News Briefs: Manhole Cover Explodes Through Bus Floor, Injuring Passenger

In this week's news, photos surface of a manhole cover that ripped through the floor of a NYC bus, Californians reduce water use, and the winner of Wisconsin's best-tasting water is unveiled
News Briefs: Manhole Cover Explodes Through Bus Floor, Injuring Passenger

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Josephina Guzman was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

An underground explosion shot a nearly 300-pound manhole cover through the floor of a New York City bus directly beneath Guzman’s seat. The passenger sustained minor injuries from the freak accident, including bruises and a swollen ankle. 

“In my 27 years, between driving and also investigating accidents, this is the first time I’ve seen a manhole cover come through the bottom of the bus,” Frank Austin, a Transport Workers Union official, told the New York Daily News. “(The driver) thought something exploded on the bus until he saw what it was.”

There is no explanation of the phenomenon yet, though it’s been speculated that the driver rolled over the cover, dislodging it and shooting it into the underside of the bus. However, union officials find this unlikely.

“That would be a good one. A bus tire cannot dislodge a manhole,” Austin said.

This unexplained manhole explosion is not the lone exception in New York. In early May of this year, two manholes and two gratings exploded in Manhattan, with fire, smoke and an acrid odor reported. Another fiery manhole explosion occurred in Midtown Manhattan a few months later in July.

Source: New York Daily News, NBC New York, CBS New York

California Reports 27 Percent Reduction in Water Use
Californians are meeting the 25 percent mandatory urban water reduction target set by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this summer.

Water use fell by 27 percent in June — the hottest June on record — regulators reported July 30.

“The June numbers tell a story of conscious conservation, and that’s what we need and are applauding today,” said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board. “We need to save as much as possible. That is water essentially in the bank for a future dry year or more."

Data from the water resources board shows that 265 out of 411 local agencies hit or nearly reached savings targets, according to the Orange County Register.

Source: Orange County Register

And the Winner for "Best-Tasting Water" Goes To ...
The Wisconsin Rapids Water Utility won the 2015 title of "Best-Tasting Water" during the Wisconsin State Fair.

The competition — sponsored by the Wisconsin Water Association — included 21 drinking water utilities from around the state. The taste test showcased the dedicated work of more than 900 water professionals in Wisconsin who provide safe, high-quality drinking water.

Celebrity judges included representatives of MillerCoors, Ocean Spray, The Water Council, Public Service Commission and Wisconsin brew masters. They considered taste, odor and appearance of water samples in nonscientific judging.

The winner will compete for a national title at ACE16, the American Water Works Association annual conference, in Chicago. Previous state winners, Stevens Point and Arcadia, won Best in the Nation and third place in the nation, respectively.

This year's second place went to Arcadia, and third place went to Stevens Point. 


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