News Briefs: Actor Jaden Smith Distributes Clean Water in Flint

Also this week's sewer and water news, a New York woman is suing a local sex shop, claiming a buildup of condoms and rubber gloves is causing massive sewer backups in her home

A foundation run by Jaden Smith, son of actor Will Smith, is working with a church to bring cleaner water to Flint, Michigan, by using a mobile water treatment system.

Smith’s company, JUST Water, is using the system he calls The Water Box to filter out lead and other contaminants before distributing the water to residents.

A free bottled water program was canceled in Flint in 2018 under Gov. Rick Snyder’s leadership. While newly appointed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to reinstate the program, bottle donations to the city have declined, prompting Smith and his company to get involved.

EPA Announces $202 Million Loan to Baltimore for Wastewater Upgrades

In other news, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $202 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Baltimore, Maryland, to help the city make system-wide upgrades to its aging wastewater infrastructure at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“This WIFIA loan will help Baltimore modernize its wastewater infrastructure, protect human health, and prevent sewage and polluted runoff from entering the Chesapeake Bay,” says EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

The loan will reportedly offset about 20 percent of the estimated $942 million the city needs to make necessary upgrades. City officials have been pursuing the loan since 2017 when a $1.2 billion consent decree was issued requiring Baltimore to repair its wastewater and stormwater systems by 2021.

“Maryland appreciates the support of our federal partners in helping Baltimore promote public health and ensuring that we continue making historic progress to restore our most precious natural asset, the Chesapeake Bay,” says Gov. Larry Hogan.

New York Resident Sues Sex Shop for Causing Extreme Sewage Backups in Her Home

A resident of Chelsea, New York, is suing a nearby sex shop, claiming that extreme sewage backups in her home are being caused by a massive buildup of condoms, diapers and rubber gloves.

The resident, Susan Haar, filed the lawsuit against Sexy Boutique seeking $2 million in damages for the damage caused by sewage backups in the basement of her townhouse.

The lawsuit claims that sewage has even risen above her baseboards and soaked into the walls up to 6 feet high, soaking her furnishings and cabinetry in liquid waste.


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