News Briefs: Oil Train Derailment Worries Water Utilities in Iowa

In this week's sewer and water news, the derailment of 33 oil tanker cars has utilities downstream concerned about water quality; and Michigan is experiencing infrastructure issues in the wake of flooding in the Upper Peninsula

A derailment of an oil train in a flooded area in northwestern Iowa has downstream water utilities in a number of towns and cities concerned.

Even 150 miles south of the spill in Omaha, officials are monitoring drinking water pumps that draw water from the Missouri River.

Each oil tanker car can hold more than 25,000 gallons, and 33 of the cars derailed. Crews have been working to skim oil from floodwaters in the area.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds was set to visit the site of the derailment June 23.

NSF International has published a new American National Standard for drinking water filters designed to reduce potentially harmful microorganisms from municipal drinking water systems during the critical period between a water-supply contamination and a boil-water advisory.

The new standard is called NSF/ANSI 244: Supplemental Microbiological Water Treatment Systems – Filtration and it establishes minimum requirements for mechanical water filtration devices that reduce bacteria, viruses and protozoan cysts in both point-of-entry filters and point-of-use filters.

“NSF/ANSI 244 establishes the minimum requirements and performance characteristics for products that claim to reduce the type of potentially harmful microorganisms that can get into the water supply if there is some kind of unexpected microbiological contamination event,” says Jessica Evans, director of standards development at NSF International. “Consumers, especially those with compromised immune systems, can be confident that products certified to the standard will provide protection if there is some kind of event with the public water system.”

There’s likely going to be some septic tank and water infrastructure issues in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a catastrophic flash flooding event washed out roads and flooded Menominee County and the Houghton-Hancock area.

Unfortunately for homeowners in the area, floods aren’t typically covered in basic homeowner insurance policies, and they’d probably have to opt for additional water-related coverage to pay for damage to backed up sewer and septic tank lines.

You can see photos and videos of the damage here.


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