News Briefs: Suspects Arrested for Dam Vandalism

In this week's news, four men are arrested after 50 million gallons of water is released into the San Francisco Bay, D.C. Water sues the EPA, and hundreds attend a party thrown by a California water utility.
News Briefs: Suspects Arrested for Dam Vandalism

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Fremont police arrested four men Nov. 24 for intentionally damaging an inflatable dam, which caused the release of nearly 50 million gallons of water into the San Francisco Bay.

Fremont Detectives and Street Crimes Unit arrested Dylan Jeffery, 21, Drake Elkhouri, 21, Gavin Palmon, 19, and Zackory Morton, 20, in connection with the incident that occurred in May, KRON 4 reports.

“The dam, which is instrumental to the Alameda County Water District’s water supply operations, suffered irreversible damage,” police said. “This amount of water is enough to supply the needs of approximately 500 homes for one year.”

“This is as very significant loss of water under any circumstances, and more so in the drought conditions we are experiencing, “said ACWD General Manager Robert Shaver. “It is an utterly senseless, destructive and wasteful thing to do.”

The district doesn’t believe the vandalism and resulting loss of water will have a long-term impact on its water supply operations.

All four men arrested were booked into the Fremont Jail on felony vandalism charges.

Source: KRON 4

D.C. Water Sues EPA
D.C. Water filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging that it improperly calculated new limits on the amount of E. coli that the region’s wastewater treatment facility may discharge into the Potomac River, the Washington Post reports.

D.C. Water says the EPA didn’t account for the fact that the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant can have spikes in E. coli levels when stormwater rushes into the plant during rain events, since E. coli is found in animal waste as well as human waste.

“The plant’s treatment performance already meets or exceeds that required to meet water-quality standards, “ spokesperson John Lisle wrote in a response to emailed questions. “The revised requirement would not lead to measurable improvements to water quality.”

The lawsuit is being closely watched by other sewer utilities in the nation because they also have E. coli limits specified in permits drawn up by the EPA.

Source: Washington Post

Water Utility Throws Party for Customers
Exemplary water conservation deserves a party, at least for one water utility and its customers.

The California Water Service Company rewarded its East Los Angeles District customers to a celebratory lunch to recognize them for their water conservation achievements. Water consumption in the area has been reduced by 17.3 percent — more than twice the state mandated conservation goal of 8 percent.

About 800 attended the event, which included a full-course lunch, music, water conservation information booths, as well as ice cream, face painting and freebies for children.

Source: The Eastsider

Alabama Counties Receive $1.5 Million for Water, Sewer Projects
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded nearly $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grants to support water and sewer improvement projects in three Alabama counties — Madison, DeKalb and Jackson counties — reports.

“Through the Community Development Block Grant program, communities are able to complete vital projects that local governments would otherwise be unable to afford,” said Gov. Robert Bentley.

Some of the projects include:

  • Sylvania of DeKalb County will put a portion of the money towards more than 5,500 feet of sewer pipe and other equipment on a portion of the town’s sewer system.
  • Fort Payne of DeKalb County will use $100,000 in cash and in-kind services to inspect and repair clay sewer lines.
  • The Jackson County Water Authority will spend $100,000 to extend public water service to 50 homes in the Wanville community, installing nearly 21,000 feet of waterlines and 13 fire hydrants.
  • Gurley of Madison County will use $75,300 in cash and in-kind services to replace old leaky concrete water pipes with larger PVC pipes.



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