News Briefs: Utah Fights Quagga Mussels to Save Water Infrastructure

Also in this week's sewer and water news, Tropical Storm Barry brings enough rain to cause sewer overflows in Alabama and raise concerns for those in New Orleans

Quagga mussel
Quagga mussel

Quagga mussels are becoming a major problem near Lake Powell, Utah, as the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources spent the Fourth of July holiday weekend trying to decontaminate boats.

Officials say 210 boats went through decontamination procedures and that quagga mussels were found in 75% of them — 157 boats.

Another 17 boaters were issued citations for failing to inspect their watercrafts or transporting their boats with the bilge plug in.

“We are doing everything we can to protect Utah’s water infrastructure,” Scott Dalebout, DWR statewide operations lieutenant, said in a news release according to The Salt Lake Tribune. “This isn’t just about preventing damage to boats — this is about making sure these invasive species don’t spread to other water bodies where they will get into water pipelines and cause millions of dollars in damage to Utah’s water infrastructure.”

Sewer Overflows Reported in Alabama After Barry's Rain

Some sewer overflows have been reported on Alabama’s coasts as a result of rains from Tropical Storm Barry.

The Alabama Department of Public Health is reporting more than 180,000 gallons of untreated wastewater spilled in Baldwin County, while an estimated 125,000 gallons spilled over into D’Olive Creek in Daphne. Spills also were reported in Fairhope and Bay Minette.

State officials are warning residents to avoid going into coastal waterways, adding that seafood caught in those waters should be fully cooked prior to eating.

Meanwhile, Barry has dropped more than a foot of rain over parts of Louisiana, where flash flood concerns persisted at publication time. Recent projections show the Mississippi River is likely to crest around 17 feet, while the levees in New Orleans range from about 20 to 25 feet.

New York Sets Strictest Standards for Two Perfluoronated Compounds

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced $350 million in funding through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act and Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grant Program available to municipalities with projects protecting public health or improving water quality.

Cuomo also announced the state has accepted the State Drinking Water Quality Council’s recommendation for greater restrictions on perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid and 1,4-dioxane levels in drinking water.

“We’re proposing the most protective levels in the nation for three emerging contaminants to ensure we are regularly testing and fixing water systems before they ever rise to a public health risk in any part of the state,” Cuomo says.

New York’s standard of 10 ppt for the two perfluoronated compounds are the strictest in the United States, while it’s the only state regulating 1,4-dioxane at all with a standard of 1 ppt.


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