News Briefs: Body Discovered in Sewer System

In this week's news, a human body is found inside an Oregon pumping station and goats are deployed on a Pennsylvania stormwater basin in a fight against invasive species
News Briefs: Body Discovered in Sewer System

Interested in Stormwater?

Get Stormwater articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Stormwater + Get Alerts

A wastewater operations crew in Eugene, Oregon, was in for a morbid discovery during a routine maintenance job pumping grease and debris from a wastewater wet well when they discovered a human body.

“I’ve worked here for 32 years, and this is a first for me,” Wastewater Operations Manager Dave Breitenstein told local media outlet KOMO News.

According to the report, the vacuum truck has taken on a new role as a crime scene investigation tool since the discovery of the body, which has since been identified, in the catch basin shaft at the City’s Filmore Pumping Station on May 27. Truckloads of wastewater will be removed from the well in order to search for potential evidence.

Police, a forensics team and the violent crime unit were called to the scene, it was reported by The Register-Guard. A second pumper truck was called in to help finish pumping out the wastewater before the body could be recovered.

Accessing the closed system isn’t easy, so officials are dumbfounded as to how the body got there. About 800 miles of wastewater piping handles 20 million gallons of wastewater daily from Eugene and Springfield. Mainlines measure up to 72 inches in diameter. Wastewater enters the Filmore pumping station via a 52-inch pipe; it is the last lift station along that stretch of sewer line before wastewater reaches the treatment plant.

“The wastewater collection system is entirely enclosed, separate from anything else, even separate from septage deliveries,” Breitenstein said. “At the stations, we have vault covers; we keep it locked. The station is secured either by fence or the vaults are always locked, so those are really well secured.”

Regular maintenance was last performed at the pumping station in September 2014 and is scheduled twice annually.

Source: KOMO News, The Register-Guard

Goats Gobble Invasive Plants in Stormwater Basin

The Town of Salisbury, Pennsylvania, came up with an innovative and environmentally friendly solution to a pesky invasive plant issue. Instead of resorting to herbicides, three goats — triplets named Wynken, Blynken and Nod — will be loosed in a stormwater basin next to the municipal building to feast on the Japanese knotwood that has taken over.

The goats, which live on a farm in a neighboring township, have already had a taste of the knotwood and approve of the new menu.

“They love it,” says Township Commissioner Joanne Ackerman. “It’s going to make them nice and chubby.”

After the goats have had their fill over the course of several days, crews will dig up the plants’ roots. Once the basin is clear of the knotwood, the township’s environmental advisory council will upgrade the basin so it holds water longer, WFMZ News reports.

The basin is about 60 feet long and 30 feet wide.

Source: WFMZ

Iowa Counties Targeted in Des Moines Lawsuit Respond

The three rural Iowa counties targeted in a federal lawsuit by a Des Moines water provider have filed a response denying that they contribute to high nitrate levels in rivers, the Associated Press reports.

“Defendants admit water quality always is an issue, deny that they are responsible for … any such pollution,” the 29-page court document says, submitted by the team of attorneys representing Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac counties.

The lawsuit filed earlier this year argues that the three counties should be required to have federal water pollution discharge permits due to the high nitrate pollutants they release into rivers via fertilizer and manure from farms.

The plaintiff, Water Works, is also seeking monetary relief for the cost of removing nitrates from water — $900,000 for 2013 and $540,000 for this year.

Nitrate levels as high as 39.2 mg/L have been recorded in groundwater discharged by drainage districts in Sac County.

Source: Washington Times


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.