News Briefs: Water Department Employee 'Worked to Death'

In this week's news, a court rules in favor of a municipal worker's widow, syringes continue to be found at a North Carolina pump station, and LADWP fires back at FOX News
News Briefs: Water Department Employee 'Worked to Death'

Interested in Infrastructure?

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

Infrastructure + Get Alerts

A three-judge panel in Pennsylvania has ruled the 48-year-old man who died of a heart attack during a 14-hour work shift was worked to death.

The victim, Robert Dietz, died in 2007 while performing hard physical labor for the Lower Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority. His widow, Judith Dietz, sought a standard death benefit totaling 60 percent of her husband’s wages and up to $3,000 for burial expenses.

“The overwhelming circumstantial evidence in this case shows that exertion from Decedent’s regular work activities over the course of a 14-hour workday caused his heart attack,” Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt wrote.

The employer has 30 days since the ruling was made Aug. 14 to decide whether to appeal the decision.

Source: Yahoo! News

Source of Syringes at Pump Station Sought
Burgaw (North Carolina) Public Works is up against an “abundance” of syringes being flushed into the sewers, which has created a public health concern for municipal crews that access manholes for work.

Crews are finding 10 or more syringes in specific areas at any given time, according to Town Manager Chad McEwen.

To combat the issue, Public Works will put strainers in manholes to discover the source of the syringes. Once the problem is isolated, they will take an educational approach with the public, going door to door explaining the issue. 

Source: WECT

LADWP Fires Back at FOX News Over Shade Balls
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) issued a press release to call out the “factual errors and uninformed assumptions” detailed in the FOX News article entitled, “LA ‘black ball’ reservoir rollout potential ‘disaster’ in the making, say experts,” which describes the “potential disaster” that could arise from the use of shade balls.

Earlier this year, Mayor Eric Garcetti and LADWP officials deployed 96 million shade balls into the 175-acre Van Norman Complex reservoir at a cost of $34.5 million. The report by FOX News contends that the color black is “the worst color for the job” with one expert saying, “It’s going to be a bacterial nightmare.”

“(LADWP) wants everyone to know that these arguments and quotes from FOX’s selected so-called water experts about our use of shade balls are wrong, invalid and based on uninformed opinions,” states a press release issued by LADWP. “LADWP has successfully implemented these shade balls in four reservoirs in its system in the last eight years, all without experiencing these purported issues and bizarre theories.”

Critics say the black balls will attract heat from the sun and raise the water temperature in the reservoirs, creating a hospitable environment for bacteria to grow. LADWP says the water flowing out of the Los Angeles Reservoir is in fact half a degree cooler than the water that goes into it after filtration and UV disinfection.

“These ‘doom and gloom’ theories are nonsense, and quite frankly, flat-out wrong,” says Marty Adams, LADWP’s senior assistant general manager of the water system. “Each of the processes that we implement is backed by actual nationally recognized authorities in the industry such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Sanitation Foundation.”

Source: LADWP, FOX News


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.