News Briefs: North Carolina Utility Working With Feds to Fight Ransomware Attack

Also in this week's sewer and water news, the Kansas City (Missouri) Water Department looks for the culprit that broke its sewer main

A Jacksonville, North Carolina, water utility is working with federal investigators after its computer system was hacked and subjected to a ransomware attack.

Onslow Water & Sewer Authority’s servers and personal computers connected to the system were all compromised in the attack, which officials are calling “sophisticated.” Private customer information, however, was safe.

CEO Jeffrey Hudson released a statement saying the utility has experienced cyber attacks since Oct. 4, and despite efforts from cybersecurity specialists, problems have persisted and databases need to be rewritten.

The lack of computing ability will affect the timeliness of water service for several weeks, according to Hudson. “Initially, the utility will operate manually at all plant and office locations.”

Water Department Looks for Company That Broke Sewer Main

The Kansas City (Missouri) Water Department is looking for a company that was doing underground utility work near Blue Parkway and Kensington Avenue where it cracked a main, sending sewage into a local creek.

An official with the water department says conduits installed by an unknown company are responsible for the damaged sewer main. The official also says the spill was sending 100 gallons of sewage per minute into the creek for two days. “And then it actually made its way out to the street and entered into a storm drain sewer, which eventually was conveyed to brush creek,” he tells KSHB News.

University of Minnesota Hosts New Water Exhibit

A desire to learn about our relationship to water is drawing people to the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus, where the Institute on the Environment is hosting a new exhibit on water resources.

The traveling exhibit is called We Are Water MN, and it features the stories and relationships Minnesotans have with water, highlighting the need for connection between community movements and water research.

The exhibit will be at the university through late November before traveling to seven other locations in the state.


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