News Briefs: Crazy Sewage Stunt Brings Charges

In this week's news, a Newfoundland man is in some hot water with municipal officials, Fort Wayne celebrates 150 years of brick sewers, and Flint will reconnect to Detroit's water supply.
News Briefs: Crazy Sewage Stunt Brings Charges

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One Newfoundland resident who took matters into his own hands — or rather, raw sewage in a bucket — is facing a charge of mischief and has a court date later this year.  

Jim Murphy brought a bucket full of waste collected from his property and spilled it on the front desk of the Placentia Town Hall, complaining that wastewater has flowed in the river running near his property and has been backing up into his house since the early ‘90s.

Murphy says the nearby lift station was built in the ‘80s, but many homes have been approved by the town over the years with no improvements made to the infrastructure. And with his house last on the line, when the pipe freezes up or clogs, the only place for the pipe contents to go is up into his home.

One day after Murphy’s complaint, a crew and vacuum truck made repairs to the lift station. 

“They put a new pump on (the lift station) now and that sewage is pumping to the blockhouse, but that doesn’t take care of the major problem — that is the pipe,” says Murphy. “Maybe it’s coincidence. I guess the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

Source: The Compass

Fort Wayne Celebrates 150th Anniversary of Brick Sewers
Officials with the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, along with the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, celebrated the 150th anniversary of the city’s first brick sewer on Oct. 14.

Fort Wayne’s first brick sewer was built at the end of the Civil War in 1865. The city has more than 15 miles of brick sewers still in use, most of which were built between 1865 and 1900.

Mayor Tom Henry, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, and Fort Wayne Utilities celebrated the big day with a birthday cake.

"Most people don't pay attention to this, but as a mark of human health, sewer systems and water filtration have changed how we live as human beings and how we survive as human beings more so than advances in medicine," says Kumar Menon, city utilities director. "It's an important part of our culture, our background, and we're very proud of the work that was done 150 years ago in this location."

Mayor Henry agreed: “It’s important for us to recognize history and appreciate the craftsmanship that’s displayed in the City of Fort Wayne,” Henry told those in attendance. “We’re fortunate to be part of a community with individuals committed to doing their very best each day in their selected professions.”


Flint to Reconnect to Detroit’s Water Supply
The City of Flint, Michigan, will reconnect to Detroit’s water system after residents received tainted water for more than a year from the Flint River.

Flint had received water from Detroit since the 1960s, but switched water sources to the Flint River in April 2014. The river was to be a temporary source until 2016, when construction on a pipeline from Lake Huron to mid-Michigan is scheduled to be completed.

Complaints of water quality began immediately regarding the smell and taste, with some having physical reactions from the water — dark black rashes, hives, bloodshot eyes, hair loss and diarrhea — even after the city directed residents to boil their water. Independent research found the river was corrosive and burned through old lead pipes, resulting in lead levels high above EPA standards, bacteria and harmful chemicals.

“A switch back to Detroit is the fastest way to protect public health and stabilize Flint’s water system,” Flint Mayor Dayne Walling told The Detroit News. “The City of Flint will contribute $2 million toward the (total $12 million) cost. … And that’s money well-spent.”

Source: The Atlantic Citylab


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