News Briefs: A Sewer Gold Rush in California

In this week's news, California officials are on the hunt for suspects panning for sewer gold, a worker is critically injured in a fall at a Kansas pump station, and Austin, Texas, breaks ground on a reclaimed water project.
News Briefs: A Sewer Gold Rush in California

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It’s a blast from the past for one California town — a modern day California Gold Rush, but not in your average mine. Gold-hungry adventurers are clamoring in the storm sewers below the streets of Auburn, California, chasing after the rumor of others discovering gold in the city infrastructure.

Several people have been found in the drains digging for gold, though none were arrested — and not one person has hit the jackpot, Auburn Police Chief John Ruffcorn said.

These gold-digging expeditions are causing problems for town and police officials, as well as for businesses above the storm drains with the supposed gold. Loud bangs can be heard from the storm drains, and there are worries that the digging could destabilize the drainage system and cause the streets above to buckle, maybe even collapse, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It’s extremely dangerous,” Ruffcorn said, adding that is also “illegal.”

Though the drainage systems do hold remnants from old gold mines, it’s unknown whether anyone has actually found gold there recently.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Worker Critically Injured After Fall at Pump Station
A McPherson, Kansas, city worker was critically injured after falling in a transfer pump wet station 30 feet and landing in wastewater at the bottom.

For the rescue, firefighters used a tripod to get the worker out, with one firefighter harnessed to hook up the worker and bring him out safely.

McPherson Fire Chief Jeff Diehl said the man was doing routine maintenance at the pump station with two other workers who called 911. There is no word on what caused the fall.

Source: KWCH

Reclaimed Water Project Underway in Austin
Over the next two years, 10,500 feet of water main for reclaimed water will be built in downtown Austin, Texas.

The Austin Water Utility says using reclaimed water conserves the area’s drinking water supply. The reclaimed water can be used for non-potable uses such as irrigation and cooling towers.

Construction begins in November and is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

Source: KXAN

Solar Panels to Power New Jersey Pump Station
One of Middlesex (New Jersey) County Utilities Authority’s (MCUA) pump stations will join three other Middlesex County operations in receiving power from the 14,000 solar panels installed in Sayreville.

Solar power will supply 100 percent of the power needs of the pump station, along with the Middlesex County Fire Academy and the MCUA Administration Building, and will supplement operations at the MCUA Central Treatment Plant for Middlesex County, TAPinto Edison reports.

“These panels should not only be seen as a source of clean, reliable natural energy, but also as a symbol of the partnerships between the county and the MCUA,” says Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “By working together, we can keep the county clean, green and using its energy wisely.”

It is estimated that the solar panels will yield more than $1.5 million in energy savings.



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