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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......

City begins free inspections for water devices "City employees last week began a new policy authorized by the board of mayor and aldermen in December of inspecting backflow-prevention devices on water lines at no cost to building owners. ...Until the change in the city code in December allowing city  employees to conduct the annual inspections the process was handled by licensed plumbers in Dyer County with costs ranging between $45 and $50... ...There are over 600 businesses in the city that currently have backflow preventers installed. Rice explained that if a preventer fails inspection the state and city code require that repairs take place within 30 days. Then, the business owner would have to pay for a final safety inspection of the device.", Jan. 10, 2005
New buildings feature water re-use systems "Every time students, staff and faculty flush the toilets in the new Medical Sciences Building they're helping the university conserve water. That's due to the new campus water re-use initiative, which is taking treated waste water from the outdoor aquatic facility on campus and recycling it into toilets and urinals. ...Benefits include: lowering the demand for potable water, saving energy and money, and reducing the load on Oak Bay's sanitary sewer system. ...The second phase of the initiative will use the same water system for the new Engineering/Computer Science Building, and will also augment the building's regular heating source. An additional system will capture energy from the water to heat the building through a water-to-water heat pump. Both water re-use systems have been plumbed with extra pipes that use regular water. This will allow facilities management to automatically switch over to this backup system should the need arise." The Ring - University of Victoria, Jan. 2005
Basepump -New Installation Instructions "...Basepump has its own built-in backflow preventive device, but your local plumbing department may require a separate device. Check with them to be sure." Jan. 10, 2005
The tragedy and value of water "In the wake of the recent Asian tsunami, health experts and emergency response teams are working feverishly to provide what North Americans take for granted each day: clean, safe drinking water. A major waterborne disease outbreak in the tsunami-affected countries could claim as many lives as the tidal wave itself. The World Health Organization lists ensuring uninterrupted provision of safe drinking water as the most important preventive measure to be implemented following the massive flooding. In North America, we don't hesitate to drink from virtually any public tap, because we don't have to. Even following disasters such as major floods and earthquakes, we expect our potable water service to be restored swiftly. ...The conditions in parts of Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and elsewhere are quite different. The areas hit by the tidal wave are ripe for outbreaks of cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery and diarrhea. Water and sanitation systems are destroyed, making normal treatment and disinfection processes irrelevant and distribution impossible. ...The next time you turn on the tap and enjoy a glass of fresh, clean water, let's remember the estimated 1.1 billion people in developing countries who put their health in jeopardy when they drink from community sources." Houston Chronicle, Jan. 8, 2005
Mapleton urges residents to use irrigation water "Mapleton officials say residents who choose not to hook up to the city's pressurized irrigation are failing to see the vision of the city by focusing on their pocketbooks. Of the 500 households in the northwest part of town capable of making connections to the pressurized irrigation, less than 250 are connected. That number has increased only slightly since last summer, when the city started charging $10 a month to those who have the capability but refuse to hook up. By choosing not to use the pressurized irrigation, residents in this category end up using culinary drinking water for their yards. ...Some residents said they are worried about hooking up because they fear the water is still contaminated from the Trojan explosives plant spill of     1986 that seeped chemicals into the city's aquifer. State water officials have said the water is clean enough for consumption, but residents aren't so sure." Daily Herald, Jan. 10, 2005
Installation of Bellefonte water meters to begin this week "Installation of water meters in and around Bellefonte will start this week as part of a project that could cost as much as $2 million. ...Todd Duffey ...said Parkview Heights and Brockerhoff Heights will be the first areas where meters will be installed. Duffey also will install backflow preventers that will stop water inside a home from getting into the water system, eliminating the risk that household contaminants would also enter the water system. ...While customers aren't paying directly for the meter and backflow protector installation, they may have to bear other costs. ...customers are also being urged to purchase expansion tanks. Such a tank gives hot water or steam a place to go when it expands, instead of going into the main line.", Jan. 9, 2005
American Medical Geographer Studies 'The Why of Where' "Mention the profession "geographer" and most people think of mapmakers…or of explorers who study exotic cultures. But the scope of geography has expanded, forming hybrids with some very different fields… including medicine. When medical geographer Lee De Cola teaches a class, he often brings along a projector filled with the images of dozens of colorful maps, showing how some malady has spread across the United States. ..."Everything happens somewhere," notes Mr. De Cola, who is a research scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey. "So when we map it, it becomes much more illuminating to see a map of something, instead of talking about it in the abstract. ...In the mid-19th century, British doctor John Snow used principles of medical geography to locate the source of a cholera epidemic in London. "He showed a map of cases of cholera clustered around a pump that led him to suspect that it was the pump itself that was the source of polluted water that was giving people cases of cholera"... "That was medical geography. He actually created what we now would call a 'geographic information system.'" Voice of America News, Jan. 7, 2005
Zoning changes approved "After months in the works, the City Council has approved zoning changes. ...The city also adopted an updated cross-connection ordinance for water backflow prevention devices for businesses." The Grand Rapids Press, Jan. 6, 2005
Crowd greets Lewis as mayor of Port Allen "Lewis invited all those present to immediately go across the street for a reception, but he kept council members and city officials long enough to make some recommendations for next week's council meeting. The recommendations involved... adopting a state-mandated ordinance requiring all businesses to have backflow protection on their water systems. Lewis, 44, is a relative newcomer to politics. He served one term as councilman at large in Port Allen before defeating three-term Mayor Lynn Robertson in September.", Jan. 6, 2005
BMC seeks public help to curb water contamination "Faced with an increasing number of jaundice cases due to the contamination of drinking water in South Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has embarked on a project to change the pipelines in the old buildings in the area. There have been reports of jaundice cases and this can be avoided by checking water contamination with the co-operation of the citizens of the area... ...Water contamination is becoming common in South Mumbai’s old buildings due to the house gulli arrangement, where each house receives direct water supply through individual connections to their houses... As the residents often use the house gulli space to dump garbage, the possibility of contamination is more through the water pipes even if there is a small crack..." The Economic Times, Jan. 6, 2004
New member appointed to Milton building board "In other business, council unanimously approved a sewer use ordinance, along with a cross-connection and back flow prevention control ordinance. Both measures were adopted following a second reading " The Herald-Dispatch, Jan. 5, 2004
Epidemic fear in islands allayed "A few cases of diarrhoea and malaria were detected in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands today by a high-level medical team led by director-general of health services S.P. Agarwal but experts said they had not come across any sign of an epidemic. ...the diseases “are within expected limits” after the team, comprising senior officials ...assessed the situation. However, in order to prevent the outbreak of an epidemic, the team has decided to focus on the following areas: Provision of safe drinking water by strengthening chlorination.. Avoiding contamination of water sources.. Strengthening disease surveillance to detect any impending outbreak.." The Telegraph, Jan. 4, 2005
Natural disasters do not necessarily lead to epidemics "...The immediate impact is the huge number of victims of the disaster. The dead, of course, but also the injured, who have to be treated as quickly as possible. People are  suffering from cuts and fractures and, if there is no treatment, their wounds  quickly become infected in the difficult conditions  And then, the tidal wave has destroyed houses and infrastructures, in particular drinking water supply systems (wells, pipes etc.). ...From the current doom-mongering, you would think that the event itself (the tsunami) would lead to a wave of  epidemics. That's quite untrue. Our experience with natural disasters proves that they do not lead to epidemics. I repeat that it is the displacement of populations that encourages epidemics. ...The risk is thus limited, but once the risk exists, even if it is limited, we need to be vigilant. In order to detect the start of epidemics, we rapidly need to put in place a system of surveillance specific to this disaster. And, where necessary, we need to be ready to react so that we can treat the sick and  endeavor to stop the spread of disease." Doctors Without Borders Field News, 2005
Flooding and communicable diseases fact sheet "Floods can potentially increase the transmission of the following communicable diseases: *Water-borne diseases, such as typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis and hepatitis A. ...The major risk factor for outbreaks associated with flooding is the contamination of drinking-water facilities, and even when this happens, as in Iowa and Missouri in 1993, the risk of outbreaks can be minimized if the risk is well recognized and disaster-response addresses the provision of clean water as a priority. ...There is an increased risk of infection of water-borne diseases contracted through direct contact with polluted waters, such as wound infections, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, and ear, nose and throat infections. However, these diseases are not epidemic-prone. The only epidemic-prone infection which can be transmitted directly from contaminated water is leptospirosis, a zoonotic bacterial disease. Transmission occurs through contact of the skin and mucous membranes with water, damp soil or vegetation (such as sugarcane) or mud..." World Health Organization
U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet first to provide naval support to Indonesia’s Aceh "According to U.S. Navy officials, assets from the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group began providing logistical support today to disaster victims in the Indonesian province of Aceh for the first time since earthquakes and tsunamis ravaged Southern Asia last week. ...the Navy has said six U.S. maritime pre-positioning ships, large cargo ships loaded with stocks of food, fresh water and other relief supplies, from Guam and Korea will enter the region and begin contributing their resources to the humanitarian effort. The ships are laden with enough  equipment and supplies to normally support 15,000 Marines for one month. They are equipped with water purification machines and evaporators capable of producing over a hundred thousand gallons of potable water per day, and pumping it to shore from up to two miles away...", Jan. 1, 2005
Women and girls most at risk from waterborne diseases "Women and girls may bear the brunt of a  "second wave" of the disaster in south Asia if the devastation wreaked by the tsunami is followed by the outbreak of disease, aid agencies warned yesterday. Health risks from contaminated drinking water and the destruction of hospitals and clinics  could hit the female population of the stricken countries disproportionately, officials said. ..."There are tens of thousands of pregnant and nursing women in the affected countries, who are especially susceptible to waterborne diseases... A spokesman said the priorities were to restore water supplies and treat the survivors but both objectives were being hampered by the destruction of local government and health facilities. ...The main threats to the uninjured are from cholera, bowel disease, typhoid and hepatitis, all of which are carried by contaminated water. Low-tech measures, such as using clothing to filter water, could help prevent some epidemics, but most people were probably too traumatised to remember to take such     measures, public health specialists announced." The Independent, Jan. 1, 2005
Lacey extends chlorination "Most Lacey area residents will continue drinking chlorinated water through March so the city has more time to better safeguard the utility. The city needs to complete its investigation of lakefront property owners and examine whether to adopt more stringent construction standards. Both are aimed at securing the system against bacterial contamination, which has prompted two rounds of temporary chlorination affecting 14,000 homes and businesses. The city had hoped to end the temporary chlorination Jan. 1. Construction activity and connections with lakefront irrigation systems have been suspected as the cause of bacteria in the water. Those are the "two most likely avenues for total coliform" in the system, said Peter Brooks, the city's water resources manager. Both potential causes need to be addressed to ensure the system is protected, Brooks said. "We can't allow that risk to exist," he said of the connections." ...For weeks, it has sent utility crews to lakefront properties to see whether lake water is being pumped out for lawn irrigation. The activity could be a source of contamination if the property owner's irrigation is or at one time was tied into the city's water system and doesn't have adequate back-flow protection. ...About one-third of the 200 properties visited so far use lake water for irrigation and don't have backflow protection, according to the city. So far, only one lakefront property owner had his or her irrigation system tied into the city water system, but the potential exists elsewhere, Brooks said. City laws allow officials to disconnect water to any property where there is a potential for back-flow into the city system if corrective action is not taken. The city intends to notify identified property owners and give them 30 days to install appropriate backflow protection." The Olympian, Dec. 31, 2004
URGENT CHALLENGE FOR PLUMBERS - TSUNAMI DISASTER "Thinking about this disaster last night as I lay in my comfortable bed, after just recently having spent a day on the beach with my family, and knowing that my family was safe with a roof over our head and feeling totally helpless not being able to help, I realised that I had to do something to help. The best thing I could think of was to encourage my fellow Plumbers on to join me in supporting the International Red Cross Asia Quake Tsunami Appeal. sends out a challenge to all Plumbers, Plumbing Associations, Manufacturers, Suppliers etc to support the Red Cross Asia Quake Tsunami Appeal."
How safe is the water? "A scare rippled through Washington, D.C., earlier this year when residents learned their drinking water contained lead, a metal linked to lower IQs in children and other maladies. The lead had leached into the water from aging pipes and fixtures. The city's water authority responded with a common remedy: It added a chemical called  orthophosphate, which coats the inside of the pipes to contain the lead. But a month later, the city found the water contained elevated levels of bacteria, a side effect of the treatment. ...So what should consumers believe about the safety of their drinking water? Drinking water in the United States is among the best in the world - a United Nations study ranked it 12th among 122 countries. US water is treated and closely monitored so that isolated problems like the one in Washington, D.C., can be dealt with quickly. But scientists also are detecting for the first time substances - called "emerging pollutants" - that occur more routinely than had been thought." Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 30, 2004
Water still holds deadly threat for tsunami survivors "Days after tsunami waves crashed ashore in south Asia killing tens of thousands of people, relief agencies raced against time to protect millions of survivors from malaria and other possibly fatal diseases. Water was again at the heart of the problem, but not as a devastating and unexpected tidal wave. This time, it might look innocuous but could still be deadly. Health professionals say the danger is two-fold. Once-safe drinking water could be infected, causing water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid, and standing water left behind after the floods recede could lead to a big jump in diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as malaria and dengue fever. As the death toll from the disaster grew, the reality of the aftermath, from contamination of water sources to large-scale damage to infrastructure, communications and health facilities, was just sinking in." Reuters, Dec. 30, 2004
Taking the Bite out of Cold Weather "If your employees must work outside during harsh winter weather conditions, then special steps must be taken to protect them from the cold and wind. When working in severe winter conditions, sometimes you just have to say no... When there's a -45 Fahrenheit wind chill, then you should only do emergency work... Some days, regardless of how much work needs to be done, employees cannot be outside.   ...working in extreme cold should be treated with as much caution and respect for hazards as in any other potentially fatal work environment." Occupational Hazards, Dec. 29, 2004
2 workers injured after steam pipe ruptures "Two construction workers were injured when a steam pipe burst outside the power plant on the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital campus in Superior Township late Monday morning. The men were inside a trench working on a hospital expansion project when the pipe ruptured about 11:30 a.m. Both were rushed to the hospital's emergency room and a third worker was treated at the scene for minor injuries, said Capt. Wayne Dickinson of the Superior Township Fire Department. Dickinson said the injuries were consistent with steam burns, but he could not describe their severity. ... The cause of the rupture is unknown and will be investigated by inspectors with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), who were notified of the incident by hospital officials Monday afternoon..." Ann Arbor News, Dec. 28, 2004
Good water hard to find after tsunami: Bellevue disease expert says getting tidal wave victims potable water is fast way to fight illness "The quickest way to combat the threat of water-borne diseases in the aftermath of Sunday's tsunamis is to get them potable water, and to clean out the sewers as soon  as possible, one expert said Tuesday. ``I think the biggest issue is going to be the lack of potable water because the water that washed in from the oceans has probably inundated any sewer they had,'' said Dr. Edward E. Leonard II, an infectious disease specialist at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue. ``A big tidal wave can flush out any system and overflow it,'' Leonard said. ...Sewer overflows can spread water-borne diseases and contaminate drinking water, and waves themselves may have destroyed drinking water supplies themselves. ``The risk of diseases such as dysentery and typhoid fever would be ...huge..." King County Journal, Dec. 29, 2004
CHOLERA TO KILL THOUSANDS "KILLER diseases could double the death toll from the Asian earthquake, rescue workers warned last night. Experts fear tens of thousands of survivors will be hit by epidemics of cholera, typhoid and dysentery as hospitals crippled by the disaster struggle to cope with more victims. ...Drinking supplies poisoned by floodwater and huge numbers of bodies lying in makeshift morgues waiting for disposal could help rapidly spread the diseases. ...We could have epidemics within a few days unless we get health systems up and running. ...And UN humanitarian aid official Jamie McGoldrick added: "The biggest threat is from the spread of infection through contamination of drinking water and putrefying bodies left by the receding waters.", Dec. 28, 2004
ELMA TO HIKE WATER RATES TWO PERCENT "...With the current water rate structure, residential water users have been starting to subsidize commercial users, Town Supervisor Michael P. Nolan said, noting that four larger commercial accounts in Elma comprise 40 percent of the water usage in town. ...In a related matter, the Erie County Department of Health gave the Elma Water Department a clean bill of health on Dec. 9. Stevenson's department was praised for maintaining a successful cross connection backflow prevention program..." East Aurora Adverstiser, Dec. 28, 2004
How It Works: Water Well Pump  (Three Part Story) "If you live in a town or city, you probably don't give much thought to how the water you use each day gets to your house. Even small villages often provide a network of supply pipes that transport water to each home in the neighborhood. All you need to know is how to open the tap at the sink. Move a few miles out of town and the picture can change. While the inner workings are still--thankfully--invisible, your water supply is independent from the neighbor's down the road. Each home has its own well from which to draw water. More than that, each home has its own electromechanical system for getting the water from the well to the house. ...No matter what kind of system you have, the components on the output side of all pumps are similar. Pumps are not intended to run continuously, and they don't start each time you open a tap or flush the toilet. In order to provide consistent water pressure at the fixtures, the pump first moves water to a storage tank. Inside a modern tank is an air bladder that becomes compressed as the water is pumped in. The pressure in the tank is what moves the water through the household plumbing system. " Popular Mechanics
Tangle of trouble lurks underground "Skinny pipes pump water to your spigots. Thicker ones take dirty water away. Separate lines funnel rainwater off the streets, and others bring reclaimed water for your lawn. Throw in the underground cable and phone lines, electrical wires, gas pipes and even an ammonia line in one area, and, well, it's getting crowded down there. Despite years of efforts to map the stuff, government officials across the Tampa Bay area acknowledge they don't know where a lot of it is. At least not precisely. ...The invisible tangle beneath roads and rights of way surfaced in recent months after Verizon Communications embarked on an extensive fiber optic line installation in Hillsborough and Pasco counties. ...County officials issued a temporary stop-work order last month after crews punctured a sewer line in Northdale, causing a hole to form in the road that sucked in a car. A contractor working for the county to repair the break then cracked a water line, thwarting efforts to fix the original problem. ...Hillsborough's situation is complicated by the fact that control of underground utilities has changed hands over the decades. Some of the county's oldest neighborhoods have water and sewer systems initially built and owned by private companies. The county has taken over many of those systems and discovered that some of them are a little light on records when it comes to the location of their pipes. "Some of it is not too bad," Niles said. "Some of it is pitiful." "Threading the needle through the web of things under the surface is the trick," said Niles, the Hillsborough Water Department engineer." St. Petersburg Times, Dec. 25, 2004
Agencies consider tapping seawater "Water officials in San Diego and Orange counties have determined there are no  unsurmountable obstacles that would prevent construction of a desalination facility near the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Encouraged by the conclusions of an early study, conducted jointly by the San Diego County Water Authority and the Municipal Water District of Orange County, officials are turning toward getting other stakeholders to support the project. ...The desalination plant could supply southern Orange County, San Diego County and Camp Pendleton with up to 100 million gallons of potable water daily. Should all parties agree to a more detailed study, it would be at least a decade before water could be produced at the site. There are significant obstacles to overcome before the ocean water could be poured into a drinking glass. ...San Diego Baykeeper, though not yet taking a stand, has reservations about putting a desalination project next to a coastal power plant. ...Baykeeper would like to see more water conservation and recycling before desalination plants are considered. But water officials say conservation alone won't solve the region's water problems. Scarce supplies and the expense of getting new sources have them considering the desalination facility. Officials are focused now on determining whether it is a pipe dream or realistic.", Dec. 25, 2004
Water pollution becomes a matter of life or death "Minister of Water Resources Wang Shucheng said more than 70 per cent of the country's water resources are polluted.Talking at a conference on Wednesday, he said about 300 million Chinese are drinking unsafe water, and 190 million of them are actually drinking water that could harm them. The matter needs urgent attention. China faces a shortage of water and serious pollution has made the problem worse. ...Chinese people usually boil water before they drink it, but unfortunately many toxins are not eradicated through boiling. Drinking water safety directly relates to people's health and well-being....The State plans to solve the problem by 2020. But as people are still becoming ill and even dying because of polluted water everyday, it is unfair to ask our rural residents to wait for another 15 years or longer." China Daily, Dec. 24, 2004
Quench the thirst "If you had very little water, would you use it to give your children food and drink? Or to bathe and clean your house?" asks Refaat Mousa, a tailor and father of two. It's a tough choice, but it's becoming an increasingly common question for many Cairo residents. Persistent water cuts, as well as the poor quality of water emerging from many a Cairene tap, has become a constant complaint among residents of the capital city. ...Hand in hand with provision problems come issues of quality. Cairo's tap water is being blamed for a whole host of ailments ranging from diarrhoea to cancer. Again an archaic network is the principal suspect. "Because the network is so old and both the water pipes and the sewage pipes travel along the same tunnels, and both have holes in them, contamination takes place," alleged Hashem. It's an allegation that Hammouda vehemently denies, insisting that the network in Egypt is constantly being renewed, with 150kms of pipe fixed every year. ...But in many cases, water contamination is not a result of flaws in the public system, but can be traced to water storage tanks, which residents fail to maintain properly. ..."I know of cases where the doorman bathes his kids in the tanks, and then residents come to me and complain about the water quality! This is not my problem. My duty ends at the water meters," Hammouda added. Abdel-Wahab pointed out that Egypt has in the past few years made significant progress in improving the quality of the country's drinking water." Al-Ahram Weekly, Dec. 24, 2004
Oakdale district shutters pipeline "Barring April showers, some residents here will have to find a new way to bring forth their May flowers next year. The Oakdale Irrigation District board of directors voted 3-0 Tuesday to shut down a pipeline system that has funneled untreated water to downtown-area gardens since 1916. The system is "rotten and has been for years," Director Louis Brichetto said, before making a motion to stop using it. Repairing pipes and complying with health standards would have cost the district $1.5 million to $2.5 million. "We believe the system is at the end of its useful life, and if we were to upgrade it, it would be at substantial cost to those that use it," said General Manager Steve Knell, putting the cost at $970 per lot per year. Now, homeowners pay $6.50 per year. That compares with an estimated $120 for potable water. ...The costs would include special valves for each house to keep raw water from backing up into the city's drinking water system. Because the irrigation district water is untreated, it can carry bacteria and pathogens harmful to people. ..."As we go through this, I think the risk to OID is substantial," said Director Jack Alpers, pointing to an out-of-state case in which he said some people died "because of cattle fecal matter in a situation similar to this. So I'm obviously concerned about this." ...Alpers, Brichetto and board President Frank Clark made the decision after less than 15 minutes of information and discussion." The Modesto Bee, Dec. 22, 2004
Businessman Goes Head To Head With Regulators "Bob Starr, owner of Radiantec in Lyndon, has been at odds with the Vermont Department of Labor and Industry for more than four years. Starr has been trying to convince the Vermont Plumbing Board that his open direct radiant heating system is not only highly energy efficient and affordable, but also safe. Such heating systems use a building's domestic hot water supply to provide both hot water and water for radiant heat. Under the current plumbing code in Vermont, use of domestic hot water for heating purposes is prohibited. ...The main concern is that the potability of the domestic hot water must not be contaminated as it passes through the heat exchanger for space heating. Water sitting for a period of time could become stagnant and breed harmful contaminants, the state contends. ...Gerald Garrow, chief plumbing inspector for the state, said there are not enough inspectors to make sure the system was installed correctly to ensure the quality of water. "The big word here is potability," Garrow said."  Caledonian Record, Dec. 21, 2004
Rte. 1 returning to normal in wake of accident: But residents advised to still boil water "At the end of the day Monday, public officials and local businesses were worried about traffic on Rte. 1, water levels in town, and possible contamination of the town's water supply. ...At 11 a.m. Monday, a Ford pickup truck slammed into a fire hydrant on Rte. 1, breaking the fireplug and showering the area with rocks and spewing water 40 feet into the air. It also reduced water levels throughout the town, forcing an order to close local restaurants and testing of the water supply to screen for contaminants. ...Cooper and other officials insisted the order was only a recommendation, and were not even certain there was any contamination, but in the wake of a major water main break and lowered water pressure, health officials are taking no chances. It's just a precaution. We don't think there's a problem..." Daily News Transcript, Dec. 22, 2004
 Plumbing Code Questioned for Kidney Dialysis Machines "The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials is sorting out differences with the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation Renal Disease and Detoxification Committee over water supplies to kidney dialysis machines. AAMI contends that IAPMO standards for backflow prevention equipment may pose a safety risk for dialysis patients. Part of the problem may hinge on how local code officials interpret the Uniform Plumbing Code. In several localities, a plumbing code provision published in the 2000 UPC has been interpreted to mandate the use of a backflow prevention device preceding each hemodialysis machine — in addition to backflow devices routinely placed between potable water supplies and hemodialysis water purification systems. “I began getting calls in 2001 from facilities in several states where plumbing  inspectors were coming into facilities wanting them to install backflow prevention devices on the back of each dialysis machine,” said Matthew Arduino of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Placing a backflow prevention device in the purified supply line of an individual hemodialysis machine could be hazardous to the patient, AAMI committee members said. ...Timothy Ulatowski, director of the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health Office of Compliance, confirmed that hemodialysis machines, water treatment systems and distribution loops used in dialysis clinics are medical devices as defined by section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. ...IAPMO has responded by asking the medical device group and the government to contribute to the writing of an appropriate standard. ...the FDA has the legal authority to pre-empt inconsistent plumbing code requirements.”, Dec. 2004
 Walkerton chronology "...a chronology of events in the deadly outbreak of E. coli in the southwestern Ontario farming town of Walkerton. ...Stan Koebel is sentenced to one year in jail, Frank Koebel to nine months of house arrest. The ruling is met with absolute silence in the courtroom. In sentencing, Ontario Superior Court Justice said "the offenders are not being sentenced for being the cause of the Walkerton water tragedy.'', Dec. 20, 2004
 Katonah residents deal with dirty water "Mary Kehoe said she started having discolored water come out of her pipes in August or September. First the water was brown, then twice in September, Kehoe said, it came out of her pipes "black." Though the problem comes and goes, she said, she still has black sediment in her water sometimes. "You don't know when it's going to happen," Kehoe, a 44-year-old Mustato Road resident said last week. "I had a problem last week because I couldn't get any water into my washing machine. It clogs the filters." Maura Gallagher, another Mustato Road resident, said she's also had discolored water, a problem she started noticing in the summer. "Looking at it, you wouldn't want to drink it," Gallagher said. "Sometimes it's worse than others. I'll fill the bathtub for the kids and it could be fine one day, and then it could be completely black." Supervisor Lee Roberts said the town is aware of the problem, adding the entire system in the Bedford Consolidated Water District needs to be flushed out." The Journal News, Dec. 20, 2004
 J-K Govt to set up task force on illegal water connections "The Jammu and Kashmir Government would set up a task force on regularisation of illegal water connections and checking misuse of potable water, state's Minister for Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control Qazi Mohammad Afzal said here. A task force would be constituted at the division level in Jammu province to carry out regularisation of illegal connections in a month, besides checking use of water pumps and misuse of potable water for construction and cultivation purposes, he said yesterday.", Dec. 19, 2004
 Alpaugh seems to have been forgotten by officials "In the most prosperous state of the richest nation in the globe, there are towns with Third World problems. Alpaugh, a small community in Tulare County with approximately 700 residents, seems to have been forgotten by the government. Obtaining    drinking water is an everyday adventure for its residents. ...Up until last Wednesday, and only for a few months, the town's residents would make lines to receive drinking water from a tank that had been installed temporarily. On Wednesday, at 4 p.m., the 5,000-gallon tank was removed. ...The problem in Alpaugh is serious. And it will become even more with the tank's closure. The water that is extracted from wells in the community is highly contaminated, and the residents have been advised not to drink it. ...Some neighbors attribute the contamination to certain causes. "I think that the water from the wells is contaminated because of all the septic tanks that are all over the city," said Jerry Calvert, a pensioned resident that also lives in the tiny town. "It's either the septic tanks or the old plumbing, or both," he said, adding that for many years the plumbing hasn't been repaired much less replaced." Porterville Recorder, Dec.19, 2004
 Judge's quandary in Walkerton case "A Superior Court judge grilled lawyers on the fine points of criminal culpability as he struggled to define the factors to be considered in sentencing the two brothers convicted in the fatal contamination of this town's drinking water. "How much responsibility is to be laid at the feet of these two men?" asked Bruce Davidson of Concerned Walkerton Citizens. "There's no way to marry this judgment with the loss so that we can get some kind of comfort for people who have lost loved ones." But Davidson also pointed out that the failures that led to the Walkerton tragedy date back to 1978 and encompass decisions made at every level, up to the provincial cabinet of former Conservative premier Mike Harris. Former public utilities manager Stan Koebel and his brother Frank, who was the foreman in May 2000 when seven people died and 2,300 more became ill, were to have been sentenced yesterday but will now have to wait until Monday to learn their fate." Toronto Star, Dec. 18, 2004
 School water supply gets contaminated "Concerned that some 600 girl students had to stop drinking from the Al Kuwait School’s water coolers because of contamination, the Dubai Educational Zone has offered to bear the expenses of laying a new pipeline between the school’s water tank and coolers. Zonal Director Dr Ayoub Badri directed the school management to get the work done by a private company, the expense for which would be met from the zone’s budget. ...The school management put up a notice beside its coolers warning students against drinking the water after municipal inspectors, who paid three visits, reported that the water was not fit for human consumption. ...The move to close the coolers was taken after a number of students vomited when they drank from the water coolers." Khaleej Times, Dec. 18, 2004
EPA Celebrates 30 Years of Progress for the Nation's Drinking Water "Dec. 16, 2004, marks the 30th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which has been a cornerstone of efforts to ensure public health protection by improving the quality of drinking water for all Americans. The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 has helped more than 273 million people served by 53,000 community water systems enjoy one of the safest and cleanest water supplies in the world. In carrying out the Act, EPA has established public health standards for more than 90 contaminants to protect the public from chemicals and pathogens that can cause waterborne illnesses. It takes the committed efforts of thousands of people at the local, state and federal levels to ensure that our water supplies are clean, safe, and secure from acts of intentional harm. State personnel are making sure that water suppliers understand and implement regulatory requirements. States, private organizations, landowners, and local governments are working to protect surface and ground water supplies from contamination. Local water suppliers are providing dedicated service to ensure that safe water is available when consumers turn on the tap. The last 30 years have seen great success in protecting public health." U.S. Newswire, Dec. 16, 2004
 Do you really know what goes into getting your food to the table? "The Food Police do. And they are on the front lines, looking out for your gastrointestinal welfare.  If you are just a bit curious... about what precautions are being taken by your local food service establishments and the state health department you might give this piece a reading. How safe is the food you eat at home or in a restaurant? The General Accounting Office in a May 1996 report stated that there are between 6.5 million and 81 million cases of foodborne illness a year. The wide range of cases is because of the uncertainty about the number that go unreported. One in every four Americans will get a foodborne illness each year, one in 1,000 Americans will be hospitalized each year. The National Center for Health Statistics estimates the number of deaths per year from foodborne illness to be 9,100. Adding to this challenge is that fact that microorganisms continue to adapt and mutate, often increasing their degree of virulence. Bacteria is a fact of life. It is all around us. ...Through the media we hear of horror stories associated with foodborne illnesses. The most recent making the headlines is the very contagious norovirus. ..Transmission of the virus is through the fecal-oral cycle and can be transmitted via water and by person-to-person contact. The microbe hunters are on the lookout for food safety for all of us and, there (are) plenty of areas to check. ...(A) final category is Facility and Equipment Requirements Violations, (which) require immediate corrective action, or not to exceed 10 days. These are (lack of) equipment adequate to maintain product temperature/accurate thermometers provided; handwash facilities adequate, convenient, accessible with soap and towels... (and having) approved water supply/sewage disposal systems/(& plumbing protected from) cross-connections..." Urban Tulsa Weekly, Dec. 16, 2004
 Bellefonte prepares for water meters "In a move long anticipated, long dreaded and grudgingly accepted, Bellefonte Borough Authority probably will begin metering water for all its customers next year. ...Homes also will be newly outfitted with backflow protection...  That equipment, which keeps water from flowing from in-house pipes back into the main distribution system, is mandated by state law. "Our goal is to make this as painless as possible," Stewart said. In homes where the installations are straightforward, the entire process shouldn't take more than 30 minutes, he said." Centre Daily, Dec. 15, 2004
 Sewage water may be treated for irrigation Use eyed for city landscaping "City officials are considering a $2.6 million recycling system that would let treated sewage water be used to irrigate parks and to control dust at construction sites. The Lancaster City Council has unanimously approved a plan for the staff to start work on the project. The approval earlier this week did not commit the city to finance the project, but authorized negotiating to acquire treated effluent, get necessary permits and develop project plans and operating procedures. ...The system would reduce city water costs for irrigating parks and landscaping in street medians. Recycled water -- disinfected but not considered potable -- could be used to irrigate about 9,800 acres of city-owned property and rights of way... ...City officials are considering purple pipes, distinctively colored to avoid confusion with drinking-water pipes, from Avenue E to as far south as Milling Street." L.A. Daily News, Dec. 15, 2004
 Unlicensed plumbers can cause more harm than good "Before letting a plumber touch any fixtures, a homeowner should check his or her license to avoid potential problems, Columbiana County Health Department officials said Wednesday. Health Department Plumbing Inspector Joe Csonka urged homeowners to be wary after relaying a story to the health board about a Lisbon resident who picked a plumber out of the phone book ads and had to hire a licensed plumber to fix the work done wrong. The plumber known as The Sewer & Drain Medic in Columbiana was notified by the county health department about the complaint after the homeowner asked the plumbing inspector to take a look. Since the work had been completed to install a backwater valve, kitchen sink and washer drain, the homeowner had been experiencing problems. Upon inspection, Csonka found six violations, including an illegal S trap and no venting. ...Csonka said his mission was to inform the public of what can happen and make them aware that certain rules apply for plumbing and they need to use a licensed plumber. He said a homeowner can do work on their own residence without being licensed, but they still need to pull a permit. He noted that there are many plumbers unlicensed in the county. "I'm trying to stop these people from advertising and acting like they're allowed to do this without a license."" The Review, Dec. 15, 2004
 CCWD, developer settle tiff over water "The developer of a 127-home subdivision in Copperopolis and the Calaveras County Water District have resolved a dispute over the unauthorized taking of district water. District officials last week discovered 19 unapproved water hookups to houses under construction at Villas at Calypso Bay. Developer Lenny Doubinski agreed Thursday to pay the district $11,800 to tap into the system properly. District officials say the incident underscores the need for a tougher policy. "There's a lot of liability at stake for the district," board President Charles Hebrard said. "We require a backflow device to keep stuff from one house from going back into the water line for everyone else on it." Many unapproved hook-ups don't include such devices, he said. ...District Acting Engineer Steve Hutchings said he went to the Copperopolis development and blocked the unauthorized water tap last Wednesday. Calypso's Doubinski said he tried to get a meter, but the district wanted him to make some changes he did not feel were necessary. "So we connected directly," he admitted. "It wasn't a smart move from our side."" Union Democrat, Dec. 13, 2004
E. coli in Upton water -- again "The town's public water is again contaminated with E. coli or fecal coliform bacteria, the Board of Health announced yesterday. The contaminant was found in the water supply at a West Upton pumping station Thursday, and test results came back yesterday revealing it had spread to a Maple Avenue home, said Board of Health member Sue Cudmore. This is the second time this year Upton's public water has been contaminated with the E. coli bacteria. But unlike the contamination found in August, residents will not be asked to boil their water or switch to bottled water at this time. Instead, the Water Department immediately started adding chlorine to the water to protect the 1,200 homes and businesses that rely on public water... The Water Department, meanwhile, is chlorinating and flushing the water system, investigating the source of the contamination, and stepping up testing efforts. Contamination can enter the water supply through runoff from heavy rains, or through breaks in sewer pipes, contamination of water storage tanks or from septic system failures." Milford Daily News, Dec. 14, 2004
Water could pose health risk to some Oakdale residents "Irrigation water piped into the old part of town poses newly identified health threats, the Oakdale Irrigation District asserts. General Manager Steve Knell said pathogens in irrigation water could potentially contaminate Oakdale's drinking water — even though it is carried in a separate set of pipes. He said children and pets could be infected simply by playing in the unpurified water. In a letter, the state Department of Health Services calls the irrigation water a "high-risk contaminant." It is from the Stanislaus River — the same source for irrigation water that goes to farm customers. The district's board of directors is expected to vote Dec. 21 on whether to abandon the pipelines that have been carrying irrigation water to property in the city's core for decades. ...The state confirmed that under the right conditions, the agricultural water could be pushed into the city's drinking water pipes. For mixing to occur, someone would have to tie his or her domestic pipeline to the irrigation supply, said Joseph Spano, an engineer with Health Services' drinking water field operations in Stockton. Some properties do not have backflow protection devices to keep irrigation water from going into drinking water pipes. The city studied the potential risk about 25 years ago and dropped its concern because the irrigation water is not pressurized and travels through its own set of pipes, said John Word, director of the city's Public Works Department. Spano said there is a "high likelihood" that people might have cross connections between their city water and irrigation water pipes. "When you furnish people with water every other weekend, then what do they use for irrigation in between? They don't just let things die," he said. "They are most likely using domestic water in between." Even if backflow devices were installed to protect the drinking water supply, children playing in irrigation water could be at risk for infection, Knell maintained. Sometimes people flood their back yards, to let the irrigation water soak into lawns." The Modesto Bee, Dec. 13, 2004
DHH: Port Barre water unfit for use "Town police helped Mayor John Fontenot hand out gallons of water to residents Saturday afternoon after the state Department of Health and Hospitals declared the town's water unfit for human consumption. ...The DHH issued a written notice to the town, instructing leaders to inform residents of poor water quality. The notice told people not to drink the water unless it is boiled. On Friday, a chlorine injector broke down at the water plant, located just south of U.S. Route 190 near King's Truck Stop. As a result, the town's water supply exceeded the maximum contaminant level of fecal coliform bacteria, or E. coli, according to a state notice sent to town hall Friday. Sewer leakage into the schools' water supplies forced the shutdown of water supplies to the schools." Daily World, Dec. 12, 2004
Water scare prompts call for changes "The sign painted on the newly reopened Main Street coffee shop pretty much said it all: Muddy Waters. After a glitch in the city water system sent brown water streaming through aging pipes, the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department shut down the Muddy Waters Coffee House and the 12 other eating and drinking establishments in this tiny Delta town Thursday afternoon. The restaurant shutdown came at least 32 hours after the local water company's system experienced a loss of pressure and possible contamination, and while many residents unknowingly continued drinking the possibly tainted water. ...But the company did not notice that the system had depressurized for ...23 minutes until late Wednesday afternoon. "When it loses pressure, things can get into it," said Health Services spokesman Robert Miller. "The company lacked the ability to diagnose it," he said" Contra Costa Times, Dec. 11, 2004
Infrastructure Security Guidelines Issued to Water Utilities; Guidelines Will Help Protect Water Supply Against Terrorist Atttacks "Drinking water and wastewater utilities working to incorporate enhanced security measures into facility design and operation can now benefit from three new interim voluntary security guidance documents that were funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The interim voluntary guidance documents provide drinking water, wastewater and stormwater utilities with practical assistance for implementing improved security measures in new and existing facilities of all sizes, addressing risks from managerial, operational, construction and design perspectives. The water sector industry will benefit from these documents by gaining insight into utilities' present and future needs, which will help to mitigate risks associated with intentional attacks and natural disasters. The interim voluntary guidelines were developed by the American Water Works Association, the Water Environment Federation and American Society of Civil Engineers. Interim Voluntary Security Guidance for Water Utilities (developed by AWWA), Interim Voluntary Security Guidance for Wastewater Utilities (developed by WEF) and Interim Voluntary Guidelines for Designing an Online Contaminant Monitoring System (developed by ASCE) are available on each organization's Web site as follows:, and "Americans should feel confident, when they turn on the tap, they have access to some of the cleanest, safest water in the world," said Benjamin Grumbles, acting assistant administrator for water, EPA. ...Our society depends on a safe and reliable water supply, not only for human consumption but also for other needs such as industry, agriculture, and even fire protection." U.S. Newswire, Dec. 9, 2004
City code changed following public hearings "The Dyersburg City Board on Monday night approved a change in the city ordinance that allowed that city employees take over the annual inspection of backflow-prevention devices on water lines and offer the service free of charge. ...To date this has been handled by about five plumbers in Dyer County with inspection costs ranging between $45 and $50, according to David Rice, who directs Dyersburg's cross-connection program. There are two certified city workers in Public Works. There are about 600 businesses in the city that currently have backflow preventers installed. ...The board committed the city to a year of free inspections by city employees and, after that, the program would be reviewed." State, Dec. 9, 2004
Flora City council discusses a number of items on the agenda Monday evening"...City Administrator Baity explained to the council the cross-connection control survey. He stated every customer that receives water from the city must fill out a survey and return it to City Hall. Baity also stated that the city does have the authority to turn off the water if a customer is not compliant." Advocate-Press, Dec. 9, 2004
Village to hike water rates "After more than a year of relative inactivity, Lincolnwood (pop. 12,329) trustees have once again turned their eyes to improving the village's aging water system. ...costs within the $5 million non-hydrant projects include $250,000 to install a "backflow prevention system" that would prevent so-called gray water, that which comes from sinks or washers, from backing up into the potable water system. It would also include a $400,000 federally-required vulnerability study to determine how to make the system safe from sabotage." Lincolnwood Review, Dec. 9, 2004
Charles Tackles 'Immense Problem' of Drinking Water "The Prince of Wales called today for a return to traditional techniques to combat the “immense problem” of unsafe drinking water in India. ...more than 4,000 children die in the country each day due to the poor water supply and lack of adequate sanitation. ...An estimated 80% of India’s population does not have access to safe drinkable water." The Scotsman, Dec. 8, 2004
North Campus wasn't notified of water system design flaw "A technician for OU Well Construction Technology Center on the North Campus was stunned when he first found out about a risk of receiving "substandard" drinking water cited in a 2002 OU Utilities plan. ...OU tenants on North Campus and employees were never properly notified of a documented risk of receiving "substandard" drinking water out of the water tap, according to several interviews with business owners and employees who work in close proximity to OU's water wells. The 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act requires administrators of public water systems to give public notice to its customers when toxic contaminants, like arsenic, exceed the maximum contaminant level so customers can make informed decisions about water quality on campus." ...OU's environmental health and safety officer, declined to comment last week about why the residents of North Campus were never properly notified about known water quality risk. ...Several North Campus buildings are connected directly to a main water line that pumps water to a tower on the North Campus. When the water pressure drops in the main water line, a water well can turn on and pump water directly into a North Campus facility before it gets to the tower." The Oklahoma Daily, Dec. 8, 2004
Firefighters Rescue Dozens In Downtown High-Rise Fire "Traffic was blocked off around the LaSalle Bank building Tuesday morning, as crews worked at the scene of a high-rise fire that burned for nearly 6 hours Monday night. Fire investigators said they would return to the scene to investigate the cause Tuesday morning; the 29th and 30th floors were sealed off after the fire was struck out, because the smoldering heat was still too intense. ...The building is the LaSalle National Bank Building, which is a 45-story building built in 1934 -- before sprinklers were required on every floor in high-rises, NBC5's Don Lemon reported. The 29th floor houses the bank's trust operations, according to Shawn Platt, a LaSalle Bank spokesman. ...Platt initially said there were sprinklers throughout the building, but later said there were no sprinklers on the 29th floor. Platt said sprinkler systems had not been installed in the building, but bank management had been installing "the infrastructure" for sprinklers and only the main riser, which would supply the sprinkler feeds, was in place. "We're working on putting the infrastructure in place," Platt said. "At this time there were no sprinklers on the 29th floor.", Dec. 7, 2004
Sandia to build water-safety device "Scientists are rushing to devise a chemical and biological sensor for drinking-water systems, portrayed by experts Monday as highly vulnerable to covert attack. ...To succeed, Sandia scientists must turn a handheld chemical sensor developed for the military and emergency first responders into a machine that cheaply and reliably can sniff out dangerous toxins and germs twice an hour in water mains, tanks and pump houses. They are places where natural, biological slimes grow and whitish mineral salts accumulate, frustrating earlier attempts at putting sensitive, real-time monitoring instruments into the nation's water and sewer systems. These fouling agents can complicate chemical analysis and clog the hair-thin, glass sample channels in Sandia's device, known as MicroChemLab. ...Scientists familiar with Sandia's sensor speculated that it may find germs in the nation's drinking water that managers of water systems never knew were there. "If we start finding them, as I'm sure we will, the question is what to do with them," said EPA's Macler. "It could really lead to toughening our regulations."" Oakland Tribune, Dec. 7, 2004
The microbiology of piped distribution systems and public health (scroll down from page heading to view) "In the United States of America (USA), from 1920 to 1990, 11–18% of reported outbreaks of waterborne disease were attributable to contamination of the distribution system. From 1991 to 1996,contamination of water in the distribution system was responsible for 22% of the reported outbreaks, caused by corrosion, cross-connections, backflow, improperly protected storage or repairs to water mains and plumbing  In the United Kingdom, from 1911 to 1995, problems related to the distribution system accounted for 15 (36%) of 42 reported waterborne disease outbreaks in public water supplies  Similarly, in Scandinavia, between 1975 and 1991, cross-connections or backflow were responsible for 20% of the reported waterborne disease outbreaks in community supplies and 37% of the outbreaks in private systems." 2004, World Health Organization
Bacteria scare in hospital water " The drinking water at SSKM Hospital and Calcutta Medical College – the most prestigious among state-run medical colleges in the city – can send even the healthy reeling. It's worse than even drain-water! When the Federation of Consumer Associations (West Bengal) decided to test the drinking water did expect contamination. But the level of bacteria content has left them stunned. On Saturday, exactly 48 hours after the samples were collected from the five hospitals, shocked members of the consumer body called an emergency media meet to warn patients and their families of the 'poison' that was flowing down drinking water taps at RG Kar and CMC. ...The bacteria can cause several enteric and water-borne diseases like dysentery and gastro-enteritis. "It’s a high risk situation. Patients will walk in with one disease and leave with several complications." The two hospitals appear to be the hub of water-borne diseases. While the problem could be either in supply or storage, ...the utlimate onus lay on the hospital authorities. "It's criminal to supply this kind of water to anyone, least of all at hospitals." Times of India, Dec. 4, 2004 (TechZone Ed.: Backflow prevention techniques are apparently followed to varying degrees on the Indian sub-continent, see:
Scientists fear interplanetary contamination in new Mars missions "With new evidence that bacteria could live on Mars, a leading scientist is calling on NASA to improve procedures to prevent astronauts from bringing contamination back to Earth. ...In the last year, evidence from NASA rovers has moved the idea of an ancient watery Mars from hypothesis to fact. That, in turn, has bolstered speculation of some sort of life on the red planet, in the past or even now. Scientists must confront the possibility, however remote, that astronauts could bring martian bacteria back to Earth, Kargel said. Kargel called for new standards of so-called "planetary protection" - NASA lingo for preventing species on Earth or in space from harming one another. "Planetary protection considerations require the assumption that martian life exists, until we learn otherwise," he wrote in a commentary in Science magazine appearing Friday. ...The (cross-contamination) exchange (however) may be nothing new. Violent meteor strikes have blasted stones into space from both planets, suggesting that microbial interplay between Earth and Mars may have gone on via meteorites for  many millennia." Macon Telegraph, Dec. 4, 2004
Firms' hookups to water system get new scrutiny "In an effort to prevent problems with its drinking water system, St. John the Baptist Parish will revamp its backflow-prevention program starting this month. The $38,000 effort was approved at the council's Nov. 23 meeting in response to an expected increase in the monitoring of commercial backflow into municipal water systems by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality starting next year, said Ralph Bean, the parish's utility director. ...Commercial backflow occurs when chemicals and other materials flow into the parish's drinking water supply through the faucet and tap connections at businesses, Bean said. ...There now are no penalties for businesses that contaminate the drinking water supply, but Bean said the backflow-prevention program may change that. St. John's new program would improve the way the parish monitors the connections businesses have to the drinking water system... ...The DEQ and the Department of Health and Hospitals have had guidelines against backflow for years, but enforcement has been inconsistent.."  The Times-Picayune, Dec. 2, 2004
Man sues over lost job "A former Water Pollution Control Department employee, who was part of a lawsuit claiming he was drinking contaminated water, has filed a second lawsuit, this one charging wrongful termination. Former employee Alvin Howard and his wife, Helen... are seeking more than $150,000 in compensatory and punitive damages from Warren, according to the suit filed a day before Thanksgiving in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. ...It was filed (originally as a class action) in 1999 based on an incident in November 1998 in which a waterline connection at the wastewater treatment plant was cross-connected, causing contaminated water to be mixed with drinking water. The problem went on for about 50 days before the contamination was discovered. Some of the workers became ill, the suit stated. The city and the employees reached a tentative settlement on the water lawsuit earlier this year. Howard was the only plaintiff who didn't want to settle. Also, employees who had to use sick days because of drinking the contaminated water would be given back the time." Tribune Chronicle, Dec. 1, 2004
Downtown could bathe in cool water "Cooling yourself with Hawaii's waters soon might be possible without a trip to the beach if a Minnesota based company's plans are realized. Market Street Energy LLC of St. Paul, Minn., is drawing up a $100 million plan to pump deep-ocean water for use as a renewable cooling agent for air-conditioning systems in Honolulu buildings. ...The system, targeted to begin in 2007, would draw water from the ocean floor about 3.5 miles off the Kakaako coast at a depth of 1,600 feet. That water would be sucked up to the station and would be used to cool fresh water distributed to the air-conditioning systems of 65 public and private buildings in the downtown and Kakaako areas. ...Standard Hawaii air-conditioning systems involve pumping cooled water throughout a building. Cool air is then blown across pipes filled with the water to cool rooms, after which the water returns to a central location to be  recooled in systems powered by electricity.", Dec.2, 2004 (TechZone Ed.: They're not talking about "re-cycled" water, but using any "non-potable" water systems requires extreme care & caution to avoid cross-connections and backflow into drinking water plumbing...)
Cave-in buries trench worker "Specialized units from the Pontiac and Ann Arbor fire departments were called in Wednesday night in an attempt to rescue a construction worker who was buried in mud after a trench wall collapsed on him. Washtenaw County Sheriff's Cmdr. Dave Egeler said a wall of the 15-foot deep trench, at Huron and Joe Hall roads east of Interstate 94, fell in on the man about 4:30 p.m. The man was only partially buried at first, but the wall of dirt continued to fall and at one point had buried the worker, Egeler said. ...(the) fire departments said they were called in because they train for cave-ins and similar extractions and have special equipment for such rescues including lumber, sheets of plywood and special digging machines." Detroit News, Dec. 2, 2004
Contractor fined nearly $329,000 in fatal trench collapse "An earth-moving contractor's decision to ignore repeated safety warnings caused an Oakdale construction worker to be fatally crushed last summer when a 10-foot trench in which he was working collapsed, a federal safety agency charged yesterday. In  the last two years, trenching accidents have caused an estimated 50 fatalities in the United States, Dugan said. ...Overall, this year's wet weather led to a relatively large number of trenching accidents and violations, Pittsburgh OSHA officials said. Less than two weeks after the Oakdale workers' death, for example, a plumbing company employee... in West View was rescued after a five-foot trench he was in collapsed. Emergency workers reported the trench was unshored. Preventing such accidents have been an OSHA priority for 20 years.", Dec. 2, 2004
Court OKs condemnation of Snug Harbor utilities "Many residents would say the problems they've had the past two years with their water and sewer system have been a drain. But it's almost over. A Brevard County judge this week approved the county's condemnation request for the water and sewer facility in Snug Harbor, operated by Burkim Enterprises of Jensen Beach. Brevard officials said they are waiting on permits from the state that will allow them to shut down the facility and tap Snug Harbor's 470 homes into the county-operated Barefoot Bay Water and Sewer District. ...Snug Harbor residents also will be charged $1,675 in impact fees, but they have a decision to make on how they will pay it. ...In early 2003, residents began objecting about a Burkim directive that residents purchase a backflow prevention device. Homeowners said the device was pricey and unnecessary. They also complained of discolored tap water, which some residents bottled to present to county officials as part of their plea that Brevard step in.", Dec. 1, 2004 (TechZone Ed.: Instead of requiring all service connections to have a meter containment device, Brevard County Utility Services is more targeted in their backflow preventer installation requirements.. "An approved cross connection device is required on the potable water line serving any property receiving reclaimed water...  Reclaimed water piping must be completely isolated, disconnected, and separate from all potable water lines". See Brevard's FAQ page.)
Koebel brothers, charged in Walkerton water disaster, to plead guilty Tuesday "Almost four years to the day since a dazed Stan Koebel apologized for his role in one of the country's worst public-health disasters, the former utilities manager is expected to return Tuesday to the town where he was born and raised to admit criminal guilt. Legal sources have told The Canadian Press that Koebel and his younger brother Frank Koebel will plead guilty to endangering the public - a charge formally known as common nuisance that carries a maximum two-year sentence. In exchange, two more serious charges will be dropped, the sources said. ...After considering victim-impact statements, it will be then up to the Ontario Superior Court judge to decide if either brother deserves any jail time for their part in the tainted-water tragedy that killed seven people and left 2,500 others ill, some permanently. The brothers were running the town's drinking-water system when the E. coli disaster struck this rural midwestern Ontario town of about 5,000 in May 2000. After an intensive three-year probe, provincial police charged them with public endangerment, breach of trust and uttering forged documents.", Nov. 29, 2004
Oregon Administrative Rules and Revised Statutes Related to Cross Connection Control "New Rules! The permanent Oregon Administrative Rules... adopted November 2, 2004 are now available for download. This version also includes excerpts of other existing cross connection-related rules and statutes. ...These new rules have significant changes that include new and revised definitions, modified responsibilities for water supplier's and water user's, increased detail for installation and operation standards, clarifications for Backflow Assembly Tester and Cross Connection Specialist certifications and the addition of two tables of guidelines for premise isolation." Oregon Department of Human Services Public Health Cross Connection / Backflow Prevention Administrative Rules, Nov. 29, 2004
Blame pipe leaks on clean water "Eureka! It is most likely in the water, or more accurately, what is not in the water that is causing copper pipe corrosion, according to a leading expert. "There are so many variables to this, but what we are seeing is changes in water chemistry brought about by the Clean Water Act... Because there have been changes in our water, particularly the removal of natural organic matter (NOMS), there is a direct correlation to pinhole leaks..."  ...Scores of Venice area residents have complained about pinhole-size leaks in their copper plumbing. The leaks have caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in water damage areawide. Industry sources estimate CPC is a nationwide epidemic that has cost consumers billions of dollars.  ...the leaks started showing up in the mid-1990s after the Environmental Protection Agency amended the Clean Water Act (1972) tightening up regulations for the nation's potable water." Venice Gondolier, Nov. 27, 2004
City hopes to resolve issues with cross-connection holdouts "A called meeting of Dyersburg aldermen and public works employees involved with the city's cross-connection program was held Wednesday in hopes of resolving disputes with the few remaining businesses that have yet to install backflow preventers. ....Recently, the head of the cross-connection program, David Rice, sent out letters warning that businesses refusing to comply with the ordinance could face having their water shut off after Dec. 17, which sparked a flurry of complaints from some business owners. ...The committee advised public works to engage in private negotiations with any holdouts and take into consideration possible extenuating circumstances that might extend the deadline for installation of the devices beyond Dec. 17. order to reduce costs to local business owners, the city has undertaken a program to have city employees make the required annual inspections of commercial backflow devices at no charge. This is a savings of $45 to $50 annually." State Gazatte, Nov. 26, 2004
N. Korea reports sewage contamination in drinking water "Much of North Korea's water is not drinkable because of sewage contamination from leaky pipes and a lack of personnel qualified to check supplies, according to a joint report compiled by the North Korean government and the United Nations. "Much of the available water is not suitable for drinking...High levels of contamination caused by breakdown of sewage systems and leaking pipes is the primary cause," says the report released at a four-day Conference on Water Quality-Arsenic Mitigation now being held in the city of Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, north-central China. Natural corrosion has broken down galvanized steel pipes built 40 years ago, the report says. Sewage and water pipes often run through the same trenches." Yahoo News Asia, Nov. 26, 2004
Congress sets aside money for former View Master workers "Congress has set aside $100,000 to study the health of former workers at a View Master plant in Beaverton who were exposed to high concentrations of a chemical solvent that's been linked to cancer. ...According to state-sponsored research, employees were exposed to trichloroethylene, or TCE, through drinking water from an onsite well between the mid-1960s until the plant closed in 1998. ...The chemical is a degreasing agent that is classified as a probable human carcinogen and was used at the plant for more than 20 years, said state epidemiologist Mel Kohn. In 2003, the state Department of Human Services released a preliminary report showing that former View-Master workers were 2.94 times more likely to get kidney cancer and 2.16 times more likely to contract pancreatic cancer than the general population. About 25,000 people worked at the plant in its heyday." katu.com2, Nov. 25, 2004
Antrim County chief denies doing favors Building official has never done an inspection "Former Antrim County building official Arlen Turner took the stand in his own defense and denied allegations he concocted building code violations to help a friend in a dispute with a heating contractor. Turner, 67, is charged with a felony count of corruption by a public official, and five misdemeanor building code violations. ...Turner told Kalkaska County Prosecutor Brian Donnelly, who is handling the prosecution, that he had never done a mechanical, plumbing or electrical inspection in his more than 10 years as Antrim's building official. He said he did not have the training or expertise for such inspections. Turner, however, admitted that the document citing Great Lakes with a code violation at the Kitchen house lists him as the heater's inspector. Turner also denied failing to follow state construction code in not supplying code violation citations to contractors in writing." Traverse City Record Eagle, Nov. 24, 2004
Uranium miner faces court "URANIUM miner Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) faced court today over a water contamination incident at its controversial Ranger mine in Kakadu National Park. ERA faces one charge of failing to operate and maintain the site and one charge of failing to comply with its licence over the March incident.", Nov. 24, 2004
Local nonprofits get foundation's funding "...Organizations that received funding include the following: ...Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation (acting as fiscal agent for the Veterans Memorial Garden) $4,500: To install a cover for backflow pipes and valves at Veterans Memorial Garden, helping to beautify this community space that honors those who served.  Malone Community Center, $7,500: To update the restrooms in the facility so they comply with federal laws....." Lincoln Journal Star, Nov. 22, 2004
Dumpsters & Dragons: New game takes over "You must resurrect the sewerage dragons," Deanne commanded me. "Something's got to be done about them." ...Surely you've spied them? Sometimes they're rusty, sometimes a false silver, sometimes a bright blue or burnt red. Size varies. Their weird heads look like sideways wheels, and their bodies are usually long and multihumped as we imagine Nessie to be. Only these guys are made of metal and there's nothing cute or aesthetically redeeming about them. Puzzled? Take a drive down Beach Boulevard and check out big businesses, shopping centers, hotels, condos, and apartment complexes. The dragons are there, rearing their ugly bodies out of the ground for all to see. Technically, these dragons are "reduced pressure backflow preventors." Simply put, they assure a safe water supply by keeping lawn pesticides and chemicals from backing up into our supply of drinking water      The same goes for chlorinated swimming pool water, dreaded chemical leaks and dastardly sewage waste. ...The purpose of these backflow preventors is good; the presentation is bad, bad, bad. ...Our pipe serpents began rearing their ugly heads in 2000, the date the state set for cities and water companies to identify potential problems for existing structures. This edict came after Clarke County had a problem in the mid-1990s when crude oil backflowed into a utility line, contaminating water used by thousands. The South Mississippi solution is equivalent in appearance to building the Brooklyn Bridge over a creek. Is there no better way? I'm not an engineer, so I can't answer my own question but I can pitch a challenge: Is there no artist, no school class, no architect, no city department, no builder who can find a unique solution?" The Sun Herald, Nov. 21, 2004
Enclosures Enhance Security of Above-Ground Installations "The security of our drinking water has always been of paramount concern. ...Approximately two years ago, the American Water Works Association held a security seminar in Los Angeles. It was recognized at the seminar that there are many good reasons that... valves, meters, etc. are positioned above ground, but also questioned the security of these placements if left without protection in the new climate of terrorism. The enclosure industry has offered security to above ground placement of devices for practically 20 years. Since 1996, several manufacturers have had their "security-worthiness" certified as one of the standards agreed to in the American Society of Sanitary Engineers (ASSE) Standard 1060. Section 4.2 of the standard (referring to "Security and Vandalism") states "The method of providing access to the backflow preventer shall be lockable." It is the responsibility of the owner of the device and the enclosure to provide locking mechanism. Certainly, this brief and simple statement seems almost innocent in regard to terrorism and indeed, its intent was directed almost singularly at vandalism. The water industry, however, has long seen the enclosure as a line of defense for the backflow preventer and other aspects of the downstream delivery system. ...The enclosure as a security accessory to the water distribution industry covers a broad range of concepts and products. Enclosures range from wire cages that simply house the object inside to totally covered and "hiding" enclosures that keep a potential violator from knowing what is housed within. These "hiding enclosures" may be camouflaged to look like rocks and even tree stumps." Water World, Oct. 2004
Ripon taking parks off city water supply "...Last week, the City Council awarded a contract for a water-line extension that will bring the highly-coveted "purple pipe" to Veterans Park -- a project that should have the popular community center local on-line with the non-potable water system by next summer. ...While water-fountains will still be hooked up to Ripon's drinking water supply, the park itself will be irrigated with non-potable water from a number of different wells throughout town that are either high in nitrates or other substances -- which actually helps the grass thrive.While it's a relatively new project for the city (commercial business are just starting to utilize the service), staffers don't expect it to be going away anytime soon -- especially with the nitrate levels -- the measurement that determines the life and quality of a well -- the way that they are in the Central Valley." Manteca Bulletin, Nov. 22, 2004
Hydrant abuse, misuse outlawed "The Slidell City Council approved an ordinance... specifically forbidding the vandalism or unauthorized use of fire hydrants. The law was prompted by damage to the hydrants, which the city buys and maintains, and some building contractors using water without permission at construction sites...  ...In the case of contractor use, Noto said, workers making unauthorized connections to the hydrants often fail to use proper procedure and equipment. They also frequently don't take precautions to prevent backflow, thus putting the water supply at risk of contamination, he said. ...It also now is illegal for an individual or a company's workers to open a hydrant without permission from the city utilities division. The penalty for violation is $500 and up to 60 days imprisonment. Permits for limited use may be obtained in certain cases. The permit holder must post a refundable $800 deposit to ensure that all regulations are followed...  ...Until now, the city had no comprehensive fire hydrant law." "Everything New Orleans", Oct. 28, 2004
D.C. Water Test Finds Toxic Substance "A more refined test of the water in the Washington Aqueduct has revealed the presence of perchlorate, a toxic chemical typically found in weapons and explosives, federal officials said yesterday. The discovery of the chemical in the water supply challenges the prevailing theory of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has argued that contamination from buried World War I munitions in the Spring Valley neighborhood to the north poses no threat to Dalecarlia Reservoir along MacArthur Avenue NW.  Thomas P. Jacobus, chief of the Washington Aqueduct, said perchlorate in the reservoir measured between 1.2 and 1.8 parts per billion (ppb) and did not pose a health risk. He said he has ordered weekly tests of the water and is recommending that the corps accelerate its search for the source of perchlorate contamination. "I'm obviously concerned about anything that has to do with drinking water. ...The corps operates the aqueduct, which supplies drinking water to more than a million people in the District, Arlington County and the city of Falls Church."    Washington Post, Nov. 19, 2004
Watering Ancient Rome "NOVA interviews Peter Aicher, (who as the) author of "Guide to the Aqueducts of Ancient Rome,"marvels at the sophistication of the Romans' water distribution system, which included aqueducts fully 60 miles long.  NOVA: I thought we'd begin by looking at the big picture. What would Rome and the Roman Empire have been like without their aqueducts? What did these water bridges mean to their civilization? AICHER: The Romans could not have built cities as big as they did without aqueducts...  ..The Romans could have obtained their water from the (nearby) river, wells, and springs, but these sources would have become polluted in a large city. NOVA: What do you think of the theory that the Roman Empire collapsed because the Romans suffered from lead poisoning? AICHER: Not much. The Romans did use lead in their pipes. However, two things about the Roman water supply mitigated the unhealthy effects of lead. The first is that the water in the Roman aqueducts rarely stopped running. They had shut-off valves, but they didn't use them much. The water was meant to move...." NOVA Online, Feb. 22, 2000
Local Scientists Look at Parasites in Tap Water "The Walkerton tragedy of 2000, in which seven people died and thousands fell ill in Ontario because of E. coli infection, shattered the town's confidence in the public drinking-water supply. The crisis also got people across the country questioning the safety of what comes out of their kitchen and bathroom taps. And although the likelihood of such a deadly bacterial mix happening again in Canada is low, drinking water can contain microbes that lead to other, far less devastating illnesses. But little scientific attention and research have been directed to these kinds of nonfatal outbreaks, so there's a lack of understanding of their occurrence and impact. A group of B.C. scientists is out to change that, though, being the first in the nation to study gastrointestinal diseases caused by contaminated water and how they can be prevented. of the problems in preventing illness is that existing tests are neither reliable nor swift. By the time water is checked for contamination and a boil-water advisory has been issued, that supply has already reached the public. ...Water filters can improve the taste, smell, and appearance of drinking water. ....filters can remove substances like chlorine, mercury, or lead but do not disinfect water or remove microorganisms. ...if not used according to the manufacturer's instructions, filters can actually promote bacterial growth. It's essential to replace the filter as often as recommended and in some cases to flush the filter daily with cold, treated drinking water to prevent the buildup of bacterial residue on the filter itself. "Studies have shown that levels of bacteria present in water that has passed through an improperly maintained home filtration device may be up to 2,000 times higher than levels in unfiltered water...", Nov. 18, 2004 (TechZone Ed.: This sort of "biofilm" contamination can backflow from many types of water using devices)
Special Town Meeting " The Board of Selectmen will hold a special Town Meeting on Monday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss and vote on  changes to the 2005 operating budget. ...The selectmen will also discuss and vote on increasing the 2005 water enterprise budget by $21,800 to cover the cost of a cross-connection testing program...." The Weston Town Crier, Nov. 17, 2004
Developing a Cross Connection Control Program for a Small Utility  "Establishing a cross connection control program for a small water utility can be a daunting task. ...This can seem overwhelming, but with an organized approach an effective program can be established. ...It is important to consider the requirements of local building, plumbing and fire codes in addition to Health Services requirements.  ...It is preferable for utilities to have similar requirements when possible. This will minimize confusion for those who work in several districts and are expected to be familiar with local requirements, such as backflow assembly testers, plumbers and vendors. It will also help avoid critical comparisons between utilities.  ...Public education is an important aspect of cross connection control that is too often overlooked or minimized. This can have disastrous consequences. If a customer receives a notice to install a backflow preventer with no explanation, they will often have a negative response. It is important to educate the customers to the dangers of cross connections and the importance of installing backflow preventers when needed. ...Most customers will be willing to support the cross connection control program when they understand that the safety of their drinking water is at stake. ...Creating an effective cross connection control program is an important and challenging responsibility. An organized approach in the beginning will help avoid many problems and conflicts once the program begins to function. " Oregon Department of Human Services Public Health

Global health suffering because of toilet taboo, hygiene experts say "BEIJING - Long-held silence over the taboo subject of toilets is taking its toll on global health and holding back developing countries, hygiene experts warned Wednesday as a world toilet summit opened. “The toilet is a subject that people don’t want to discuss because it is seen as quite disgusting,” said Jack Sim, founder of the Singapore-based World Toilet Organisation. ...According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), about 2.4 billion people globally do not have access to any latrines. As a result, the main source of water contamination in developing countries is human faeces, allowing parasites, bacteria and viruses to get into drinking water and cause diseases, it said. ..."We’re trying to bring these unspoken issues onto the stage and make toilets a mainstream subject”...  ..“In the past, there were women’s liberation, leprosy, AIDS, the sexual revolution -- all these are taboos that have been broken. The toilet problem is probably the last one”. Khaleej Times, Nov. 17, 2004 (TechZone Ed.: They'll also have to address the ongoing issue which even here in the US continues to threaten public health!!... Recent USCFCHHR report found 95.7% of all homes had direct or indirect health hazard cross-connections. Almost 10% were direct cross-connections, 61% of which involved toilets!!! See pages 11 & 12 of:
Residents wary of water "When Brett Burnham moved to the island almost a year ago, he was told by friends not to drink the tap water. "Don't drink the water" is a phrase that many people hear when traveling to some foreign or undeveloped countries, but many Guam residents also regard their tap water with distrust. ...The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has expressed recent concerns regarding the pace of Guam Waterworks Authority's efforts toward improving the island's water quality. Several deadlines have been set by a federal court order, and if not met, could mean a $1,000 fine for each violation each day for the water agency. ...In a letter dated Nov. 2, the federal EPA acknowledged the changes that have been made by the water utility in the past year, and also raised concerns that certain problems should have been solved already. Residents have endured boil-water notices throughout the years because of the presence of fecal coliform in the system..." Guam Pacific Daily News, Nov. 17, 2004
Traces of prescription drugs found in tap water "Canadians' tap water may contain tiny traces of prescription drugs, a new federal study has found. A study of water samples taken from locations near 20 drinking water treatment plants in southern Ontario found evidence of nine different drugs. They ranged from the painkiller ibuprofen, cholesterol-lowering drugs and antidepressants, such as Prozac. The drugs are making it into the water supply because the human body doesn't always absorb all the medication it ingests. Some is excreted as solid waste, and the particles aren't removed in the treatment process. ...Those overseeing water quality say tap water is still safe.Environmentalists counter by saying any quantity of prescription drugs in water is unacceptable, even if the drugs themselves have already been tested for safety. ...Municipal governments, who bear operational responsibility for treating drinking water, say they are working on what is a complicated problem.", Nov. 15, 2004
Construction Begins on Iraqi Water System Reconstruction "Iraqi and multinational force officials are taking on a $50 million program to bring 200 water treatment and sewage facilities in Iraq up to modern standards. ...Two wars, decades of neglect, more than a decade of sanctions and insurgent attacks on reconstruction workers have left Iraq's infrastructure in deplorable condition; water and sewage treatment plants are falling apart and need immediate repair... ...Ensuring a reliable supply of potable water to the Iraqi people and restoring the country's water and sanitation systems are among the main goals in helping to rebuild Iraq. Water and sanitation systems are designed to protect public health... and years of outmoded operating practices and poor maintenance have made rehabilitation urgent...  Although more than half the population has access to potable water, leaking pipes have contaminated those networks in many areas. The untreated sewage problem has affected tap water in Baghdad, even though potable water is treated. In poor areas, drinking water has been contaminated by untreated waste in groundwater that seeps into broken pipes. The problem is made worse by efforts to pull water from the supply system. Residents in some areas use small electric pumps to siphon water from the main, and end up sucking sewage into cracked pipes." United States Department of Defense, Nov. 14, 2004
Probe after ERI hit by deadly bug alert "HEALTH chiefs ordered a sweep of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary’s entire water system after finding traces of the type of bug which can cause legionnaires’ disease. The bug was discovered in the hospital’s renal ward following a routine check. ...The discovery of the bug at the ERI last month was the second legionnaires scare to hit the Capital inside a year. A potentially deadly form of the bacteria was found in the water supply at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in November last year. Some strains of the bacteria can cause legionnaires’ disease, a rare but serious form of pneumonia.  ...Legionnaires’ disease takes its name from the first known outbreak, in a hotel hosting a convention of the Pennsylvania Department of the American Legion in 1976, which killed 29. The bacteria are common, particularly in warm water and mud. If the bacteria get into water systems used in buildings such as hotels or hospitals, they can multiply quickly. They pose a risk to people who are exposed through air-conditioning or air cooling systems, as well as through water systems used for baths or showers.  ...In 2002, Health and Safety Executive officials found conditions within a sprinkler system at the city’s Powderhall waste depot could have led to a outbreak of legionnaires’ disease. The public was temporarily banned from using the site." The Scotsman, Nov. 12, 2004
Chlorination is the answer in Lacey "The city of Lacey has struggled with the quality of water in its distribution system for more than a year now. It's time for the City Council to give serious consideration to permanent chlorination of the drinking water. ...First the water quality is fine, then it's not, then it's OK again, then more failed tests. Chlorination will solve that yo-yo experience once and for all and let the public know that the water they are drinking is free of contamination. ...The city tried to track down the source of contamination when the total coliform counts increased. Months of work and $600,000 later, the city staff has been unable to pinpoint the source of contamination. Officials thought the problem might have been at the reservoirs. It wasn't. They checked the wells. No problem there, either. They flushed lines and looked for intrusions into the city's waterlines from contractor or illegal connections. They found a waterline pierced by a sewer line, but that wasn't the source of the contamination, either. Now they suspect that one or more homeowners are pumping water from a lake to their private irrigation system without adequate backflow protection to keep the water from entering the city's system of connected pipes. Looking for the source is like looking for a needle in a haystack. ...The summer chlorination project in Lacey cleared up the problem for a while, but the total coliform contamination was detected again last week. The Department of Ecology and the Department of Health won't let the city continue with these temporary solutions much longer." The Olympian, Nov. 11, 2004Committee wants free inspections for water devices  "The Dyersburg Water, Sewer and Gas Committee, meeting on Thursday, recommended that city employees take over the annual inspection of backflow-prevention devices on water lines and offer the service free of charge. ...The state of Tennessee and the city building code require that an annual inspection of the devices be conducted by someone certified for backflow preventers. To date this has been handled by about five plumbers in Dyer County with inspection costs ranging between $45 and $50...  ...Alderman Freeman Dudley, a member of the committee, said he had received a string of complaints from businessmen in the city who said they were being hit from all sides by expensive federal, state and local requirements. "I can't speak for the other aldermen, but I feel it is important for the city to try this as a way to give something back to the business community," Dudley said. "The annual inspection fee is aggravating to businessmen."  There are about 600 businesses in the city that currently have backflow preventers installed.  ...the ultimate plan is to install one at every business in the city. Rice said he was willing to take over the free inspection process with the help of another city worker because inspections by independent plumbers were not arriving at his office in a timely manner, nor were the inspection certificates adequately completed. Freddie Krapf, the director of public works, said he was willing to try the free inspection effort but felt it might ultimately require more man-hours than existing personnel could handle.", Sept. 27, 2004

  Merino water discussion tabled  "Merino mayor Rod Schaffer locked horns with other council members and Merino's water operations employee Carl Briggs, during a special meeting Monday about the state's cross-connection control and backflow prevention program. ...But during the discussion, Schaffer was clearly confused about the use of check valves to prevent contamination of the town's water well. And what started as a disjointed discussion soon became a shocking discourse. ..."Those valves don't you have those already on some of our stuff," Schaffer questioned Briggs. ..."We have one in the pump house," Briggs said. ...This back-and-forth went on for some time. ..."That protects the well," an exasperated Briggs said. "It doesn't protect the system. What we're looking at is protecting the system at the pipeline." "I understand," Schaffer said. "But this (check valve on the well) is protecting the system, too."  The discussion quickly degenerated as voices were raised and finally was tabled, although no date was set to take the matter up again. After a short while, the mayor excused himself, left for the restroom and relieved himself with the door wide open for the entire room to hear. ...Merino, just like every other municipality in  the state, must conform to the new state regulations. The town council would like to have the parks, schools and town properties up to code, followed by businesses, and homeowners last." Journal-Advocate, Sept. 28, 2004
  What's the word on cross connections, backflow, and biofilms?  "...the National Research Council, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences, prepared a report that identified the biological and chemical contaminants associated with adverse health effects that are attributed to the quality of drinking water within distribution lines. ..."In many cases, cross connections are not obvious and the resulting changes in water quality are not detected by the consumer. Often, small intermittent flows through cross connections can back-siphon and be responsible for outbreaks of disease." ...the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that distribution system deficiencies cause a significant portion of waterborne disease outbreaks. ...Further, the CDC states that between 1971-1994, approximately 53 waterborne disease outbreaks were associated with cross connections or back-siphonage. ...What is biofilm? Biofilm may appear as a patchy mass in a section of pipe or as a uniform layer along the inner walls of a storage tank... Biofilms are initially formed when organisms enter the distribution system and become entrapped... Biofilms appear to be complex structures that consist of microcolonies of various organisms embedded in an organic material, which then adhere to moist surfaces. Water mains, storage reservoirs, standpipes, joint connections, fire hydrant connections, valves, service lines, and metering devices have the potential to be excellent sites for microbial habitation. The reason that EPA has concerns about biofilms is that coliform bacteria may colonize in them." National Drinking Water Clearinghouse
 Post-mix poisoning must be addressed  "Over the past 30 years that I have been involved in the plumbing trades, I have seen, first hand, a number of incidents of carbon dioxide backflow into potable water from post-mix soda dispensers. The supplier of the post-mix machinery would invariably declare that the problem was not with his equipment, install a new post-mix machine and abscond with the original one. Blue ice! A local restaurant noticed that its ice machine had produced beautiful aquamarine cubes overnight. A check of its water revealed a low pH (in the 5.0 range). The culprit? A post-mix dual check valve failure and a repeat performance by the supplier who provided new equipment and denial of responsibility. Funny how the problem always disappears with the old post-mix unit. ...My belief is that plumbers have handled numerous incidents directly with restaurant owners; the owners, in turn, had the equipment replaced by the post-mix vendor, all of which goes unreported to any agency. The problem of post-mix copper poisoning is real and needs to be addressed."
  Tech Brief - Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention "When drinking water is transported to a consumer, it is possible for contaminants to be introduced in the distribution system. This situation may occur due to connections between potable water lines and non-potable water sources or by a water flow reversal, resulting in contaminated water. This Tech Brief, discusses cross connections and backflow, and explores ways to prevent these situations. ...The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (Section 1433) requires systems that serve more than 3,300 people to assess their vulnerability... ...assessment shall include but not be limited to “a review of pipes and constructed conveyances, water collection, pretreatment, storage and distribution facilities..."  National Drinking Water Clearinghouse
  Residents question cost of inspections  "Oakland Township resident John Reitman says he will have to pay about $100 to get a $35 valve checked. It's a bill that he and other county residents who get their drinking water from systems maintained by the Oakland County Drain Commission will have to budget for once every five years - if they have lawn sprinklers or other nonpotable water systems hooked up to municipal water. The Oakland County Drain Commission supplies water to about 35,000 residential customers in nine communities. And, in accordance with state law, it will inspect each of those homes and apartments at least once every five years to eliminate cross connections.  "A cross connection is when a nondrinking water supply, also called nonpotable water supply, is connected to a potable water supply", said Tim Prince, chief engineer, operations and maintenance for the drain commissioner's office.... "The inspection we do, as part of our program, we come out and inspect to see, is one needed or is one not needed?" said Prince. " "Once installed...., the valve must be inspected by a plumber certified by the state in cross connections." ...That second inspection and the cost are what irk Reitman. He said he has no argument about the need to protect the water supply or about installing a backflow valve where necessary.  He questions, however, a requirement to have the valve inspected every five years by a plumber." The Daily Oakland Press, August 26, 2004
Escherichia coli O157:H7 Frequently Asked Questions "...An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 cases of infection occur in the United States each   year. Infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure. ...Infection can also occur after drinking raw milk and after swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water. ...E. coli O157:H7 is one of hundreds of strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Although most strains are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, this strain produces a powerful toxin and can cause severe illness." from the CDC, at, Nov. 5, 2004
 Plumbers’ Chief in Hot Water Over Finances "Plumbers’ union President Martin J. Maddaloni earlier this year side-stepped a government lawsuit alleging a breach of fiduciary duty as a trustee of the Plumbers and Pipefitters National Pension Fund. But new allegations about the union’s financial health are roiling, fueled in part by his predecessor and by a former challenger. A union investigation is under way and pressure is mounting to force Maddaloni’s early    retirement. ...The Oct. 8 letter written by Washington, D.C. attorney Daniel M. Katz on behalf of the former officers claims the union’s financial condition has deteriorated to such an extent that "its ability to pay for the 2006 convention has also become an issue." It adds, "Many statements are being made that the UA is bankrupt and that there are serious issues about UA financial dealings." Engineering News Record, Nov. 4, 2004
 Ranger contamination case adjourned  "The operator of the Ranger uranium mine has appeared briefly in the Darwin Magistrates Court charged with breaches of the Mining Management Act. The charges against Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) relate to a March incident where workers fell ill after drinking or showering in water contaminated with uranium. The charges have been laid against the company by the Northern Territory's Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development. The matter has been adjourned until November 24." ABC Online Australia, Nov. 3, 2004 ( see ABC's archive for the original story )
 Water advisory one of largest in city's history "A boil-water advisory believed to be the largest in the city's history has exposed significant "gaps" in the Windsor Utilities Commission's ability to warn residents of drinking water threats. The advisory -- which has been extended until at least today -- was issued Saturday after a trace of fecal coliform bacteria was discovered in a routine water sample... When tests reveal isolated water threats in limited areas, WUC sends employees door-to-door with boil-water warnings. But the current advisory... affects too many homes and businesses to make that practical. ... ..Instead, WUC and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit -- which issued the advisory -- notified the media and big water consumers like schools and Windsor Regional Hospital. Average customers who didn't tune in to weekend radio and television newscasts had no idea the boil-water advisory had been issued.", Nov. 2, 2004
 Saving the Rain That Falls for Dry Days "Not only is rainwater free, it has some good things going for it. In places like the South Coast where air pollution is not a problem, rainwater is some of the purest water to be had. It is also soft — way softer than our mineral-rich well water — and it doesn’t have nasty chemicals like chlorine in it. ...The roof of your home is the best source to start collecting rainwater; 2,000 square feet of roof can shed about 1,200 gallons of water from just one inch of rain. Imagine being able to capture and store even a fraction of that for use at a later time. ...From the low-tech to the sophisticated, there are just as many ways to capture and save rainwater as there are innovative gardeners and plumbers. ...If you have the room, serious water harvesters have even built or installed larger tanks of several hundred up to several thousand gallons (that 1,200 gallons from the inch of rain will fit in a tank that is about 7 feet in diameter and 41/2 feet tall, for example). Larger, more sophisticated systems may also employ pumps to deliver the water into the irrigation system. These systems will need to have a backflow prevention valve installed so that your precious water doesn’t end up in the wrong pipes."  Santa Barbara Independent, Oct. 28, 2004
 Hey, tanks for saving water "Rainwater tanks connected to household water pipes can now be installed on properties as part of a Redland Shire Council push to save water. Recent drought conditions and an increased population have highlighted the need for the community to expand water supplies and look after the environment. The Rainwater Harvesting and Use Policy allows residents to install a rainwater collection tank on their property for outdoor use only (watering lawns, washing cars etc) or outdoor and indoor use (toilet flushing and laundry fixtures). Residents will be able to connect rainwater tanks to the mains water pipes for indoor use provided adequate backflow controls are installed. A plumbing applicationw will be needed, and in some cases, a building application." Bayside Bulletin, Redland Shire Australia, Oct. 29, 2004
 High Flux Isotope Reactor shut down again "OAK RIDGE - The High Flux Isotope Reactor is out of operation again while experts study the reactor's safety. It's a situation that has become unusually frequent this year at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Jim Roberto, a high-ranking manager at the federal laboratory, confirmed that the reactor was shut down a couple of weeks ago after officials discovered an apparent deficiency in the safety documents. A similar problem extended a reactor outage a couple of months ago. ...Roberto said nuclear experts are re-evaluating all reactor systems and making sure the engineering that supports these systems is up to today's expectations and standards. ...In the latest instance, officials found that existing safety documents did not address the reactor's ability to operate under certain conditions in the primary cooling system, Roberto said. Therefore, experts did calculations to assess those operational issues. One of the scenarios involved the failure of a check valve, which prevents backflow in case of a cooling-pump malfunction.", Oct. 29, 2004
 City moves forward with plans, noting safety and financial concerns "The City Council approved engineering plans for the recycled-water project Monday, but were warned about escalating costs and safety concerns. The project would begin providing treated sewage water to irrigate landscapes... ..The city also learned more about the feasibility of testing the water for cryptosporidium, a microscopic organism that can cause intestinal illnesses if ingested. The Safewater Coalition, a grass-roots group based in Redwood Shores, had mobilized residents to ensure that the city would only use recycled water for irrigation, avoiding any areas where young children play.  ...Drawing on his experience as a city and district engineer, Redwood Shores resident David Valkenaar urged council members to test for cryptosporidium, even though the state does not require it for non-potable recycled water. "There will be puddles from the water, what about dogs and cats?" he asked, explaining that infected pets could spread disease to their owners. "They could easily lap up the puddles. I want you to consider that possibility." ..."I certainly don't think this should be the last time we look at this issue," Councilman Jim Hartnett said. "We have to be sensitive to health and safety beyond what the state may say is safe."" San Mateo Times, Oct. 26, 2004
 Companies Aim to Protect Water from Bio-Terrorism "Some Utah companies have joined forces to better protect our water system. ...We depend on our water supply for drinking water and we count on it being clean and useable. What we don't count on is a bio-terrorist attack that affects our water. Here in Utah a few companies are coming together to prevent bio-terrorism. They have a three-step plan: identify, notify authorities, and purify the water. When going for a glass of water, we don't usually think about terrorism. But in this day and age, our water supply could be a target. So Utah researchers have developed technology that can detect dangerous microorganisms in the water. “We’ve been able to detect bacteria spores, viruses and toxins with this detection instrumentation. So most of the bio-terrorism agents like anthrax or plague, we’ve seen. ...These companies have already received some funding from the Health Department here. They're meeting with the EPA next week. They say they would like to have the system in place in the next six months, all around the country." KSL TV 5, Oct. 29, 2004
 Permanent disinfection possibility in Lacey  "The state will move to require the city to permanently chlorinate its water system if an unacceptable level of total coliform bacteria is detected in the water one more time before the end of January. A fourth so-called "nonacute violation" in a 12-month period requires the state to begin formal enforcement action against a system defined as a "significant noncomplier." For Lacey, the largest nondisinfected public water system in the state, that would mean permanent chlorination or some other type of disinfection. ..."We can't allow customers to go through this repeatedly," said Denise Lahmann, southwest region manager for the state Department of Health's Office of Drinking Water, which regulates public water systems. ...City officials have been unable to pinpoint the cause of the contamination and have spent more than $600,000 trying to identify its source, chlorinating and flushing water pipes. The leading theory now is that construction activity introduced dirt into water pipes while contractors were working on them. The bacteria -- which is generally harmless -- occurs naturally and can be found in the soil. Another possibility is that lakefront residents have forcibly pumped lake water into underground irrigation systems without proper backflow protection. The city has poured substantial energy and money into investigating the cause because the presence of coliform can indicate the presence of more harmful bacteria, including fecal coliform and E. coli."The Olympian, Oct. 28, 2004
Germs Throw Cold Water on Hot Tub Hygiene   (TechZone Ed.: Biofilm contamination and fouling also readily occurs in nearly every industrial water-based process, including water treatment and distribution, pulp & paper manufacturing, and the operation of cooling towers.)  "Cue the ''Psycho'' music. There's a stranger in your shower, though it's not a knife-wielding murderer. It's a mysterious consortium of bacteria embedded in... slime. They also hover in the mist above hot tubs and swim with you in pools. Before you ease onto those pulsating jets of water to soothe your aches and pains, consider that the bacteria in indoor hot tubs, pools, and even decorative fountains and waterfalls may pose a health risk. ...The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has tracked respiratory infections associated with hot tubs and pool use for some time...(which) the researchers termed ''hot tub lung.'' ...Researchers attribute hot tub lung to bacteria that thrive in the slime on pipes and other wet surfaces. This slime forms as bacteria settle on a surface and begin to secrete a gluey, adhesive substance. That bacteria-laden slime, which is known as a biofilm, forms in the pipes...   ....Another bacterium that can grow in biofilms is Legionella, the culprit behind the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease during a Philadelphia hotel convention some years ago. Legionella normally inhabit the algae film on ponds, but they also occupy the biofilms in air conditioning condensers and hot-water systems. Bill Costerton, a biofilm researcher at Montana State University at Bozeman, said he believes such outbreaks are just the tip of the iceberg; untold millions have inhaled similar biofilm flakes over the years. While those biofilms set up long-term lodging in our lungs, a healthy immune system can keep the bacteria in check. But if we become stressed, ill or old, we may succumb to some hard-to-diagnose respiratory infection that will never be traced to an air-conditioned room or a hot tub we visited in our youth. ...Biofilms can persist through disinfection because their slime protects the bacteria from chemicals. ..Scientists are developing ways to prevent biofilms from accumulating, but so far, slime has the upper hand. ...There's still a lot to learn about everyday hygiene and the microbes we want to subdue. ''This research illustrates,'' Pace said, ''that the unknown character of the microbial world is not only all around us, but we are literally immersed in it.'' "

 City aims at illegal use of fire hydrants  "Tapping into a local fire hydrant may not seem like a big deal, but city officials warned Monday that it could endanger the water supply and may even violate the Homeland Security Act.  “This may be a federal offense,” said Kelly Cornwell, superintendent of public utilities, at the Monday night meeting of the Calhoun City Council. ...It’s especially a problem in the unincorporated areas, because enforcement becomes a problem. ...“This is an extremely delicate situation,” Bailey said. “We’re endangering our water system for the people in this county, up and down that line ... I think it’s a very serious situation.”  Jerry Crawford, assistant superintendent of public utilities, agreed that the current system “endangers our water system.”   ....The people who typically tap into the hydrants are using fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, which could seep into the water system without the proper backflow prevention devices, he explained. Such chemicals could permanently contaminate the PVC pipe used by the city water system, he said."  Calhoun Times, Oct. 12, 2004

Aynor residents advised to boil drinking water  "The Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority advises its Aynor customers to boil their water for at least one full minute prior to drinking or cooking until notified otherwise by the authority. Any ice made from water that has not been boiled should not be used for drinking purposes. The advisory comes after someone opened up a fire hydrant at 5 a.m. Tuesday, resulting in the loss of pressure and potential contamination of the system, said the authority's executive director...", Oct. 13, 2004

 Building inspectors battle bad reputations  "Some people see him as mere routine or inevitable annoyance. But for others, he represents a greater hassle. For homeowners or contractors who might not be compliant with building codes or city ordinances, he could single-handedly hold-up a building project and be responsible for a loss of time and money. This misunderstood law enforcer is the city building inspector. ...“We have a reputation of being the big bad meanies, but really we are not,” said Brian Whitton, the City of Kerrville’s chief building official. “We want to help people by working with them, and ensuring the safety of everyone... ...Our inspectors look to make sure everything is built according to codes and plans that were submitted. ...When you have to enforce the laws of a city, you are required to tell people to do things they don't necessarily want to. It's understandable why they sometimes see us as the bad guys."And like any officer, Whitton said he confronts the usual careless lawbreaker. "Sometimes people just have bad attitudes about the process and try to deliberately get away with things, and that causes problems," he said.  ...Building inspectors are not law enforcers alone. They equally are lifeguards, charged with protecting the safety, health and general welfare of the public. ..."There's times when certain conditions fall into gray areas, and we can work with people as long as we meet the intention of the code," Whitton said." Daily Times, Oct. 6, 2004

 Magnolia boil order in effect; water ban lifted  "A boil order is in effect for village residents after the public drinking supply was contaminated with fertilizer Thursday afternoon. A second round of testing Friday showed the water is OK to use, but Magnolia Water Board officials are keeping the boil order in effect through the weekend, said Rick Alatorre, director of the Stark County Emergency Management Agency. ...TAB Construction of Canton was contracted for the project, said Wright, who added he had not been told about the water contamination. A representative of TAB Construction could not be reached for comment Friday. Health officials were concerned about the amount of nitrate in the water supply. Nitrate is a chemical found in fertilizers. ...Lonnie McGhee, supervisor of the water treatment plant, said that in 24 years in the business he has never had anything like this happen.  “This is the kind of stuff you read about,” he said.", Oct. 9, 2004 

 Fertilizer gets into Magnolia waterline  "Elementary students and staff at Magnolia School will be drinking bottled water today instead of the greenish stuff flowing from the water fountains. The 900 residents of this village are being asked to use bottled water after the public drinking supply was contaminated with fertilizer Thursday afternoon. A ban was instituted Thursday after residents noticed the water was green and smelled like fertilizer, said Rick Alatorre, director of the Stark County Emergency Management Agency. ...The Emergency Management Agency and village officials are investigating how the fertilizer got into the water supply. They said workers planting grass near a dike encountered a problem with back flow when they attempted to fill their truck with water to mix with the powdered fertilizer.  ...What to do? • Substitute bottled water for tap water until the advisory is lifted. • Boiling tap water will not get rid of the nitrate; it only concentrates it.", Oct. 8, 2004

Dundee allows rural homes to remain on municipal water  "Two dozen rural Dundee households will continue receiving municipal water after Town Council members Wednesday established a 90-day grace period for the payment of $33,000 in connection charges as a humanitarian gesture. The development's owner will pay to protect the municipal water supply from contamination from his subdivision. ...Weiberg Road resident Robert E. Lee in September requested municipal water to serve cattle after Hurricane Charley destroyed the pumphouse for his private well. A Polk County environmental health agency inspector this week advised the town that Lee was actually serving 24 other residences from the 3/4-inch residential-size line connected to a single meter. ...Town officials are under the gun to either cut off the development or fit the line with a backflow seal to prevent contamination from entering the water system from the development. The town could be fined $5,000 daily by the county if the backflow preventer is not installed promptly, Gallagher said. Lee agreed to pay to buy and install the backflow valve as part of the temporary agreement with the town. The valve costs $600-$700. Gallagher did not offer an installation cost.", Oct. 7, 2004

 Accident sends water into car lot  "A motorist lost control of a 1988 Mercury four-door Wednesday, and the vehicle flew off 14th Street West and onto the top of a water backflow fixture, releasing a 20-foot spray that doused a car lot. Dozens of spectators slowed to watch the liquid fireworks as firefighters and city water employees worked to extract the upside-down car without further fracturing the water equipment. ...the car took out a tree, flipped over and struck a fire hydrant and fire-lane backflow valve. ...The water-valve handle was stuck up inside the car, and workers had to pull the car off to get at it.", Oct. 7, 2004

Police: Scam artists on the prowl  "They claim to be paving contractors or roofers or, most recently, town employees. But while they pose as working men, they really see hard work as something for suckers only. They’re traveling con men -- and according to local police, they’re looking for victims in your neighborhood right now. On Thursday, an elderly woman and her father reported losing a good part of their savings to three men who knocked on their door and introduced themselves as "town water inspectors." ...Such crimes are nothing new. Law enforcement agencies across the country hear from hundreds of victims every year. Many of those who lose money are trusting seniors. ...About noon Wednesday, they knocked on a door in a residential neighborhood, and introduced themselves as employees of the town water department. One of the men, who claimed to be a "water inspector," told the residents there was a major leak on Main Street, and his men were checking the water pressure and water quality in every house. He then asked the daughter to take him to the basement, so he could check the plumbing. He kept her there about 10 minutes, asking her to point out pipes, and having her run the washing machine so he could "inspect for acid." At the same time, another in the group asked the father to show him the bathroom. He had the elderly gentleman flush the toilet, turn faucets on and off, and run the shower. While the two men kept the residents busy with their mock inspections, the third had the run of the house. He went to a bedroom, and rummaged about until he found a wad of money hidden away.", Oct. 1, 2004

 Protecting our water supply  "It is something we take for granted. That on any given day we will have a plentiful and healthy supply of water. But, in the wake of terror alerts around the world, New York State's university system began studying various ways to protect New Yorkers, including safeguarding their water supply. ...Working with researchers at SUNY's College of Environmental Science and Forestry and various local high tech firms, a new company was born.... which has now developed a system to gauge contamination of water supply, not just because of a terror threat, but also because of the worldwide implication of contamination. “By the time this day ends, 35,000 to 40,000 people will have died from waterborne diseases”  ...The system, they say, will work wonders.  “It gives us a tool to make the world a safer place, so that we can continue to take good, clean, safe drinking water for granted."  News10Now, Sept. 28, 2004

Meridian plans to inspect city water system  "Meridian's Water Department is on a quest to make the city's drinking water supply safer. Water Superintendent Rick Clinton wants to find potentially dangerous "cross connections" between irrigation and drinking water systems. Then he wants residents to install safety assemblies called backflow devices. Clinton said it's a concern that's growing as the city booms with new construction.  For example, when the pressure in one water system exceeds that of a connected system, animal feces or lawn treatment chemicals on sprinkler heads could be sucked back into the water system, Clinton said. Such a situation is unlikely, he said, but the potential exists whenever cross connections are present. "It's very gross and it is a significant health hazard," he said. ...If someone refuses to comply, United Water will shut off their water as a last result, he said. Many homeowners may not even be aware they have a cross connection, Clinton said. Likewise, they may not know whether they have or need a backflow device and that it must be inspected." The Idaho Statesman, Sept. 27, 2004

 New state regs have towns hopping  "Water is a precious commodity. After several years of drought, Northeast Colorado is seeing some relief - but at a cost. There are several new regulations that towns and cities must meet, namely the cross connection control and backflow prevention program from Rural Water. Merino and Iliff are now under the gun to adopt these regulations, or the already cash-strapped towns will face heavy fines. The purposes of the program are to protect the public water supply; promote the elimination or control of existing cross-connections between its customers' water systems and non-drinking water systems; and to provide for the maintenance of a continuing program of cross-connection control to prevent contamination or pollution."  Journal-Advocate, Sept. 24, 2004

 DPW to conduct a survey  "The Department of Public Works... will be conducting a cross-connection control survey for Marshfield Businesses in accordance with the Department of Environmental Protection 310 CMR 22.22:11. ...This survey requires that an inspection of all fixtures on the potable water supply.... The survey will evaluate whether adequate protection is present or if added backflow protection is needed..." Marshfield Mariner, Sept. 22, 2004

 Water poisoning likely came from poultry pen  "A poultry pen is the likely source of drinking water contamination that sickened at least 19 customers of a restaurant near here and led to its temporary closure, health officials say. ...At least 19 people experienced gastrointestinal problems severe enough for them to seek medical attention, and were diagnosed with problems related to salmonella bacteria, Pizzini said. Cases were reported as far away as Arizona.  Pizzini said an inspection revealed an illegally installed plumbing connection that could have allowed backflow of water supplying a poultry pen. ...Regulators said that when the restaurant was being developed, an on-site inspection of the plumbing system did not occur, but the engineering drawings were reviewed. The link to the poultry pen was not in the drawings." Billings Gazette, Sept. 22, 2004

 Tainted water likely source of salmonella at Amish restaurant  "Cross-contamination of drinking water with salmonella bacteria from a poultry pen was the likely cause of a disease outbreak that has closed the Dinnerbell restaurant since early August, health officials said Monday. Dinnerbell owner Glen Hochstetler said Monday that an engineer hired to design a water treatment system for the restaurant was scheduled to visit Monday afternoon, and the Dinnerbell would reopen as soon as the system is approved by state officials and installed.  "We are cooperating with the state and upgrading to a chlorine system," Hochstetler said. The cross-connection has been removed, and the chlorinated system will ensure that the water supply will be safe, said Eugene Pizzini, compliance officer with the Department of Environmental Quality's Public Water Supply Section in Helena. At least 19 people experienced gastrointestinal distress severe enough to seek medical attention and were diagnosed with food poisoning caused by the salmonella organism, Pizzini said.", Sept. 21, 2004

Bacterial infection outbreak kills 2 "State and federal public health officials Tuesday continued to investigate the outbreak of a bacterial infection that has killed two people. There have been four confirmed cases of the infection, known as Legionnaires' disease, in Cherokee County - three in September and one this month. The county had two other suspected infection cases earlier this year. ...State and local health officials, as well as a team from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were examining sources of water as the potential origin. Legionnaires' disease, or legionellosis, can be spread through breathing water mist from sources such as air- conditioning cooling towers, spas or showers. ...The CDC has taken multiple water samples at the nursing home, said Cherokee County Health Director Elaine Russell, and 160-degree water has been flushed through the system's pipes in an attempt to kill bacteria." Citizen-Times, Oct. 12, 2004

Koebels likely to plead guilty to public endangerment in Walkerton charges  "The two brothers charged in the devastating Walkerton, Ont., E. coli outbreak that killed seven people will likely plead guilty to public endangerment as part of a proposed resolution that would leave it up to a judge to decide whether the men should go to jail, The Canadian Press has learned. In exchange for the guilty pleas, the Crown would not proceed on two other charges against Stan and Frank Koebel, who ran the town's drinking-water system at the time the public-health disaster struck...  ...Many residents suffered long-lasting health damage. During a judicial inquiry into the outbreak, the brothers admitted to falsifying well logs, mislabelling water samples and allowing unchlorinated water to flow to the taps of unsuspecting town residents. ...The E. coli contamination that struck the town came from cow manure on a nearby farm that found its way into a poorly maintained town well after heavy rains. ...The inquiry ultimately blamed the tragedy on a series of factors, including an Environment Ministry that failed to follow its own policies, a Conservative government hell-bent on cost-cutting, and the brothers' failure to do their jobs properly."  cnews, Oct. 17, 2004

Exploding water heater rocks suburban Seattle shopping center, injuring three "A suburban Seattle shopping center was rocked by a water heater explosion that hurtled concrete chunks for a block, shattered business facades and injured four people. The water heater at a video store in the shopping plaza rocketed through the building's roof, over a Taco Bell restaurant and into a Pizza Hut parking lot 460 feet away, said Battalion Chief Doug Hudson. ''The whole front of the Mexican restaurant, the video store and the grocery store blew out,'' said J.D. Burtis, who works at a recreational vehicle park across the street. ''They're totally shot. All the windows and glass are gone. There's counters laying on the front door.''  ...Initial damage estimates were $750,000 to $1 million, said Bill Harm, King County assistant fire marshal. The explosion was apparently caused by the electric water heater at a video store in the plaza... ''The pressure relief valve had been capped, and the tank was partially drained of water,'' Hudson said. ''It built up steam pressure. It was a steam explosion.''  The thermostat on the water heater also may have malfunctioned, Harm said." A. P., July 28, 2001 @ (TechZone Ed: no mention of a RPBP meter containment device here, but perhaps there was one.. Uncontrolled thermal expansion at "contained" premises could result in similar catastrophes)

If you visit, don't drink the water  "The Hardy Road Trailer Park is a community with its own churning water wheel and narrow stream in a rolling section of western Bedford County. The scene of serenity belies a quagmire of problems, and the park's wealthy owner has declined for years to make repairs.  ...The trailer park's main drinking water system has been out of compliance with water-purity standards for about a decade. "That damn water, you can't drink that s---," said resident Ed Stafford, 75. "I don't see how he gets away with that."  ...State regulators said they have tried everything they can to get Cooper to bring park utility systems in compliance with relevant state laws, without success. The state has warned Cooper and issued notices of violation. The state persuaded him to sign compliance agreements and has fined him nearly $20,000. Cooper has stalled, broken promises, missed deadlines and given excuses while years of evidence mounts that he's violating drinking-water ...laws, according to ...documents filed with the Virginia Department of Health and Department of Environmental Quality. Drinking water laws say water piped to park residents must be pure, defined as fit for human consumption and domestic use...  ...Residents wash dishes and clothes and take showers in the water but seek other sources for drinking water, such as outdoor retail-store spigots. ...The use of outside spigots worries health officials. Commercial building owners are supposed to ensure that any outdoor spigot is operating properly and dispensing pure water, but there's always a chance of contamination caused by improper connections or other factors, Payne said. State officials haven't checked any alternative water sources used by residents, saying they do not know where all of them are.", Oct. 16, 2004

2 More Island Facilities Test Positive For Water Contamination  "The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued no-use orders on two more facilities on South Bass Island, saying that the water systems are contaminated. ...The facilities can't use the water for drinking, preparing food, washing dishes, hand washing, bathing, showering or brushing teeth. There are currently 15 public water systems on the island with no-use orders. ...During the month of August, more than 1,000 visitors to the popular summer tourist spot reported becoming ill, although less than 20 of them were confirmed to have a viral or bacterial infection." Newsnet5, Sept. 16, 2004

\Brown water turns off many area residents  "Stamford, Darien and Greenwich homes and businesses had brown, rusty-looking water pouring out of their faucets and showers the past two days because of a miscalculation by Aquarion Water Co. Brown water flowed Wednesday afternoon after the water company replaced a water valve at Turn of River Roadearlier in the day. Although not dangerous, the brown water sent people scurrying for the clear stuff. Stamford Hospital patients washed with bottled water, a coffee shop had to close early and a Laundromat posted a warning.  Dr. Johnnie Lee, Stamford's health director, said he understood why residents would be concerned. "There's no excessive amount of bacteria, but people are not going to drink brown water," he said."  The Advocate, Sept. 24, 2004

Peoria hikes utility deposit for renters  "Anyone who rents an apartment or house in Peoria will now be putting down a utility deposit of $200, rather than $100. ...And contractors will now have to pay a deposit of $1,000, up from $750, for each hydrant meter. The city raised the deposit to cover the cost of a backflow-prevention device, which it will now supply with each hydrant meter. Previously, the city supplied the meter but the contractor was responsible for getting and installing the backflow-prevention device and having it tested. City staff will now install and test both the hydrant meters and the backflow-prevention devices." The Arizona Republic, Sept. 24, 2004

Science cracks killer bug's code  "Scientists have deciphered the complete sequence of DNA in the bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease.  Infection with the Legionella pneumophila bacterium can be deadly, especially in the elderly or those with compromised immune systems. As such, it is regarded as a major environmental hazard. ...For it to do any harm to humans, fine droplets containing Legionella bacteria have to be inhaled. These contaminated aerosols can be released from showers, bath taps, spa pools, decorative fountains, from the cooling towers and evaporative condensers in air conditioning units, and even from the misters in supermarket vegetable cabinets. ...Poorly-maintained plumbing systems and air conditioning units are breeding grounds for Legionella. It grows in slimy bacterial colonies attached to surfaces such as the inside of pipes and water tanks. But bacteria can escape from these colonies into water flowing through them."  BBC NEWS World Edition, Sept. 23, 2004

Salmonella report released  "Last week the Lake County Leader ran a short brief on a salmonella report issued by the Lake County Health Department. The brief reported an outbreak of 15 cases of salmonella linked to an eating establishment in Lake County. The name of the restaurant was not disclosed in the original release. The Lake County Health Department confirmed the restaurant was The Dinnerbell Bakery and Banquets at St. Ignatius. The restaurant was given a cease and desist order Aug. 6, 2004. The order stated the establishment had been implicated in an outbreak of Salmonella Type B.  ...A cross-connection to the watering system for the chicken coop was found that could back-siphon contaminated water into the potable water system. ...Pollyanna Hochstetler owner of Dinnerbell, said they've licensed an engineer to do the repairs. "As far as we knew everything was perfect," said Hochstetler. "We were devastated when all this happened. Once the health department came out we realized the food and all was fine, but we concluded it had to be the water."    Lake County Leader, Sept. 15, 2004

Sydney Water working closely with Rouse Hill residents  "Sydney Water is working closely with residents of the Rouse Hill area following discovery yesterday of a cross-connection of the recycled water and drinking water supply which affected around 82 households. The cross-connection was the result of unauthorised plumbing work undertaken in the construction of a household in Rothwell Court, Glenwood. This in turn affected 82 households in Rothwell Court, Consolo Avenue, Carolyn Court and Rory Court. ...According to Sydney Water Managing Director, David Evans, Sydney Water will undertake a thorough investigation to understand how such a breach of established requirements for this type of plumbing work occurred. “We’re extremely disappointed that this incident – which was easily avoidable - has occurred. ...Mr Evans said once Sydney Water identified the cross-connection, the organisation immediately activated protocols established with NSW Health governing such an issue."  Sydney Water Media Release, August 26, 2004

Officer hurt in crash  "A rookie Oceanside police officer responding to another officer's call for help early Monday was severely injured when his patrol car crashed and burst into flames, authorities said. Officer Mark Parenteau, 25, suffered a broken leg and burns to his right foot in the accident at about 12:45 a.m. at College Boulevard and Old Grove Road. ...Officer Joel Arding, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, said Parenteau was responding to an officer's call for help at 12:45 a.m. ...Parenteau lost control of the patrol car at an unknown speed on a College Boulevard curve, Arding said. He said the car slammed into a pipe that prevents water backflow, a light post and a tree. "The cruiser burst into flames," Arding said." North County Times, Sept. 13, 2004

Water survey 95% completed  "CHICOPEE - Water Department officials said they are about 95 percent done with the survey of the city's commercial, industrial, schools and other large public and private buildings to assure adherence to state law regarding cross connections and preventative measures to insure protection of the public water system. Water Department inspectors have been out canvassing facilities checking water supply systems to make sure they comply with regulations. ...The city has been conducting inspections since 1999 when responsibility shifted from the state to the city.  Water Superintendent Christopher J. Golba said the Water Department maintains a continuing Cross Connection Control Program, and inspections are generally an ongoing procedure, particularly as new facilities open. He said the city rarely has found noncompliance, but where there have been problems, recommendations were made, the appropriate plumbing changes completed according to plans submitted and approved, the building re-inspected and test (backflow) devices applied to make sure the system is operational. ...Golba said many of the city's older facilities, where cross connections were more likely, have already been inspected and comply."  The Republican, September 12, 2004

E. coli contamination isolated to one home  "Even though the water is said to be safe to drink, James Brown who lives in the Sideview community is afraid to consume it without first boiling it. Over the weekend the Castalian Springs Bethpage Utility District, which serves about 3,000 households east and north of Gallatin, reported finding E. coli in a water sampling. However, further testing showed that positive results for E. coli from one source in the Rock Bridge area of Sumner County were isolated to one house, according to Bennie Oldham, operations and personnel manager of the utility district. Oldham declined to release the home’s address. ...The home where the positive sampling was discovered had a cross connection with a well which mixed water from the utility district. “There was a cross connection with the well, and we immediately locked it off,” Oldham said. Water was not turned back on to the residence until the well was disconnected from the public water supply." The News Examiner, August 11, 2004

Louisiana passes certification requirement for irrigation contractors   "...Louisiana's governor signed into law a bill that requires certification of landscape irrigation contractors in that state.  ...In order to install backflow prevention devices, the irrigation contractor must obtain a water supply protection specialist endorsement from the State Plumbing Board."  Landscape Management, August 30, 2004

Tests focus on drinking water in Ohio island illness "Investigators trying to track down the source of an outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses on a Lake Erie resort island are focusing on drinking water. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency officials ordered inspections Thursday on private wells to determine whether they are connected to and contaminating the village of Put-in-Bay's drinking water system. The concern is that leaking septic tanks could be contaminating well water and then flowing back into the clean drinking water. ...The department has tested a handful of samples from those who say they suffered from chills, fever, diarrhea and vomiting. Eighteen people tested positive for one of two types of bacterial infections or one type of viral infection. Those test results led investigators to begin focusing on whether there could be any cross-contamination between private wells and wastewater systems.", August 26, 2004

SOUTH BASS ISLAND 6 new wells test positive for E. coli; don't drink water, 4 businesses told  "...While health officials issued words of caution yesterday about the island's well water, they reaffirmed that water provided by the water system of the village of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island is safe. "There is not a problem with their water there. We're not concerned with it," said Patricia Madigan, deputy director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. But she did say that health experts have asked village leaders to check all auxiliary wells at South Bass Island to ensure no cross connections are present with their system. A cross connection between the village's drinking-water system and a contaminated well could allow for the village's entire drinking-water system to become contaminated, officials have said. Two cross connections have been discovered to date, one at the Jet Express boat docks in downtown Put-in-Bay and the other at a bath house, Ms. Madigan said."  Toledo Blade, August 27, 2004

Village's supply of water is probed; cross-connections banned, mayor says  "Teams of health experts investigating a mystery Lake Erie island illness spent time yesterday looking at whether any possible cross-contamination could have occurred to the Put-in-Bay village water supply. Jay Carey, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Health, said investigators were searching for the presence of cross-connections at homes and businesses where people use village water and also have well water. A cross-connection could allow for contamination of village water...Health experts to date said that nearly 1,000 people who have traveled to South Bass Island have reported experiencing gastrointestinal sicknesses over the summer. The illness typically surfaces two days after exposure and triggers bouts of nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and diarrhea.   Put-in-Bay Mayor Bernard "Mack" McCann said last night that he felt confident investigators would not find any cross-contamination with the village's water supply, nor the presence of any cross-connections, either."  Toledo Blade, August 26, 2004

City enforcing installation of backflow devices to commercial businesses   "Many businesses within the city have been advised recently by the Public Works Department, that they must comply with a state mandate relating to the health and safety of the public water supply by installing backflow prevention devices at their business locations. As a result of the city’s attempt to enforce the mandate, many local business owners are up in arms as the cost of installing the devices is relatively expensive. ...“Our business has been in operation for years and we have been okay and now all of a sudden there’s a problem?” asked Holly Irwin who operates Blythe Pizza. “It’s hard enough doing business as it is. I don’t need any extra bills.”  Irwin said they have been at their current location for over seven years and she wonders why this has become an issue now.  ...Crecelius, one of the approved plumbing contractors to install the devices, said the cost could be between $300 to $4,000 for installation per business, depending on the different sizes of connections required and depending on the number of locations." Palo Verde Valley Times, August 14, 2004

Position Paper: The Impact of Selection and Installation of Backflow Prevention Devices in Fire Sprinkler Systems by Other Trades  "Automatic Fire Sprinkler Contractors have been installing backflow preventers on fire sprinkler systems for over 30 years. Throughout the United States this is a prevalent practice and in the states where there are licensing laws for fire sprinkler contractors, most require that only a licensed fire sprinkler contractor can install a backflow prevention device on a fire sprinkler system.  There has been a recent challenge in some states that only plumbers should install backflow preventers, but this is a flawed theory.  Obviously, plumbers should install backflow preventers on plumbing systems, but other trades such as fire sprinkler, HVAC, landscape irrigation sprinkler contractors, highway heavy contractors and others have been installing backflow preventers on their respective responsible systems ever since backflows were developed.  Some would argue that it is not important whether plumbers install backflow preventers or not, but it is important and it could be deadly.  In the medical profession, a general practitioner would not perform heart surgery; and in the contracting profession, a plumber should not install a backflow preventer on a fire sprinkler system unless he is a competent fire sprinkler contractor."

Search for Clean Water Continues "This is the first installment of a three-part series on the history of water treatment and waterborne diseases. The subject was suggested by a respondent... In this first article, we’ll look at our quest for clean drinking water from ancient times to the present, using various water treatment methods. While there is no way we can touch on every water treatment known to humankind, we can illustrate that humans have always had a thirst for clean water. ...Long before humans learned to rub two sticks together to make fire or took a hammer and chisel in hand to carve out the first wheel, they thirsted for pure drinking water. As we find ourselves in awe of the latest contaminant treatment methods and detection devices, it is easy to forget that the desire for pure drinking water is not a modern phenomenon. Evidence from almost all historical periods suggests that people took measures to ensure a fresh drink of water. But sometimes that drink came with more than its thirst quenching qualities. Early humans thought that the taste of the water determined its purity, and they did not consider that even the best tasting water could contain disease-causing organisms. We know now that just because water tastes good, it is not necessarily safe to drink."  National Drinking Water Clearinghouse

Contaminated Water Makes a Deadly Drink "This is the second installment of a three-part series on the history of water treatment and waterborne diseases. Small, nomadic bands of people once roamed the Earth, camping and hunting with the seasons. Barely aware of each other, these ancient people lived and worked like extended families. But that isolation didn’t last long. Soon the wandering bands began to settle into larger groups—recognizing the benefits of sharing skills and safety in numbers, thus creating what we now call civilization. They formed cities and towns. ...Besides polluting water with fecal matter, city residents often made no provisions for garbage collection. In many cities, town officials even encouraged butchers, fishmongers, and other trades people to throw refuse into the streets, assuming that roaming animals would dispose of it...  ...Pestilence dared to show its ugly face, and it bore more than one name—cholera, typhus, typhoid, malaria, and yellow fever were among its favorites. As cities grew increasingly crowded, both waterborne and other diseases flourished. But it would take a long time for humankind to understand the cause of its misery." National Drinking Water Clearinghouse

Safe Water Should Always Be on Tap "This is the final installment of a three-part series on the history of drinking water treatment and waterborne disease. ...the path to modern drinking water tech-nology is a long one that we have yet to finish. Centuries of experimentation, research, and trial and error among scientists and engineers have progressed in a determined direction. But much more needs to be done. The 19th century brought several pioneering researchers. The work of individuals, such as Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur—who established the germ theory of infectious disease—and John Snow—the man who recognized the relationship between a single water source and illness—made it possible to develop sanitation methods and water treatment practices that provide people with safe drinking water. Along with the understanding that microorganisms were responsible for most waterborne diseases came drinking water rules and regulations." National Drinking Water Clearinghouse

City utility employees working nonstop   "PUNTA GORDA -- Neil Peters and Dave Harvell spent Monday doing what they've been doing since Hurricane Charley struck.  They are fixing leaks springing up in the water system. Peters described Punta Gorda Utilities work crews as starting their days at 7 a.m. and working as late as 10 p.m. Immediately after the hurricane, some employees worked as many as 22 hours. ..."The physical work isn't the toughest part," he said. "It's where do we go from here; that we don't know when things will get back to normal."   Monday afternoon found Peters and Harvell at City Hall, where a service line broke. The line broke at its connections to one of the backflow prevention devices that was battered by the hurricane-force winds. Most of the morning was spent fixing leaks in residential neighborhoods."   Sun and Weekly Herald, August 24, 2004

Hospital's water tests positive for bacteria  "Magic Valley Regional Medical Center provided bottled water to its patients with weakened immune systems Thursday after confirming the presence of total coliform bacteria in the hospital's water supply. The hospital and city and state officials said Magic Valley Regional's other patients and staff were not at risk of illness from drinking the water, and the possible contamination was isolated to the hospital. The city discovered the problem after a routine test Monday, said Water Superintendent Mike Schroeder. ...The hospital has a cross-connection system in place to keep water that comes into the hospital from escaping back into the public supply, Schroeder said."  The Times-News, August 13, 2004

E. coli contamination isolated to one home  "Even though the water is said to be safe to drink, James Brown who lives in the Sideview community is afraid to consume it without first boiling it. Over the weekend the Castalian Springs Bethpage Utility District, which serves about 3,000 households east and north of Gallatin, reported finding E. coli in a water sampling.  ...The home where the positive sampling was discovered had a cross connection with a well which mixed water from the utility district. “There was a cross connection with the well, and we immediately locked it off,” Oldham said. Water was not turned back on to the residence until the well was disconnected from the public water supply. ...He added the water district is required to carry out an ongoing program and plan to find and eliminate cross connections.  Oldham said the district is in the process of implementing a cross connection program." The News Examiner, August 11, 2004

Backflow ordinance wins council's unanimous approval (TechZone Ed: see middle part of the article) "...Tuesday, the council enacted a state-mandated ordinance that will require residents to install devices on outdoor spigots to prevent discharged water from re-entering the public water supply "The average person will have to spend $5 to $7 to comply, per (outdoor) spigot," Alderman Wayne Weese said, before the ordinance won unanimous approval." The Longview News-Journal, August 11, 2004

Alpine may require backflow devices at homes, businesses  "Property owners connected to Alpine’s water system who have irrigation systems, water wells or other sources of potential backflow contamination to the city’s drinking water will be contacted soon about the need to install backflow prevention devices, City Manager Karen Philippi said Thursday (July 22) ...Alpine’s failure to enforce its own ordinance requiring the installation and yearly testing of backflow prevention assemblies was one reason cited in the notice of enforcement from the TCEQ received by the city on May 27. Installation and inspection costs falls upon the property owners, Philippi said. The cost of the devices depends on the type required. Inspection typically costs $100, she said. ...Certain businesses, such as hospitals, dentists’ offices, beauty shops, funeral homes and car washes, are required to install the devices to protect the city’s drinking water from contamination from chemicals used in those businesses." The Desert-Mountain Times, July 29, 2004

Speedway to remain shut    "Selectmen have again put the brakes on the opening of Star Speedway, a popular Epping racetrack that has been plagued by a series of code violations in recent years. .....there are plumbing violations that still must be resolved, one deficiency Webber repaired last year before the track opened was a problem with a water-flushing pipe in a urinal trough. The state plumbing inspector had determined that the pipe was installed in a way that could have created a "cross-connection" to allow urine to enter the drinking water supply.", April 16, 2004

Water Board seeks supply system protection ordinance  "Clarksburg Water Board on Tuesday passed a resolution to ask Clarksburg City Council to establish an ordinance designed to protect the public potable water supply. .....  We're forcing the issue with everyone right now," said Craig R. Cobb, P.E., a supervising district engineer with the Office of West Virginia Health Services in Philippi.  He said plans for regulations have been recorded since 1976. "So it's long overdue," Cobb said......  Clarksburg would be the first municipality statewide to enact official measures to identify policies and make them enforceable."  Clarksburg West Virginia Exponent Telegram,   March 24, 2004

Queens Village Residents Protest Live Poultry Slaughterhouse   ".........Several months ago, DEP inspectors instructed the owner of the property to install grease traps to capture the industrial waste dripping from the cars, which will be worked on alongside the poultry operation. Last Friday, inspectors asked the owners to also install a backflow prevention device to keep water contaminated by both livestock and industrial waste from backing up in the city’s pipes. Neither has yet been complied with, according to DEP spokesman Ian Michaels.  Queens New York, Chronicle, April 1, 2004 

Man sues city over wastewater pumped through his water line, CAPE CORAL, Fla. -  "A man sued the city because his home was one of four mistakenly hooked up to treated wastewater lines instead of drinking water lines.....  David Balough drank the water from April 21 to July 29, 2003, and experienced "incessant and often severe stomach cramping and diarrhea, according to the lawsuit filed in circuit court.....",  March 03, 2004

Plumbers lose their wrenches. City may take legal action over sprinklers....  Residential hotel owned by plumbers union ignores city order to install fire sprinkler system (italics added).  S.F. Examiner, March 12, 2004

State injunction filed in Tyler Court case, Idaho Dept. of Environment Quality files a notice of alleged violations to Idaho health codes, including backflow issues, Idaho Press Tribune, March 19, 2004

Plea for every human to have access to safe drinking water "A plea to the world's physicians and health authorities to do more to support measures to provide access to safe drinking water at low cost to every human on the planet has been made by the World Medical Association. At its annual General Assembly in Tokyo, the WMA called for the prevention of pollution of water supplies, more access to sanitation and the provision of potable water during emergencies. In a statement approved by more than 400 delegates from 40 countries, the WMA said that over half the world's population did not have access to clean and uncontaminated water, and even in those places where there was an abundance of fresh water it was threatened by pollution and other negative forces. The WMA is seeking to encourage all those responsible for health to consider the importance of water for individual and public health Water-borne diseases account for a large proportion of mortality and morbidity, especially in developing countries...  ...In calling for a list of measures, the WMA Statement said that the development of a sustainable infrastructure for the provision of safe water contributed greatly to sound public health and national well-being. Curtailing infectious diseases and other ailments that are caused by unsafe water alleviate the burden of health care costs and improve productivity. This creates a positive ripple effect on national economies."  News-Medical.Net, Oct. 12, 2004

Lead testing called misleading  "WASHINGTON — Cities across the country are manipulating the results of tests used to detect lead in water, violating federal law and putting millions of Americans at risk of drinking more of the contaminant than their suppliers are reporting. Some cities, including Philadelphia and Boston, have thrown out tests that show high readings or have avoided testing homes most likely to have lead, records show. In New York City, the nation's largest water provider has for the past three years assured its 9.3 million customers that its water was safe because the lead content fell below federal limits. But the city withheld from regulators hundreds of test results that would have raised lead levels above the safety standard in two of those years, according to records. The result is that communities, large and small, may have a false sense of security about the quality of their water. ...Utility officials defend their testing methods, saying they are not designed to intentionally deceive the government and that state regulators approved their practices. Others argue they should not have to spend millions to remove lead that leaches from their customers' own fixtures. ...Lead exposure can cause serious health problems, including lower IQs in children and brain and kidney damage in adults.", Oct. 10, 2004

PPP programme under fire as water scare hits second school  "...Teachers at Rosshall Academy in Glasgow have renewed accusations of negligence levelled at their employers with regard to the health of staff and pupils, after the school became the second of the city’s new secondaries to suffer serious water problems.  They are also accusing education chiefs of a cover-up, claiming parents and pupils have not been formally alerted to concerns about the drinking water from school taps.  ...Now tests have revealed possible contamination by copper compounds and also coliform bacteria – a warning sign that disease-causing organisms may be present – in the water supply at Rosshall in Crookston. ...Barry Carmichael, has taken photographs of the water he says has been supplied to his science rooms when it has looked obviously contaminated. “It is opaque and green – you can’t see through it,” he said. “It has been an intermittent problem for about 14 months.   ... “Flushing the system with chlorine may clear it temporarily but we don’t know where the contamination comes from and this isn’t going to provide any answers.” Sunday Herald, Oct. 10, 2004

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

D.C. Officials Call Water Safe, Residents Uncertain "Ray Smith is not convinced. With only months elapsing since the district's Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) first revealed excessive lead levels in the water, WASA's frequent mailers to assure district residents that aggressive action is being taken on the water issue are what this D.C. father calls: "junk mail." "They [WASA] send out mail trying to convince us that the orthophosphate they are using is cleaning up the water, but then I hear on the news that DC's water is getting worse!" Indeed it is. An announcement by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials late September stated that bacteria levels in DC tap water exceeded federal health standards for the first time since 1996.  ...According to the EPA, Orthophosphate is the culprit. ...The "corrosion inhibitor" is supposed to form a protective coating inside service pipelines and household plumbing to prevent lead from leaching into drinking water.  As a food grade chemical, it is generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is certified for use by the National Sanitation Foundation. Reduced lead levels in water were expected within one year. That was the plan; however, the orthophosphate may have shaken off a layer of rust and bacteria inside city water pipes, causing a sudden spike in bacteria levels, according to the EPA." The Hilltop, Oct. 26, 2004

Boil-water order in effect  Belchertown, Mass. "A boil-water order is still in effect ...after coliform bacteria was found, and officials expect the earliest the order could be lifted is Monday. ..."This district is continuing to test and treat appropriately what we believe to be coliform bacteria" ...Water testing done at the public schools discovered the presence of bacteria, and the boil-water order went into effect  Thursday  ...Judy T. Metcalf, director of public health for the Quabbin Health District, said she has been in touch with food establishments about the water problem. This is the fourth boil-water order in recent years... ...The water system is being chlorinated. The bacteria found can sicken individuals, especially those with weakened immune systems. Officials are unsure how much bacteria is in the water and what is causing the contamination."  The Republican, Oct. 23, 2004

Record Number of Pool-Related Diseases in U.S. "The number of Americans who got sick from swimming or bathing in tainted pools, spas and other facilities jumped 21 percent to a record high during 2001 and 2002, the government said on Thursday. Poor pool and spa maintenance, watershed contamination and the tendency of some people to swim while sick were among the factors that led to the rise in illnesses such as diarrhea and skin infections, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. ...A separate CDC study released on Thursday showed that fewer Americans got sick from drinking water in 2001-2002 than did so in the previous two-year period. The CDC said outbreaks of illnesses linked to drinking water had decreased by 20.5 percent." Reuters, Oct. 21, 2004

Health Tip: Travelers, Be Wary of Cholera "While cholera has been virtually eliminated by modern sewage- and water-treatment systems in the industrialized world, travelers to parts of Latin America, Africa or Asia need to be cautious, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. ...A person gets cholera by drinking contaminated water or eating tainted food. The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water."  Health Day, Oct. 20, 2004

Basement living not so simple under new regulations "...The International Residential Code, or IRC, went into effect Oct. 1 statewide. The changes stem from a national effort to align three separate building codes throughout the United States...  ...All new construction must comply with these requirements. ...Lawn sprinkler systems are now required to have a backflow prevention device that prevents water from seeping back into domestic water pipes. ...Hot water heaters are required to have thermal expansion tanks in case the water boils and expands....", Oct. 20, 2004

From source of concern to LIFE SOURCE "Fresh, clean tap water is something everyone takes for granted. But when water loses its quality or appearance, officials have to take quick action, because citizens get upset. Broussard had some water problems a few months ago when a new water well the city dug didn’t meet the desired results of certain tests. ...But even though Louisiana has lots of water, just digging a well to tap into the supply isn’t as simple as it might seem...  ...We had problems with color, and then had problems with film, ...which gives the water a cloudy appearance.  ...The problem has been solved, ...but it took a while to get the right balance of chemical and treatment processes. ...Ancient civilizations established themselves around water sources. While the importance of ample water quantity for drinking and other purposes was apparent to our ancestors, an understanding of drinking water quality was not well known or documented. Although historical records have long mentioned aesthetic problems (an unpleasant appearance, taste or smell) with regard to drinking water, it took thousands of years for people to recognize that their senses alone were not accurate judges of water quality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Academy of Engineering in 2000 named water treatment as one of the most significant public health advancements of the 20th Century." The Advertiser, Oct. 19, 2004

What lurks in planes' water supply? "Many travelers, cautious about the water they drink abroad, ask for drinks without ice in exotic locations and brush their teeth with bottled water. But recent tests by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggest that airline passengers may want to use the same caution before landing. In August and September, the EPA tested the water on 158 domestic and international aircraft at U.S. airports, finding that 87 percent met the agency's standards for the quality of drinking water. Of course, that meant 13 percent did not. ...What the EPA found in the water that did not meet standards is total coliform bacteria, which isn't necessarily harmful (it's common in soil, lakes, humans and animals), but its presence in drinking water indicates other disease-causing organisms may be lurking. On two aircraft, the EPA also found E. coli, which may indicate fecal contamination and can cause diarrhea, nausea or other illnesses. ...In the United States, aircraft typically get water from municipal supplies, transferred either by truck or by hose directly from the airport's water system. "The question we have is, where is the coliform introduced if the results we received are in fact accurate?" Skinner said. "You can have contamination in the truck, the hose, the aircraft tank itself -- so there are multiple possibilities." ...In the meantime, ...nearly all airlines offer bottled drinking water free. But the water used for coffee and tea does typically come from aircraft storage tanks, ...and is not necessarily heated to a temperature that would kill bacteria." The Charlotte Observer, Oct. 18, 2004

Hepatitis spreads in 2 Iraqi districts  "A virulent form of hepatitis that is especially lethal for pregnant women has broken out in two of Iraq's most troubled districts, Iraqi Health Ministry officials said in interviews here this week, and they warned that a collapse of water and sewage systems in the country is probably at the root of the illnesses. .The disease, called Hepatitis E, is caused by a virus that is often spread by sewage-contaminated drinking water. The immediate reason for the outbreaks in Sadr City and Mahmudiya appear to be easy to pin down, Abid said. The lack of infrastructure induces families to tap into water mains with improvised hoses, he said, citing his own visits to the communities. They then use small electric pumps to bring water into their homes. .But in these same communities, sewage either seeps from damaged pipes into the ground or runs freely in the streets. So, through cracks and holes in people's hoses, sewage is sucked in too, becoming mixed with the drinking water and spreading the virus.." The problem is that there is a leakage in the sewer system of Sadr," said an assistant to the director general for water in the Baghdad municipality. "Our treatment plant produces water with WHO specifications," The International Herald Tribune, Sept. 24, 2004

WHO updates water safety guidelines  "The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued new safety guidelines for drinking water that put the emphasis on prevention of waterborne disease rather than responses to outbreaks. Currently, water sanitation relies largely on testing water samples for chemical and biological contaminants, but this often means that pollutants are identified long after the water has been consumed. Instead, says the WHO, regulators should ensure water quality by protecting water sources and controlling treatment processes 'from source to tap'. This approach can be applied to any setting, whether isolated rural situations such as settlement camps or urban centres with running water."  SciDevNet, Sept. 22, 2004

What is E. coli and where does it come from?  "E. coli is a type of bacteria commonly found in the intestines of animals and humans. E. coli is short for Escherichia coli. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the presence of E. coli in water is a strong indication of recent sewage or animal waste contamination. There are different kinds of E. coli, some harmful to humans and some not harmful.  ...Infections spread by many food sources such as undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized milk and apple cider, ham, turkey, roast beef, sandwich meats, raw vegetables, cheese and contaminated water."  CBC News, Sept. 26, 2004

EPA Makes Passenger Aircraft Water Testing Information Available  "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today is informing the American public of results from initial testing of drinking water onboard 158 randomly selected passenger airplanes. Preliminary data released by EPA today shows that in the recent tests, most of the aircraft tested (87.4%) met EPA drinking water quality standards. However, 12.6 percent of domestic and international passenger aircraft tested in the U. S. carried water that did not meet EPA standards....Aircraft tank water is used in the galleys and lavatory sinks. Initial testing of onboard water supply revealed 20 aircraft with positive results for total coliform bacteria; two of these aircraft (1.3 percent) also tested positive for E.coli. Both total coliform and E.coli are indicators that other disease-causing organisms (pathogens) may be present in the water and could potentially affect public health. ...Passengers with compromised immune systems or others concerned may want to request canned or bottled beverages. ...EPA is working actively with ATA, which represents a number of major airlines, as well as with non-ATA members, on agreements regarding steps the airlines will take to ensure acceptable drinking water quality."  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Sept. 20, 2004

Early Tests Show Germs in D.C. Water  "Preliminary tests this month of the District's water have registered some of the highest bacteria levels since summer 1996, when the city warned some people to boil tap water because of possible contamination, federal officials said yesterday. The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency plan to hold a news conference this afternoon to announce the increase in bacteria levels in routine water tests and to explain what action will be taken if remaining tests confirm an overall bacteria problem.  ...In recent weeks, WASA has increased its disinfection treatment and flushing of distribution pipes to ease the problem, WASA officials said. WASA officials said that they surmise that the addition this summer of a new chemical to curb high lead levels is contributing to the peeling of bacteria film from pipe surfaces." Washington Post, Sept. 23, 2004

Sickness strikes Sun Princess  "A total of 276 passengers and crew became ill from suspected outbreaks of the Norwalk virus aboard the cruise ship Sun Princess on its final three Alaska voyages, according to Health Canada. ...passengers arriving in Alaska for the trip back to Vancouver were warned in advance by the shipping line that they might be exposed to the virus. "They were all notified prior to embarkation"....  ...Meanwhile, ...the ship is heading to San Francisco for scheduled maintenance and would be comprehensively sanitized to clear out the virus. "It's something brought aboard by people who have the virus and we're very successful at stopping it spreading" The Vancouver Sun, Sept. 21, 2004 (cross-connections in the water system?? Norwalk Virus very often waterborne, story developing)

Area residents warned to boil water before use  "Customers of the Pottstown water system are being advised to boil their water for one minute before drinking it and to continue this practice until Monday. The boil water order was issued because a routine sample showed a level of turbidity, or cloudiness, about 75 percent higher than the maximum allowable limit. "Because of these high levels of turbidity, there is an increased chance that the water may contain disease-causing organisms," according to an announcement from the borough.  ...The problem at the plant occurred as a result of an improper mix of aluminum sulfate, the chemical used to neutralize the change of the organic material in Schuylkill River water that comprises turbidity, said a plant official. ..Although "turbidity has no health effects" it "can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth," according to the borough announcement. The organisms that can grow as a result of the increased turbidity include bacteria, viruses and parasites and symptoms can include nausea, cramps, diarrhea and headaches."  The Mercury, September 10, 2004

Nuclear power plant shut down again for valve repair  "The Indian Point 2 nuclear power plant was taken out of service Wednesday for the second time in two weeks so a valve could be repaired, its owner said. The plant was shut down safely, with no danger to the public, said Jim Steets, a spokesman for Entergy Nuclear Northeast. The valve, known as a check valve and used to prevent backflow in the feedwater system, was not closing completely, Steets saidHe said the plant had been running at 70 percent capacity for a few days while engineers tried to find a way to repair the valve without shutting the reactor, but eventually decided a shutdown was required. "We couldn't achieve the isolation we wanted," Steets said.", Sept. 15, 2004

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 September 2004  "...Flight Engineer Fincke meanwhile conducted another monthly potable water sampling for in-flight chemistry/microbiology analysis (Week 18), using jointly approved Russian sampling procedures with the U.S. WS&A (water sampler & archiver) for collection and the WMK (water microbiology kit) for treatment/processing within 6 hours of the collection (done later today).  Sample analysis also includes processing water samples in the MWAK (microbial water analysis kit) for inflight coliform bacteria (Escherichia coli) detection."

Officials narrow contamination source  "Tests for bacteria in the hospital's water supply came back positive Friday, and officials believe the contamination likely came from a water softener system. "The tests came back with a continued presence of coliform bacteria," said Shawn Barigar, spokesman for Magic Valley Regional Medical Center. "We've pretty well isolated it to their water systems," City Water Superintendent Mike Schroeder said. "We believe there was something growing in there. On the inlet the samples were absent. On the discharge side of the water softener system, (tests) were positive. That pretty well tells us something is wrong right there."  ...Officials said the bacteria are confined to the hospital's water supply and did not get into the city's supply. The hospital has a cross-connection device to keep water that comes into the hospital from getting back into city water, Schroeder said." The Times-News, August 14, 2004

Dirty Water Provokes Hepatitis Outbreak in Darfur "An outbreak of hepatitis E shows that teeming camps of refugees from the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region are at growing risk from water and sewage-borne diseases, health agencies said Monday.  The outbreak of the viral liver infection, for which there is no vaccine, comes early in the rainy season and could herald other, more deadly epidemics, according to the World Health Organization and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). "It is a hepatitis E outbreak, which shows the need to improve sanitation and access to potable water....Hepatitis E, caught from dirty water or food, typically strikes people between the ages of 15 and 40 and kills five per cent of victims." Reuters, August 9, 2004

Backflow Testing, Application and Technology  "Contaminated water is like a ravenous lion, but our key concern is the lion tamer. He or she is the tester whose role it is to verify system safety at the most critical link, the backflow assembly."  Cover Story July 2004, PM Engineer

Potential Contamination Due to Cross-Connections and Backflow and the Associated Health Risks - An Issues Paper  "The purpose of this document is to review existing literature, research, and information on the occurence, 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 occurence of cross-connections and backflow within distribution systems." EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, August 13, 2002

Making the connection  "Turning on the faucet and getting a drink of water (or running a bath or washing a load of laundry) is not considered, by most people, a risky act. That is thanks, in part, to safety procedures set in place to keep public water supplies free of possible hazards and contaminants. City officials are hoping you bear this in mind when asked to fill out a cross connection water survey. “Asking” is what the city is doing -- complying, as it turns out, is required by state law. ...If some of this seems vaguely familiar  ...that’s because you did fill out such a survey two years ago. And you’ll be asked to fill out another one in two more years. “In order to maintain our licenses to provide and operate a public water supply, we (the city) have to ensure that appropriate inspections and maintenance of all cross-connection control devices is performed. Adherence to this precaution has become even more important to regulatory agencies since the 9-11 terrorist attacks,” said Long. The city of Tuscola has approximately 2,300 water customers. A one-time mass mailing would be cost-prohibitive, so the city has elected to “batch” the surveys with water bills. “We send out surveys to about 100 customers per month, which with out clientele list takes right at two years to reach the entire population."  The Tuscola Review, July 6, 2004

Irrigation needs backflow prevention  "Lawn irrigation systems make watering lawns and gardens easier, save you time, and can be designed to be water efficient. However, water contaminated by weed killers, fertilizers, and animal waste can backflow into your drinking water. To protect your drinking water from a potential contamination, it is important to have an approved backflow protection assembly on your irrigation system. Lawn irrigation systems do require special equipment to prevent contaminated water from siphoning back into your home plumbing and city water systems. A lawn irrigation system not protected by an approved backflow prevention assembly endangers the health of a household, neighborhood, and community. All lawn irrigation systems -- new or existing -- must be equipped with an Idaho State approved backflow prevention assembly. Only an Idaho State and Plumbing Code approved backflow prevention assembly properly installed will meet the City Plumbing Code and provide proper protection for the health of your family and neighbors.  All irrigation systems supplied by the public water system require a plumbing permit prior to installing a backflow assembly. All backflow prevention assemblies must be tested annually for proper operation and protection.", June 21, 2004

Rockland Legislature approves sprinkler law   "Rockland homeowners who install sprinkler systems without inspection (testing & certification) by a licensed plumber could face a $500 fine under a county law approved last night. The Legislature overrode the county executive's veto, 17-0, and agreed to require that county-licensed plumbers inspect water irrigation systems, such as sprinklers, installed or expanded by nonlicensed plumbers. Poorly installed systems can pollute the water supply with backflow, said Legislator Kenneth Zebrowski, who introduced the law. ...The law requires any installer who changes an irrigation system for lawns or other uses after June 30 to get an inspection certificate from a licensed plumber. Copies of the inspection certificates must go to Rockland's Coordinator of Consumer Protection. The coordinator also must create a plan to educate the public about the law and effects of backflow. The first violation would have a $500 fine, but it could be waived by the coordinator for a warning. Repeat violators could face $1,000 fines."  The Journal News, June 16, 2004

Prosecute mine giant: report  "Mining giant Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) should be prosecuted after drinking water at its controversial Ranger Mine became contaminated with uranium, a NT government report has found.  Mines and Energy Minister Kon Vatskalis said a report found the Rio Tinto company had breached NT legislation, and recommended prosecution.  ..."But at the same time before we proceed to prosecution we want to make sure that whatever we do is going to stick."   ...The mine's operations were shut down for two weeks after the site's water supply became polluted with uranium and other chemicals after processed water was mistakenly connected to the drinking water supply. "I'm really surprised that a hose connected potable water to processed water without taking care to install backflow prevention valves," Mr Vatskalis said. "It's such a fundamental mistake, such a stupid error, but it happened.""  The Australian, May 19, 2004

Traditional owners out of patience for Ranger mine  "Some of the traditional owners of Kakadu National Park say they are fed up with ongoing incidents involving the Ranger uranium mine.ABC TV's 7:30 Report has revealed a party of scientists and traditional owners last week drank water they should not have because a valve had been left open. The Commonwealth's supervising scientist says the group believed the tap had been cleared following a contamination incident at the mine last month."  ABC News Online Australia, April 13, 2004

City's water quality 'excellent' "Sterling Heights' (Michigan) drinking water is safe to drink and "meet and exceeds" industry standards. ...News reports on Sunday and Monday stated that residents were becoming ill, possibly due to the failure of the Romeo arm of the Macomb Sewer Interceptor. Kebbe said that while some residents claim they were feeling ill, it has "absolutely nothing to do with the sewer failure at 15 Mile Road and Fontana Drive."  ...City officials say a company has been playing on fears and taking advantage of emotions by soliciting a water testing service throughout local neighborhoods in recent days. The company targets homeowners in hopes of selling water purification systems. Kebbe discourages residents to use any type of purification system if they are customers of the DWSD water supply because "testing, again and again, has proven the high quality of our water supply. Therefore, purification systems are not needed in our area and can be costly."  ...Kebbe stated that contamination of the city's high-pressure water supply is highly unlikely because the city's sewer and water systems are two completely independent systems. He explained that the sewer interceptor runs 55 to 60 feet below ground while city water lines typically are located just six feet underground. "The systems are engineered that way to prevent contamination." The Source, Sept. 3, 2004

An advisory warns against drinking Komoka's water.  "Like many others in Komoka, Tom and Louise Sawyer tapped into a backup water  supply after learning water from the municipal system was not safe to drink. The Sawyers, who live on Oxbow Drive, were able to draw water from their own well after the Middlesex-London Health Unit issued an advisory Tuesday evening warning tap water was not safe for drinking or cooking. The advisory was issued as a precaution after a diesel fuel leak was found in a pump house that's part of the municipal water system."  The London Free Press News, August 26, 2004

Illegal to install filter near meter  "IT IS an offence to install a water filter near a water consumption reading meter, Sin Chew Daily reported. The daily quoted an official from Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) as saying that installing a water filter within 3m of the loop of the meter could contaminate the source of supply due to the backflow of unclean water. PBAPP chief executive officer Datuk Liew Chook San said water filters that were not regularly maintained would lead to bacteria growth and pollute the water source. He added that the gadget could also interfere with the meter reading." The Star Online, Malaysia, August 30, 2004

Monsoon Rains Bring Illnesses  "KATHMANDU, Aug 26 (IPS) - On a recent afternoon, Dhana Maya Shrestha limped into the medical ward at the Shukraraj Tropical Hospital here in the Nepali capital, as the nurses gave her a new bottle of saline water. ‘'Many people in our village came down with cholera,'‘ said the 35-year-old mother of two from Dhading hills, her voice low as she lay in bed. ‘‘We don't know why.'‘  .....Even in Kathmandu, in June, hundreds of people were affected by a gastro-related epidemic. That, officials admitted, was fuelled by a leakage in Kathmandu's archaic drinking water supply network, which crosses the city's sewerage network. But this can change once leaks are plugged, and aggressive hygiene, sanitation and safe water campaigns are launched. ‘‘A small step aimed at increasing the awareness level of the households can make a huge difference,'‘  Shrestha ...said. ...Doctors say a cholera epidemic spread in her village after the locals took contaminated water   ...other experts say ensuring basic needs such as safe drinking water to the populations living in remote areas and urban slums would go a long way in checking the spread of the routinely occurring epidemics.", August 26, 2004

Contractor charged in Cleveland water system corruption probe  "A contractor has been charged with racketeering in a federal investigation of corruption in the Cleveland municipal water system, prosecutors said Monday.  Samuel Petrony, 43, of Boardman, was charged with racketeering in a criminal information in which prosecutors file an allegation directly instead of seeking a grand jury indictment.  ...U.S. Attorney Gregory A. White said Petrony, working for Victory White Metals of Cleveland, overcharged the Cleveland water system $1.1 million and kicked back some of the money and provided other bribes, including cars and World Series tickets, to advance the alleged scheme.  White said Petrony later formed his own company, PEI, and paid at least $200,000 in bribes to a water department employee.  ...White said city police and the administration of Mayor Jane Campbell have cooperated in the investigation." 19Action News, August 18, 2004

Crook can't afford augmentation plan  "In other water matters, Ann Withrow showed the board a letter and other information the town received from the state, stating that Crook is now required to enact a "cross connection" ordinance for its water system.  She stated she has tried a number of times to contact Doug Asmus, the town's attorney, for more information about the requirement. ...Mayor Dean Fetzer and Hamilton will get together with Ann Withrow on Tuesday to help draw up the necessary cross connection ordinance."  Journal-Advocate, August 15, 2004

Amid corruption probe, Mayor announces new ethics code  "PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The mayor announced a new ethics policy for city employees Thursday, two months after his former treasurer was charged with accepting thousands of dollars worth of gifts from people interested in influencing city business decisions. Mayor John F. Street signed an executive order banning city employees from accepting almost any gift, meal or favor from people who do business with the city, and warned that companies that offered gifts would be barred from receiving city contracts.  ...Within the past two years, more than a dozen city plumbing inspectors were convicted of routinely accepting "tips" from the people whose work they were reviewing.   ...Street on Thursday objected to the suggestion that corruption is rampant, but he acknowledged that the probe had created a perception that reform was needed.  "The public must have faith in the integrity of its government," he said. He said he has ordered every city employee to attend an ethics workshop.", August 12, 2004

Four Die in Steam Leak at Japan Nuclear Plant "A steam leak at a Japanese nuclear power plant killed four workers on Monday, hospital officials said, but authorities said no radiation escaped in the accident, the worst ever in terms of deaths at a Japanese nuclear facility.  Seven others were injured, some seriously, officials said....He said the workers involved, who were preparing to shut down the plant for maintenance, were all contractors, and 221 people were in the building at the time. A trade ministry spokesman briefing reporters said there was no technical problem with the core nuclear reactor at the plant....The accident occurred in a building housing turbines for the Number 3 reactor at the Mihama nuclear plant in Fukui prefecture, 320 km (200 miles) west of Tokyo. ...He said the workers involved, who were preparing to shut down the plant for maintenance, were all contractors, and 221 people were in the building at the timeA trade ministry spokesman briefing reporters said there was no technical problem with the core nuclear reactor at the plant."   MyWay, August 9, 2004

Inflatable pools provide cheap summer fun, but may break the law  "Before the Danello family built an in-ground pool behind their Franklin home last fall they had what mom Deborah said was the next best thing: an inflatable above-ground pool with a filter that held several feet of water.  ...building and health officials say many area residents who own these inexpensive inflatable pools failed to make an important stop between buying the pools and filling them with water on their lawns: their town or city hall.   ....Local officials also cite needed backflow preventers on faucets that fill the pools, to thwart accidental contamination of town water.  Area towns require different mixtures of permits for the inflatable pools, including wiring, building, plumbing and health permits.  In Natick, if a pool is found that is out of compliance with local and state code, people are given a chance to "make the pool legal" by emptying it or enclosing it right away, said Natick Health Director Roger Wade. He said the town does have the authority to fine or take a person to court.  In Marlborough, Building Commissioner Stephen Reid said he is not going to hunt down people whose inflatable pools violate State Building Code, in part because he does not have the staffing." Metro West Daily News, August 8, 2004

Norwalk Virus Causes Illness, Inconvenience   "Golfers may find themselves getting a little thirsty while playing in the next few weeks as management at many courses are considering what action,  if any, to take to maintain safe drinking water on the course(s). The problem was prompted by the death in Phoenix of a 15-year-old player in 2002, and the fact that approximately 80 players became ill, according to reports, after drinking water from containers located on golf courses. It appears that the water allegedly was contaminated with the Norwalk Virus or a Norwalk-like virus, which caused digestive tract irritation along with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  ...Officials at area courses have been aware of the potential danger and are scrutinizing the hygienic procedures concerning drinking water on the course and ice containers. Three courses have removed drinking water from their courses completely:  Others ...are in the process of talking about what additional preventative measures might be taken to ensure safe drinking water. ...In the foreseeable future, drinking water on the course may disappear completely. Players should be aware of the possibility and make necessary provision as the hottest part of the season is about to begin."  Indiana Gazette, July 5, 2004

Water troubles vex south  "The water situation in the south continued to be ugly yesterday as the Guam waterworks Authority worked through the problems persisting since last week's Tropical Storm Tingting and faced a new water main break. ...Santa Rita and Agat villages are now in their second week of a boil-water notice after fecal coliform was found in the water June 30.  ...The source of the fecal coliform showing up in tests in Santa Rita and Agat has been identified and the problem is being mitigated, said Guam Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Michael Mann. The problem stemmed from several houses that were hooked up to a private well that is not part of or regulated by the GWA system. Some of the houses are also hooked up to the GWA water system, and do not have controls against backflow, Mann said. What seems to have happened, the EPA spokesman said is the private water source, which is not chlorinated, became contaminated and then began backflowing into the Waterworks system. The water agency has disconnected the meters at the houses in question and will meet with Guam EPA today to determine when it will be safe to discontinue the boil-water notice."  Pacific Daily News, July 9, 2004

IRAN: Special on Bam six months on "...Water is now a major issue in Bam. Immediately after the quake, it was thought that the drinking water was safe. Most of the underground wells that provided drinking water to the city were so deep that they did not get disturbed.  But recently, the Environmental Health Department (EHD), which monitors the water for bacterial contamination, has reported that drinking pipe water is not safe as the earthquake caused breaks and leaks in the pipe network. Laboratory tests have confirmed this. "One of the main outstanding issues is water sanitation and contamination - there is a shortage of water facilities," Adrian Ouvry, programme director for Mercy Corps in Bam, told IRIN. "People aren't used to preserving water - they let taps run, which lowers the water pressure in the pipes, so the water is more  susceptible to contaminants." (backsiphonage through cross-connections?), July 9, 2004

Restaurant Ratings  "...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.  Critical violations must be corrected within 10 days of the inspection regardless of score.  ...G's Pancake, Fort Campbell Boulevard, 66, follow-up inspection required because of violations involving hand washing, cleanliness, and good hygienic practices of personnel, cross-connection, and back siphonage and/or backflow of plumbing. ...Tippers II, Madison Street, 53, follow-up inspection required because of violations involving source, sound condition and/or spoilage of food, potentially hazardous food meeting temperature requirements, cross-connection, back siphonage and/or backflow of plumbing ...Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, 66, follow-up inspection required because of violations involving potentially hazardous food meeting temperature requirements, hand washing, cleanliness, and good hygienic practices of personnel, cross-connection, back siphonage and/or backflow of plumbing...", July 5, 2004

Specialist to monitor 'backflow' problems  "The Clarksburg Water Board soon will begin testing businesses and eventually homes to ensure that proper devices are in place to prevent backflow contamination of water systems. Backflow is defined as the undesirable reversal of water flow or    introduction of other liquids because of a water pressure difference in the system, said Water Board General Manager Dick Welch. One recent example was a Stealey couple who called the board office to report blue water coming out of their taps. A work crew determined the house's water system was drawing water out of a commode, Welch said. The reason for the backflow was two-fold: A line in the commode tank was in the wrong place, he said, and a water line break and hydrant flushing activity caused a drop in pressure.  That's the first incident I know of since I've been general manager, but it can happen," Welch said. "It's a serious problem." The federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 mandated that a water system has the responsibility to ensure that such contamination doesn't happen. The problem, Welch said, is that the regulations were never enforced.  ..."I feel confident we're the first water system in the state to jump on this this fast," he said. The new laws mean the Water Board has the right and responsibility to inspect properties to ensure that backflow devices are in place and working, he said." Clarksburg Exponent Telegram, June 25, 2004

Beit Hanoun Faces Health, Humanitarian Disaster  "....The Association of Palestinian Hydrologists on Saturday said in a statement that IOF caused mammoth amounts of destruction in Beit Hanoun’s infrastructure and violated all the international norms and resolutions. The statement said “the situation on Beit Hanoun is growing worse, where the Israel Army has destroyed the main sanitations and sewage networks and mixed them with potable water networks, the matter that might cause an environmental and health disasters.”  The Association called on all legal and human rights associations and institutions based in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to work on revealing these Israeli practices that cause diseases and urged them to save the town from a health catastrophe." Palestine Media Center, July 5,2004

Construction breaks waterline main  "Workers restoring the foundation of the Val Mode building triggered a water main rupture Friday morning that cut off water to much of the city. Officials expected water service to return to normal by Friday night. It was a worst case scenario for the city as a major water main break cut off service to much of Bridgeton for a few hours, and dramatically decreased water pressure in the remaining areas for several hours.  .....Residents were slowly becoming aware of the problem as the day wore on, with water pressure decreased or halted altogether. "The water mains and valves in this city are more than 130 years old," Turpin said. There are thousands of 16-inch valves in the city, he said, each requiring 53 turns to open, and this has to be done manually. "We hope to be able to find two that are working, and hoping they will hold," Turpin said. By mid-afternoon Friday, news was better.  ...At South Jersey Healthcare-Bridgeton, hospital spokesman Max Meng said there was a 48-to-72 hour backup storage of water for such an emergency, and operating rooms, which use bottled sterile water, were not affected.", July 3, 2004

No need to worry on water  "King George officials say residents should not be concerned about reports of bacteria in pipes serving the county's newest school The problem--total coliform bacteria--sits in the new pipes at Sealston Elementary, not the water, County Administrator Dennis Kerns said. Those pipes aren't providing water to the school yet, Kerns said, and no residents are getting water from that particular system. There also is a problem with total coliform bacteria in the system serving the Oakland Park area, but officials say it does not pose a significant threat to residents, and they expect it to be cleared up soon. ...The county Service Authority sent a letter earlier this month to Oakland Park residents saying five May water samples showed the presence of total coliform bacteria. The state allows only one positive result. ...The letter said the bacteria's presence is a sign of a possible problems with Oakland Park's treatment or distribution system. The system, which serves 384 customers, had a similar problem last summer, according to data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency." The Free-Lance Star, June 30, 2004

Residents Protest Water Fix  "City leaders stand unmoved despite an effort to thwart planned water improvements and the tax set aside to pay for them, Greenwood Mayor Garry Campbell said Monday. Campbell told aldermen some residents are questioning the legality of a loan that will be used to help fund a new filtering system and water pipe replacement. Opposition is also developing for the defeat of a 1 percent sales tax to subsidize water improvements, he said. “We have plans to solve the water problem” Campbell said. For years, Greenwood residents have complained about the quality of their drinking water. “We will overcome those who would seek to derail our opportunity once and for all to solve our water problems,” Campbell added."  Times Record, June 29, 2004

Developer Thomas Primeau charged with stealing water  "EAST GREENWICH -- Developer Thomas J. Primeau has been charged with using an unmetered water-line connection to steal water for a construction site on Long Meadow Drive.  ...The Kent County Water Authority's general manager, Timothy J. Brown, said agency officials discovered last month that a house under construction in Primeau's 11-lot subdivision -- called Long Meadow Farms -- was "illegally connected" with a hose to a Water Authority line.  ...Town Planner Lee R. Whitaker said that such illegal connections also pose a danger to the community's water supply. Meters, Whitaker said, are equipped with "backflow preventors" that keep water from flowing back into lines. "If you bypass the meter, then you run the risk of contaminating the entire water system," he said. Officials also found that a just-completed home across the street, at 35 Long Meadow Drive, which was built by another developer, Dennis Gray, was also illegally connected to the same water line." The Providence Journal, June 18, 2004

Burst pipe stalls operations "BRISBANE'S largest public hospital cancelled elective surgery and ferried patients in wheelchairs to another building today after a water pipe burst. ...The east block, which handles critical care cases, was without water for about seven hours and the main block had no water for 10 hours before supplies were restored. ...The hospital has about 500km of water pipes and engineers and contractors who built the main block three years ago were today reviewing all the joints to check for signs of weakness. The emergency sparked questions in state Parliament today, with Health Minister Gordon Nuttall saying a maintenance team had put a diversionary system in place, but the system could not guarantee an uninterrupted water supply to operating theatres. Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said the problems today showed the Government had not properly overseen renovations at the hospital. "The Government talks long and hard about its hospital rebuilding program, but when you look at a disaster like this – something has gone astray," he said.", June 16, 2004

Watch Water You Sip While Playing Round Of Golf  "AVON, Ohio -- Severe weather is usually the biggest danger to golfers. But now there's another serious health threat lurking on nearby greens.  ...Most golf courses place water coolers, jugs of water, at every few holes. But health experts are learning more about how easily these coolers can become contaminated. Health officials reported that a 15-year-old boy died and 84 others became very ill after getting the Norwalk virus from drinking contaminated cooler water at a golf course in Arizona last summer. This year, the 15-year-old's family won a $3 million lawsuit. Bill Fitch owns Bob-O-Link Golf Course in Avon. When it comes to public courses and water safety, he's way ahead of the game, Kiska reported.  Fitch recently bagged coolers and connected to city water lines, placing water fountains around the course.", June 14, 2004

Hospital finds source of water problem   "Health investigations at Hinckley and Bosworth Community Hospital look close to improving the quality of drinking water at the new care complex. Patients, visitors and staff at the £6.5million new development in Ashby Road, Hinckley, have been drinking bottled water there since it was found that internal supplies met only basic standards and was not of the quality recommended for public buildings. Trust spokesman Helen Stubbs said: "Results have shown there was an area within the system of slow-moving water and this has been identified as the most likely cause of the reduced quality of drinking water. "The affected tank has now been removed from the system and further test results confirm that the water is now of a high   standard."  ic, June 10, 2004

Saugus Town Meeting to decide on water rate hike  "Town Meeting members have finished less than half of the 37 articles on the warrant, but they plan to clear the rest tonight as they take up a special Town Meeting. ...Moderator Robert Long said holding a special meeting within Town Meeting is not atypical, a is generally done when articles are submitted too late for the main warrant. ...There are also two articles looking to re-establish funds for the Wetland Protection Act and the town's water system cross-connection program. ...The accounts are for departments outside of Town Hall that are meant to run self-sufficiently." The Daily Item of Lynn, June 7, 2004

School in the poo over sewage water  "Tap-water in Milnerton was contaminated by sewage this week - and the City of Cape Town blamed Milnerton Primary School for an illegal connection that was believed to be the source. A number of residents complained of diarrhoea and vomiting as a result of drinking contaminated tap-water. Friday morning the illegal link had been disconnected and the water mains flushed and disinfected, council officials said. ...Council spokesperson Charles Cooper said the illegal connection linked two sources of water available to the school - one from a sewage treatment plant for watering the sportsfield, and the other from the municipal water supply. "The school appears to have been having a pressure problem with the treated water not reaching all the sprinklers, so they connected up the municipal water pipeline to the treated water pipeline. ..the pressure dropped in the municipal water's pipeline while city workers were repairing it in the area. The low pressure allowed some of the waste water to flow into the city's system because of the illegal connection."  Independent Online, May 28, 2004

Al-Qaeda: Is the Past Prologue?    "American intelligence sources have voiced new concerns that al-Qaeda members may be inside the U.S. and planning a major attack this summer. has threatened to poison drinking water in major U.S. cities. The Al-Majallah news magazine, published in Britain, reported that Abu Mohammed al-Ablaj, a spokesman for al-Qaeda, threatened that the group is capable of using contaminants to kill Americans in their homes with their drinking water, in the May 25, 2003 edition. “Al-Qaeda [does not rule out] using sarin gas and poisoning drinking water in U.S. and Western cities...  ...“It is very difficult to covertly poison a reservoir. It would take many truckloads of poison, which would make it difficult to do secretly. That is not really a viable threat,” said one U.S. intelligence official...  ...The official also played down even the risk of an attack on a single office building. “It’s more feasible if they try to poison a specific building, but even then, the volume of water already going through the system would dilute whatever was introduced. It would be very difficult to kill anyone. What would happen would be that people would get sick, which would cause panic.”", May 27, 2004

DOI ARRESTS RESTAURANT OWNER FOR OFFERING A BRIBE TO CITY INSPECTOR  "ROSE GILL HEARN, Commissioner of the Department of Investigation (DOI), announced today the felony arrest of YUSUF BASUSTA for bribing a City plumbing inspector in exchange for not issuing violations for plumbing work at a restaurant owned by the defendant.  DOI’s investigation began after a plumbing inspector in the Department of Buildings reported that BASUSTA had given him $400 in exchange for not issuing violations for unlicensed plumbing work, working without a permit, and failing to have the new plumbing tested to ensure proper installation. Following the report, DOI recorded a conversation between the inspector and BASUSTA about the bribe. DOB regulations stipulate that all new plumbing work must be done with a permit and tested.  ...DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said, “This case is another example of DOI and DOB’s joint effort to prevent the corruption of honest, hard-working City employees: DOB reported the bribe and DOI investigated. In addition, this case should be a reminder to those who are considering bribing City employees – it’s a risky proposition and will lead to their arrest.”", May 10, 2004

Feds indict 13 Philly inspectors  "A federal grand jury has indicted 13 current or former Philadelphia plumbing inspectors for taking bribes from plumbing contractors for as long as 20 years. The inspectors, who worked for the city’s Construction Services Department in the Department of Licenses and Inspections, were accused of taking bribes from $5 to $20 at a time, with the money concealed inside triplicate permit forms or palmed in handshakes.  ...According to the indictment, from at least as early as 1981 through the present day, the defendants engaged in a pattern of racketeering whereby they used their employment as plumbing inspectors to receive cash payoffs from plumbers whose jobs the defendants were responsible for inspecting. In exchange for the cash payoffs, the indictment charges that the defendants at times: performed incomplete inspections for plumbers who paid them; failed to perform the required plumbing inspections; arranged for favorable and convenient inspection times; and permitted plumbers who paid them to work without the required permits and without interference.  .....McLaughlin said he had heard rumors about bribes, but contractors did not complain. He said that the inspectors, who are licensed master plumbers, inspected other master plumbers, and that may have created an old boys network. In fact, one contractor was quoted in a Philadelphia newspaper likening the bribes to tipping a barber.", June 1, 2004

Weighty issues on Dracut Water Supply District's agenda     "A proposed expansion in board membership and conservation discounts are among the highlights on the agenda for this year's Dracut Water Supply District annual meeting.  ....Other warrant articles include: $500 salary increases for commissioners. $75 inspection charges and backflow safety measures for all new automated underground sprinkler systems.  ...In Tuesday's town election, voters narrowly approved a nonbinding question whether Dracut should take steps to incorporate the Dracut Water Supply District into the town. Morin challenged the results, saying the vote was hastily placed on the ballot, left many questions unanswered and that the 35-vote margin provided no clear mandate.", May 7, 2004

Choosing and using a plumber  "There has been a rash of reports in the media recently of plumbers charging their unwary customers thousands for the simplest of jobs. How can you make sure you won't be the next to fall victim?  We've all heard the horror stories about cowboy plumbers who swan into the homes of the vulnerable and spend three minutes changing a dodgy washer (and another 57 reading the paper) before presenting them with a gargantuan bill.  While it's by no means the case that all plumbers are con artists, the sad fact is that the well-documented shortage in skilled professionals has left the market open to unscrupulous people who are all too happy to prey on unwary customers, leaving the reputation of the trade in tatters.  ...Unfortunately, there are no published guidelines to tell you how much a plumber can charge, which is why it is so important to get a variety of quotes."  Guardian Unlimited, May 5, 2004  (this advice applies to any backflow prevention work as well)

Cities Under Boil-Water Advisory  "Concern over possible contamination in the Van Buren Township water supply has prompted a boil-water advisory for residents in the township and the city of Belleville. A drop in pressure in the water supply at the Wick Pumping Station may have led to contamination, according to township officials. Measures are reportedly being taken to correct the problem including restoring pressure and taking samples of the water for testing to determine whether the water quality meets the state drinking-water standards. Residents are being told to not drink their water without boiling it first for at least one minute, and let cool before using, according to township officials.", May 25, 2004 (Comprehensive cross-connection control programs in both communities have most probably minimized actual backflow of contaminents)

Many of Houston's mobile food stands may be unsafe  " It could be one of Houston’s best-kept 'dirty little secrets'. And the health department says it might be making people sick. We’re talking about mobile food stands. ... These restaurants on wheels may be tasty, quick and easy, but health inspectors said some of them might make you sick. “The big problem is where are they obtaining their potable water?” asked health inspector Juan Mungilla. “Are they connecting a dirty hose, a garden hose for example, which is not really meant to? It’s not food grade.” Inspectors said some people have already complained of getting sick after eating at some of the stands, which are popping up all over Houston. To help keep food safe, mobile vendors must drive their stands to places called commissaries for a good cleaning and water change every 24 hours they’re open." 11News, May 24, 2004

Making water secure  "The Onslow County Board of Commissioners tonight will discuss beefing up security at the county's water treatment plants. The Water Department's proposed staffing plans add enough plant operators to ensure a 24-hour presence at the county's water plants in Hubert and Dixon. ..."The national requirement for a strengthened security posture - as prescribed by both the (Environmental Protection Agency) and (Department of Homeland Security) - extends to all facets of infrastructure but carries a special urgency for potable water systems based on general vulnerability and potential public health risks," says a letter from the advisory commission. Plant operators working three shifts isn't the only way to beef up security."  The Daily News, May 17, 2004

City's Ability to Handle Growth Is Scrutinized  "LAKE WALES -- Officials of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have raised questions about the city's ability to handle increased growth, and the issue may have contributed to the resignation of Utilities Director Chuck Partlow.  ... the city will have to obtain approval from the Polk County Health Department for a plan to prevent the cross-connection of pipes with treated wastewater to pipes containing drinking water. Otte said the city has a cross contamination plan, but it has not been approved.", May 1, 2004

Water Rustlers Caught Wet-Handed  "Water rustling is alive and well along the Front Range, according to a News 4 investigation. Over the course of two months, News 4 undercover teams repeatedly videotaped the state's largest street-sweeping company, Great American Sweeping, stealing water from towns, cities and water districts.  ...Great American Sweeping's regular water theft highlights a problem that water managers say they know exists and is even more aggravating in a drought. Water authorities say it's difficult to catch water rustlers because they can steal from virtually any fire hydrant.  ...News 4 found the sweeping company pulled water from fire hydrants in nine jurisdictions where it had no permits, no water meters and no authorization."  (and no backflow preventers, includes videos ) CBS News 4, April 29, 2004

Water Security Congress Explores Means of Protecting Nation's Water Supply  "More than 45 manufacturers of state-of-the-art water monitoring technology, computer systems and security devices gathered with water utility professionals, public health experts, and law enforcement officials to explore the newest means of protecting public water supplies from terrorism at the American Water Works Association's second Water Security Congress..."  U.S. NEWSWIRE, April 27, 2004

Feathers ruffled as dead  bird found in water tank,  by Carmen Lichi  Feb. 5, 2004, Hampstead & Highgate Express (this site is frequently  unavailable)

UK Politics  New rules to save water "The design of washing machines and toilets in England and Wales will have to be changed under new laws aimed at cutting water consumption and improving its quality.   ...The new safeguards will also tighten up the protection of water supplies, preventing contamination of the main supply by the backflow from industrial and domestic users. Michael Meacher said: "The water regulations will not only protect our water supplies from contamination and misuse, but they will also ensure the conservation of water in both the short and long term."  BBC News, April 27, 1999

ROCKING the yard    "EAST MANATEE - It was always a no-brainer for Tim Hix. Backflow prevention devices, while necessary, are ugly, easy to break and expensive to repair.  A simple solution: Cover them up.   .....Manatee County requires that all homes with irrigation systems have a backflow device nstalled. County code mandates that there be at least 2 feet of clearance from any foliage planted near it, and that one side be uncovered. Many people don't realize that home owners own and are responsible for annual inspection and upkeep of backflow devices on their property, said Kathy Zuckerman, Manatee County's cross-connection control coordinator.", April 25, 2004

UK Politics  New rules to save water "The design of washing machines and toilets in England and Wales will have to be changed under new laws aimed at cutting water consumption and improving its quality.   ...The new safeguards will also tighten up the protection of water supplies, preventing contamination of the main supply by the backflow from industrial and domestic users. Michael Meacher said: "The water regulations will not only protect our water supplies from contamination and misuse, but they will also ensure the conservation of water in both the short and long term."  BBC News, April 27, 1999

$26,000 water on dud subs  "TOXIC metal contamination of the drinking water aboard the six Collins class submarines has meant that sailors have been drinking their way through more than $26,000 worth of bottled water in the past two years. Before they sail from their base in Perth, the crews have been loading the hi-tech vessels with up to 2000 litres of water in 200 bulky 10-litre containers. The contamination, caused by welding in the water pipes, was first discovered on board HMAS Dechaineux in April 2002 but was kept secret until Labor's spokesman for Defence Personnel and Procurement Chris Evans raised it in a Senate estimates hearing five months ago. ...All the submarines have now had their pipes modified but only one submarine, HMAS Sheehan, is able to use its on-board water supply, the Defence Department said yesterday." Weekend Australian, July 24, 2004

Wring profits from the coming water shortage  "There’s a precious resource we can’t do without. Because of growing demand, the world already faces spot shortages that are likely to get worse. Efforts to increase supply are running up against years of underinvestment. Increased pumping threatens to damage existing underground reservoirs. The price of this commodity is rising and looks likely to keep on climbing. And it isn’t oil. It’s water. If the long-term supply/demand imbalance for commodities such as oil or nickel has convinced you to add stocks in those sectors to your portfolio, you ought to own a water stock or two. Projected demand for water is clearly outstripping increases in usable supply. its latest survey, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the majority of state water managers expected water shortages in their states within the next decade, even without a drought. Some of the fastest-growing U.S. states -- California, Florida, Arizona, Texas and Nevada -- are also the country’s driest. ...Factor in consumer and business demand for better-quality water in the developing world and water clearly becomes a growth industry with even more potential than the oil sector.  ...Legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress last year         identified a need for $4 billion to $7 billion a year in low-cost loans so cities could upgrade their water and sewer systems. In a December 2003 survey by Water World Magazine of 200 water and wastewater systems operators, 30% said they planned to upgrade the filtration systems on their drinking water systems, 45% planned to upgrade their storage systems, 45% their pump systems and 53% their pipe systems."  MSN Money, July 23, 2004

TAJIKISTAN: Half of capital without water following landslides and floods  "Recent floods caused by torrential rains coupled with a landslide close to the Varzob river, a major water source for the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, has left around 300,000 people, half of the city's population, without water, aid and government agencies told IRIN on Friday. ..."The estimation is that approximately half of the population of Dushanbe has no proper access to drinking water or water at all. ...The situation of water and sanitation is considered as pretty serious."  ..."We are having a major problem with water.  ...Authorities warn people not to use piped water for any purpose, including drinking, washing and other household needs because it is not clean," a despondent resident of the   capital told IRIN. ...Widespread medical complications could occur in the city if the water problems continue. "There is a risk of disease as the water has washe away toilets and at least part of a cemetery,", July 16, 2004

Water contaminated, AMC still can’t find trouble spot  "It’s been more than a month now that residents of Kalupur have been receiving ‘‘yellow drinking water.’’ Complaints and representations to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) haven’t helped, as the civic body is yet to determine at what point the water is contaminated. ...In the last two months alone, the AMC Engineering department has dug up 10 different places on Gandhi Road to repair leaks in the drinking water and drainage pipelines. To no avail though. The colonies which continue receiving contaminated water are Raja Mehta-ni-pol, Panch Kuva Fire Brigade quarters, Lehrverai-Pada-ni-pol, Manunayak-ni-pol, Patva sheri, Navi Mohallat, Suadanagar-ni-pol and Doshiwada-ni-pol.  ...And though AMC Health Department officials claimed that the number of gastro cases are under control, Bhushan Bhatt, BJP councillor from Khadia, said more than 100 cases had been reported in the last month. ‘‘Almost every household in the area has people suffering from stomachaches, vomiting or diarrhoea. Gastroenteritis has spread among children,’’ he added." Ahmedabad Newsline, June 28, 2004

Health hazards at Delhi zoo  "New Delhi: Visitors at the National Zoological Park (NZP) beware! Before you turn to the tanks to drink water, think twice.  The tanks containing potable water haven't been cleaned for years. Hence, the water you consume could be a potential health hazard. The water tank near the enclosure of the deer was last cleaned in February 2003. In all, the zoo has 14 water tanks, meant for over 2,500 visitors every day. Five of them are out of order. The zoo also has four water coolers attached with the tanks, but only one of them is working. It is located near the enclosure of the elephants. The tank hasn't been cleaned for months.   "The water is a major problem in the zoo ...the water tanks are supposed to be cleaned after every six months. "Every tank containing potable water has to be properly cleaned after every six months. If it is not done, the water of such tanks is not fit for drinking. One can drink such water only at the cost of his health," Dr KN Tewari, Health Officer, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), said.", June 24, 2004

Breakfast with Ken and Bert -- update on the city  "...Johansson concluded his presentation with comments about the tertiary wastewater treatment project. He pointed out that two-thirds of city's potable water is now being used for landscaping, because, for health reasons, secondary water cannot be used. He hopes that the tertiary wastewater treatment project will allow the city to recycle wastewater to near potable quality for irrigation purposes. Johansson said some vineyards and Meadowood Resort are using potable water for landscaping because the secondary effluent is not acceptable for human contact. "We want to get these big hitters off our drinking water system and get it back to our residents," he said." St. Helena Star, June 24, 2004

Doney Park Water plans for new well, storage tank  "At Doney Park Water's Annual Meeting last Monday, plans were announced to build a one million gallon tank at Wupatki Trails subdivision, the highest elevation and northernmost border of the company's service area. General manager Bill Linville explained that the tank would provide emergency water storage, as well as a means to keep the system flowing in a power outage.  ..Water contamination does not come from a well, said Linville, but from within the system. When residents leave hoses in animal troughs, backflow may result in system contamination. The company has worked extensively to warn residents of the dangers associated with hoses left in contaminated water. One resident had noticed a neighbor's hose in a trough, and he asked the board what could be done about policing the issue. Chairman Bob Lupo said, "We should be helping each other" to learn about the problem, yet the company reserves the right to take action. "We can shut off water if we see a hose [in a trough].", June 21, 2004

What's with the water?  "A Wenham Lake fish-eating ban? High lead levels in Lynnfield tap water? Alarming arsenic readings near the Beverly/Salem filtration plant? All raise an unsettling question ...  We expend an awful lot of energy gussying up water. There's flavored water and oxygen-enriched water. Herbal water and fortified water. Activated water and sparkling water. As a culture, we appear to be fascinated with aqua additives. The condiments of thirst-quenching, if you like.  But there are just as many undesirable additives. Industrial and developmental byproducts like mercury, arsenic, lead and DDT. We are a nation hydrated on "acceptable" levels of toxins and contaminants in our drinking water, and the North Shore is no exception.     ...Where safe drinking water may be a given in one municipality, it may spring from a different source, undergo disparate treatment methods, flow through variant mains or service pipes and, ultimately, comprise a risk just a few miles down the road.  ...EPA data for the commonwealth in 2003 revealed that 88 of 517 community water systems (17 percent) were cited for health-based violations, affecting almost 1.3 million consumers. ", June 11, 2004

New Study Shows Filtration Protects Patients from Legionella and Other Pathogens in Hospital Water    "As awareness of the dangers of hospital water rise with each new infectious outbreak, Janet Stout, Ph.D., Director of Special Pathogens Laboratory, Veterans Administration (VA) Pittsburgh Healthcare System, will discuss the risks of nosocomial (hospital-acquired) waterborne infections and present the results of a study on the efficacy of point-of-use filtration to eliminate Legionella bacteria and other pathogens from water. "Most people have no idea that hospital water can be dangerous, especially to people with compromised immune systems,“ says Dr. Stout. “Each year over two million Americans acquire an infection while at a hospital, and tap water is a significant contributor.” Serious infections of the lung (pneumonia) and blood (bacteremia), can be caused by a host of bacteria, such as Legionella, Pseudomonas, and fungi, such as Aspergillus. These microorganisms can contaminate faucets, taps and showers in hospitals. Nosocomial infections are increasingly recognized as a primary threat to public health in the U.S. According to the CDC, of the nearly two million patients that acquire an infection while in a hospital, about 90,000 of them die.", June 8, 2004

Inspector Guilty In Suffolk Corruption Probe  "(Garden City, Long Island) -- A Suffolk County plumbing inspector pleaded guilty to bribery charges, becoming the latest county employee to admit wrongdoing in a probe of alleged political corruption Mark Palermo pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts of third-degree bribe receiving. Prosecutors charged that Palermo took bribes from two contractors in exchange for approving plumbing work.  ...Palermo also admitted in court that he did not work hours submitted on his time sheets, performed inspections he wasn't qualified for and approved work that should not have been approved." May 26, 2004

Bacteria infiltrate Lacey water  "The city will notify the majority of its 50,000 water customers next week that coliform bacteria have infiltrated the drinking water for the second time in four months, officials said Friday. ...City officials disinfected two wells and a 2-million-gallon reservoir and mailed out a notice to 7,700 water customers during the first discovery of coliform bacteria. They declared the drinking water free of coliform bacteria in mid-March. Officials had many theories about the origin of the contamination but never were able to identify the specific cause. Now they will try again." (un-controlled cross-connections & backflow?), May 8, 2004

Rusted, leaking pipelines polluting city water  "LAHORE Millions of residents in various parts of the city are suffering from water-born diseases caused by polluted drinking water, sources at water testing laboratories told Daily Times on Monday. “The water supply sources used by the Water and Sanitation Agency [WASA] are almost fine. But the water becomes polluted when it passes through old and rusted pipelines,” said a source on condition of anonymity.  ...bacteria like T-Coliform and E-Coliform managed to contaminate the water at points where leakages occurred in the pipelines.  ...many pipelines linking the main system to houses may have caused the leakage problems. ...People use water-pumps for fast water supply to their houses, but the sucking pressure causes leakages in these pipelines..."  The Daily Times, Pakistan, May 5, 2004

The price of safe water   "Welcome to church -- don't drink the water." Signs like this may greet rural churchgoers throughout the region because of stringent new Ontario water rules that will force tiny congregations and community centres to choose between their pocketbooks and their very existence. Without dramatic changes to the safe-water legislation, well inspection and water testing will cost thousands of dollars per facility.  ...Terrified by the thought of a recurrence of the Walkerton water crisis -- in which seven people died and thousands became ill because of contaminated communal wells and grossly inadequate reporting systems -- the former Conservative government passed legislation that affects or will affect anyone who drinks water anywhere in Ontario." London Free Press, May 3, 2004

Sight of water may gag visitors, but city drinks it in  "GREENVILLE, Miss.  ..... People who live here think nothing of the dirty-looking liquid that flows from their faucets, but visitors assume there is a plumbing problem when they flush the toilet or turn on the shower. Most would never consider taking a sip of it, even after they are told the water is safe."  Chicago Tribune, April 25, 2004

Techno-Fix And Sustainability: Grappling With illusions  "........Another commodity being gulped faster than supply is water. In vast areas of the planet, ever-deeper water systems are draining fossil water deposited thousands of years ago and not now replenished by natural processes. Prosperous Americans, Europeans and Asians expect water to flow. Yet, folks just about everywhere either have no potable water, little potable water or lessening access to potable water, much less bath water. Right here, today, people pay more for a gallon of water than for a gallon of gasoline.  A glance here shows how many are carrying about expensive bottled water in preference to trusting water out of their faucets. That their expensive bottled water is probably tap water run through a filter is ignored.  .......Do you know that ambitious corporations are buying up water rights, water companies, water suppliers all over the world? Do you know that political analysts are predicting more water wars than oil wars for the world's future?"  by Milo Clark, April 26, 2004

Hankinson officials delve into water issue  "How complicated can water be?  People turn on a faucet and water pours out. The hardest concept should be whether to turn on the hot or cold tap. Water will soon become a heated topic of conversation and an intricate issue within the city of Hankinson.  ....The greatest source for concern is the parts per billion of arsenic found in the public water supply here.", April 28, 2004

Hydrant flushing to be done in May  "......The board also voted to mandate meter pits for town water connections over 150 feet, along with the use of one-inch pipe, and to put before voters a bylaw that would mandate the installation of a backflow device to prevent contamination of town water by private water supplies."  Paxton News, April 23, 2004

Nicholson boil water notice issued  "The Nicholson Water & Sewer Association has issued a precautionary boil water notice for residents of the Laura Villa subdivision after a loss in system pressure. ....State health department regulations require issuing a boil water notice when a break in water service causes a drop in pressure and the possibility of a backflow of contaminants.", April 21, 2004

School's water still poisoned   "Education authorities have failed to stop contaminated water flowing from the taps of a newly refurbished Scottish school, more than a year after they were alerted to the problem. Staff and pupils at Bellahouston Academy, in Glasgow, have been receiving bottled water after the drinking supply was found to be poisoned by copper. ....Steven Taylor, 3ED's operations manager, said the source of the contamination had recently been identified as faulty piping and measures to fix the problem would be taken "within weeks".", April 18, 2004

NT mining companies put on notice after water contamination  "...The Territory's Director of Mines, Tony Magill, says companies in the mining sector must ensure their potable water systems are separate from processed water systems.  "The fact that this happened to be a uranium mine that was being supervised by a large number of people is a real wake up to regulators and the industry," he said.  "But my mining officers will be looking at the potential for cross contamination on all mine sites, just to make sure that we have well and truly learnt this lesson.""  ABC News Online Australia, April 8, 2004

Ranger mine reopens despite recent contamination problem  ".....Initial investigations so far have found the mine's processing water had been wrongly connected to pipes used for drinking and showering - a connection management has only today conceded may have been in place for many months, and not just the hours leading up to the contamination scare.  But it's yet to spell out exactly who was responsible or how such a thing could happen in the first place, leaving workers and environmentalists like Peter Robertson, from the Territory's Environment Centre, asking why the mine has been allowed to reopen when investigations are still ongoing. ABC News Online Australia, April 7, 2004

Water draws fine in Mendon: Business owner, state reach settlement in contamination case  "MENDON -- Under a negotiated settlement, the owner of a local gas station and convenience store, found to have a contaminated water supply, has agreed to pay $32,000 to the state for violating state drinking water regulations. Drake Petroleum Co. Inc., owner of a Sunoco gas station and convenience store at 1 Milford St., will pay the penalty for operating an  unapproved public drinking supply and treatment system, and for failing to properly notify the Department of Environmental Protection of the gasoline additive methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) discovered in its water, according to the DEP.  ...Under the reached agreement, the Connecticut-based company cannot use the unauthorized on-site well as a public water supply. "They had to disconnect the water supply for use in the kitchen area, and (for) handling food or drinking  washing utensils," Coletta said. The water supply can still be used for washing hands and flushing toilets, he said."  Metro West Daily News, July 10, 2004

Jack Williams: Several 'easy' steps to a fully functional toilet "It all started one night with a watery noise in the near vicinity of the master bathroom. Upon inspection, it appeared that the tank to our, ahem, great white throne needed a new float mechanism. This repair was quick, it was easy and it worked for about, oh, two days. When the running water resumed, I simply bent the arm to the float downward, in a masterful move of makeshift plumbing, thinking it would shut the water off sooner instead of later. In the process, I must have jimmied loose the arm because suddenly the float now drifted aimlessly on the surface of the water like a piece of driftwood. ...Since I couldn’t isolate the exact point of commode malfunction, I finally decided to replace the entire contraption with a Fluidmaster 400AK Toilet Tank Repair Kit featuring the Special Adjust-A-Flush Flapper. Standing in line at the register, I smiled as I read the box, “Easy to Install: Detailed Instructions Inside.” ....The following day, I put humiliation aside and lugged my toilet tank to Lowe’s. After parading past fifty staring customers — hey, it’s not like I carry this everywhere I go — a nice man in plumbing used what I perceived to be a limited edition flush valve assembly remover, unscrewed the lock nut and sent this nut on to the next step of privy repair. Did I mention it was Day 2 and I had just completed Step 3? Returning home — and now on Step 4 — I kicked it up a notch until the instructions asked me, for all practical purposes, to climb in the tank and measure the top of the overflow valve, which of course, connects to the Fluidmaster 400’s Adjust a Flap Flusher, so that it would be exactly 1 inch above critical level on the fill valve. ...Warning: If this job takes you more than 15 minutes, call a plumber...." The Herald Bulletin, June 30, 2004

Oceanside company sued over desalination plant in Florida  "The owner of the country's largest desalination plant sued Oceanside-based Hydranautics for failing to build a working facility in Florida. ...Tampa Bay Water claims the Oceanside company breached its contract and failed to honor the warranty. It also seeks to use a $24 million performance bond held by Hydranautics to pay for repairs to the problem-plagued facility. Hydranautics said it was retained only to build the reverse osmosis system, the heart of the plant that turns ocean water into drinking water.  ...Hydranautics has been part of the desalination project since the beginning.  In 1998, the company was part of the team that was awarded the original $85 million construction contract. Poseidon Resources, a Connecticut-based company that proposes building a similar facility on the Carlsbad coast, was the project leader charged with designing, building, owning and operating the facility. Hydranautics ..was hired to build the reverse osmosis system that removes most of the salt from sea water. The water is run at high pressure through a series of membranes that work as a giant strain, taking out the salt and other impurities. ...The agency's engineers believe the problems lie in the pretreatment system, which has failed to remove items such as small marine life, leaving them for the membranes to remove. This clogs the system faster than designed, leading to frequent shutdowns and inconsistent operations."  SanDiego Union-Tribune, June 25, 2004

Water woes may delay school  "An unsafe water supply may postpone the opening of Sealston Elementary School in western King George County. Water tests at the district's newest elementary, now under construction and set to open in August, have repeatedly found levels of bacteria that make the water unfit for use, Superintendent Candace Brown said yesterday. Brown said she did not know the kind or levels of bacteria found in the water. Clean water was supposed to be available at the school site on April 1. So far, the King George County Service Authority has failed to provide safe water, Brown said."  The Free-Lance Star, June 24, 2004

Caught in a Pyramid scheme Lake to reopen after dispute between Forest Service, concessionaire  "After being closed since January because of a dispute with the lake's concessionaire, Pyramid Lake Recreation Area is slated to reopen in time for the Fourth of July weekend.  ...When the closure was first announced, the Forest Service said the lake was being closed, "in the interest of public health and safety." Now Morgan said the lake was closed because the previous concessionaire, Pyramid Enterprises, didn't pay fees owed to the Forest Service. ...Cowles said the real problem at Pyramid was the dilapidated state of the facilities.  "Much of the infrastructure is over mature -- well beyond its lifespan," he said. ...major repair projects suggested by the company were held up in bureaucratic red tape at the Forest Service according to Cowles and never performed. ...Morgan would not comment on Cowles' claims. The Forest Service has come under heavy criticism in the past for mismanagement and shoddy accounting by the General Accounting Office, Congress's fiscal watchdog.  When the Forest Service attempted to reopen the facility it found problems with the drinking water supply, according to Morgan. The Forest Service also found it lacked a license to operate the water system."  L.A. Daily News, June 24, 2004

Water borne diseases afflict half of Kenya`s population   "More than half of Kenya`s population suffer contaminated water related ailments, Water Resources and Management minister Martha Karua said here Wednesday. ...The minister hailed the Kenyan government`s move to privatise water supply services and urged other developing countries to adopt a similar approach in enhancing water security.    ...She said the illnesses were caused by water shortage and poor sanitation as 80 percent of the country lacked access to adequate water supply, owing to climatic variability and destruction of natural sources such as the forests."  Angola Press, June 21, 2004

Toxin to cost Martinsville millions "Solvent taints aquifer in once-renowned spa town. The vintage neon sign atop a historic downtown building is a reminder of this city's legacy: "Martinsville, City of Mineral Water."  For more than a century, people flocked to local spas and sanitariums to soak up the water's reputed healing powers. Now, the aquifer that supplies the city's drinking water is poisoned by a toxic chemical -- the legacy of an industrial dry cleaner that closed 13 years ago. The suspected cancer-causing solvent has soaked 40 feet into the ground and moved more than a mile to the city's wells.  ..."We don't know what might have happened when we weren't there," said Reed, who, along with his wife, left the dry-cleaning business after a 1996 lawsuit filed by Carter citing a pattern of environmental violations in Indianapolis and Martinsville. Reed now drives a truck. "The attorney general went on television back then and said I was the worst corporate criminal since Jack the Ripper," he said. "I was accused of running sloppy plants. But they never proved a thing."", June 20, 2004

Hopewell Borough residents told water safe to use  "State and local officials say Hopewell Borough residents may continue their normal use of the borough's public water system and need not be concerned about an immediate health risk while borough officials work to correct a violation of    recently-adopted federal standards on levels of radioactive elements, or radio nuclides, in the borough's public water. "The borough has already begun negotiations with the New Jersey American Water Company (formerly Elizabethtown Water Co.) regarding construction of a cross-connection with their distribution system, which would enable the borough to purchase a bulk supply of water," a letter sent to all borough residents last week stated. The letter adds that the NJDEP "has advised us that you do not need to change your drinking water intake or habits. There are no recommendation or suggested directives to use bottled water or an alternative water supply. However, if you have specific health concerns, we strongly suggest that you seek the advice and consultation of your physician."  "Once a cross-connection has been established, the Burton Avenue wells will be taken off-line until such time as a treatment system can be installed, or a decision is made to abandon the wells," the letter to borough residents states."  Hopewell Valley News, June 17, 2004

132,000 U.S. Women Dying Every Year from Iotrogenic Infectious Diseases  [MD offices are regulated far less than installed backflow prevention devices or plumbing installations .ed] "FATAL PROBE by Will Locksley - Six year study of 400 medical records, case files and interviews uncovers what could be the greatest cover-up ever by the American Medical Association. ...the Institute of Medicine estimates that over 100,000 patients die every year in U.S. hospitals as a result of medical errors or mistakes…. and beginning in 1999 that dialogue was sold to the American public in newspaper banners and on TV news programs across the nation. However, the important story is that 80% or 80,000 of those 100,000 patients die from an infectious disease. This fact – published by the CDC – was noted in earlier reports in 1999, but seldom mentioned when reported on in recent years. The 80,000 who die from infectious diseases are conveniently 'bundled in' with the other 20,000, most of whom did die because of medical errors. ...Why is this a big deal? Why is this noteworthy? For two primary reasons: 1. Many, if not most of those 80,000 deaths (every year) are preventable. 2. The 80,000 represent only 4% of the estimated 2,000,000 (two million) hospital patients who are actually cross-infected every year. Most patient-to-patient infections are preventable because they are primarily caused by the conscious, predetermined use of non-sterile devices, non-sterile procedures, non-sterile techniques or some combination thereof. Once an MD is licensed to practice in a state, there is no oversight of his/her office practices.(!!) Therefore, there can be no doubt that the level of standard associated with the examining rooms, the staff, the techniques, the medical devices and the physicians affiliated with private practices and clinics would be found far below those of a highly regulated hospital environment. Lack of concern for the safety of medical patients becomes clear when one considers the fact that there is an oversight-type office associated with almost every 'blue collar' occupation in every county government – plumbers, electricians, builders, et al. Could our government leaders be telling us that the reverence of their plumbing, electrical and building codes are more important than whether or not irresponsible doctors are cross-infecting patients with HIV, HPV, HCV and other deadly pathogens?"   PRWEB, June 14, 2004

474 gastro cases in Health Minister’s home district   "As many as 474 gastroenteritis cases have been reported from this home district of the Punjab Health Minister, Mr Ramesh Chander Dogra. Of these, about 450 cases have been reported from the city alone. Though officially no one has died of gastroenteritis in the district so far, Health Department sources admit privately that five persons are suspected to have died of the disease during the past two weeks. ...The presence of such a large number of gastroenteritis patients in the city reveals the shoddy state of sanitation here. Four of the eight water samples, collected at random by the Health Department authorities have failed the test. Besides, water of a number of localities, including Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar, Roshan Grounds and Bassi Khwaju has been found to be unfit for human consumption. ... Unhygienic conditions were prevailing on the hospital premises. Rooms were untidy and stinking for lack of proper ventilation, garbage was littered at corners and water had accumulated at certain places. “Most of the patients are migrant labourers who live in slum areas, where potable water is not available, maintained the hospital staff."  The Tribune, June 12, 2004

No Health Hazard From Tap Water With Unpleasant Smell; Earthy, Musty Taste  "Consumers in Los Angeles, Orange and southern Ventura counties may currently or soon notice an earthy and musty taste and smell in their tap water, but it is an aesthetic problem and not a health hazard, water quality experts announced today. ...The taste and smell episode is the result of large, persistent seasonal blooms of blue-green algae affecting tap water in the State Water Project's Castaic Lake and in water basins at the region's primary treatment plant," Wicke said. ...   The nuisance compound, produced by the growth of blue-green algae in freshwaters around the world, is geosmin. Typically, levels of this compound increase in summer months when the warmer weather accelerates the growth of algae, Wicke said. "Unfortunately, geosmin is difficult to remove completely during the filtration process," said Dr. Mic Stewart, Metropolitan's water quality manager."  Business Wire, June 8, 2004

Five barrels could have caused G.I. water contamination  Utilities Director answers questions about city's water at meeting. "As few as five 50-gallon barrels of industrial solvent could have caused the miles-long contamination plume now plaguing southwest Grand Island. Levels of 1,1-dichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene, commonly used industrial solvents, have been found at levels 28 times the drinking water standard -- enough for health officials to advise residents in the Mary Lane, Kentish Hills and Castle Estates subdivisions to not drink or bathe in the private well water. City water lines have since been extended to reduce negative health impacts. But health impacts may still be seen."  Grand Island Independent, June 8, 2004

School water lead-free at last  "After nearly a year of trying to get lead-free samples out of the school’s water fountains, meter valves and cafeteria faucets, results from the May 20 testing by Smith and Wessell Associates finally turned up acceptable lead levels.  ...Despite the combined efforts of the Raynham Center water department, the local health board, the school department and the state Department of Public Health, the source of the contamination remained a mystery for months. A private consulting team hired by the school district finally isolated the problem to a valve in the boiler room where lead was turning up in detectable concentrations at a small spigot after the meter.  Although the consultants felt they didn’t have to do any more testing after replacing the valve, Perry requested one more round of testing.."  Taunton Gazette, May 29, 2004

Clean, maybe, but is New York's water kosher?   "New York City seems a fine place for an observant Jew to keep kosher. There are specialty shops for those who take multiple ultras in their orthodoxy, and for those of less strict beliefs, nearly every corner deli offers bagels and such. And it all works out just fine, provided you don't get thirsty. Some rabbis now say that New York City tap water - for a century a gold standard for cleanliness - is not kosher. These rabbis have recently discovered that there are tiny bugs, called copepods, in the unfiltered water that streams into the city from upstate. These bugs are harmless. But they are crustaceans. And crustaceans are not allowed. Over the past two weeks, concern about the copepods in the water has grown into a matter of intense debate throughout the city's Orthodox Jewish communities." International Hearald Tribune, June 1, 2004

Council OKs contract for recycled-water design   Redwood Shores residents want safety guarantees for separate water pipelines "Assuring residents that their water safety concerns would be considered, the City Council approved an engineering contract for the city's recycled-water project Monday night. The $43.6 million project would begin providing treated sewage water to irrigate landscapes east of Highway 101....   ...While gratified that city officials agreed not to pump recycled water to areas where children play, the Safewater Coalition also wants guarantees that recycled and drinking water will remain separate in the pipelines, said Christina Lai, founder of the Redwood Shores group. "Cross connection is a real concern," agreed Councilman Ian Bain. "In cities where the pipes have crossed, there have been incidents of illness. As a preventative measure, the recycled water distribution will operate at a lower pressure than drinking water, explained Peter Ingram, public works director. "That way, if someone has done something illegal or silly, the drinking water ... will push it back into the recycled water system, not the other way around," he said."  San Mateo County Times, August 24, 2004

City Streets Preventing backflow in fire sprinklers  "Among water purveyors, state and federal regulators, and the fire protection community there has been a great debate regarding the type and amount of backflow protection needed on fire sprinkler systems. Fire sprinkler systems should be considered non-potable as a result of the poor quality of water found in them.  ...Whenever an unprotected or improperly protected fire sprinkler is connected to the public water system, the potential for an unintended or improper use of that connection can result in the contamination of the public water system. All fire sprinkler systems that are connected to the city's water supply must be isolated with an approved backflow prevention assembly and tested annually. The level of backflow protection must be commensurate with the degree of hazard."  Coeur d'Alene Press, August 16, 2004

Iraq Duty Calls "As Maui soldiers and their families prepare for the logistical, financial and emotional hardships of being called to war, Maui employers prepare to cope with the long-term loss of some of their key workers.  ...The county Department of Water Supply has also had workers called for military service, and spokeswoman Jacky Takakura said the department is having a hard time finding people who could fill in. "They're very skilled in what they can do, so it will be difficult if not impossible to try to replace them," she said. "We might just have to live without them." Two water department workers already are deployed and one, a back-flow cross-connection technician, is slated to leave Monday. With him gone, there will be just one employee capable of doing the highly specialized job for the whole county."  The Maui News, August 12, 2004

Contaminated Water at Complex  "RIO GRANDE — Some 30 residents of 12 apartments at 3124 Route 9 South here have learned life without potable water can be hell — and sickening. ...A May 14 health department report to Middle Township officials indicated contaminated water. Residents’ told this newspaper the water smelled and tasted bad, left a black scum in toilets and sinks, and sickened two children. That’s what brought a county health inspector to their spigots. They weren’t surprised when letters came from the county Department of Health that, as of April 30, urged them, “Do not drink the water until retest determines water is free of coliform.”  Diane Marshall, county Department of Health sanitary inspector who oversees township health concerns, has been placed in charge of the case. ...Marshall said landlord William Kern of Court House told her he “had been working with the pipes in the building and it (water) got contaminated that way."" Cape May County Herald, May 26, 2004

Drinking rocket fuel  "Well, maybe not rocket fuel; but perhaps the juice that powers your SUV and those obnoxious jet-skis. Environmental, social justice, anti-globalization groups around the world have been active in trying to prevent the privatization of water. Perhaps (to use a word coined by President G.W. Bush) I am misunderestimating them, but I think they are missing one of the crucial driving forces that is moving the privatized water crowd so eagerly forward.  ...Governments all round the planet have managed to sell their collective souls to international businesses who are almost inevitably beyond their control, or anyone else’s control. And we have developed treaty after treaty giving the corporations the legal right to empty our pockets while filling their own.  Control of water is rapidly becoming the latest attack upon humanity and a time is very nearly approaching when only those with sufficient cash in their pockets will be able to obtain this most important requirement of life. According to Fortune magazine, the annual profits of the water industry is about 40% of those of the petroleum industry. At this stage, those companies only control about 5% of the world’s potable water. ...It is of paramount importance that citizens force their governments to hold water as a public resource...."  Axis of Logic, May 15, 2004

Pebble Glen residents have a flood of complaints "Residents in a Lake Conroe subdivision are having problems with discolored water that flows in shades of brown, yellow and orange.Advertisement Resident Bruce Oyler said CNR Water Supply, which provides the water for Pebble Glen, located at the end of League Line Road, told residents nothing can be done about the problem. "They've flushed the system several times, and the next day it's back," said Oyler, who has lived in the subdivision for about a year. Discolored water is something that must be dealt with in this area due to high levels iron and manganese, said Rick Wagner, CNR Water Supply owner." The Courier, June 3, 2004

SC Files Lawsuit Against Comm. Of Correction "Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy filed an Article 78 proceeding with the state Supreme Court against the State Commission of Correction late last week in hopes of regaining approximately $7 million spent since the state closed the county's dormitories, mandating that the inmates be shipped to other counties in New York. According to Levy, after the facility was shut down due to a backflow of water back in March, about 140 prisoners had to be shipped out of the county for approximately $500,000 per month, which the county is still paying. The lawsuit states that the county should be reimbursed for money spent to ship out inmates, according to Levy."  Suffolk Life, August 4, 2004

Health officials question Yanks about illness  "New York City health officials are questioning doctors for the New York Yankees about an intestinal parasite that may have sickened three players and at least one family member. ...New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene officials said their contact with the team's physician is not an investigation. ...The suspected parasite, Entamoeba histolytica, is usually seen in people from poor countries, not rich ballplayers. It's a single-celled bug called a protozoan. It causes an illness called amebiasis (am-mee-BI-uh-sis). Typical symptoms are bloody diarrhea and low abdominal pain, starting two days to up to a month after infection. People usually catch it from traveling in a country where it is common, eating or drinking tainted food or water.  ...Outbreaks of it are relatively rare. In 1994, a cross-connection between waste water lines and a drinking water source for a Tennessee prison led to an outbreak that sickened 42 inmates.  The germ is both underdiagnosed and often mistakenly diagnosed in lab samples, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Sports Illustrated,, July 29, 2004

Legionella bacteria detected at SJRMC   "Traces of Legionnaires’ disease causing bacteria have been found in the water at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in South Bend. Health officials say that an outbreak of the illness is unlikely. Hospital safety officer Tim Ringer says the Legionella bacteria was found in the system that supplies water for sinks and showers in parts of the hospital."  WNDU 16 News Center, July 27, 2004

51 Hospitalized After Drinking Poisoned Water  "Over 50 people were hospitalized in the Central Russian Tula region after falling ill from the local drinking water, the Interfax news agency reported, citing the regional chief sanitary inspector.  Within the past three days 51 people with ages ranging from 1 to 60 were hospitalized for what appeared to be food poisoning. Most of them were children, the region’s chief sanitary inspector Lidia Shishkina told Interfax ...Local water tests in the Tula region, just under 200 kilometers from Moscow, had registered fecal bacteria after July 23, while there were no reports of accidents at nearby water cleaning plants that could have caused the contamination, Interfax reported. Regional authorities are not ruling out terrorism." (Ed. what about cross-connections?)  The Moscow News, July 28, 2004

Blow-up pools create problems for residents  (scroll down page heading) "...Mayor Burns addressed several residents' concerns about blow-up pools. Frederick County requires that residents who wish to erect the pools in their yards go to the county for an electrical permit if the pool has a filter. In addition, a "backflow preventor" is required to prevent contamination of the pool water and the water source, and a three-prong converter plug is necessary to prevent electric shock. ...Thurmont resident Ed Reed said he returned his pool to the store because of the extra measures that had to be taken to meet Frederick County requirements...  Commissioners plan to discuss the concerns with county officials, they said." Gazette.Net, June 24, 2004

Deadline nearing for city plan on water pressure    "Alpine city officials can expect to receive an enforcement order within two weeks that will assess a penalty and give the city a deadline for submitting a plan to remedy its low water-pressure problem on the city’s south side, Robert Morales with the Region 6 office of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said Tuesday (July 13). The plan should be comprehensive with specific detail on how and when the long-standing problem will be remedied, said Archie Clouse, TCEQ Region 6 director. If the plan is accepted, he said, it will become part of an “agreed order” that assesses a penalty and binds the city to the timetable outlined in the compliance plan. ....“A lot of people don’t understand why low pressure is a health hazard,” Clouse said. He said that when water pressure gets as low as TCEQ’s last readings in Alpine, a break in a line can easily drop pressure to zero, allowing for backflow of contaminants into the city’s water system."  The Desert-Mountain Times, July 15, 2004

Mom gets runaround over dirty tap water  "Would you bathe your 9-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy in brown water? Let alone drink it? That's what Nashville homeowner Paula Powell has been facing. And she's been tortured with the bureaucratic runaround. ...Metro Water Services Director Scott Potter told The Tennessean the problem is because of hundreds of miles of old cast-iron pipes that bring the water to houses. Road construction near Powell's West Trinity Lane house shakes sediment into the pipes. The only fix, officials said, is to flush the pipes routinely, and they've been doing that.  That's all perfectly reasonable. How Paula Powell has been treated is not.  'I just got the runaround. Nobody wanted to deal with my problem. Everybody I talked to wanted to transfer me to another department."", May 26, 2004

Water lines to replace tainted wells  "A year after residents in a south Wichita neighborhood were notified that their private wells were contaminated with a dangerous chemical, the city is preparing to provide the area with water.  ...the level of contamination does not exceed the safe drinking water standards, said Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The state has been providing residents with free bottled drinking water for the past year, she said. Long-term exposure to the chemical can cause cancer and damage the liver, kidneys and lungs....  ...The pollution was originally caused by two dry cleaners that are still located on West 31st Street South and on South Seneca, more than a mile from the neighborhood, Watson said."  The Wichita Eagle, May 25, 2004

Water crisis as Mexico City sinks faster than Venice  "Standing in his office high above Latin America's largest city, the water board operations chief Alejandro Martinez smiles as he considers one of the ironies of Mexico City's development.  ...Chugging the equivalent of one Olympic-sized swimming pool full of water every minute, the city's strained aquifers are dragging much of the capital's rich heritage down with them, while the 20 million residents face problems that include water-borne diseases, power outages and the threat of riots.  ....But collapsing heritage is just the tip of the iceberg. Below street level, the ongoing subsidence is wreaking havoc with the water distribution and drainage systems. The city's 8,300-mile network of water pipes routinely fracture, losing up to 40 per cent of potable water supplies, according to some estimates."  Axis of Logic, April 30, 2004 

Malwa in gastro grip "Prosperous Punjab has a dark side to it. Here innumerable people consuming contaminated drinking water have been rapidly falling prey to gastroenteritis and other water-borne diseases. ...A K Prabhakar, SE in-charge of the water supply in the municipal corporation here, said most often the sewerage water, which can be seen in the slum areas, contaminates the drinking water through corroded pipes which are not replaced. "Not only does it pollute the water, it also dirties the main line of the MC which can cause an outbreak of gastroenteritis in the city," Prabhakar said.  ...water supply and sewerage department of municipal corporation said that despite making repeated requests people did not change their rusted galvanised iron service lines which supplies water form corporations cast iron pipes.  He claimed that water supplied from the source was potable and the contamination occurs only due to the rusted pipes where sewerage water contaminates drinking water."  The Times of India, May 24, 2004

School funding tops town meeting agenda  "In keeping with tradition, Paxton’s town meeting will begin with the fiscal 2005 budget and several financial    articles that town officials hope will keep the town’s debt load in check. ....The water board is sponsoring an article for the town to adopt a bylaw that would compel the installation of backflow devices, in order to protect the town’s public water supply from contaminants and pollutants that could flow into it from private connections. The bylaw only applies to new construction."  Paxton News, June 11, 2004

Salem says ‘No’ to added drinking hours  "In other news: lLu Allyn Byus, assistant manager of field operation for the division of public water supply, a representative of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, addressed the board urging them to begin implementing cross connection control programs. She explained that the public water supply may be contaminated by cross connections with water customers. Cross connections consist of any link between the supply and the public. Back flow devices are imperative to protect the city’s water, she said."  Morning Sentinel, June 9, 2004

Sprinkler ban turned off  "Homeowners will be able to use sprinkler systems on their lawns this summer without breaking the law after the town lifted a 15-year ban.The Board of Water Commissioners last night voted to replace the ban on underground sprinkler systems with new regulations that will require systems to be registered and annually inspected. ...The new rules will require sprinkler systems to have rain sensors that will shut the system off during rain. They will also need a "backflow prevention" device to prevent water that comes in contact with the grass from flowing back into the sprinkler system and from there into the public water supply. Brown recommended that all residents with sprinkler systems register them with the town now. They would then have a year from the registration date to get the systems certified." Metro West Daily News, May 21, 2004

(Lenox Board) Faced with many complaints...  "...Vincent informed the board that he needed up to $15,000 to complete a "cross connection" survey mandated by the state Department of Environmental Protection. Cross connections are spots where the water supply could become contaminated. The survey would determine where backflow prevention devices would need to be installed. The survey will focus on commercial properties and municipal buildings." The Berkshire Eagle, May 14, 2004

Backflow law to be enforced in city by July 1  "City superintendent Todd Watson informed the Rector City Council that the city must be in compliance with Ordinance 493, which is the Cross-Connection Control Program, by July 1. The ordinance 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. ... Watson said he will have to evaluate all the businesses around town to see who needs a backflow prevention system installed. The system will be installed at the expense of the business owner. Without the preventer, fines may be levied and water service may be discontinued to the business. Watson said some of the businesses which will be expected to have a preventer will include funeral homes, doctor's offices, schools, beauty shops and restaurants."  Clay County Democrat, May 9, 2004

Australia miners may sue over uranium-tainted water   "...About 12 miners drank or showered in the contaminated water, which also showed high levels of acidity, on March 23, after it was mistakenly pumped into drinking and washing water at the Ranger mine 250km (150 miles) east of the northern city of  Darwin. .... ERA has said it appeared that an erroneous connection was made between the potable water line used for drinking and washing and the water line used in processing uranium.", April 6, 2004

E. coli found in city water  "Tests have determined that unchlorinated water running from Saint John taps contains E. coli and other coliform bacteria. A boil order went out on Saturday urging all residents east of the Reversing Falls to boil their water before drinking, washing vegetables, even brushing teeth. It is not known whether the E. coli is the same form of the bacteria that killed seven people in Walkerton, Ont., four years ago. That outbreak also made 2,500 people sick.", April 19, 2004

Gastro grip tightens hepatitis hazard hold   "Waterborne diseases have created pockets of peril in north and east Calcutta over the past 10 days. ...As many as 187 patients were admitted to Beleghata Infectious Diseases Hospital over the past 24 hours with symptoms of severe dehydration, vomiting and stomach upset, hospital officials said ... ..the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health confirmed that the piped water samples given for tests by the South Dum Dum Municipality contained “faecal contamination” and was “unfit for human consumption”. ...Institute director Ananth Narayanan said: “The choliform content was high, as potable water was getting mixed with water from the sewerage lines… We have told the municipal authorities.... to take help from the public health engineering department to check the supply lines and chlorinate the impure water.”  The Telegraph, April 17, 2004

Tap water misconceptions fuel bottled water sales   "....According to the National Resources Defense Council, pollution and out-of-date plumbing may be responsible for delivering unhealthy drinking water to residents. In a 2003 report, the NRDC tested the water quality of 19 major cities and found that many cities have deteriorating water sources. Trace elements of arsenic, lead, pesticides and rocket fuel were found in some of these sources.  "Most Americans take it for granted that their tap water is pure and their water infrastructure is safe," said Erik Olson, the report's principal author. "Our report shows that they shouldn't."", April 15, 2004

'Huge ballet' goes into details of building ship   ".....the ship's hallways are packed. In one spot, there's an orange fire hose on the left, a steel emergency stretcher on the right. The ceiling is a  spider's web crammed with pipes, including one that is 1 1/2 feet in diameter; a half-foot diameter pipe that carries firefighting foam; sprinkler systems; wastewater pipes; potable water pipes; and flushing systems. They're all bent, angled, coupled and jiggered at slight accommodating angles - a 5-degree slant in one pipe makes room for another. Beyond space considerations, every piece of equipment has to play nice with every other piece...", April 11, 2004

Source of tainted water eludes Lacey  Water safe to drink, city stresses  Lacey, Washington  " could have entered the municipal water system through: ...... backflow of liquids, such as soft drink syrup, into the water system if its pressure is higher than the water pressure in the pipe...."  The Olympian , March 3, 2004

Low Rates, Needed Repairs Lure 'Big Water' to Uncle Sam's Plumbing    ".....By and large, Americans have a safe, plentiful and cheap water supply, but .....three days in 2002 were a case study in the nation's water woes.  The country's geriatric water pipes need to be fixed or replaced, and government and industry studies have estimated that it will take between $150 billion and $1 trillion over the next three decades to do the job."  Center for Public Integrity, February 12, 2003

Cholera and the Age of the Water Barons    "When cholera appeared on South Africa's Dolphin Coast in August 2000, officials first assumed it was just another of the sporadic outbreaks that have long stricken the country's eastern seaboard. But as the epidemic spread, it turned out to be a chronicle of death foretold by blind ideology. " "...........In Europe and North America, analysts predict that within the next 15 years these companies will control 65 percent to 75 percent of what are now public waterworks. "  "Executives of the ........companies have been charged and, in some cases, convicted of illegal campaign contributions to politicians and of using bribery and fraud to obtain water and other municipal contracts......."   Center for Public Integrity, Feb. 3, 2003

Diarrhoea cases on the rise  "Diarrhoea cases in the capital city and other parts of the country are increasing alarmingly since the last week due to the sultry weather and contaminated water. Sources in the city’s hospitals and clinics said that the scorching sun and shortage of safe drinking water coupled with the ignorance of the people about health care were responsible for the disease.  “Water-borne bacteria is responsible for such spreading the disease in certain areas of the city and leakage in water pipes located near sewer lines is the probable cause of the widespread contamination of water, leading to the spreading of diarrhoea in some areas of Dhaka,” said Dr. P K Bardhan..."  Daily News Monitoring Service, Bangladesh,  April 8, 2004

Caustic soda discharge mystery in Greenwich   "....Denise Vogel placed two mugs of iced tea-colored  liquid on her kitchen table Monday. ....higher than usual amounts of the odorless, colorless caustic soda seeped into the town's water supply undetected until Friday, when a Maple Avenue resident notified the department of first degree burns after a shower. "I still have no idea how it got in there," Williams said. "Everything mechanical, electrical, was tested and was working the way it was supposed to. There's nothing to explain this.""  Gloucester County Times, April 13, 2004

Five more people admitted for cholera at Klerksdorp   "The number of people admitted to the Klerksdorp, hospital, in the North West, and confirmed to have contracted cholera, has increased from four to nine...  ...Kanana township, near Orkney, has a history of rampant outbreaks of cholera. Past outbreaks of cholera in the area indicate that the victims, may have contracted the disease after using and drinking contaminated water. The latest outbreak can be attributed to the outdated water supply system, overcrowding and the general unhygienic state of the township."  SABC News, April 11, 2004

Chiefs of Ontario - Statement from Charles Fox on contaminated drinking water   "......."Six Nations is just one of over two dozen First Nation communities in Ontario whose water systems place the lives of their people in daily jeopardy," Fox said.   .....Six Nations Chief Roberta Jamieson said the water supply in the community of over 11,000 residents was heavily contaminated with coliforms, some with potentially dangerous e-coli, volatile chemicals, and mineral excess over five times the accepted provincial standards.  ...Jamieson told a public meeting at Six Nations that the situation was "a Walkerton in the making." She warned government should not wait for an epidemic to break out which would affect neighbouring towns and cities.  Canada News Wire, April 11, 2004

EPA's lead heads  "The ongoing hysteria about lead in D.C.'s drinking water is much ado about nothing, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though that's no surprise, the controversy does have some value as it demonstrates the potential unintended consequences of implementing junk science-based environmental policy...."  Washington Times, April 6, 2004

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 7 Apr 2004          "....maintenance & servicing work in the Service Module (SM) today started with a checkup on the water supply system, whose control subsystem  has been falsely indicating a full KTV non-potable water container. ....Objective of Alex' task was to verify the adequacy of currently used measures to prevent the false "KTV is Full" indication while the check valves (M3-3, M3-2) on the primary & backup water manifolds from the air/gas separator are open. The condensate water processor (SRV-K2M) was subsequently reconfigured to its original state......."

Gambier narrows search  "Gambier leaders are hoping today will prove to be a watershed moment in the race to find the leaks responsible for the village’s massive annual water loss. ....EPA representative Carolyn O’Neal decided the village does not have to install a large backflow prevention system for its meter on Ohio 229. The village will still have to install a smaller unit, Lenthe said, but at substantially less cost than the $35,000 to $40,000 the larger unit would have required."  Mt. Vernon News, April 6, 2004

Over 40,000 residents in Rawalpindi drink dirty water "ISLAMABAD: Satellite Town residents get drinking water from the ....water tank that has not been cleaned since it was built in 1926......The pollution in the Hailey Waterworks - popularly known as Kali Tenki (black water tank) - has resulted in attacks of hepatitis, diarrhoea, typhoid and other dangerous diseases. The British built the Hailey Waterworks in 1926..." The Daily Times, Pakistan, April 5, 2004

Army will be deployed to face emergency situation-Pure water crisis in city  "Apprehending a troublesome situation in the face of looming water crisis in various parts of the city, the government is going to deploy army at various points of the city to face any untoward incidents.....Being deprived of getting water from Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), several thousands of people of the city's Jatrabarai area including women and children put up baricade on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway on Tuesday morning to vent their anger on unsafe and inadequate supply of water....." Daily News Monitoring Service, Bangladesh,  March 27, 2004

Water, water everywhere    Franklin, Murfreesboro help their rivers and make money with waste treatment systems.  "An innovative system for reusing waste water is helping two local high-growth areas add to the public coffers, cut users' water bills, conserve potable water and reduce the impact of waste on sensitive streams..... A system of distinctive purple pipes keeps reclaimed water separate from potable water......."   Nashville Business Journal, March 19, 2004

Dirty water on tap for N. Clarksville  "Water discoloration because of line maintenance shutdown.  ...Grover McBryar noticed the discolored water 2 p.m. Tuesday at his Ringgold Road home, after a laundry load of white clothes came out brown from the wash. McBryar said he didn't know what caused the water discoloration until he called the Clarksville Gas, Water & Sewer Department. "I've got a small baby that I've been giving water out of the tap to," McBryar said, describing his infant's formula mixture. "I had no idea that this was going on ... I can't imagine feeding a baby dirty water in her bottle." ...He wouldn't say if drinking water containing sediment is harmful. But he said water re-entering the line on Riverside Drive contained a chlorine decontaminant.", May 19, 2004

Drinking water OK  "Thousands of Merseyside families are buying bottled water after their tap water turned brown. United Utilities maintain it is "harmless" but their advisers are being inundated with calls from customers who cannot face drinking the discoloured, rusty-looking water.    ..."It is not harmful. "It has been caused by naturally occuring sediment being unsettled during work to re-route the supply as it crosses a viaduct. "The peak use this morning will have helped pass this water through the system.""  Liverpool Daily Post, May 19, 2004

Polk water customers urged to boil water  "For the second time in a month, Polk water customers  are having to boil their water  before using it.  Utilities Superintendent Matthew Redman said drinking water microbiological standards were violated in April and again in May. The violation consists of the detection of fecal or E. coli bacteria in the village's water distribution system.... ...the problem first arose when birds got into the village's damaged water tower. The system was chlorinated and flushed in April, but the problem resurfaced."  Grand Island Independent, May 13, 2004

Roodhouse boils into a new year  "Louise Jones is like many people in this tiny Greene County town -- tired to death of having to boil water. On Monday, she will have been doing it off and on for a year.  ....One year ago, Roodhouse water customers came under the first of three boil orders -- the latest of which has been in effect since July. The problems began after heavy spring rains flooded the city’s water plant, contaminating its aquifer.  ...the City Council couldn’t agree to buy water from nearby White Hall. And to build a new plant will take four or five years.  ...The situation has tried the patience of, and inconvenienced, Roodhouse water customers in the communities of Roodhouse, Manchester, Alsey, Barrow, Glasgow and Patterson."  The Telegraph, May 9, 2004

6 Seattle Schools Found To Have High Lead Levels In Their Water  "New test results are in on the water quality at some Seattle public schools, and they show lead levels that are higher than what's allowed. ...Students have been drinking bottled water since December after parents complained about the orange -rust colored water coming out of the drinking fountains.  ...Superintendent Raj Manhas admitted Thursday that the water-problem was never adequately addressed "It's painful for me...that we didn't do what we should have done in the proper time," he said. "All we can do is move forward and do the right thing."" Komo 1000 News, April 30, 2004

\Water off, on again in Pine Canyon   ".....Service from the Buena Vista Water System that serves about 160 homes in the area has been wildly sporadic for more than a week, frustrated residents  said. .....Under Health Department orders, the company distributed notices door to door, advising residents to boil water for five minutes before using it for drinking or cooking until tests show the system is uncontaminated, Sandoval said. .....Complicating matters and emotions over the water outage is the fact the Buena Vista system is one of eight small water systems due to be sold shortly under federal court order. The systems were placed under receivership after Alisal Water Corp. was convicted in April 2002 of violating federal drinking water standards.", April 28, 2004 

Safety of water supply is threatened worldwide.....USA TODAY "Easy access to clean, safe water can no longer be taken for granted in the USA or anywhere else in the world, says a report by the American Academy of Microbiology. Burgeoning populations, aging sewer systems, environmental pollution and growing resistance of microorganisms to water-treatment chemicals are among problems cited by the academy in its report A Global Decline in Micro-biological Safety of Water: A Call for Action, based on data from U.S. and international health agencies." June 5, 1996





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