News Briefs: Emergency Crews Rescue Worker From 40-Foot Hole

In this week’s news, rescuers respond to a fall at a North Dakota lift station, water research organizations announce a merger, and is declining groundwater in Mississippi cause for alarm?
News Briefs: Emergency Crews Rescue Worker From 40-Foot Hole

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Rescue crews pulled an injured worker from a 40-foot hole at the site of a new lift station construction project in Grand Forks, North Dakota. According to the Grand Forks Herald, the worker was lifted out of the hole with a crane on Dec. 11 after he had fallen onto the concrete structure below around 11:30 a.m.

Chad Cutshaw, battalion chief of special operations, told the newspaper that it was unclear how far the victim actually fell and extent of the injuries was unknown. The victim, who works for ICS Inc., was put on a stretcher and transported to a local hospital less than an hour after the call reporting the incident.

The city is replacing the lift station, which was built in 1981 and rehabilitated in 1993.

Source: Grand Forks Herald

WERF and WateReuse Research Foundation To Merge
The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and the WateReuse Research Foundation (WRRF) boards of directors have agreed to merge.

According to a joint press release, the two organizations recognize and value their history and respective missions, and believe that merging will create synergies, reduce future water research redundancy, further the evolution toward a unified voice for water, and increase the value proposition to their respective subscribers by enhancing and leveraging investments.

Both organizations conduct research in a clearly defined and complementary niche. WateReuse focuses on water reuse and desalination, while the WERF focuses on resource recovery and water quality impacts from wastewater and stormwater.

Study: Groundwater Declining in Mississippi
A recent USA TODAY analysis shows groundwater levels decreasing in many areas of the county with the state of Mississippi being one of the areas with the highest decline over the last two decades.

There are 18 major aquifers in the state, comprised of mostly sand and gravel that are confined by clay layers, reports The Clarion-Ledger. Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Robbie Wilbur told the newspaper that over 90 percent of drinking water comes from water wells supplied by these aquifers and, in most areas of the state, multiple aquifers are available for use.

“Water level declines in the majority of our drinking water aquifers range from 1/2 to 3 feet per year depending on location and use,” Wilbur says. “Most of the wells in the metro area have hundreds of feet of available drawdown, and at the current rates of water level decline there does not appear to be any near-term threat for water levels to reach the tops of the aquifers.”


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