prevent backflow; this questionnaire begins that process for residential customers. The questionnaire asks about various devices or fixtures which are connected to water lines, ranging from hot tubs to dialysis machines, and about other conditions such as elevation or secondary water sources. The  questionnaire must be completed and returned within a week after receipt." Shelbyville Times-Gazette, May 15, 2005


Communities World-Wide Challenge Transnational Water Company "As Suez holds its annual shareholders' meeting today, people around the world are challenging the water giant's irresponsible and dangerous practices. Suez -- one of the world's largest private suppliers of water and sanitation services -- is positioned to profit from water scarcity and to make the global water crisis worse. Suez's documented history of price gouging and negligent management has left many people with dramatic increases on their water bills and thousands of others without access to potable water, from Atlanta, Georgia to El Alto, Bolivia. Communities around the world are joining a growing international movement to protect people's right to water and access to water services.  ...Under Suez's management, water prices often rise while water-system maintenance declines and infrastructure deteriorates. Suez aggressively pursues government contracts to manage public water systems which are heavily subsidized and require minimal investment. Such agreements enable Suez to monopolize local water systems, and then raise prices to make a profit. This practice frequently denies thousands of people access to potable water and exposes many to grave health risks." Public Citizen, May 2005 (also see; Water Unsecured: Public Drinking Water Is Vulnerable...)


Breaking the Code "In the works for more than a decade, the hotel on UL Lafayette’s property across from the Cajundome broke ground in September 2003 with no clear program for how construction of the privately-owned $15 million facility would be permitted, monitored and inspected. That critical issue — a safety concern for future guests and visitors and a major liability for UL and Lafayette Consolidated Government — appears to have slipped through the cracks. And now the project, which is running about seven months behind its anticipated opening, already has significant code problems related to its plumbing. Its troubles may have just begun. ...When the 100,000-square-foot Hilton Garden Inn finally got under way, the plans were not submitted to local code officials. Eleanor Bouy, head of LCG’s Department of Planning, Zoning & Codes, says the department does not permit and inspect any jobs located on UL’s premises. ..The construction project never received a permit. ...The plumbing board asked DHH for assistance after it averted a potentially disastrous problem at the site. Notified by a tipster — project developer/owner Sethi claims it was a disgruntled plumber who was not awarded the job — that an unlicensed plumber was on the job, plumbing board enforcement officer Joe Leger found what he calls “big problems” with the plumbing. “The guy that did it, he knew nothing,” Leger says. “It was all messed up.” ...The plumbing job was so botched (cross-connections unprotected?) — even simple fittings in the sewer system were on backwards — that all of the work had to be yanked out at quite a cost, Leger says. ...The plumbing is now being overhauled — at a substantial cost to the project — by a plumber with a valid state license. Leger was back on the site last week and says the work so far is up to code." The Independent Weekly, May 11, 2005


Ute Water honors employee who saved baby "Mark Kindsvatter was handed a life or death emergency Tuesday.  The Ute Water Conservancy District employee was reading water meters when Kathryn Nunez ran out of a nearby apartment with her infant son in her arms.  Kindsvatter took 11-month-old Ezra Nunez, who had turned blue after nearly drowning in a bathtub, and performed CPR.  His immediate, life-saving response to a stranger’s crisis earned him accolades and thanks Wednesday morning.  His co-workers and law enforcement applauded the 31-year-old cross-connection worker in a brief ceremony at Ute Water.  ...Ute Water employees regularly renew their First Aid and CPR training. He reacted the only way he knew how, he said.  “I wasn’t going to let that baby die,” Kindsvatter said.  And he was in the right place at the right time.  Kindsvatter checks connections between treated water and irrigation water. He filled in for another employee Tuesday and was checking water meters on East Carolina Avenue in Fruita instead.  Kindsvatter said he performed CPR for about two minutes before the infant started breathing again." The Daily Sentinel, May 12, 2005Rainbow to revisit policy on backflow devices "A controversial Rainbow Municipal Water District policy that requires all of the district's 7,100 customers to buy and install a costly water protection device will be up for discussion again today, district officials said. The water district board will revisit the 2-year-old policy during its 9 a.m. meeting at Rainbow's main office... ..Dozens of water district customers have complained about the district's mandate that all ratepayers install the "reduced-pressure backflow device," which prevents water from a customer's end of the service line from being pulled back into the drinking water system.  ..One of the options that Rainbow staff members will present today calls for the district to enforce the policy first with customers who pose the highest risk of contamination, such as agricultural customers. ...The state health code requires backflow devices when conditions on water users' property pose a potential hazard to the public water supply. It is up to water districts to determine the level of potential hazard. Some ratepayers ---- particularly residential customers ---- have said Rainbow is overreaching in its requirement that all customers install the devices, arguing that the cost is too high and that the risk of backflow contamination from residential users is low.  .."We're going to change it to what the people want," Hatfield said. "They don't want their houses and homes to be restricted by backflow devices and they want to be in compliance with the law.  If you just have a house, there's nothing in the law that says you have to have one." North County Times, May 10, 2005


What's with all those purple pipes? "Motorists in Carlsbad have probably noticed city workers laying down purple pipe in the middle of El Camino Real in recent weeks. In neighborhoods closer to the beach, there are sections of curbs painted purple. And in city parks, some of the water sprinklers sport the color purple. ...Carlsbad has joined other cities all over California in jumping on the recycling bandwagon, and the color purple ---- whether it's on a pipe, or on a curb on top of a sewer line, or on a sprinkler head ---- signals the existence of recycled water. Purple, as it turns out, is the universal color for recycled water. ...PVC pipes carrying recycled water will either feature or purple stripe or be colored purple entirely, for example. There are even purple valve boxes, purple manhole covers, purple fittings, purple valves. The city installs separate sets of purple-colored water lines and takes special measures in making sure those pipes carrying recycled water are kept away from potable lines so there's no confusion (cross-connections).  ..."I've been watching them put the purple pipes in the ground for a while now," said Jeff Sands, referring to a project on Palomar Airport Road that has been in progress for several months. "I'm from Florida and I don't think we have this program. I thought they just got a deal on purple pipe. It's kind of girly for pipe, don't you think?"" North County Times, April 24, 2005

Miner's 'hot' errors "Two young children built sandcastles in ``hot'' mud _ partially leached uranium ore _ during one of a number of contamination incidents near the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu National Park, a court was told yesterday.  Uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia yesterday pleaded guilty to three charges at Darwin Magistrates Court, including two over last year's contamination of the water supply at the mine.  Twenty-eight workers fell ill with spontaneous vomiting, gastric upsets, headaches or skin rashes after drinking or showering in the water, which contained 400 times more uranium than recommended.  The contamination occurred after water used in the uranium extraction process was mistakenly connected to the drinking water supply.  The error was not discovered until 10 hours later, when a supervisor drank some bitter tasting water and suspected it was tainted.  The plant was shut down two hours later for two weeks while investigations were carried out.  Following the incident, uranium-contaminated water overflowed from a storage tank 600m from the Magela Creek system in Kakadu.  ...ERA, which made a $38.6 million profit in 2004, faces a maximum $300,000 fine when Magistrate Vince Lupino hands down sentence later this month." Northern Territory News, May 7, 2005
 Australia miner pleads guilty "An Australian mining company has pleaded guilty to charges relating to a water contamination incident in the Northern Territory.  Energy Resources Australia (ERA) has pleaded guilty to three charges, and faces fines of A$300,000 (US$230,000).  Twenty-eight workers fell sick last year after drinking and showering in water allegedly containing 400 times the allowable limit of uranium.  ...On 23 March 2004, a tube carrying water used in the processing of uranium was mistakenly connected to a drinking supply at the Ranger mine, Darwin Magistrates Court was told on Friday. The error was not discovered until a supervisor drank the water and suspected it had been contaminated, according to prosecutor Jon Tippett.  A short time later, 28 miners complained of symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea, headaches and skin rashes after drinking or washing in the affected water. The plant was immediately closed down, while an investigation was launched.  ...Mr Tippett insisted the incident could easily have been avoided." BBC News, May 6, 2005 (see original 4/7/04 article about this ongoing  incident...) (Ranger mine reopens despite recent contamination problem).  
\I object to RMWD proposal "The recent mail requiring all of us to install Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Preventers comes as a shock! It appears aimed directly at only Division 4 residents. It also seems that Mr. Ensminger is the spokesperson and perhaps the instigator of this “overkill” proposal. The letter states it was passed by the board of directors, and as they speak to the whole district, why is it only “required” for Division 4? In Sunday’s NCT the story reveals that most all other water districts DO NOT make this overkill statement, but only on specific cases. They use common sense where specific needs of high lift, groves and nurseries and other commercial growers use injection systems for chemical and fertilizers. That is understandable. ...This “request for our cooperation and assistance” seems more Gestapo-like than a “request” when we read, “If not completed by 6-13-05, you’ll be billed directly of time and materials.” It appears a contractor is locked in! This request by RMWD may be in “Accordance of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act,” but does it require all users to install? If so, has this only now came up so suddenly and such a quick timeframe? Have we all been seriously in danger of these contaminates and substances and never been informed? Should we not have been made aware of these years ago? Have there been past cases of health dangers of which we are not aware? I object to the proposal and do not plan to install. I urge the homeowners and the RMWD Board to review this whole procedure and proposal and consider facts as reported by other water districts." The Village News, May 5, 2005
Back on tap: Nineteen-day boil-water advisory is over "To the relief of home and business owners alike who have been under a 19-day boil water advisory, state health officials yesterday declared the city's water safe to drink again.  ...The initial finding -- which has since been followed by tests of 360 additional samples, all of which were found to be clean -- triggered a 19-day crisis that forced everyone in East Providence to conduct their lives a little bit differently.  Schools and offices placed "do not use" signs on their drinking fountains, and restaurants and coffee shops disconnected their coffee-making machines from their faucets and employees learned to make coffee with bottled water. At home, residents were told they should not drink any water from the tap, or even brush their teeth, unless the water had been boiled for at least one minute. ...Swallow noted that other communities have come under boil water advisories over the years, the longest being a two-month advisory imposed on Pawtucket's water supply in 1992. But she said the East Providence situation stood out, since it was the first in which the community was unable to pinpoint the source of its water contamination.  Typically, a community is able to identify a contamination source and correct the problem fairly quickly. ...Until now, however, the state had no policy on dealing with situations in which the source of contamination could not be found and subsequent tests showed no contamination. Swallow said her office consulted with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and with agencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut and other states before deciding on a policy for East Providence. Under the new guidelines, the city was ordered to adopt a 14-day regimen that included additional testing, flushing lines, adding chlorine, and inspecting properties for possible cross connections of water and sewer lines. ...Even though the advisory has been lifted, Fazioli said the city plans to remain vigilant about its water supply and will continue its policy of stepped-up chlorination and testing for at least six more weeks. It will also continue its cross-connection surveys, of which 83 have been done so far..." The Providence Journal, May 5, 2005
Public Water Supply Distribution Systems: Assessing and Reducing Risks "Backflow incidents have long been known to be significant contributers to waterborne disease.  ...EPA compiled a total of 459 incidents fresulting in 12,093 illnesses from backflow events from 1970 to 2001. ...For the period 1981 to 1998, EPA found only 97 of 309 incidents were reported to public health authorities, demonstrating that the magnitude of the public health concern due to cross connections is underreported. The situation may be of even greater concern because incidents involving domestic plumbing are even less recognized.  ...Because of the long history of recognized health risk posed by cross connections and backflow, the clear epidemiological and surveillance data, and the proven technologies to prevent cross connections, cross connection and backflow events are ranked by the committee as the highest priority. Efforts to provide implementation of a more uniform national cross connection program would have clear public health benefits." The National Academies Press, Water Science and Technology Board First Report (2005)
Meredith considers water use restrictions "The consulting firm hired to complete an analysis of the town’s water system told selectmen on Monday it is better to save than be sorry. SEA Consultants Inc. of Concord says the community’s water usage is outpacing the municipal department’s ability to treat and store it and is recommending "demand management" practices be used to decrease usage. ...The town also lacks sufficient capacity to store treated water. SEA is recommending that a second water storage tank be located north of the railroad tracks.  When the firm made its first presentation to selectmen in December, McCoy explained that, when water usage outstrips the treatment plant’s capacity, stored water is used, resulting in a system-wide drop in pressure. If the tank gets too low, it is possible for backflow to occur, creating the potential for contamination." Citizen Online, May 3, 2005
Council halts water valve installation "The Middletown Borough Council agreed last night to give discounts on retroactive water bills but decided to stop installing backflow prevention valves in borough residences until safety concerns are resolved. The council was expected to vote last night on a $50 rebate for residents who need to upgrade their water heating systems to counteract possible water pressure problems caused by the valves. After remarks by Councilman Christopher McNamara and some residents, the council voted unanimously to stop the valve installation and form a task force to determine how to deal with the situation. The retroactive bills and water-pressure concerns were precipitated by the borough's $1.1 million project to install digital water meters and backflow prevention valves in homes and businesses. ...McNamara said backflow prevention valves can cause an increase in water pressure when the hot-water tank is heating. He said the borough might have violated construction codes by installing the valves without installing thermal expansion tanks to counteract the increase in pressure.  Some residents told the council that their hot water tanks ruptured or that pipes began leaking after the valves were installed.  ..."You're installing a bomb in my house," said Ned Eppinger, who has not allowed the meter and valve to be installed. was estimated that only 2 percent of homes would need thermal expansion tanks, and residents were advised to watch for signs such as a dripping relief valve on the hot-water tank, creaking noises in plumbing or water surges.  "Nobody did their homework," Bowman said. "Thermal expansion is everywhere there is hot water. It's not 2 percent; it's 100 percent." The Patriot-News, May 3, 2005
Patience wears thin as E. P. water crisis continues "East Providence's boil water edict continues this week as the Department of Health works with the town to find the source of two positive E. coli tests Saturday, April 16. On Friday, April 22, the town declared a state of emergency and issued a boil-water edict which is to last through May 4 unless a source of contamination is found and dealt with prior to that date.  ...In addition to a city-water uni-directional flushing program designed to stir up mineral deposits in the pipes and flush water into the street, the city is also performing a cross-contamination study throughout the town, visiting places in town where water mains connect with businesses or homes.  Plumbing was inspected for evidence of back-flow problems that could have resulted from improper or illegal hookups.", April 28, 2005
To Drink or Not To Drink? That is the Question "In 1950 the United States used some twelve trillion gallons of water. By 1980 the figure had more than doubled. As you can see, it requires many conscientious, dedicated people to cover shifts twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and three hundred sixty-five days a year to keep our water safe to drink. There are many steps to doing this, but just a few are the treatment, prevention, and conservation of this valuable natural resource. ...Besides treatment, another way to keep water safe to drink is by the prevention of contamination. Too many times, factories and homeowners contaminate our water supply by dumping chemicals, garbage, and many other harmful substances into our rivers and lakes. We should all work together in keeping these things from coming into contact with all of our water sources. Another source of water contamination is cross contamination, which simply means to mix treated water with an untreated substance that is connected to the water line, or any other water source. This can be prevented by not letting any backflow or already distributed water back into the line. Prevention is definitely the easiest way to keep our water safe." The Daily Citizen, April 30, 2005
Group says pollution from dental fillings a concern in N.H. "New Hampshire Clean Water Action has given the state a grade of D-plus for not doing enough to prevent mercury pollution from dental fillings. ...Doug Bogen, program director for Clean Water Action, said the state took the lead in passing laws to address the problem, but the reforms have not been carried out. ...Dental amalgam is used to fill cavities and is commonly referred to as “silver” fillings. New Hampshire passed a law in 2002 to require dental offices to install amalgam separators in their plumbing systems to remove excess amalgam or removed fillings that go down the drain by the end of the year." Foster's Online, April 12, 2005
New trustees updated on business "The three new Village Board trustees, who will take office next week, received an update on village business Wednesday. ...Items discussed included:  A cross-connection survey mandated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Watts said surveys were sent to each user in the monthly water bills. He said the board had suggested a reminder be sent to anyone who did not complete the survey and if someone still did not return the completed survey, village employees would be sent door to door to get the information needed to be in compliance with the IEPA.", April 28, 2005
City Offers Loans To Businesses Affected By Water Problem "East Providence residents must continue boiling their water, according to city officials Wednesday. The city called the water problem elusive, aggravating and expensive. But still, how expensive it will be is still unknown. Engineers tested 200 water samples in the last 10 days alone -- four times the normal number in a month -- and cannot find the source of the problem. But the city manager, William Fazioli, still called the results good news. ...But Fazioli added that the city may never find the source of contamination (backflow from unknown cross-connection(s)?). ...For companies that have suffered through the water problem, such as one ice company, the city promises to help recoup losses. ...The city force fed the water system with chlorine and continues to flush it. It also started surveying companies to try and trace the fecal coli form bacteria, but will not remove the boil water order until the Rhode Island Department of Health says so.", April 27, 2005
Uranium mine hit by contamination "MINING company Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) expects water contamination at its Ranger Mine to have a material impact on profits this year.  ERA's Ranger Mine in Kakadu National Park was shut down on March 24, 2004, after the process water system – containing uranium and chemicals – was mistakenly connected to the system that supplies drinking and showering water. The Northern Territory government charged ERA with breaches of the Mining Management Act in relation to the water contamination incident, and the equipment clearance incidents, with court hearings to take place in May 2005.", April 27, 2005
Flesh Chunks Found in Iowa Water Lines "City officials are perplexed over the discovery of mysterious chunks of flesh that have been clogging up city water lines. A month ago, city officials sent a hunk of meaty-fatty tissue to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for identification. As they wait for those results, three similar chunks of fleshy material were found on Thursday in another water main during routine flushing, Public Works Director Randy Krauel said. A city worker discovered the blockage when a diffuser on a fire hydrant became clogged, Krauel said. Additional flushing removed two other chunks from water mains, he said. ...He speculated that the flesh likely belonged to an animal that crawled into a water main somewhere. The new chunks also were sent to a state lab for identification. Krauel said drinking water was not affected by the blockages and is safe to drink. Chlorine levels have been temporarily increased as a precaution, he said.", April 25, 2005
Williamsburg appoints new mayor "Oscar Turley, who resigned his position on the town Board of Trustees nearly a year ago, was appointed mayor during a special meeting of the board Wednesday. Turley hopes to end a cycle of political unrest that coincided with the election of Darrell Smith as mayor last year. Since then, several members of the board have resigned and others have been recalled by a citizens committee. ...“I would like to see the past issues resolved and the board look at it as a new day and a new start and bring programs back to life to help the citizens.” Turley’s priorities will be to upgrade the water system with backflow protection and a better meter reading system... ...Turley hopes to cultivate an atmosphere of cooperation and communication between the government and citizens, something he believes the previous administration failed to do. ...“It upset the community what they were seeing,” Turley said. “We like to see everything done right and done equally for every neighbor...." Canon City Daily Record, April 25,2005
Rainbow customers told to go with the (back)flow "A controversy is brewing over a Rainbow Municipal Water District decree that all of its 7,100 customers buy and install a costly water-protection device. General Manager Greg Ensminger said that the Rainbow board decided to mandate the backflow devices for maximum protection of the water supply ---- and because it seemed to be the best way to eliminate the argument of who needs a backflow device and who doesn't. ...Some water district customers have complained that the charges are too high and that the deadline for installation too close. "I was in shock when I got my notice," said Alice Wheaton, a Rainbow ratepayer who lives in Pala Mesa Village. "I'm a retired woman on a fixed income in a house. It's a financial impossibility." Fanning the controversy is the awareness that at least two other nearby water agencies are taking a different approach with their customers: Allowing them options in the type of blackflow devices that are installed (if any are required at all) ---- options that are less costly... ...Rainbow's board of directors passed an ordinance in March 2003 that calls for all of the district's customers ---- domestic, agricultural, and commercial ---- to purchase reduced-pressure backflow devices and have them installed. ...Not every water district has such a high price or a uniform policy on backflow devices, officials in the region said.  Comparably sized agencies such as the Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Valley Center Municipal Water District charge significantly less for the backflow device and don't require all of their customers to have them, officials for those agencies said. ..."(Reduced-pressure backflow) devices seem to be overkill when there's no contaminant or even a pollutant on the property, like for domestic water users," said Greg Hoyle, director of operations and facilities at the Valley Center Municipal Water District. ...Valley Center only calls for its customers to get a reduced pressure backflow device if they are injecting fertilizer into their water supplies; using the water to treat or medicate livestock or poultry; introducing toxic chemicals into the water system; installing a sewage treatment plant on site; installing a well; or installing a fire protection system, such as sprinklers or a storage tank." North County Times, April 23, 2005
E.P. to citizens: Keep boiling your water "The Board of Health issued a directive that East Providence residents should not consume the town's water without boiling it first after routine water testing turned up two samples positive for E. coli. ...It is up to the board of health to determine when residents may consume their water again, and city officials said at Tuesday's council meeting that the department of health will probably not lift the ban until the source for the contamination is found. "In this particular case, we don't know what the source is," said Water Division superintendent Ken Booth. ...Mr. Booth said residents can avoid further problems by making sure they follow proper precautions to avoid dirty backflow into their own pipes. Current plumbing codes insist contractors install a backflow prevention device to keep dirt and bacteria from washing back into a home's water supply. Typical homes do not need these devices in normal circumstances, but in-ground sprinkler systems or other similar home improvements could pose a backflow risk. Mr. Booth urged citizens to make sure their contractors for these projects install a device, and, if unsure whether they have a device already, can contact the town to have someone check. ...Councilman Peter F. Midgley assured residents that the town did not try to "cover up" the problem, as he said some citizens had suggested. When the city found out, he said, they contacted the media to alert citizens. ..."We don't know what the problem is and we're not ashamed to tell you the truth," he said.", April 22, 2005
Fresh coffee one casualty of water crisis "State health officials, acknowledging that the crisis over contamination of the city's water supply has severely affected Dunkin' Donuts and other businesses, said yesterday they are working hard to find a solution to the problem...  test results of water samples drawn since Saturday have not shown evidence of fecal coliform bacteria, but the state does not want to lift its advisory until it is clear that whatever caused the bacteria to show up in two samples drawn last Thursday has been identified and corrected. ...There are a number of ways the system can be contaminated... A common source of contamination is a leak or a break that allows waste matter to enter an otherwise secure pipe, Gifford said. Other potential sources, he said, are a buildup of sediment in pipes that can collect bacteria, which can break off after many months or years. Under certain conditions, such as changes in temperature, the direction of the flow could change, which might draw water from a sink or toilet that hasn't been equipped to prevent a backflow." The Providence Journal, April 21, 2005
Dry Taps Force Residents to Consume Unsafe Water "Harare -- THERE has been no water supply to some sections of Tafara, Mabvuku and Prospect in Waterfalls for the past two days, forcing residents to resort to using unsafe water from shallow wells for household consumption. Some of the affected residents told The Herald yesterday that they feared an outbreak of waterborne diseases if the situation was not resolved soon. Mr Voster Muzavazi of New Mabvuku said the supplies in the area were abruptly cut without warning on Monday morning. "Up to now there is no water and we don't know when the supplies will resume," he said. Mrs Sarah Chivizhe of New Tafara, ...said only a few drops of water were trickling from the taps. ...due to persistent water shortages in the eastern suburbs, the Commission running the affairs of Harare City Council had implemented a water demand management exercise. The city is currently facing shortages of Ecol 2000, an oxidising agent used to destroy algae (chlorophyll containing organisms) which clog filters... In separate interviews, the residents said they were now boiling drinking water but another unforeseen problem had arisen from that measure. "The water gets thick and forms into a viscous compound when we boil it", April 20, 2005
Residents lay seige to water board office "Coimbatore, April 20: About 500 persons, including 300 women, today staged a road roko and laid seige to the office of the water board near Peelamedu in the city, demanding regular drinking water supply. According to residents of the Vilankurichi panchayat, supply of drinking water has become irregular and authorities had not taken any steps to rectify the problem, persisting for the last few months. The residents, carrying empty pots, staged a 'road roko' on the main road and detained a government bus for nearly half an hour, police said. Without heeding to the appeal of the panchayat president, the agitators them marched towards the office of water board and laid a seige to it for some time. They dispersed only after receiving assurances from the officials concerned that the problem would be looked into." ChennaiOnline, April 20, 2005
New study finds danger riding in ship water tanks "Oceangoing freighters which are supposed to be clean before entering the Great Lakes carry billions of foreign organisms into the freshwater seas each year, including saltwater algae, invertebrates and potentially deadly bacteria. According to a five-year study by the University of Michigan and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, freighters that enter the lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway with no "ballast on board" -- so called No-BOB vessels -- routinely carry thousands of viable organisms in muddy water that sloshes around in empty ballast tanks. Those organisms can escape when ships take on and unload ballast water while in Great Lakes harbors. Ballast water is stored in huge tanks below deck to keep ships stable and is added or dumped based on the cargo load. Researchers also found that two-thirds of the 42 ships sampled carried potentially deadly organisms in ballast water tanks that were supposed to be empty and clean, including cholera and cryptosporidium. In 1993, cryptosporidium from an unknown source contaminated Milwaukee's drinking water system, killing more than 100 people and making 400,000 others ill. The study's authors said immediate action is needed to stem the flow of exotic organisms and pathogens entering the lakes in freighters' ballast tanks. "The Great Lakes are one of the most fragile systems in the world," he said. "If you kick them a little, they change a lot."" Muskegon Chronicle, April 19, 2005
Looming water crisis threatens all nations "Water, water everywhere, but very little to drink. ...Water consumption worldwide is growing at twice the rate of population growth and supplies of unpolluted fresh water becoming stretched thinner and thinner every year. In a planet covered by water, only about two percent is freshwater, with the rest being salt water. Water has been a source of major conflict all over the globe, as most major rivers travel through more than one country. "Every major watershed in the U.S. spans two or more states and many cross borders with Canada and Mexico," said Fred Gibson, who moderated the discussion. "More and more disputes are arising as shifting populations and land usage create contradictory demands on shrinking water supplies." A major problem this country and the rest of the world faces is that there is no comprehensive, consistent water policy.  ..."In the name of liberty and freedom, we often give little thought or consideration to future generations," said Gibson. "Today, for the first time in history, people are spending a fortune on bottled water even when local sources are adequate and taste better. Few people seem to give it a second thought..." Tahlequah Daily Press, April 18, 2005
Plumber fined 30G for paying a bribe "Former plumbing contractor George Manosis yesterday was placed under house arrest for four months and fined $30,000 by a federal judge for bribing a corrupt Water Department clerk. Manosis, who owned several plumbing businesses, including George's, Save-Mor and Payless Plumbing, admitted paying about $15,000 in bribes to the clerk to get city work permits worth nearly $30,000 over a four-year period, October 1998 to October 2002. The city is finally getting paid, too. Manosis, now involved in construction and real-estate ventures, came to court with a certified check for $29,955, to cover the full amount of restitution he owes for the admitted kickback scheme. ...Manosis, 42, of Fairmount Avenue near 4th Street, is one of seven area plumbers caught up in the graft. Two received immunity from prosecution for cooperating with the FBI. One awaits trial. The others pleaded guilty. The former Water Department clerk, Kathleen Brooks, also pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.", April 13, 2005
CBPA Photo Gallery "Here is the new Photo gallery, as requested by members in the CBPA. The biggest need perceived was to show good and bad backflow prevention installations. Many of our water purveyor members get asked frequently as to what constitutes a good or bad installation, and hopefully these pictures demonstrate both types. ...Most of the images shown here were submitted to the CBPA for photo contests and are excellent examples of both good and bad backflow prevention installations." Colorado Backflow Prevention Association
Flush with chemicals "...Scientists discovered scores of chemicals in creek water in recent years, raising concerns about their effects on the people who will eventually drink that water. ...The U.S. Geological Survey used new techniques in 1999 and 2000 to survey water downstream from cities, wastewater treatment plants and agricultural operations in 30 states. It found trace amounts of 82 chemicals in 80 percent of the creeks it surveyed. ...Palmolive. Pam. Tide. Crest. Pantene. Mr. Clean. Many popular products flow down the drain to the sewage treatment plant. Other everyday products — Aleve, Old Spice, Oil of Olay — spend some time in the body, be it through ingestion or absorption. What goes in, comes out. Whether down a toilet or a drain, these products also end up in a treatment plant, the aquatic environment's last bastion against the sewage of civilization.  But even when wastewater is treated, some ingredients survive the process and end up in the creek or river where the plant spills out. That effluent flows downstream and combines with fresh water and runoff. Other towns take that mixed water, treat it and pipe it to customers who drink it. Pills and products from individuals add up. ...Scientists began to understand a connection between health and drinking-water contaminants in the 1800s. U.S. federal regulations first covered drinking water in 1914. By the early 1900s, communities used filtration and chlorination to prevent disease, according the EPA, which now regulates drinking water. Recent advances in water treatment include filtering smaller compounds; using activated carbon to latch onto contaminants; and destroying unwanted molecules with ozone or ultraviolet light. It's unclear what effect unregulated chemicals have on the people downstream who will eventually drink them, but scientists point out that they're found in minuscule amounts.", April 17, 2005
Desal plant ready to refresh water "The county's brand new groundwater facility made its first burp Thursday by releasing 800 gallons a minute of desalinated, drinkable water into the public water system. ...When it officially goes online next week, the “Five Forks Water Facility” will be able to produce 2.5 million gallons a day by essentially refreshing brackish groundwater. ...Desalination uses a reverse osmosis treatment that filters salt and minerals through synthetic membranes. ...It then goes through a painstaking process on its way to becoming potable. ...In layman's terms, this is what happens: 1. Brackish water makes its way into the plant through five wells. 2. Next, the water goes through a primary filter to get out as many minerals as possible. 3. The water then runs through a series of reverse-osmosis “skids,” where in two phases the “clean” water is separated from the “concentrate.” 80% of the water pumped through the system becomes potable. The remainder is discharged into the James River. 4. The clean water, also called “permeate,” is then blended with untreated aquifer water. “Reverse osmosis cleans the water so well, that untreated water has to be reintroduced,” Foster explained. 5. Finally, the water goes through a de-gasifier to rid it of natural gases, then it travels to a 170,000-gallon “wet well” where it sits for 30 minutes. That allows extra chlorine to kill off any microbes. 6. From there, the potable water makes its way into the distribution system. Underground pipes carry the permeate and concentrate waters on their various paths. The entire process takes less than a minute." The Virginia Gazette, April 17, 2005
Rainbow Water directors commended "Directors Sundram, Griffiths and Hatfield are commended for their effort at the Rainbow Water District to reduce costs, maintain the pipeline system and eliminate non-essential programs (i.e. all customers must install backflow preventers) of the former board. The Rainbow district is the only water agency requiring all customers to install backflow devices. Many of the Fallbrook and Bonsall properties are at a high elevation with minimum water pressure. Backflow devices installed at the meter reduce the pressure. Backflow devices with inadequate pressure mean some homes may not be habitable as long as others. In my development, two residents no longer have enough pressure for showers on the second level. By state law only those injecting chemicals are required to install backflow devices. None of the other nine water agencies in the North County, including Fallbrook and Valley Center, require all customers to have backflow protection. I sincerely hope the new directors will focus on the important goals and revise the backflow policy so that it does not impact customers not required by state law to install these devices." The Village News, April 15, 2005
Rainbow Water Directors misinformed "Repeatedly, Rainbow Water manager Esminger advises that the State Health Dept. requires backflow devices for all customers. I have found none of the nearby districts have the same view. While in Sacramento, I met with Mr. G. Huffman with the State Div. Of Drinking Water and Environmental Management, who informed me that only agricultural water users who use injection, or industrial water users, are required by state law to install backflow devices. It is not equitable to require all customers, such as those with small lots and no agriculture to install these devices. Also, I wonder if the Rainbow directors and administrative staff have installed these devices." The Village News, May 23, 2004
Drinking water: More isn't always better "Runners should think twice before reaching for that water bottle: A study confirms that drinking too much can be dangerous, even deadly, for endurance athletes. Researchers who studied 488 runners in the 2002 Boston Marathon found that 62, or more than one in eight, had a serious fluid and salt imbalance from drinking too much water or sports drinks. Three of them had extreme imbalances. One 28-year-old woman died after the race from the condition, called hyponatremia, in which the excess water dilutes the salt level in the body too much. The researchers, led by Dr. Christopher Almond, a cardiologist at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, concluded that the condition "may be a greater problem than previously recognized." They estimated that approximately 1,900 of the nearly 15,000 finishers in 2002 had some degree of hyponatremia, and that approximately 90 finishers had critical hyponatremia.", April 15, 2005
State fines city $15,000 for sewer treatment "...The other area of concern raised by the officials, he said, was concerning the city's "cross-connection plan," which involves a  device for monitoring and preventing the contamination of drinking water by wastewater. "The city did develop a cross-connection plan, but did not adequately implement or document significant progress in monitoring back-flow prevention devices within the system," Deck said. He emphasized that the quality of the drinking water was not at issue. "The Water Control Department did say that the city had not incurred any water quality-related violations since August 2002. I  think that's the key issue. What we're facing are failures to document, failure to follow some of the policies, but we do not have and have not had a water quality issue."  Fairview Observer, April 12, 2055
Don't buy that backflow valve -- yet "Latest news from Venice City Council: Don't rush out and install a backflow prevention assembly -- yet.  And if you already have one, call the city utilities department before replacing it. Depending on which of the city's estimated 13,000 water customers you are, that  was good news or bad news. Those slow to meet stricter compliance standards are happy at saving anywhere from $300 to $600 on installation costs. Other groups, like homeowner associations trying to stay ahead of new laws, couldn't believe they were hearing city council and staff suggest they might not even need the plumbing device that protects the public drinking water supply. "If the paper says you don't have to do anything now, my credibility is going to go straight down the drink," said Dick Huibregtse, president of the Waterford Homeowners Association. ...Not even city staff knows for sure. Council members directed city staff to ask regulating agencies, which are pushing these new rules, for more flexibility. They also asked for an estimate on costs if the city handled installation and annual testing, rather than putting all of the costs on property owners. What's required? There is no blanket explanation for what is required and how the process will be  done, according to (the) City Manager..." Venice Gondolier Sun, April 13, 2005
Frequently asked questions about backflow preventers "The city of Venice has announced a program that will require all homeowners to have backflow prevention devices and get them inspected annually. ...All commercial businesses in Venice must have a Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly on their  drinking water supply line. All homes in Venice must have a backflow device and it must be tested each year by a certified backflow tester or a licensed plumber. All homes will be required to have a Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly starting in 2010." Venice Gondolier Sun, April 13, 2005
Brookhaven corruption "The political corruption probe launched by Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota in December 2002 yielded its first concrete result(s)... least 16 ...people have been charged with or convicted of various crimes, including receiving bribes, coercion, conspiracy, grand larcency and illegal campaign contributions. Prosecutors expect more charges as their investigation continues... Among the Brookhaven convictions: MARK PALERMO Senior town plumbing inspector, and former aide to both former Rep. Felix Grucci and Towle Criminal status: Pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree bribe receiving and one count each of defrauding the government and official misconduct in approving work in inspections that should not have been approved.", April 5, 2005
Flap over irrigation water in new Sequim subdivisions resolved -- for now "The city of Sequim and the Highland Irrigation District have reached an uneasy truce over supplying irrigation water to new subdivisions -- the district will continue to do so, although city officials aren't happy about it. At issue is irrigation water, which is drawn from the Dungeness River and distributed across the valley for the benefit of thirsty crops and lawns. It is a clash of old vs. new, as Sequim's city limit and fresh subdivisions overlap with the Highland's district's territory, originally established to funnel water to large farms.  ``Now we have a competing situation, where 30 years ago we didn't,'' said Ben Smith, a director of the Highland Irrigation District. Highland officials adopted a requirement that all new subdivisions built within its boundaries have a ``substantially complete'' irrigation system -- that is, pipes installed to deliver water to each lot. The district insists the systems are necessary to serve customers, since the district is charged by state law with delivering irrigation water to all properties within its boundaries.  City leaders have said the systems drive up development costs, and question the reliability of the systems as a water source as well as whether they're needed at all. ...The district's requirements trump city rules, however, and for now the issue is settled.   ...Said Smith: ``It's our charge to make water available. It still seems like the right thing to do -- they're in our district.'' Even so, Smith acknowledged some of the city's concerns. One is cross-connections -- irrigation water isn't sanitary enough for drinking, cooking or bathing, and he said it's ``legitimate'' to be worried about contamination. That's why the requirement stipulates a separate system of pipes." Peninsula Daily News, April 10, 2005
Backflow washes up to council "The words of city council member Rick Tacy a month ago seemed to echo the sentiments of residents having to deal with backflow prevention valves. "This is bureaucratic bumbling at its worst," Tacy said at the March 8 council meeting. "The way it's being executed is like it's a government program. There's got to be a more user-friendly way to implement this." Tacy's comments were made days after hundreds of residents packed council chambers during an informational session to find out why they must purchase, install and annually pay private contractors to inspect these devices. Very few residents left that meeting satisfied with the answers they received. ...While Venice creates and implements its own program, Sarasota County Health Department provides oversight and compliance. The city's plan, for now, has a backflow prevention valve required for every water customer by 2010 -- regardless of contamination risk." Venice Gondolier Sun, April 10, 2005
Clay City Village Board listens to several visitors "Engineer Mike Bridges reported on a letter recently received by from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) noting violations needed at the water treatment plant. The cost of meeting these 13 requirements would be approximately $600,000. Engineer Bridges indicated no grants are available to fund these EPA required improvements. ...Engineer Bridges noted a cross connection survey and disposal of sludge would be required whether or not the village chooses to close the water treatment plant. He informed the board they have 45 days from March 16 to respond to the letter." The Daily Clay County Advocate-Press, April 9, 2005
Walkerton water manager out of jail "The water manager whose negligence led to Walkerton's deadly E. coli outbreak has been freed from jail after serving less than four months of a one-year sentence. Stan Koebel, who neglected to chlorinate Walkerton's water system and then hid its E. coli contamination from suspicious health officials even after hundreds became terribly sick, was granted parole Monday. Koebel will go straight from jail and into a job in "a new community" where he will "start life anew," the parole board decision said. He has been ordered to stay away from booze and bars. And he has to take psychological counselling. The Walkerton tragedy of May of 2000 killed seven and made another 2,600 sick. The E. coli outbreak began after a torrential downpour washed bacteria from cattle manure into a shallow town well near a farm on the outskirts of Walkerton. The contaminated rain water infiltrated the town drinking water, which was only scantily chlorinated and hardly ever monitored." Edmonton Sun, April 8, 2005
More fines (scroll down page) "At 240 Bahama St., the former Island Car Wash near Venice Elementary School was hit with $3,750 worth of fines for failing to install a backflow prevention valve to its water line, and the utilities department has padlocked the water meter to cut off service. Water service will not be restored until the backflow prevention valve is installed." Venice Gondolier Sun, April 8, 2005
Fears plans for water supply could cost council £7million "HARINGEY could face a bill of as much as £7million if Thames Water goes ahead with plans to reduce water pressure, according to a councillor. Thames Water is planning to reduce the pressure in many parts of the capital in a bid to limit the number of leaks. The plan is at an early stage but the company is piloting the impact of reduced water supplies in the Woodford Zone, which includes Haringey. An investigation by the London Assembly's Health and Public Services Committee found Thames Water is unwilling to pay for the necessary pumps and backflow devices - meaning councils will have to pay for them. ...Long-term reductions in water pressure could seriously affect people living in high-rise flats and even school fire alarm systems and hospitals. ...London Assembly member Joanne McCartney, chairwoman of the Health and Public Services Committee, said: "Thames Water's plans to reduce water pressure could be devastating for millions of Londoners." Hornsey & Crouch End Journal, April 6, 2005
Three Simple Steps to Clean, Safe Drinking Water "Last year, the United Nations reported that water-related diseases are responsible for 80 percent of illnesses and deaths in the developing world. But contaminated drinking water isn't a problem only among poorer nations. "In some U.S. cities the drinking water is safe, but we found several cities with serious drinking-water problems," says Erik Olson, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's drinking-water project and principal author of What's on Tap? a 2003 report covering that resource in 19 U.S. cities." The Green Guide, March/April, 2005
Legionnaires Disease Associated with Potable Water in a Hotel—Ocean City, Maryland, October 2003–February 2004 "During October 2003–February 2004, eight cases (seven confirmed cases and one possible) of Legionnaires disease (LD) were identified among guests at a hotel in Ocean City, Maryland. This report summarizes the subsequent investigation conducted by the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD), Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), and CDC, which implicated the potable hot water system of the hotel as the most likely source of infection. ...patients had radiographically confirmed pneumonia and positive Legionella urinary antigen tests that were consistent with L. pneumophila serogroup 1 (Lp1) infection. ...After environmental inspections and water sampling of hotel A by WCHD, multiple samples from multiple sites in the hotel revealed the presence of Lp1. On January 26, 2004, hotel A attempted remediation by superheating water systems, flushing all water taps, and hyperchlorinating the cooling tower. Showers and faucets were reportedly disinfected, and shower heads and sink aerators were replaced in rooms where patients had stayed. ...(because of) the potential for ongoing but undetected transmission of Legionella, CDC was invited to join the investigation. ...A review of possible exposures at hotel A among the patients with confirmed LD revealed that all had showered or bathed in their respective rooms, and one had used the whirlpool spa. Six patients reported exposure to the swimming pool and whirlpool area. ...Lp1 was recovered from multiple sites in hotel A, including the hot water storage tank; cooling tower; multiple hot water heaters; and showers and faucets in rooms occupied by patients and well guests. ...Hotels have been common locations for LD outbreaks since the disease was first recognized among hotel guests in  Philadelphia in 1976." Journal of the American Medical Association, April 6, 2005
Workers claim retaliation in Yucca Mountain water piping case "Pipe fitters at Yucca Mountain say they were instructed to damage the tunnel's main water line and install a pipe to bypass a state water meter at the federal nuclear waste repository site. The claims are made in a federal Labor Department whistle-blower case and in interviews with former contract workers at the site, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Monday. ...It was not clear whether the bypass was installed. A labor investigator has recommended that Bechtel SAIC pay Dollens $250,000 for retaliating after he complained. ...Dollens said pipe fitters made a pipe in 2003 to reroute groundwater pumped from a nearby well around a state water meter. In November 2003, Nevada State Engineer Hugh Ricci denied the Energy Department permanent rights to 140 million gallons per year of groundwater to build the repository to entomb the nation's most highly radioactive commercial and military waste. But the state agreed in federal court to let Yucca Mountain project officials refill four water storage tanks for restroom facilities and emergencies. ...(company officials)...discussed a plan to bypass the water meter at the Nevada Test Site surrounding Yucca Mountain. ...The investigation found Dollens was humiliated on March 23, 2003, for reporting an unsafe condition at the site's 1-million-gallon potable water tank, and confronted April 24, 2003, after protesting plans to open valves from old water tanks. He was fired the following month." Monterey Herald, April 4, 2005
Global study reveals algae in world’s water is causing Alzheimer’s disease "A HIGHLY toxic acid that could cause degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s has been discovered in the algal blooms that plague waters in Scotland and around the world. Scientists fear that the spread of “blue-green” algae across lochs and seas, caused by pollution, is now putting human health at risk. There is “a potential for widespread human exposure” to the toxin in the algae, they warn. ...The toxin is a naturally occurring amino acid known as beta-methyl-amino-alanine, or BMAA for short. It has been blamed for causing a high incidence of a disease similar to Alzheimer’s amongst the Chamorro people on the island of Guam in the Pacific. BMAA has also been found in the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients in Canada, suggesting it may have caused the disease. Although the way in which toxins in algal blooms could infect humans is still unclear, scientists stress that precautions should be taken now, particularly with our drinking water supplies. ...Algal blooms are a natural phenomenon, but their frequency and extent are being boosted by pollution. Their growth is enhanced by phosphates from sewage, detergents, fertilisers and fish farms..." Sunday Herald, April 3, 2005
Bloomingdale to get reclaimed water "It has been an uphill fight, but a group of Bloomingdale area residents is about to get reclaimed water. Most of the 289 homes in Bloomingdale Ridge should have access within two to three weeks, according to Randy Sears, a county reclaimed water manager. Sears got an earful from residents this week at Alafia Elementary School during a project briefing and what neighbors need to do to receive the treated water. ...Despite setbacks, most neighbors soon will be able to water their lawns without restriction. ...Residents must pay an estimated $4,200 for the hookup to the county system, and they must pay the county $60 for a required backflow-prevention valve to ensure that drinkable and reclaimed water never mix. "Years ago, you couldn't give the stuff away," Water Department spokeswoman Michelle Van Dyke said. "Now people are clamoring for it." ...In the past four years, the number of reclaimed water customers has shot up from about 4,000 to nearly 13,000..." Brandon Times, April 1, 2005
The Unsuspected Dangers of Ordinary Water in Household Piping Systems "The following is the first in a four-part series of articles on the dangerous situations occurring in ordinary tap water in most U.S. homes today. This series covers the most common causes of water contamination; the health hazards associated with poor quality water; the household piping problems caused by supposedly pure water; and solutions to eliminate these problems and ensure good quality water supply in homes. Water is the essence of life itself. It makes up about 98 per cent of the human body and without it no living beings could survive. But sometimes water can be an unexpected danger if it's contaminated -- and given the state of today's plumbing and water supply systems, people are discovering that what looks to be healthy and pure water coming out of their faucets may not be good for people or pipes. ...Unfortunately many of the harmful effects of treated water are now caused by the very treatment process itself." Business-Wire, March 21, 2005
Jefferson recovering from water crisis "Substance in water found to be ‘soap-based’ People got a little thirsty in Jefferson last week after the city warned residents not to drink tap water because of a contamination scare. For most of the day Thursday until around noon on Saturday, Jefferson residents were told they could shower and wash with city water, but should not drink it or cook with it. ...The unusual action to call for a water consumption ban came after the city discovered a chemical problem in the city’s water system. It was found to be a “soap-based” product. Jefferson leaders said Friday that the chemical accidentally put into the town’s water system was a “surfactant” or “foaming agent used in the soap industry.” The substance was tested by the city’s chemical supply company and by an independent lab selected by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. ...Mayor Jim Joiner said it still isn’t known how the chemical was placed in a 55-gallon drum, which was supposed to have another chemical agent for water treatment. He added that the barrels are recycled by the chemical company and it could have been a cleaning residue. He said the chemical company is looking into the incident and will give the city a full report." MainStreetNews.Com, March 30, 2005
No respite in Baramati, 72 more affected "While the State health services have ruled out any chances of jaundice spreading to Pune city, Baramati continues to reel under it with 72 new cases being detected in Baramati town on Tuesday. With this increase, the total number of those affected since last week stands at 420. ...The water in Baramati, Doiphode said, was still not potable. ‘‘I have instructed the civic authorities in Baramati to solve the water contamination and cross-leakage problem as soon as possible, or else cut off water supply to the entire city and continue with tankers. They say some leaks have been identified.’’ ...The outbreak has been because of the leakage in drainage lines contaminating the drinking water supply (aspiration induced backflow) that runs parallel to the drainage pipelines." Pune Newsline, March 30, 2005
Problems Cause Shutdown Of Reclaimed Water System "TAMPA About 6,000 reclaimed water customers in northwestern Hillsborough County were without service Monday after a problem in the system was found. Workers at the Northwest Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant noticed Monday morning that the treated wastewater did not meet standards necessary for use on lawns for irrigation. ...An average of 4 million gallons of reclaimed water flows per day to the affected area. The county hopes to complete repairs today." News, March 29, 2005
Seven Quebec municipalities can't drink water "Thousands of residents in seven municipalities in central Quebec were without drinking water on Monday after problems with the local water system. "We didn't want to take any chances," said Clement Dubois, mayor of Nicolet, a town of about 8,000 south of Trois-Rivieres. "We went right to an order of prohibition." Although water pipes have been replaced, residents can't drink tap water until at least Wednesday... ...Five years ago in Walkerton, Ont., contaminated water killed seven people and make 2,500 sick.", March 28, 2005
H20 tapped Commentary: Water is at once a beverage and a utility "More than 2.6 billion people -- over 40 per cent of the world's population -- do not have access to basic sanitation, and more than one billion people still use unsafe sources of drinking water," reports the World Health Organization (WHO) These disturbing facts have set off a storm in the water industry, which is fragmented among water suppliers, treatment companies, technology and equipment firms, and bottlers. Water is at once a beverage and a utility. ...The increase in population, combined with limited source supply, make water an increasingly valued commodity. And that isn't lost on the capital markets. The Dow Jones US Water Index is up 18.6 percent over the past year. And there is a race to capture market share among municipalities, multinational concerns and US industrial corporations to get in on the water industry's growth. ...The U.S. water infrastructure is becoming dilapidated and is an increasing cost of municipal governments. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates up to $1 trillion will have to be spent upgrading U.S. water infrastructure over the next few years. ...In the U.S. there are 58,000 water utilities, 90% of which serve less than 4,000 homes and have operating budgets of less than $2 million." MarketWatch, March 29, 2005
Restoring reason to the Brooktrails' water debate "..."no to storage tanks," is a flip-flop from reality. The Brooktrails board has spent months setting local standards to allow homeowners to have private nonpotable water collection and storage tanks to irrigate their homes' landscaping, including such design details as tank size and color. Due to public comments, we have also allowed hauled-in nonpotable water to fill tanks. The only "no" is the state-mandated requirement that domestic treated water delivered to private tank systems not be used to replace an existing public water system within Brooktrails proper. ...Regarding state mandates on the subject, here's the word from Bruce Burton, district engineer for the Mendocino County District of the State Health Department Drinking Water Program: "As far as state health department regulations are concerned, there is nothing to prohibit the importation of drinkable water into a private tank as long as there is adequate backflow protection on it. As a local water district, Brooktrails has the authority to impose that restriction on their own." The Willits News, March 19, 2005
Cross-contamination is still a concern in Hyde Park "It appears there is sufficient funds to cover $64,000 in unexpected costs in constructing the Greenbush Area Water District. But the 280 homeowners in the Greenbush neighborhood could each face paying about $200 to install devices in their homes to prevent pollution of the new central water supply by contaminated well water.''We still have the cross-contamination issue,'' Richard Martineau of Greenbush Drive said. Construction began last summer to pipe water from the Poughkeepsies' Joint Water Treatment Plant to the 280 homes in the Greenbush neighborhood. The project was launched because of pollution of more than 100 private wells in the neighborhood off Route 9G near the Poughkeepsie town line. Some wells are tainted with the gas additive methyl tertiary butyl ether or MTBE, some contaminated with bacteria and some polluted by both. ...The central water hookup is scheduled to be done in June, said Peter Setaro, town consulting engineer. Once that happens, there is concern some homeowners may continue to use their wells to water their lawns and, in some cases, even for household use. This scenario creates the potential for backflow pressure drawing the well water into the central water mains. This could lead to MTBE or bacteria entering the new central water supply. To prevent such pollution, ''each home could be required to put in a backflow preventer,'' Setaro said. ''It will be a real tragedy to get municipal water and then have one person pollute it,'' Councilwoman Victoria Kane said." Poughkeepsie, March 25, 2005
Backflow prevention policy coming "West Elgin is drafting a backflow prevention policy after chemicals flowed back into the water system from a car wash in Stratford two weeks ago. People of Stratford could not consume tap water in any way for about three days after 19 litres of detergents contaminated public water. Currently, West Elgin’s water department is installing backflow prevention valves with the installation of new water metres but preexisting systems are not set up with a fail safe. They install about 100 water metres in a year. Some of the large industries in the area do not have backflow valves including car washes, Water Superintendent, Lloyd Jarvis told council... ...adding (that) no contaminants have flowed back into the water system to date but “prevention is number one.” The Chronicle, March 24, 2005
Jefferson water left with taint "Jefferson City Schools were closed Thursday and thousands of city residents may have received contaminated water because of a mix-up involving chemicals used in the purification process, city officials said. The city of Jefferson shut down its water treatment facility late Wednesday, purged waterlines and flushed storage tanks after residents complained of a mysterious substance in the water. By mid-Thursday, the city had drained waterlines and refilled them with water from Jackson County's separate water system. Officials with the Jefferson Water Department believe the mysterious substance, which was soapy and caused bubbles in drinking water, may have come from a barrel of chemicals officials thought was caustic soda. The soda is used in the water purification process, but the barrel under question may have been mislabeled and contained another chemical, Jefferson City Manager David Clabo said Thursday. ...Purging waterlines caused low water pressure for city residents and companies located in town.", March 24, 2005
World Water Day: Our Glass is Only Half Full "Monks, priests, shamans and followers of a dozen different religions spoke at U.N. headquarters Tuesday to mark the first World Water Day in the U.N.'s "Water for Life" decade and to pray for what is the most widely shared resource in the world -- fresh water. ..."Together, we can provide safe, clean water to all the world's people. The world's water resources are our lifeline for survival, and for sustainable development in the 21st century," Annan said. "This is an urgent matter of human development, and human dignity. That is why this year marks the beginning of the Water for Life Decade." ...According to U.N. Works for Fresh Water, about 1.2 billion people currently have no access to safe drinking water and another 2.4 billion lack proper sanitation. At least three million people die every year from diseases caused by dirty water. Even more horribly, every eight seconds a child dies of water-borne diseases, according to Global Vision... ...over half the hospital beds in the developing world are occupied by people suffering from preventable diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation, such as diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery and typhoid.", March 22, 2005
300 mln rural Chinese lack clean drinking water "China suffers greater harm from water pollution than from floods, as more than 300 million people in rural areas here do not have adequate clean drinking water, experts said at a seminar here Tuesday, World Water Day. "Hundreds of thousands Chinese are afflicted with various diseases from drinking water that contains too much fluorine, arsenic, sodium sulfate or bitter salt," said Wang Shucheng, minister of Water Resources. China has followed a tradition of "water control equals runningthe country" since ancient times. But today, the country is challenged by water-related problems as it faces water shortage, heavy water pollution and an unbalance of its water ecosystem. "Enjoying safe water should not be luxurious consumption but a basic right," said Feng Guangzhi, president of China Irrigation Area Association. ...Wang also appealed for an improvement or enactment of related policies, laws and regulations on water protection to prevent use of harmful fertilizer and pesticides. Experts called for increased publicity for the importance of drinking water safety. Mao Zhi, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences called the activities leading to water pollution "contrived poisoning" and "committing a crime." China View, March 22, 2005
Up to 40% of Russian Tap Water Lost During Distribution "Russia loses from 30-40 percent of its tap water during distribution, Russia’s Federal Agency for Water Resources said on the eve of the 13th World Water Day, Itar-Tass reports. Water systems pose a serious problem, 40 to 70 per cent of them are in need of replacement. “We are a world leader in terms of losing water in distribution,” said Rustem Khamitov, the head of the agency. By comparison, Germany loses only 5 to 7 percent of its tap water. According to the Federal Service for the Supervision of Consumer Rights and Welfare Protection, about 19 percent of running water samples do not meet sanitary and chemical standards and about 8 percent do not meet bacteriological standards. Experts note that water network failures and secondary contamination (backflow??) of drinking water pose a real threat of epidemics. The number of water-related acute intestinal infections rose in 2004. A total of 19 outbreaks was registered compared to 16 in 2003, the number of victims growing by 23 percent to reach 1,715 people. The number of viral hepatitis A cases also rose due to the poor condition of water systems. Major outbreaks were recorded in the village of Zelenchukskaya in the Caucasian republic of Karachai-Cherkessia (174 cases), and the towns of Pskov (478 cases) and Nizhniy Novgorod (157 cases).", March 22, 2005
Water District explains meter costs "Regarding the article in The Daily Independent that appeared on March 17, the headline "Water Rates To Increase To Pay For New Meters" is in error. What actually happened at the Board Meeting was as follows:.. The Water District did NOT approve a new policy regarding the replacement of 5/8-inch meters during the most recent board meeting. It is also inaccurate that customers "may soon see an increase in their water bill to pay for the replacement of water meters." In order to more effectively administer each program, The Water Sales and Service Policy Manual and the Cross-Connection Control Program, are now contained in two separate ordinances. ...The only changes to District Policies were with  regard to the Cross-Connection Policy. ...Regarding the District's new Cross-Connection Policy, revisions have been made to better protect the District's customers. Requirements for compliance with the installation, testing, and maintenance of back flow prevention devices has been made more current and clarifications have been made with regard to administrative procedures, including enforcement." The Daily Independent, March 21, 2005
Water management steps taken "Recognizing that water is a precious resource, the North Las Vegas City Council moved forward with water  conservation and system improvements during a special session Wednesday. The council directed the city to proceed with plans to manage backflow, reduce watering, and find a home for a future water reclamation center. ...The city already calls for businesses to have the appropriate devices to protect against backflow, and is considering also handling inspection of those systems to guarantee total compliance. Backflow is the potentially hazardous industrial water that can flow from a business back into the municipal water system if it fails, Bereskin explained. The city told Bereskin to move forward with the plan and to talk to local businesses about the impact if the city managed inspections." Las Vegas Sun, March 17, 2005
Tests show Leeds water safe to drink "The water in Leeds is safe to drink -- and always was, chemical tests revealed Friday. "All the samples were clean. We missed a bullet," Rich Mach, water plant superintendent said. Late Wednesday afternoon, employees at American Popcorn Co. discovered water had turned milky, an indication that air had gotten into the water lines. After contacting the city, the problem was backtracked to nearby Westway Trading Corp. Mach issued a water advisory for the greater Leeds area in Sioux City, urging people not to cook with or drink the water unless it was  boiled. That was a precautionary measure, he stressed. The lines also were flushed. Of the incident, Mach said, "It's a wake-up call to industries to make sure they have their backflow equipment maintained so problems like this don't occur." Westway, he noted, had two check valves, but they failed to operate. ..."It is a violation of the municipal code and they will be issued a citation," Mach said. The violation is a simple misdemeanor, which generally carries a fine ranging from $50 to $500. "We will be looking at that part of the code, looking at backflow and cross connection, putting more teeth into the ordinance." He emphasized that Westway officials cooperated with the city and that the city's goal is to encourage cooperation whenever a potential problem occurs. ...Our first and primary goal is to protect public health."" Sioux City Journal, March 19, 2005
Jaundice outbreak: 11 water samples fail test "Water contamination is the cause of the jaundice and diarrhoea outbreak at Tibba Road colonies, Karamsar Colony and adjoining areas in Jodhewal Basti. In the microbiological tests of the 12 water samples collected from here, 11 samples have been declared unfit for drinking. The tests were conducted by the Health Department. Today, 24 new patients of jaundice and seven of diarrhoea were detected in these areas. Of these, two patients are suffering from severe jaundice and have been referred to Civil Hospital. When the outbreak was reported earlier this week, municipal officials had said that checks had been carried out in the effected colonies. Officials had added that MC workers had found illegal water connections passing through sewer lines at three points in Karamsar Colony. The connections were later disconnected and officials had said that the supply had normalised. About Tibba Road colonies, though, officials did not say that any illegal connection has been detected. When contacted by Newsline, Municipal Joint Commissioner Dr Jaswant Singh said, ‘‘The water in all these areas is now fit for drinking. The contamination, if any, was due to illegal connections and we had been able to identify them the first day itself.’’ Ludhiana Newsline, March 18, 2005
Recognizing Waterborne Disease And The Health Effects of Water Pollution "Contamination of water reserves by either chemical agents or infectious pathogens may affect the health of millions of residents in the United States. Water consumers are frequently unaware of the potential health risks associated with exposure to waterborne contaminants and often consult practicing physicians who are unfamiliar with water pollution issues and their subsequent impact on human health. Misdiagnosis and underdiagnosis of waterborne disease by the medical community may result in significant morbidity and mortality, particularly in vulnerable populations at increased risk of disease as a result of exposure to waterborne pathogens and chemical contaminants. In addition, the events of September 11th emphasize the need for practicing healthcare providers to recognize unusual disease trends and early warning signs that may result from potential biological or chemical terrorism. Although the risk is extremely low, these covert attacks may include an assault on water safety. Primary care practitioners throughout the United States must be especially vigilant in light of the fact that they are likely to be the first to observe unusual illness patterns and must therefore understand their critical role in protecting water resources and their community's health. This Physician On-Line Reference Guide provides a repository of educational information and preparedness resources... ...Drinking waterborne outbreaks associated with surface water DECREASED by 20% from 31.8% during 1995-1996 to 11.8% during 1997-1998. According to the CDC, this reduction may have resulted from: 1) efforts by the drinking water industry, 2) efforts of the public health community, and 3) improved water treatment."
Lawn irrigation inspections to resume for season "With spring just days away, Olathe is reminding city water customers of the Cross-Connection Program, which requires annual inspection and testing for parts of underground lawn irrigation systems. The program helps ensure safe water for all Olathe water customers by eliminating the risk of potential water contamination through cross-connections, the hook-ups between the public water supply and a source where there is potential for contamination. The installation of an approved backflow prevention device on lawn irrigation systems can prevent lawn fertilizers, chemicals and pesticides from entering the city water supply. High-risk devices must be tested and inspected by a certified backflow tester, available through many licensed plumbing and irrigation companies, with results reported to the city on an official form.", March 16, 2005
Head building inspector suspended "The Town of Brookhaven suspended its chief building inspector, Vincent Dragone, Thursday after a contractor admitted in court to paying him tens of thousands of dollars in bribes. Timothy Penatello, 43, of East Moriches pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of bribery and a misdemeanor charge of attempted money laundering before Acting State Supreme Court Judge Michael Mullen in Riverhead. The plea came as Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota's wide-ranging probe of political corruption appears to be zeroing in on Dragone. Dragone, who did not return calls seeking comment Thursday, has not been charged, but the district attorney bugged his office last year and executed search warrants of the building department and his home in April. "This case is a direct result of the active, ongoing investigation of the acts of Vincent Dragone, related to his conduct at Brookhaven Town," said Insp. James Burke, the commanding officer of the District Attorney's organized crime bureau. "The investigation is continuing and I expect additional .arrests in the future." In answer to questions from Prosecutor Christopher McPartland Thursday, Penatello acknowledged Dragone demanded a 10-percent cut of town payments to Penatello under a contract he was awarded in 2000... Penatello paid the bribes in cash in Dragone's office and in the men's room of the building department, he admitted. ...In May, Brookhaven's senior plumbing inspector, Mark Palermo, admitted taking bribes and said Dragone directed him to approve inspections that should not have been approved. Dragone set up a legal defense fund in April that was dissolved after the town's board of ethics advised him the fund was a conflict of interest.", March 11, 2005
Hydrant pressure can uproot rust, sediment "Q: A house caught fire a couple of blocks away from me, and while the firefighters were on scene and for several hours after, the tap water was filthy and rusty. Why does this occur?  A: When a fire hydrant is activated the very large amount of water flowing through the system tends to disturb and uproot the sediment and rust in the water main. This visually dirty water is then drawn into your home. Water utilities routinely flush their systems using the hydrants or other inline valves to verify hydrant flow rates and check for valve leaks and proper operation. But more important, the flushing is done to protect the quality of the water, eliminate some of this rust and to check for what is called the "chlorine residual" in areas with low flow.  ...Public water systems are designed by regulation to provide 20 pounds of water pressure during a firefighting or flushing regime, preventing contamination from backflow. Backflow-prevention devices at vulnerable use points in the home (valves at irrigation sprinklers and a dishwasher air gap being prime examples) further protect the system from contamination." The Seattle Times, March 13, 2005
Water - Bottles Versus Faucets "Four large corporations control much of the world's booming bottled water industry and pose a threat to public water utilities, according to a report by the Canadian non-governmental Polaris Institute. The business moves 50 billion dollars a year, and Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Danone companies control the lion's share of the water market, according to the study ''Inside the Bottle''. ''These companies harvest huge profits from water they either obtain for free or at very low cost from public taps,'' Tony Clarke, the author of the book-length report, told Tierramérica. Up to 20 percent of the U.S. population and 17.5 percent of Canadians now get their drinking water exclusively from bottled sources, Clarke said. ..."Bottled water companies' marketing plays on fears about the health and safety of public tap water," said Clarke, though he admitted that there are numerous instances of illness and even deaths from drinking bad tap water, but none directly linked to bottled water. However, last year 500,000 litres of Coca-Cola's Dasani brand water had to be recalled in the British market because of high levels of bromate, a cancer-causing chemical, Clarke said. The Dasani water is tap water that is filtered and treated. "Similar types of contamination could be happening elsewhere, but no one is testing the water often enough," he added. Bottled water is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration... Inspections are conducted by local health authorities, and independent annual inspections are made in each member country. ..."There is enormous corporate interest in selling water... Bottled water plays a leading role in conditioning people for the privatisation of public water utilities." Public opposition to privatisation in North America is strong, following some well-publicised problems with privatisation attempts..." Inter Press Service News Agency, March 12, 2005
Protection for Postmix Carbonators "One of the common questions received in the Foundation office has to do with the level of  backflow protection needed on post mix soft drink carbonators. The post mix soft drink carbonator takes water and carbonates it using Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from a refillable tank. Initially one wonders whether any backflow protection is needed. After all, we drink the sodas don’t we? What would be the problem if some soda got into the drinking water? Further investigation shows that the CO is under pressure and could, thus, create backpressure into the drinking water system. ...This is where the problem occurs. The acidic carbonated water or carbon dioxide may leach the copper out of the copper piping. This may be detected by the discoloration of the water (i.e., blue water), or air (i.e., carbon dioxide) coming out of nearby faucets, or an “off-taste” in the soft drink being served. Ingesting large amounts of copper can cause acute gastrointestinal distress, vomiting and diarrhea." USC Cross Talk reprint
Backflow backlash by council, residents "Some Venice City Council members aren't too thrilled by the city's new program to protect the public drinking water supply. "This is bureaucratic bumbling at its worst," council member Rick Tacy said. "The way it's being executed is like it's a government program. There's got to be a more user-friendly way to implement this." Council comments came after several residents spoke about a requirement that all public water customers install a backflow-prevention device in their water lines and pay for annual certifications. ...Resident concerns are with cost and location of these devices, with the city saying all 12,000 water customers must have them by 2010. Installation and purchase can be as much as $500 or more, according to some plumbers, and annual testing can be as much as $50. ..."It honestly sounds to me like the tail wagging the puppy," resident Chad Vaughn said. "In this case, it's the utilities department wagging the 12,000 customers. ...City Manager Marty Black said the county health department, which is regulating local backflow programs, initially wanted the conversion to be done within a year. The county backed off once it realized that was impossible, Black said. Venice is still developing a database to determine which of its 12,000 customers already have backflow devices, let alone whether they meet current standards. Right now there are only two city employees handling the backflow program. "Quite frankly, it's overwhelming (TechZone Ed.: see the following quotation) our ability to respond (to utility service calls)," Black said." Venice Gondolier, March 11, 2005
Benjamin Franklin Emblematical Representations "History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy... These measures never fail to create great and  violent jealousies and animosities between the people favored and the people oppressed; whence a total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections, by which the whole state is weakened." Founder's Almanac, Federalist Papers, 1774
Soap spill contaminates city’s water "Residents were urged not drink water or even wash their hands after a chemical spill contaminated this southwestern Ontario city’s water supply yesterday (March 7). “Approximately five gallons of hyper-concentrate foaming brush detergent, produced by Turtle Wax, and containing the chemical 2-butoxyethanol,” entered the water system, said Rebecca Hill, spokeswoman for the Perth District Health Unit. The chemical is a solvent found in industrial and household cleaners, paint thinners and strippers, enamels, lacquers, and varnishes, Hill said last night in a release. The drinking water advisory will remain in effect until tests show the water is safe to drink, she added. “It will take 48 to 72 hours before testing has been completed,” Hill said. An investigation found the source of the contamination was a Monday morning spill of detergents and waxes from a car wash in the city of about 30,000 people. The car wash was carrying out maintenance work on its plumbing system using a pressure washer to clean out pipes, said city engineer Tom Crozier. A malfunctioning valve allowed water being used to flush the pipes to back up into city mains, Crozier said." Fort Frances Times Online, March 8, 2006
Water caution "Health officials reassured this city yesterday its drinking water is safe, but stopped short of ending the advisory that had kept residents from using tap water. Almost exactly 24 hours after Stratford's water supply was declared off-limits -- after a Monday morning chemical leak at a car wash -- the unsettling ban was replaced yesterday morning by a boil-water warning likely to stay in effect at least until tomorrow.  "There is no health hazard present in the drinking water," Rosana Pellizzari, Perth's medical officer of health, said at a news conference yesterday. But because so much untreated water leaked into the city's system, additional "bacterial contamination" tests were started Monday night. ...The source, Pellizzari said, was an industrial solvent -- 2-Butoxyethanol -- that leaked from a car wash on that... road near downtown. A man at the car wash declined comment yesterday.  None of the gastrointestinal troubles reported to Stratford's hospital Monday warranted serious treatment and initial water tests showed only "trace levels" of the leaked chemical. ...The tainted-water disaster that killed seven people in Walkerton in 2000 taught Ontario hard lessons about water safety, Pellizzari said, citing Stratford's quick response as proof the province has improved water safeguards. Environment Ministry investigators were probing the chemical leak, which happened about 8:30 a.m. Monday while the car wash was using a pressure washer to clean its pipes." The London Free Press News, March 9, 2005
Spill fouls Stratford's tap water "People in this picturesque city known for its theatre festival are warned to avoid using tap water after waxy wastewater from a car wash got into the system yesterday. Dr. Rosanna Pellizzari, Perth County medical officer of health, issued an emergency water advisory at noon after a resident called in to complain that the tap water was pink. She sternly advised the 31,000 residents not to drink the water, use it for cooking, washing, bathing or even for pets after an estimated 2,300 to 2,700 litres of water mixed with car wax got into the city's drinking-water supply. ...City staff traced the problem to a car wash. The facility had been using a pressure washer to clean out pipes as part of maintenance work on its plumbing, said city engineer Tom Crozier. "They were back-flushing their system when a valve (backflow preventer implied..) failed. Now the whole system has to be flushed out," said Councillor Lloyd Lichti. ...Those feeling sick after drinking water were told to go to hospital, but officials believed the contaminant wasn't likely to cause severe symptoms. ...Stratford gets water from a dozen deep wells but the distribution system has proved to be a weak spot, Rae said. "We're on a loop system so the water from all the wells goes to wherever the demand is," she said. "It's all inter-connected so the whole system has to be flushed out."" Toronto Star, March 8, 2005
Feeley gets six years... Ex-Oak Forest honcho a 'one-man public corruption crime wave' "Former Oak Forest public works superintendent Michael Feeley, convicted of pocketing more than $300,000 in kickbacks from city contractors, was sentenced Tuesday to six years in federal prison. During his five years as public works boss, Feeley took cash-stuffed envelopes from contractors, used Oak Forest employees to fix up his house and boat, and helped install a buddy's relative on the city payroll for a bribe. "To sum it up," Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar said, "Mr. Feeley was a one-man public-corruption crime wave in Oak Forest." ...Feeley admitted to taking kickbacks in exchange for doling out city contracts worth a total of more than $2 million. ...Prosecutors also noted Feeley was slow to accept responsibility in the scheme: He withdrew his innocent plea only after each of the other five defendants in the case pleaded guilty. ...The contractors each said they felt pressured to hand over kickbacks to Feeley in order to win city work for their small businesses. "That's five individuals who are now federal felons," said Castillo, who had promised when sentencing the others that the harshest punishment would be reserved for Feeley." Daily Southtown, March 2, 2005
Revolution's over, get a Backflow Preventer "A little of this, a little of that, or, would you like some cheese with your whine? When Eustis went all out for George Washington's birthday, it was the best of times. A parade and carnival rides on the lake struck a perfect note. Let those other towns have their watered down Presidents Day, a compromise for convenience that shortchanges two great Americans. We do it right, and I was proud to be here. Until the mail came Tuesday. How can a place that has its act so together when it comes to George Washington be so royally clueless in the area of Backflow Preventers? I have once again been found to be "out of compliance with City Ordinance # 02-57, Cross Connection, as stated in section 118-20 of this Ordinance." For the second time in two years, I am overdue to do something without ever having had the slightest notion that I was due in the first place. Supposedly there was a previous letter. I didn't get it. That might make for a good argument at the hearing, if there was going to be one. But there isn't. The city is willing to take its own word in this matter, and I either do as I was scolded, or make arrangements to shower next door. I don't even know what this device is, where it is located at my house or what it does, but apparently Backflow Preventer checkage is a vital service. It is also a service not provided by the city. ...While filing this year's letter from Eustis in my Miscellaneous Threats folder, I found last year's threatening letter from the St. Johns River Water Management District, which also uses a lot of capital letters in references to itself. That follows logically. It is sort of a glorified group of Backflow Technicians who think they're on the Supreme Court. I also found the letter I wrote back but never mailed when they fined me for something I'm not sure I did." Orlando Sentinel, March 5, 2005
Beware Airplane Water "New findings from the Environmental Protection Agency show some planes have unwanted stowaways in their water supply -- potentially dangerous bacteria that could make you sick. "What we have in the water right now from our test results is an indication that there could be a safety concern," says Tom Skinner, the Environmental Protection Agency's chief enforcement officer. Over the past six months, his agency randomly tested water on more than 300 planes from domestic and foreign carriers. In one out of every seven planes, the EPA found water that did not meet federal standards. It found bacteria like coliform and E. coli -- which are often associated with human feces. ...Skinner tells Koeppen there are many possible sources of contamination. Each time the plane lands at an airport, new water can be pumped on board through hoses that are very difficult to clean. Bacteria can grow in the plane's water tanks and hoses. That contaminated water can end up not only n the restooms where you wash your hands or brush your teeth, but also in the galleys, where food and drinks are prepared. ...Even though airlines think their water is safe, the industry has agreed to new regulations outlined by the EPA: Carriers will now disinfect their water tanks every three months. They will disinfect their water trucks, hoses and carts once a month.", March 5, 2005
Caught in the backwash over backflow "More than 100 Venice residents showed up to city hall Thursday night wanting to know why they'll have to pay hundreds of dollars for a new plumbing device and then pay to have it tested every year. Answers ranged everywhere from a 30-year-old federal law to changes last year in Florida laws to blaming it on reclaimed water. The threat of terrorism was even tossed in as a possible reason. Regardless, a new city plan to protect public drinking water from contamination will require every single-family home to have a backflow prevention device by 2010. The one selected, called an RPZ, is among the strongest and most durable -- and most expensive. "This is just overkill," one resident said to Utilities Manager Chris Sharek during the  presentation. ...Residents seemed to understand the backflow device's purpose -- to prevent water in someone's home or business from getting sucked back into the public water lines. They questioned why every home must have one, and why Venice residents are being required to get one seemingly all of a sudden. "Why haven't I seen it all around the state?" one audience member asked. "Is it just here in Venice or everywhere? "The protection plan itself is developed by the individual water system, in this case Venice, and the county health department simply monitors and approves it. Even though every county system must have a backflow plan in place, only Siesta Key's drinking water system has one as strict as what Venice is attempting to implement... ...Before Venice launched its new plan, only water customers with a secondary water source were required to have backflow prevention devices. This included places that accepted reclaimed water, had a well or pond, or were an industrial business." Venice Gondolier Sun, March 4, 2005
Rain conservation touted as important water saver "Thousands upon thousands of gallons of potential drinking water are lost in Central Virginia each year, and the water is right in our back yard. Or, perhaps more accurately, it’s dripping off the roofs of area homes. ...Rainwater harvesting involves catching water running off of a roof and storing it for future use. ...Scott Byars, a member of the conservation district’s board of directors as well as an extension agent in Fluvanna County, recently installed a rainwater harvesting system for his home in Louisa County. Byars’ system, which took about a month to install, includes a scrubber box, which cleans sediment, dust and other debris from the water after the initial rainfall, a 2,800-gallon reservoir tank to store the water, and an ultraviolet filter that kills the bacteria before it enters the home’s water pressure tank. After it passes through the UV filter and into the water pressure tank, Byars can divert the rainwater throughout the entire home (cross-connections??) or choose only to use it for laundry, showers or irrigation.", March 3, 2005
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH MANUAL"The purpose of this Technical Reference is to provide a list of approved backflow prevention assemblies for containing potential contamination as required by Section 5-1.31 of the State Sanitary Code. This list is made available to regulatory agencies, water purveyors, consulting engineers, manufacturers, certified testers, contractors and the general public. ...Previously approved assemblies that are out of production or for which only spare parts are available may not appear on this list. Where such assemblies are currently installed, however, they may remain in service provided that they are appropriate for the degree of hazard. When these assemblies demonstrate repeated test failures, require frequent maintenance or if spare parts cannot be readily obtained, they must be replaced by a currently approved assembly." New York State Department of Health, 9/1/04
Mapping system in the pipeline "Traffic delays caused by roadworks could be reduced in the future as a result of a £1m scheme to create a detailed map of the UK's buried infrastructure. The EPSRC's 'Mapping the Underworld' project will fund work across a number of universities until 2008, and will also investigate pipe location and tagging technologies. During the past 150 years, pipes carrying water, sewage and gas have been installed under ground, along with electricity and phone cable networks. The oldest will soon need replacing, and demand for new infrastructure is increasing. Pipes and cables are generally placed under roads becausecompanies do not have to seek permission from homeowners to access them. Up to four million holes are dug in the UK's roads each year. ...A Birmingham University team headed by Prof. Chris Rogers, is working to develop a multi-sensor location tool to identify pipes... ...The problem is that we don't know exactly where all the pipes and cables are. We need a method for seeing through the ground, but this is not easy and requires a series of technologies. If we can identify exactly what is beneath it, such as the type of pipe used, that would be even better.", March 2, 2005
Many cesspool users likely to miss deadline "Hundreds of Hawai'i cesspool users, including the state, likely will miss an April 5 deadline to upgrade their systems and will face up to $32,500 in fines per day. The Environmental Protection Agency said it is focusing on Hawai'i to protect the state's  drinking water, streams and beaches from cesspool contamination. Hawai'i has "at least 1,500 large capacity  cesspools that are noncompliant," said Laura Bose, EPA senior policy adviser in San Francisco. On Wednesday, the federal government launched a state-wide ad campaign aimed at stripping Hawai'i of one of its least appealing claims to fame: cesspool capital of the nation. No state in America uses cesspools as widely as Hawai'i, the EPA said. In fact, no place else comes close, the agency said. And in no location in Hawai'i does the issue affect more folks than it does on O'ahu's North Shore — a place that hosts more than 2 million visitors a year, is not connected to a public sewage system and for decades has relied extensively on old-fashioned cesspools. ...last week's EPA advisory caught some residents off guard. "A lot of people here are a little upset about the fact that they weren't notified sooner, I mean, here it is February and they're just now putting notices in the paper" ...(said a local resident).  However, the cesspool ban dates to December 1999, when the EPA announced all large-capacity cesspools must be closed or upgraded by April 5 of this year. And ...the EPA has tried diligently to get the word out over the past two years, even though the agency is not required to do so.", Feb. 28, 2005
Legionnaires Disease Associated with Potable Water in a Hotel --- Ocean City, Maryland, Oct 2003 - Feb 2004 "During October 2003 - February 2004, eight cases (seven confirmed cases and one possible) of Legionnaires disease (LD) were identified among guests at a hotel in Ocean City, Maryland. This report summarizes the subsequent investigation conducted by the Worcester County Health Department... which implicated the potable hot water system of the hotel as the most likely source of infection. ...On January 26, 2004, (the) hotel...  attempted remediation by superheating water systems, flushing all water taps, and hyperchlorinating the cooling tower. Showers and faucets were reportedly disinfected, and shower heads and sink aerators were replaced in rooms. ..Hotels have been common locations for LD outbreaks since the disease was first recognized among hotel guests in Philadelphia in 1976. In this report, the exposure of patients to the hotel's potable water system, the lack of other epidemiologic links, and the recovery of Legionellae from multiple points in the system suggest that the hotel potable water system was the source of the outbreak." Medical News Today, Feb. 28, 2005
He blew the whistle, and paid a heavy price "John McFarlane Jr. says his father taught him to stand up for himself, to never steal or tell a lie. He learned the plumbing trade at his dad's side, too, just as John Sr. had learned it from his father before him. But when McFarlane followed in his father's footsteps to become a Philadelphia plumbing inspector, there were things he had to learn on his own. He had joined a fraternity with a tradition of penny-ante corruption going back generations, in which $10 and $20 "tips" from plumbers were accepted, even expected. "The green handshake," they called it. He was taught to take cash in his first day on the job - just after his ethics training. McFarlane said no. But plumbers kept jamming bills in his pockets on the street, mailing him cash in Christmas cards. Pressure came from other inspectors, he says, even from members of the city plumbing board. In 2002, McFarlane testified about the payoffs. In his bland, matter-of-fact voice, he helped prosecutors convict nine of his colleagues of extortion; four others pleaded guilty. In some places, that might make him a hero: the man who stood up and told the truth. Not in McFarlane's East Falls neighborhood, though. Not in Philadelphia. ...Now, for the first time, he's willing to describe what he went through. ...Even now, he says, some coworkers shun him. He contends he deserved a promotion, or at least a commendation. Worst of all, his own father turned against him. They didn't speak for two years. "It's illegal," McFarlane said of the payoffs. "I don't know why my father didn't understand that." ...The plumber cases revealed a tradition of graft that is embedded under the city's asphalt streets, in countless pipes and sewer connections that didn't get inspected because a plumber clipped a $20 bill to a permit application. Plumbing jobs big and small were greased at each step: from the examiners who checked blueprints and the Water Department clerks who typed the permits to the inspectors who checked the work and the drillers who used jackhammers to open up the streets. Even supervisors took cash. ...When the FBI busted them, inspectors were incredulous: Why now? Cash had been passed for generations. "Since pipe was invented," former inspector Richard Zabinski told the FBI. ...Plumbers who paid were known as "good guys," McFarlane says. The rest were "zeroes," whose work got inspected last. " Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 27, 2005
Protecting drinking water supplies within buildings "Mention drinking water contamination and most people would suspect problems with the ground water or with a water treatment plant. However, contamination of a building's internal piping or associated household appliances, whether by terrorist act or through an unintentional mishap, also could pose a serious threat to the health of building occupants. Recently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Environmental Protection Agency's National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) joined forces to cut the risk of this little explored hazard. Under an interagency agreement, researchers from the two organizations have launched an investigation of contamination possibilities affecting internal  water lines..."  Medical News Today, Feb. 26, 2005
Village water supplies in a warmer world "A recent "water bottle airlift" from Bethel to the western Alaska village of Nunam Iqua showed how precious clean water can be in the Alaska Bush. A team of scientists is now studying how changes in climate might impact the water supplies of some Alaska villages. Nunam Iqua is like many Alaska villages that use a variety of fresh water sources. The 35 families who live in Nunam Iqua rely on a nearby river for water that they store during the winter in a 200,000-gallon tank. When a December 2004 storm fouled the river with salt water and a tank fitting failed, draining their stored water, residents asked for help. The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services began flying 500 gallons of water each day to Nunam Iqua. When the river cleared later in the month, residents were able to begin storing water again and officials called off the water airlift. ...Communities that rely on surface water need to store large amounts of it during the eight or more months their usual water source is frozen. Any place that relies on surface water is at risk of running out of water... many villages drain their storage tanks before they can replenish them in summer." SitNews, Jan. 29, 2005
Red Cross Report: Unsafe Water Kills Millions "The International Red Cross reports more than one billion people do not have access to safe water, and nearly 2.5 billion people lack access to sanitation. The agency says more than three million people die each year from diseases spread through dirty  water and bad sanitation. ...Red Cross Senior Water and Sanitation Officer Robert Fraser says the agency's 10-year initiative for improving water and sanitation  conditions will focus on the poorest, most vulnerable communities in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. He says involving local communities in the fund-raising, maintenance and hygiene aspects of these projects will be key to their success. "There is no point in us building water supplies or sanitation facilities, if the communities themselves cannot be able to maintain them ...The Red Cross-Red Crescent initiative coincides with the United Nations International Decade for Action" to focus on water-related issues and development. The United Nations will officially launch the 10-year "Water for Life" initiative on World Water Day, March 22." Voice of America, Feb. 24, 2005
Guidelines for rainwater tanks on residential properties "...The Government has recognised that some consumers may wish to use rainwater for all domestic purposes, including drinking, cooking, bathing and in hot water systems. ...Circular No.18 permits the interconnection of the rainwater service with the on-site drinking water supply provided that appropriate backflow prevention measures are in place. ...NSW Health does not recommend the use of rainwater tanks for drinking purposes where a reticulated drinking water supply is available to the customer. It is important to ensure that the property owner/consumer is aware that the maintenance of a rainwater tank  and the quality of the water supplied from a tank is the responsibility of the owner, not the local water utility. ...Containment protection - Where a rainwater tank is to be interconnected with the on-site drinking water supply, Sydney Water’s mains supply is to be protected by installation of an authorised backflow prevention device, suitable for the degree of hazard and sized to suit the water service, fitted immediately downstream of the water meter." Sydney Water, Nov. 2003
Put-in-Bay outbreak blamed on contaminated groundwater, says state "Widespread groundwater contamination on a Lake Erie resort island was the likely source of illnesses that sickened hundreds last summer, the state health department said yesterday. Several sources, including septic tanks, have tainted South Bass Island's groundwater over a long period, and heavy rains last summer may have worsened the contamination, a health department report said. The outbreak of gastrointestinal illness sickened about 1,400 island visitors and residents, ending the tourist season early for many businesses. ...While most vacation homes and businesses that cater to tourists draw their drinking water from the municipal system, about 400 use groundwater from wells for drinking and bathing. The groundwater collects under the island's surface in cracks in layers of limestone. It's replenished by rainwater and connects to Lake Erie. But the island's porous soil makes it easier for contaminants such as bird droppings and motor oil to wash into the bedrock especially during heavy rains, the report said. Rising and falling lake levels also could have washed pollutants into the groundwater. The health department tested 79 wells throughout the island last September. About eight of 10 tested positive for the bacteria coliform, which could signal the presence of other harmful bacteria, according to the report. ...They also have sped up a $5.2 million project to expand Put-in-Bay's village water system to all island businesses.  It's expected to be finished in about two years", Feb. 23, 2005 
Don't drink the wooder "Like many of you, the first time I took a drink of Philadelphia tap water on my first day here as a freshman, I got a bit of a surprise. You see, Philadelphia water is flavored, not with lemon or lime, but with what I soon learned to call "Philadelphia Phunk." ...The phunk, however, is only one of many nasty surprises that can emerge from an otherwise innocent spigot; more serious things have come out of my tap before. In 1993, my hometown of Milwaukee was the site of an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis, a stomach-cramping, diarrhea-inducing and generally unpleasant week of gastrointestinal torture. ...Cryptosporidium parvum, a single-celled parasite, got into our city water supply and sickened more than 400,000 people. Eventually, public health officials figured out what was going on and took measures to protect the city's water. However, this was not before roughly 4,400 Milwaukeeans had to be hospitalized and about 100 people died as a result of the contamination that likely started with cow dung. ...And what about the Philadelphia Phunk that we here at Penn have all learned to love, or at least tolerate? A 1997 study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health demonstrated a correlation between turbidity (cloudiness) in water and emergency room visits for gastrointestinal disease among children in Philadelphia.", Feb. 22, 2005
Officials set to reveal South Bass illness study "Officials from the Ohio Department of Health and other state agencies are expected to release their preliminary findings tomorrow on the cause of an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness that sickened more than 1,400 visitors to South Bass Island last summer. State officials would not discuss their findings last week, but Lee Yoakum, a spokesman for the health department, said a presentation planned for noon at the Put-in-Bay village hall would address how the outbreak occurred. ...EPA and county health officials are expected to attend, and a representative from the Centers for Disease Control also may present findings from the federal agency's investigation, said Jay Carey, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Health. "It was a complex and detailed investigation, and we want to provide directly to the residents of South Bass Island the results we have at this time," he said." Toledo Blade, Feb. 21, 2005
Rainwater Collection Conference Slated "It's not a new idea, but the latest trend among home gardeners is to collect rainwater from rooftops to irrigate their landscapes. A southern Texas horticulturist thinks it's such a great idea, she's organized a conference to bring in experts to help get the word out. ...An entire industry has sprouted to provide homeowners and industry with improved water collection systems, Storz said. These systems include specialized roofing material for optimum collection, improved gutter systems, a variety of collection tanks, and even automatic roof washers. To show off the latest technology in rainwater capture systems, Texas Cooperative Extension is sponsoring a Rainwater Harvesting Conference, scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Feb. 26, at the Echo Hotel in Edinburg. ...The conference will end with a tour of a rainwater harvesting system, located a few blocks from the conference site. The system features three types of storage tanks capturing rainwater from a metal roof. ...Rainwater collection systems don't need to be expensive, ...some use the types of underground tanks used in septic systems to collect water which is then pumped (see the following recent articles, cross-connections with & backflow into city water system a potential hazard) up to ground level to irrigate turf and landscaping." AgNews, Feb. 18, 2005
Tucson as it once was "Nearly 400 native mesquite, ash, palo verde, ironwood and sycamore trees will fill streets and plazas of a new West Side housing development in the Rio Nuevo revitalization project. They'll get water in part from a rainfall-harvesting system that uses a 25-foot-wide depression along a major street to capture runoff and send it to underground cisterns. ... The project will sit atop what is commonly known as the birthplace of Tucson, where recorded human history dates back 4,000 years. Underground, archaeologists have found pottery pieces from a few hundred to 4,000 years old and a dozen irrigation canals built as recently as 1862 and as old as 2,500 years. The Mercado district's main street will sit directly atop and follow the curves of one of these canals, now lying about four feet underground. Two feet deeper lies an area where archaeologists have excavated remains of seven pit houses ranging from the Hohokam era, which ended in A.D. 1450, to about 2000 B.C. ..."They're using every nook and cranny … to harvest rainwater and to support native plants, and to create shade," said Phillips, Audubon's manager of restoration projects." Arizona Daily Star, Feb. 18, 2005
Rainwater tanks often host to harmful bugs "Studies show rainwater collected from roofs, far from being pure, mostly fails to meet drinking standards. Massey University lecturer Stan Abbott said e-coli and faecal coliforms were present in more than half of the rainwater storage tanks monitored. Cases of campylobacter and salmonella resulting from contaminated rainwater supply had been recorded, he said, and there was potential for contamination with more harmful pathogens, such as giardia and cryptosporidium. ...During studies of rainwater supply systems, tanks had been found with holes which let in various pathogens, as well as far larger invaders, such as possums, frogs and ducks, which were found floating. Even a passing seagull defecating on a house roof could raise the level of faecal coliforms in water and pass on other pathogens. ...The health risks associated with contaminated rainwater consumption are not well defined or quantified and relatively few roof-collected rainwater-linked disease outbreaks have been reported in New Zealand and overseas." The New Zealand Herald, Jan. 31, 2005
Rainwater Tanks Hold Backflow Dangers "With many cities in Australia feeling the effects of the country’s severe drought through water restrictions, an increasing number of suburban households are having rainwater tanks installed on their properties to provide them with water for gardening and to flush toilets. ...One of the greatest dangers associated with the increasing use of rainwater tanks in suburban households is backflow. ...In most cases, rainwater and mains water pipes do not need to be shared, as the rainwater tank provides water used on the garden only. However in instances where water from a tank is being used within the home to flush toilets and supplement garden watering systems, it is likely that it will share the same pipes as the mains water system. In these cases, a  prevention device must be installed." Ecolibrium, June 2003
Protecting UK's water supplies "Provision of safe drinking water is a prime goal for water companies. Prescribed testing programmes have consistently shown drinking water in the UK to be both potable and safe - the Drinking Water Inspectorate's (DWI) most recent report shows 99.88% compliance. This is testament to the intuition and persistence of Victorian public health engineers, as well as the rigorously enforced testing regimes and the sound operational practices and investment programmes of modern water companies.  ...Water supply involves a series of interlinked operations and activities such as... ensuring continuously effective treatment, pumping, storage and distribution of the potable water. ...The water supply industry is not immune to wilful tampering by terrorist or other illegal activities and this has forced a wide range of professional bodies to consider what threats might exist and how they are to be dealt with. Water supply is, inherently, a sealed system from treatment works to the customer tap and it is very difficult, but not impossible, to gain access. ...From catchment to customer, the protection of water supplies is a multi-faceted operation employing many 'barriers', controls (cross-connection control & backflow prevention) and checks to unwanted substances. ...On a worldwide basis, water contamination emergencies have been rare and are becoming rarer. ...Public health has been potentially at risk and sometimes public perception has been of a more serious problem than was usually the case. ...Even a minor potential incident can rapidly become an expensive or even dangerous issue if the wrong message is given or picked up by the media or misguided enthusiasts. Dilution factors are so great that major incidents are rare and the incidents are now little more than nuisances.", Feb.18, 2005
Cross Connection Control Program "Cross connection hazards are most widespread and potentially catastrophic in large metropolitan cities such as San Francisco where the water distribution system is very complex. Water use in San Francisco ranges from typical single family residential dwellings, to very hazardous industrial plumbing systems such as hospitals, metal plating plants, sewage treatment plants, various industrial processing facilities, high rise buildings, ship docking facilities, marinas, car washes, parks, and schools. Cross connections at these facilities may be easy to identify (e.g., hoses submerged in buckets of soap), or very difficult to identify (e.g., single walled heat exchangers concealed in water tanks which heat potable water with chemically treated steam). Degree of hazard must also be assessed to determine if the cross connection constitutes a health hazard (where contaminants such as toxic chemicals may enter the potable water supply), or an aesthetic hazard (where pollutants such as beverages can enter the potable water supply)." DPH Cross Flow, Feb. 9, 2005
The Potential for Health Risks From Intrusion of  Contaminents Into the Distribution System From Pressure Gradients "This paper addresses the risks associated with a specific backflow situation commonly termed surge or water hammer, which can create pressure waves capable of suctioning chemical- or microbial-contaminated soil or underground water along buried pipelines into the distribution system through leakage points or faulty joint seals. ...(However) Unlike the relatively rare documented occurences of contamination from sudden pressure surges, incidences of dangerous, and sometimes deadly, backflow through cross-connections are regular and numerous." e-Journal AWWA, October 2002
County water system installs 14 miles of line "Board members also voted to approve requesting that the county mayor designate March as Cross Connection Awareness Month in Lincoln County. This will be the program's third year." The Tullahoma News, Feb.16, 2005
Plumbing inspection fees may rise "The fee charged to commercial builders to have plumbing inspections completed in Ross County could triple if the Ross County Board of Health adopts a new fee schedule. But the hike will bring the county fees up to where the city's fees already were. Rami Yoakum, public information officer for the Ross County Health District, said the department was contacted by the City of Chillicothe late in 2004 to assume the responsibilities for the commercial plumbing program. The increase takes the plumbing processing fee from $65 to $200. Some of the things inspected include drains, garbage disposals, sinks, backflow devices and aspirators." Chillicothe Gazette, Feb. 15, 2005
Death Of Woman Found In N.J. Water Tank Ruled Homicide "Geetha Angara had been doing water quality tests Wednesday when she disappeared. A search found her body about 100 feet from where she was working, but her two-way radio and clipboard were found directly below the work area, which had a protective grate to prevent falls, Prosecutor James F. Avigliano said. "That was where we think the woman was either pushed or shoved into this opening," Avigliano said. Water flow in the tank probably contributed to movement of her body, but did not have much effect on the smaller, denser items, he said. The regional medical examiner made the homicide determination, which detectives agreed with, he said. The examiner also found the cause of death to be drowning, he said. Investigators last week began interviewing all 85 employees working at the plant, and all will eventually be interviewed, Avigliano said. ...While tests showed no signs of contamination, customers were advised for a day to boil their water for three minutes before cooking or drinking as a precaution.", Feb. 15, 2005
Investigation Shows City Inspector Misusing Time On Clock "Plumbing Inspector Spends Time At Home, Bar During Work Day... Taxpayers are paying the salary of a plumbing inspector for the city of Cleveland, whose job it is to inspect pipes throughout the city. But a tip from a whistleblower prompted a NewsChannel5 investigation, and Chief Investigator Duane Pohlman showed that the inspector has been spending a lot of time doing things other than working while he was on the clock. He's a plumbing inspector for the city of Cleveland.
Driggs inspects pipes to prevent problems down the road. ...Taxpayers pay Driggs' salary, a little over $50,000 a year. For that, he's required to work eight hours a day, five days a week. But Driggs' productivity is now in question following our investigation. On two days, he appeared to do a full day's work. But on the eight other days we watched, he did not. On Dec. 28, Driggs arrived at work at 8:04 a.m. An hour later, at 9:11 a.m., he drove away, arriving 10 minutes later at his home, where he stayed the rest of the day. When we reviewed his timesheet for that day, Driggs wrote he worked until 5 p.m., and reported he way busy inspecting plumbing at 11 locations across the eastside. ...the whistleblower who called us to report a city plumbing inspector not doing his job knew what he was talking about.", Feb. 15, 2005
Reverse 911 warns of water problems "Last Thursday, 103 land-line telephones in Evesham Township rang in the space of a few hours, and a recording from the State Police warned of potential drinking-water problems, marking a milestone in public safety called "reverse 911." The alert system is a new wrinkle to the state's homeland-security preparedness package... ...The State Police commander described the call as cautionary. This marked only the second time the reverse 911 system had been tried in the state..."  APP.COM, Feb. 15, 2005
Rainwater harvesting emerges from closet "There was a time in the Rim country when rainwater harvesting was something you didn't talk about in polite company. ..."I think there were some misunderstandings about the legal implications of it, because there are certain activities you can't do -- like you can't dam up water," Karen Probert, town water quality specialist, said. Whatever the reasons, nobody is frowning on rainwater harvesting anymore...  While rainwater harvesting is just starting to take off in the U.S., Jim Ryan, a Scottsdale resident who is a leading proponent and authority on the subject, said its use goes back centuries... ...Many other countries are far ahead of the U.S. in their utilization of rainwater harvesting, according to Ryan. ...Within the U.S., Ryan said, more and more people are installing systems, ranging from locations as diverse as Washington and Montana in the Northwest, and from Los Angeles to Texas, Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where, in fact, rainwater harvesting is required by law on all new construction. ...In its simplest form, rainwater harvesting means collecting rainwater from a roof and storing it in receptacles of varying types and sizes, from simple barrels to giant storage tanks."  Payson Roundup, Feb. 9, 2005
Harvest the Rain "Wrangle water from the sky for watering, washing and even drinking, no matter where you live. Rainwater harvesting systems can be as simple as directing gutters to a lidded garbage can or as complex as a concrete cistern, roof washer and filtration system. But whatever your application, rest assured that you'll be getting some of the purest — and cheapest — water around. Rainwater can be used for potable water (drinking, cooking, bathing) or nonpotable uses such as landscape irrigation, livestock watering and washing. ...Because it doesn't have to be treated, pumped or distributed through a complex network, harvested rainwater saves energy and the use of chemicals. Some municipal water users sometimes switch to harvested rainwater as a way to avoid chlorination and fluoridation treatments. ...If you just want a system to offset your water use, a small system usually can be designed for a few thousand dollars. ...A state-of-the-art rainwater harvesting system (adequately sized for a typical family and with sophisticated filtering and purification components) can cost $15,000 to $20,000. ...For most rainwater harvesting systems, a pump and pressure tank are required for water delivery.  "The privilege of [water] independence comes with responsibility," says Heinichen. "You are the sanitation engineer, the maintenance mechanic, the troubleshooting technician. You can't point the finger at some hapless bureaucrat (see the following articles, cross-connections also a hazard) if you let your pipes freeze or you forget to change your filters or you don't keep your gutters clean..." Mother Earth News, Issue #199
Phoenix water woes run deep "Phoenix officials say a convergence of bad luck and unforeseeable circumstances is to blame for last month's water quality alert, which forced 1.5 million residents to boil water and some businesses to close. But an Arizona Republic investigation - including interviews with key city officials and a review of thousands of memos, lab reports, maintenance records and e-mails - shows that the chaos surrounding the water scare was indicative of deeper, more pervasive problems that have plagued the city's Water Services Department for more than a decade. The documents portray an agency that chronically violated state and federal water laws. They also indicate that Water Services leaders failed to communicate with top city officials because of a belief that outsiders cannot understand the technical operations. At the same time, they cultivated an attitude that working with regulatory agencies was not a top priority. ...(however) failure to tell consumers to boil the water would have been "criminal" because of what was learned 12 years ago when 400,000 people were sickened by contaminated water in Milwaukee. The event was blamed on failure to remove turbidity, which allowed an intestinal parasite known as cryptosporidium to bloom. The episode prompted a tightening of national drinking-water standards." The Arizona Republic, Feb. 13, 2005
City council approves.. funding "Public Works Director John Pruden updated the council on the city’s cross-connection survey, which was recently sent out to all water customers. Pruden reported that approximately 50 percent of the surveys have been returned. It was noted, however, that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is requiring the city to have 100 percent compliance on the surveys." Salem Times Commoner, Feb. 11, 2005
Plumbing the depths "Getting pure drinking water from municipal taps has become a luxury. Contaminated water continues to bring down millions with diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, jaundice and gastro-enteritis. Alarmed at reports of contaminated water being supplied in several parts of the Capital, the Delhi High Court asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Delhi Jal Board to explain the matter. ...The MCD then informed that 25 per cent of the potable water samples tested were “unfit” for drinking. The biggest challenge facing public water systems is aging and leaking pipes. ...Water distribution systems depend on pipe pressure to keep away contamination. If the pressure drops due to pipe breaks, significant leakage or pump failure, the possibility of bacteria and other contaminants infiltrating (backflowing) into the pipes increases. ...Utility managers should... consider factors that affect water quality from the intake to the tap, regardless of whether the supply is public or private, large or small, urban or rural." The Statesman, Feb. 11, 2005
Contamination Found In Drinking Water "The city of East Providence is adding extra chlorine to its water after detecting human or animal waste in the drinking water system. The water has been contaminated for nearly a month. But the city only announced the problem Monday night. Health officials said there have been no reported instances of illnesses that could be related to the contamination. ...The state and public were notified Monday." News, Feb. 9, 2005
Cathlamet starts to work on water supply compliance "To protect Cathlamet's water supply from contamination, some water users will be required to install backflow prevention gadgets on their pipes. Next month, the town will survey residents and businesses to learn whether they have equipment such as hot tubs, greenhouses, drip irrigation systems, photography labs and water beds, which could put the water supply at risk if a change in water pressure caused reverse suction through the pipes. Those customers who meet certain criteria will be required to buy and install the backflow anti-siphon devices, which will cost an average of $200, one PUD official said during a town meeting held last week to explain the issue. "I feel that it's not going to affect most of our water customers ... unless they have something extraordinary," said Mayor Bob Rendler, who predicts that the new requirement would impact mostly businesses. ...In 1998, the state made cross-connection controls mandatory, Rendler said Monday. Although Cathlamet adopted a water system plan in 2000, the town didn't follow through with its intention to require the installation of backflow devices..." The Daily News, Feb. 8, 2005
JUST PLUMB GREEDY "A crooked father-and-son plumbing team was sent up the river last night for ripping off millions from the MTA. "These are very serious crimes," prosecutor Patrick Dugan said before millionaire plumbers Alex Figliolia Sr. and Jr. were sentenced for their bribery and overcharging racket. "The defendants stole money from the fare payers of this city." The elder Figliolia, his wife Janet, and Alex Jr. pleaded guilty to bilking the MTA out of millions last September. ...the family's scams were fairly simple — they paid their mostly immigrant labor force about $8 an hour to do plumbing work for them at MTA locations, and billed the transit agency $65 to $135 an hour for their work, the prevailing union wage for plumbers. They also overcharged on materials and labor, and bribed MTA officials to look the other way. ...Three corrupt MTA officials — former director of facility operations Howard Weissman, former facilities manager Ronald Allan and ex-buildings manager Gary Weissbard — have pleaded guilty to taking bribes from the family. " New York Post, Jan. 29, 2005
Restaurants forced to hook up to public water "Restaurants in New Hope will soon serve something in common: public water. Pipes are being laid, and when the system is complete coffee shops, bars, bakeries and eateries will be required to disconnect their private wells, on orders from the Bucks County Department of Health. "It's in our new food code," Andy Schafer, the department's chief of environmental sanitation, said of the new rule that eating and drinking establishments connect to public water when it is available. "It's something we wanted for a long time," he said of the code that became effective countywide in November. The department recommended a borough-wide water treatment system in New Hope as long as two decades ago, following a study showing pollutant and bacterial problems in the privately maintained wells. ...(Well) Water inadequately treated can contain illness-producing bacteria as well as cancer-causing pollutants that come from a multitude of sources, including lawns seeping fertilizers and pesticides, tanks leaking gasoline and oils, and rain, which washes acid from the air and heavy metals from the streets...", Feb. 1, 2005
Fines dished out in first backflow cases "Five city water customers face $125 a day fines starting in March if they do not install backflow assemblies to their water pipes. And there's 12,000 more property locations left to be checked. Municipal Code Enforcement Board levied the first fines Thursday for failure to install backflow assembly devices to water pipes. Backflow assemblies prevent water from backing up and contaminating the public supply. Code board members had a lengthy discussion before deciding on the fine amount of $125 a day. The property owners were given until the next code board meeting to correct the problem before fines begin piling up. ...many residents still are unaware the ordinance is now being enforced in Venice, after being ignored for years." Venice Gondolier, Feb. 4, 2005
Braemar Towers tests positive for Legionnaires’ disease bacterium "Just days after water samples taken from the Braemar Towers condominium on 131st Street tested positive for the bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease, the Worcester County Health Department confirmed Monday that a third resort visitor associated with the building is afflicted with the illness. The health department collected samples from the Braemar Towers after two people who were staying in separate units contracted the illness over the winter holidays. One of the guests died of the disease on Jan. 10, around the same time that the third person was infected. ...The bacterium Legionella premophilia, which thrives in warm, stagnant water, was found in the condominium’s potable water system. The health department required condominium management to hire an engineer to review and evaluate the entire water system and treat any problems found. ...The disease-causing bacterium is not passed from person to person, it is usually found in plumbing systems, hot water tanks, cooling towers and whirlpool spas. Nelson Kelly, the city’s chief plumbing inspector, said the outbreak at the Braemar Towers is a rare occurrence and encouraged condominium residents not to panic."  Ocean City Today, Feb. 5, 2005
Utility troubles not new to city "Last month's foul-up in the Phoenix water system was hardly the first big problem for city utility officials in recent years. Federal and state investigators have issued scores of violations against the city over the past decade and filed suit for chemical infractions, contamination levels, inadequate monitoring and reporting failures. The most serious offenses surfaced in 1997 when the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Quality filed a lawsuit against Phoenix, alleging hundreds of federal Safe Drinking Water Act violations from 1988 to 1995. ...The violations appear to reflect a systemic pattern of problems in the city's Water Services Department before last week's water-quality issues at the Val Vista water-treatment plant that forced 1.5 million Phoenix residents to boil water before drinking it. The latest situation also led to the reassignment of Water Services Director Mike Gritzuk, who held the post for 16 years. ... Investigators said they could not determine whether city residents had consumed bad water during the period, but one DEQ administrator said it was the most violations he'd ever seen against a single water provider."  The Arizona Republic, Feb. 4, 2005
Humphrey explains need for city "cross connection" surveys "Trenton resident John Humphrey, a certified plumber, attended Tuesday's Trenton city council meeting to explain to residents the need for the plumbing "cross connection" letters recently mailed to property owners in town. Humphrey explained cross connections such as those found on outdoor faucets without vacuum releases can cause contaminants to be siphoned into the city's water supply system. The surveys, Humphrey said, are not a ruse to provide plumbers with work. Rather, he said, it is important that the city know where such instances exist so they will be able to properly react in the event backflow occurs. Humphrey said exterior faucets and built-in sprinkler systems are among the most common causes of backflow, which occurs when a void in the city's water supply system causes a vacuum effect, drawing contaminants into the system. ...He encouraged Trenton residents to return their surveys if they have not already done so." The Trenton Sun, Feb. 2, 2005
Mine operator should be prosecuted: Dems "The Australian Democrats have called on the federal government to prosecute Energy Resources Australia (ERA) for safety breaches at its Ranger Uranium mine in Kakadu National Park. ERA is due to face court in Darwin on Friday over charges of breaching key provisions of the Northern Territory Mining Management Act after a contamination scare at the Ranger mine. In March last year, approximately 150 people were exposed to drinking water containing high uranium levels. The federal government's supervising scientist Dr Arthur Johnston said while the workers suffered gastrointestinal distress and skin irritation they were unlikely to suffer long-term health effects. Democrats leader Lyn Allison said three government reports of safety audits of the mine should be made public. ..."The Government can't hope to just leave the public in the dark on such a hot issue," she said." Sydney Morning Hearld, Feb. 2, 2005 (see the following previous stories..)
Govt defends Ranger mine record "The Federal Government has today defended its handling of safety and maintenance issues at the Northern Territory's Ranger Uranium Mine. This is despite a report by a Commonwealth agency detailing a pattern of safety and environmental breaches over the last year. The supervising scientist has released his annual report describing a culture of complacency at the mine. ...In March, a piping mix-up (Ed.: cross-connection) allowed workers to drink and shower in water contaminated with uranium. Many of them became sick, the mine was temporarily closed and the matter is currently before the courts. ...The Supervising Scientist, Arthur Johnston, is commissioned by the Commonwealth to carry out environmental monitoring at the mine. He's just released his annual report and admits it makes for a concerning read. (He said): "I wouldn't describe it as frightening. I would describe it as disturbing and it certainly needs action to ensure that issues of this kind don't arise in the future."  ABC Online Australia, Nov. 10, 2004 ( see ABC's archive for the original story )
Trash hauler's zoning issues explained "Things are getting dirty in an attempt to find middle ground between the city of Gretna and a local sanitation company. At the Dec. 21 City Council meeting, a motion was made that Gretna Sanitation will have to move from its current location at 216th Street and Highway 6 by June 30 for violating building and zoning codes. Council members said the initial permit granted in 2004 was a temporary permit given to help the fledgling business get on its feet, and now it's time to leave. Owners of the sanitation company don't believe they are in violation of any building or zoning codes and have no plans of leaving the current location. "I have no idea what we did wrong," Co-owner Ken Harpenau said. "We're not gonna move." ...In a document prepared by the Building Inspector's office in response to the Gretna Sanitation situation the buildings on this site do not meet the current 2000 International Building Code requirements for numerous reasons including plumbing systems (water and sewer), restroom facilities... ...If the company does not comply with building regulations they would be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction, would be fined not more than one hundred dollars for each offense. A new violation would be deemed to have been committed every 24 hours they would fail to comply. Green said the city supports the business, but said they are required to stay in compliance with the city codes." Gretna Breeze, Feb. 2, 2005
Dirty water downs 39 in Pasay "CONTAMINATED water downed 39 residents of a barangay in Pasay City over the weekend, triggering a probable outbreak of typhoid fever in the area, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday. ...Typhoid fever is caused by the salmonella typhi bacteria. Fever, headache, malaise or weakness, constipation among adults and diarrhea among children, are its most common symptoms. ...Meanwhile, tests made by the city's sanitation office said that human waste had found its way to the faucets... "Six samples taken from different households showed coliform organism and zero chlorine," said Neil Sabino of the Pasay City sanitation office. The organism is found in the feces of humans and other warm blooded animals, he added. Sabino said a test was conducted on Jan. 18 after his office received complaints of foul odor in the tap water. ...According to Jess Matubis, Maynilad vice president for corporate communications, old pipes and illegal connections (cross-connections) could have added to the contamination." News, Feb. 1, 2005
Tainted water on tap "HUNDREDS of western Sydney residents have become ill after unknowingly drinking unhygienic recycled water, that was pumped though their household taps. The Daily Telegraph has learned that several residents of Glenwood and Kellyville have fallen ill after drinking the recycled water. Recycled water was mistakenly pumped through drinking water pipes. ...The dual-pipe recycled water scheme was designed for new estates in the Rouse Hill area in the early 1990s. ...Documents obtained under Freedom of Information show there have been at least four incidents of cross-connection since 2001. In the most recent incident – in August – 82 homes in four streets in Glenwood were cross-connected, allegedly after a plumbing mistake in a house under construction. was believed a plumber had accidentally crossed the pipes while he connected them. Sydney Water offered the affected residents a rebate." The Daily Telegraph, Jan. 12, 2005 (article may be off-line)
Cross connections spoil water’s safety "Q. When I relocated, the agent who sold me the home suggested I have a water softener installed. I purchased a water softener and had it installed by a plumber. Now that I’m selling the home and moving again, the inspector noted that the water softener has a  cross connection. The buyers want it repaired. What is a cross connection, and should the plumber or the agent be responsible for it?  A. A cross connection is when the home’s waste-water system (sewer) is cross-connected to the home’s fresh-water supply system. In your case, the cross connection is between the softener’s drain hose and the sewer system, but many homes have cross connections that the owners are not aware of. A quick inspection of the sinks in the home will reveal how the faucets are always set above the rim of the sink to prevent cross contamination. Whenever plumbing fixtures or appliances are added, it is the plumber’s responsibility to make sure the systems are installed properly, with a one-inch “air gap” between the water supply and the drains." The Journal Gazette, Jan. 30, 2005 (article may be off-line)
Manager removed from job after calling Phoenix water unsafe "The man who made the decision to declare Phoenix's water unfit to drink was removed from his job Friday and transferred to other duties. City Manager Frank Fairbanks stripped Mike Gritzuk, director of the city's Water Services Department, of his title after more than 16 years because of the way he managed this week's water problem, which included issuing an alert that told the city's 1.4 million residents they needed to boil water before drinking it. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon on Friday said that alert might have been made in haste. "Given that the testing of the water showed it was never a health issue, and that the city always felt that the water was safe . . . it's difficult for me to come to any other conclusion, other than it was unnecessary to issue that advisory at 2:30 a.m.," he said.", Jan. 28, 2005
Inspectors order club to stay shut "City inspectors have ordered The Latin Spot nightclub to remain closed until 19 violations of state sanitary and health statutes - discovered in a recent inspection - are addressed. ...In all, (they) cited 19 violations that include improperly regulated hot water in faucets, no back-flow preventors on the ice maker or on the water lines feeding the soda supply, and indirect waste funnels in the basement that need proper vents. He also cited the club for improperly connected vents and piping, for a clogged basement set tub without a trap, and for the lack of back-flow preventors on bathroom sinks. ...on Jan. 14, Police Chief Anthony R. Scott said the club was a danger to the public, based on incidents involving patrons, and should be closed for good." The Republican, Jan. 28, 2005
At least 34 die in new cholera outbreak, health officials report "At least 34 people have died from cholera in areas along Lake Kivu in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a senior health official in the affected province said on Thursday. Another 2,152 people have been infected in the cholera outbreak, which began in early January, Dr Guyslain Bisimwa, medical inspector for South Kivu Province, told IRIN. "The epidemic continues to advance although we are still waiting for statistics," he said. ...the fact that the supply of potable water in Bukavu had been interrupted for three days last week, and that sewage had mixed with the water supply, had contributed to the spread of the disease. Cholera is endemic to the region, but this time around we are facing one of the deadliest outbreaks..." Reuters Foundation, Jan. 27, 2005
Official: Phoenix tap water woes can't occur here "A water treatment problem that yesterday forced 1.4 million Phoenix residents to boil drinking water until at least noon today could not happen in Tucson, a Tucson Water spokesman says. Muddy runoff from storms flowed into one of Phoenix's two operating water treatment plants, reducing the plant's output, officials said. Tucson Water draws its water from wells, not from the surface, so contamination from storm drainage can't happen here, said Mitch Basefsky, the spokesman. Although Tucson gets water through the Central Arizona Project canal, it is treated and pumped out to trickle through the ground into the water supply, he said. The city would have time to adjust treatment or switch to ground water before contaminants could reach consumers, he said." Tuscon Citizen Jan. 26, 2005
Officials shoring up water security "BENNINGTON - The town is taking steps to protect its water system in the event of a terrorist attack or other man-made emergency. Staff members identified security flaws at the water treatment plant after preparing an emergency response plan, according to Town Manager Stuart Hurd. The plan, which took effect last month, came in response to a federal law that requires antiterrorism assessments conducted on all community water systems in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. It also addresses how a town should respond in the event of a natural disaster or weather emergency. ...Damage to the water system won't necessarily come from a terrorist, but a dissatisfied customer or someone else who has a beef with the town... ...Waterborne diseases can be fatal, as witnessed by a 1993 outbreak in Wisconsin that killed 100 people and sickened more than 400,000. In Ontario, meanwhile, an E. coli outbreak killed seven and sickened 2,300. "Both of these cases illustrate that proper operations, management and planning are truly a matter of life or death," according to the plan. Man-made problems to be on the lookout for include construction accidents, chemical spills and system neglect." Rutland Herald, Jan. 26, 2005
RESTAURANT RATINGS "The following are the Montgomery County Health Department's food service establishment inspection scores and the Department of Agriculture's retail establishment scores. Food service establishments include schools, day cares and restaurants. The highest possible score is 100. Food service establishments are closed when immediate danger to public health is present and are reinspected within 20 days if they have critical violations. ...Waffle House No. 399, Kraft Street, 67, follow-up inspection required because of violations involving cross-connection, back siphonage and/or backflow of plumbing.", Jan. 24, 2005
Backflow assembly inspections program returns "City staff threw a bit of a scare into some citizens last summer with notices about protecting public drinking water, backflow devices and potential fines. And then they stopped, following complaints and questions about the effectiveness of the program. It's back. The Venice Utilities Department is telling 12,000 water customers they need these devices, and have to get them checked every year and submit those results to the city. The first 400 letters went out earlier this month. ...Public Information Officer Pam Johnson said the city does not know which customers have these and which do not... ..."I don't think anybody knows (who has them). That's why we're asking all of them to be checked," Johnson said. "But even if they have one, they're going to have to have them checked to make sure they're functioning properly." ...Testing prices range from $30 to $50, Johnson said. Because the backflow assembly is on the customer's side, the city will not inspect or install the devices; all responsibility is with the private citizen." Venice Gondolier Sun, Jan. 23, 2005
Lacey to continue chlorine - Council agrees to treat water on permanent basis "The City Council ended an era this week when it agreed to the permanent chlorination of the city's water system, which serves about 50,000 customers inside and outside the city limits. The decision means the city no longer will operate the largest nondisinfected water system in the state, a source of pride for City Hall and many of its customers, who enjoyed tap water free of chemical disinfection. Customers also will see a boost in their water rates to pay for the project. The council's decision was driven by the inability of operators to rid the system of a generally harmless type of bacteria and skepticism by the state that the city could solve the problem. ...City officials have been struggling for more than a year to rid the system of coliform bacteria since tests found an unacceptable number of contaminated samples in September 2003. The bacteria are troublesome because they can indicate the presence of more dangerous types of coliform, such as E. coli and fecal coliform, which can sicken humans. In response, the city drained a large underground reservoir, disinfected wells, flushed water pipes and investigated possible unlawful connections to avoid an order by state regulators to permanently chlorinate. It temporarily chlorinated a large portion of the system from May to September and again starting in October." The Olympian, Jan. 22, 2005
Bribery probe in Ohio cites another ex-Brown aide - Former Building Services chief is second Houston official charged "The former director of Houston's Building Services Department, who resigned under a cloud in 2003, received a lavish Super Bowl weekend trip and other favors in exchange for her influence on a city of Houston subcontract, according to a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday in Ohio. Monique McGilbra, 41, is the second high official in former Mayor Lee Brown's administration to be indicted in the investigation. Oliver Spellman pleaded guilty in December to accepting $2,000 in 2002 to try to influence city contracts while he served as Brown's chief of staff and is now cooperating with federal authorities. FBI agents took McGilbra into custody Tuesday evening when she arrived at Bush Intercontinental Airport from an out-of-town trip. She was taken to FBI headquarters for processing and then was to be taken to the Federal Detention Center downtown, FBI spokesman Bob Doguim said." Houston Chronicle, Jan. 19, 2005
Water Contamination in Boise Neighborhood "There's a warning out for residents of one neighborhood just south of Boise to not drink or use their water. The Department of Environmental Quality confirms the water is contaminated with a compound used to remove grease from metal parts. ..."I don't want to get overly paranoid, but it doesn't sound good that's for sure, especially when it says to minimize bathing and showers because of the vapors," said Terra Grande resident Rumana Zahn. Zahn said people in her neighborhood have questioned the water quality in the past and she wonders, "Who knows how long we've been drinking it?  How long has it been contaminated--because no one's really said how long it's been that way.  So that's very unnerving."" KBCI Idaho2news, Jan.21, 2005
Brandon residents face illegal drip "It is now illegal for municipal water users in Brandon to let tapwater run to prevent pipes from freezing. A set of by-laws to that effect proposed by the Fire District's policy board, the Prudential Committee, passed unanimously at the annual meeting Jan. 10. ...Ray Counter, the water superintendent, said the by-law changes were not aimed at homeowners who occasionally keep water running on especially cold nights. Rather, there have been a few cases where water users have let large amounts of water pass through their system, probably from failure to make necessary repairs, he said. ...The Fire District is continuing to work on a plan to address the future needs of the water system such as infrastructure replacement, watershed protection, rate structure, security and cross-connection programs." Rutland Herald, Jan. 18, 2005
Foul drinking water aboard airliners worsens "Drinking water aboard the nation's airliners is getting worse, not better, despite government-ordered sanitation improvements, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday. About one in six airliners in the latest round of tests conducted in November and December had drinking water that failed to meet federal safety standards, EPA said. Similar tests in August and September showed the water in one in eight aircraft testing positive for coliform bacteria. The latest round of testing produced positive results for presence of the bacteria in 29 of 169 randomly selected passenger aircraft carrying domestic and international passengers. The tests were done on water from galley water taps and lavatory faucets on planes at 14 airports throughout the United States. ...EPA advised passengers with compromised immune systems or others concerned to ask for canned or bottled  beverages and refrain from drinking tea or coffee unless made with bottled water.", Jan. 20, 2005
In Our View: Safe water "Most of us never even give it a second thought. We turn on the tap, and water runs out clean and plentiful. Our attitude isn't necessarily based on complacency, but more on confidence because barring infrequent mechanical or structural disruptions, safe and potable water is a constant in our lives. Until recently, the chance that our water supply could be significantly disrupted or contaminated was minimal at best. And to a great extent there's little reason to fear some disgruntled or disturbed person will take our water away from us. Still, it would be foolish not to consider the prospect and not to take precautionary measures to protect our water supplies and delivery systems from terroristic acts." Texarkana Gazette, Dec. 29, 2004
Ripon parks switching to non-potable water "Two of Ripon's biggest parks will soon utilize nitrate-rich well water that is no longer suitable for domestic use. Not only will switching to the nitrate-rich water for irrigation help take pressure of the municipal water supply that is substantially more expensive due to the treatment process, but it will also help provide for healthier turf. Grass -- and other landscaping -- thrive better when nitrates are applied. ...Ever since bringing the non-potable water system on-line more than a year ago, Ripon has been able to turn preserve their existing water supply -- preserving precious ground water that the community still relies on to serve their customers. Several existing wells in various rural locations are currently only in use to provide water for the  non-potable system -- after it was discovered that their high nitrate levels were unsafe for normal consumption." Manteca Bulletin, Jan. 17, 2004
OEPA backs South Bass water system "The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Thursday encouraged officials from South Bass Island and  Ottawa County to proceed with a $5.26 million plan to expand the Put-in-Bay Water Treatment Facility. ..."This is something we want to see them do," Pierce said. "Given their situation last summer, it's a priority project for us." Ottawa County Health Commissioner Nancy Osborn said health officials believe 1,450 people contracted gastrointestinal illness last summer after drinking water on South Bass Island that contained "widespread groundwater contamination." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still has not released the official cause of the contamination. However, as a precautionary measure, the OEPA ordered 11 businesses on the island to close their wells during the epidemic after analyses of water drawn from the wells showed traces of E. coli." Port Clinton News, Jan. 14, 2005
Reuse Water the Other Side of the Water Saving Story "In Victoria... the State’s Environmental Protection Authority and water companies are promoting the development of water  reuse schemes. Concerns have been raised that, as developments occur, the community and the building industry may not have adequate knowledge of the dangers associated with reuse systems, given that incidents permitting the contamination of potable supplies through cross connections have occurred both here and overseas. these examples show, there is still a lack of awareness as to the health risksthese systems pose and any plumbing regulations applicable." Ecolibrium, July 2003
Water torture must end "Question: I live in the fifth-floor unit of a downtown condo. I can hear the sound of running water in my washroom, which I'm sure is the case with most condos and apartments. What is unusual is the sound occurs exactly ever four minutes, with a duration of four seconds. My guess is it is coming from the unit above mine and they must have some device or appliance that turns on their water every four minutes. Is there anything that can be done to remedy this annoying problem?
Ans: We sent this question to engineer Gina Cody, a principal at Construction Control Inc. 
It is difficult to visualize a water-related defect that would create a noise with the degree of uniformity in duration, frequency and consistency that you have described. Here's a partial list of the potential sources of running water sound in the plumbing stack shared by your unit:
Leaky pressure relief valve from equipment such as boilers or storage tanks discharging water into a floor drain.
Leaky vacuum breaker on make-up water lines discharging water into a floor drain. 
Leaky automatic trap primer discharging water into the P-trap of a floor drain.
If the visual inspection does not reveal any unusual noise source, then a detailed investigation of the plumbing system in your unit should be carried out by an experienced mechanical/plumbing (inspector)." Toronto Star, Jan. 15, 2005
City aims to curb back-flow pollution "People usually think about water leaving a water line to enter a home or business, not the other way around. That’s not always the case. Sometimes conditions allow polluted water to enter a line used for drinking water, said Leigh Ross, Rome’s Water and Sewer Department director. That possibility has prompted the city to require businesses, industries and residences to install back-flow preventers to ensure contaminated water never mixes with drinking water. The requirement is mandated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, though no specific deadline for completion is set. “Sometimes pipelines in an industry can be so complex that over the years and decades mistakes are made, and the water system is tied up with the process system,” Ross said, giving an example. " Rome News-Tribune, Jan. 3, 2005
The Plumber as a Health Expert "...the plumber was the original health officer and  the foundations of preventative medicine and public health were founded upon the activities of the engineer and the plumber in the very beginning. So that basically the things we take for granted in public health are those things that the engineer and the plumber are responsible for. ...From somewhat modest beginnings plumbing and sanitary engineering has become a full-fledged science, with a safeguard to health. It has been asked why a plumbing code? ...It is sufficient to say briefly that plumbing regulations are necessary to prevent polluted water... for serious epidemics have been traced to defective plumbing. ...I could relate to you many stories of plumbing work found to have been illegally installed of such a nature as to be dangerous not only to health but also to life and limb fact, a whole chamber of horrors could be filled from the experience of any plumbing inspector of a large city. ...More than in any other trade has the master plumber had his eye upon health, and it was this attitude that naturally moved him to associate with health departments. These latter, also recognizing the importance of the plumber in any scheme to improve the dwellings of the people, have nearly always appointed plumbing inspectors as among the first of such officials, and indeed in many instances in small towns the plumbing inspector was the sole officialof the health boards, and his efficient work in this respect has become a tradition in Public Health history." ASSE Yearbook, 1926
Smithfield panel learns of EPA rule violation "Smithfield Council members learned Monday the village is in violation of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Division of Drinking and Ground Waters rules for its public water system. Mayor Ralph Ford read a letter from OEPA officials about the village public water system, stating the system is in violation in six areas and local officials had failed to responded to the OEPA's Sept. 9 notice to respond in writing by Oct. 31. The letter written Dec. 20 was received by the board of public affairs and turned over to council. Areas in violation include:
   € Ratifying a backflow ordinance.
   € Identifying users required to have backflow prevention devices.
   € Installing required backflow prevention devices.
   € Yearly inspection of backflow prevention devices installed.
   € Physically disconnecting old wells on state Route 152 from the distribution system.
   € Replacement of the double check valve at the waste water treatment plant.
Council turned the letter back over to the water board, which must respond to the violations by Jan. 20, the required 30 days." Herald Star Connect, Jan. 13, 2005
Agreement Reached Lawsuit Considered A Waste Of Time "With a tentative agreement reached between the county and the New York State Commission of Correction to end litigation proceedings, the Legislature's Presiding Officer Joseph Caracappa (R-Selden) says the county is in the same position it was six months ago... ...Caracappa said, adding, "Nothing was accomplished." The lawsuit was filed in July by the county executive after the county's dormitories were closed by the state due to a backflow of water last March. Calling the state's decision "arbitrary and capricious," and citing that Suffolk should be reimbursed for expenses to ship the 140 displaced prisoners out of county, Levy filed litigation, in hopes of regaining approximately $7 million." Suffolk Life, Jan. 12, 2005
More than a matter of health "...LET'S all hope Sydney Water's solutions to our emerging drinking water crisis are superior to its efforts in the Rouse Hill area. The water supply agency developed the new estates in Sydney's northwest with dual piping that permitted the reuse of treated effluent. The innovative experiment, pursued at considerable cost, involved the laying of separated pipe keeping drinking water from the treated version. Now Sydney Water has revealed there have been at least four cases where the pipes have been wrongly connected and residents have drunk the treated effluent. ...Sydney Water blames the cross-connection mishaps on plumbers or even vandals. The idea of reusing treated water in domestic situations was a sound one in theory – and  Sydney Water should not be condemned for being innovative. But the execution clearly has been bungled." The Daily Telegraph, Jan. 12, 2005 (article may be off-line)



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