Year in Review: The Most-Read Articles of 2017

Year in Review: The Most-Read Articles of 2017

As the year comes to a close, we take a look at some of the most popular stories on If you missed any of these, now is your chance to catch up. Enjoy this look back at 2017.

10. Ebola Guidelines May Put Sewer Workers at Risk
Drexel University and the University of Pittsburgh did an assessment of a sewer worker’s risk of contracting Ebola from inhalation exposure while working in a sewer line downstream from a hospital with Ebola patients. Their conclusion — the risk is significant enough to warrant further study.

9. University Team Develops New Leak Detection Tool
A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been fine-tuning a leak detection tool it hopes to one day commercialize. The robot, which looks like an oversized badminton birdie, can detect leaks as small as 1 gpm.

8. Contractor Finds Efficient Way to Rehab 800 Laterals
MBI Pipelining took on one of its biggest tests in 2014 — the rehab of 800 laterals in New Castle County, Delaware. This story details how the company was able to get the entire job done in a little over a year.

7. How Not To Do Public Outreach
Public outreach can oftentimes be a challenge for utilities. They have the technical know-how for taking care of infrastructure, but struggle when trying to communicate information to the public. The Louisville Water Company has a good track record for doing effective public outreach and offers up a few tips in this story.

6. Drone Technology Being Tailored for Sewer Inspection
Drones are a technology that people are continuing to find new ways to use these days. In Europe, a consortium of companies are preparing to field test a drone they have been developing for sewer inspection.

5. Poisonous Gas Kills Three Florida Sewer Workers
The importance of always taking the proper safety measures when working in sewers came to the forefront in January when three utility workers in the Florida Keys died after climbing into a manhole and being overcome by hydrogen sulfide and methane gas.

4. British Utility Discovers 130-Ton FOG Blockage
In September, Thames Water made headlines after it discovered a “fatberg” the size of 11 double-decker buses blocking a stretch of London sewer. It took workers nine weeks to completely clear the blockage.

3. Root Cutting Secrets Revealed
Roots are always going to be a problem to overcome in this industry, so it’s not surprising to see that one of the most-read stories of 2017 was an overview on how to best tackle tough root-cutting jobs.

2. Trump’s Effect on the EPA Taking Shape
With a lot of water and wastewater funding programs tied to the EPA, people in the industry took notice in March when President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts for the EPA were revealed.

1. Dogs Being Trained to Sniff Out Water Leaks
The most-read story of 2017 was about an Australian utility’s efforts to use living and breathing leak detection tools — dogs.


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