News Briefs: Sewer Worker, Driver Killed in Crash

In this week’s news, a 23-year-old sewer worker dies in a traffic accident, officials in Florida celebrate the opening of a $32M water reclamation facility and the Lansing Board of Water and Light says it was the victim of a cyber attack.
News Briefs: Sewer Worker, Driver Killed in Crash

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A sewer worker and a driver were both killed in a traffic accident in Porter, Texas, on April 26. Paul Mackedanz, 23, was cleaning the sewer line when the vehicle struck him, The Humble Observer reports.

“Witnesses stated the sewer worker was behind the pump truck cleaning the lines,” says Erik Burse of the Texas Highway Patrol. “Another vehicle disregarded the cones and struck the victim, pinning him against the pump truck.”

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Mackedanz was standing behind his jet/vac truck when the driver of a Chevy Cobalt disregarded the cones around the truck and slammed into it.

Source: Houston Chronicle, The Humble Observer

$32M Water Reclamation Facility Opens in Florida
Officials celebrated the opening of the $32 million Northwest Water Reclamation Facility in St. Johns County (Florida) on April 29. The facility is designed to collect and treat water that will be reused as lawn irrigation and is part of the county’s long-term sustainability plan, The St. Augustine Record reports.

“Over the next 25 years, the St. Johns County Utilities Department customer base is projected to grow by 88,000 people under medium-growth scenarios,” states the county’s Integrated Water Resource Plan. “During this period, demands on water resources are projected to grow to the point where traditional groundwater supplies will likely not meet the future potable water demands.”

Construction on the project began in May 2013 and was completed in February and will be capable of meeting capacity demands from population growth over the next 15 to 20 years, per the report.

Funding came mostly from low-interest loans from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, including matching grants from the St. Johns River Water Management District, reserve funds and bond proceeds.

“The big word in the industry is sustainability, and this stretches your gallon of water much further,” says Bill Young, utility director. “You’re not wasting it and throwing it back into a creek or something. You’re using it again and again.”

Source: The St. Augustine Record

Utility Victim of Cyber Attack
The Lansing Board of Water and Light announced it was the victim of a "cyber incident" on April 25 that partially shut down some of its services.

According to a report by Softpedia, the ransomware infection happened after a BWL employee opened a file attachment received via email. The virus encrypted the employee’s files but also spread to other computers on the same network.

The utility had to shut down its computer systems for a period of time after the incident and a customer assistance phone line had to be disabled.

BWL officials say no customer data was stolen or encrypted during the incident, but they decided to suspend any power and water shut-offs until the situation cleared up. Water and power service to customers was not interrupted.

Officials informed the Lansing Police Deparment and the FBI about the incident, the report says.

Source: Softpedia


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