News Briefs: Recent Documentaries Highlight Flint Water Crisis

Also in this week's sewer and water news, a treatment plant in Scottsdale, Arizona, is approved for direct potable reuse of water

new documentary highlighting the Flint Water Crisis as an example of the country’s aging water infrastructure premiered Sept. 12 at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Flint, Michigan.

The film is titled Flint: The Poisoning of an American City and it examines how 5,300 cities in the nation have violated lead rules and how 2,000 public water systems in all 50 states have elevated lead levels.

Flint also was also on TV screens nationwide recently for the premier of a Frontline documentary on PBS that focused on the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that occurred during the Flint Water Crisis.

Arizona Treatment Plant Approved for Direct Potable Reuse

The Advanced Water Treatment Plant in Scottsdale, Arizona, recently became the third facility in the nation permitted to treat recycled water for direct potable reuse (DPR).

It’s the first such permit issued by the state of Arizona, and it establishes a pathway for other cities in the state to work toward direct potable reuse plans. “Scottsdale Water has always been at the forefront of water reuse innovation,” says Scottsdale Water Executive Director Brian K. Biesemeyer, in a prepared statement, according to Scottsdale Independent. “We have been successfully operating our Advanced Water Treatment Plant to treat recycled water to ultrapure standards for over two decades. We are extremely proud to help not just Arizona cities, but communities worldwide, establish a path toward direct potable reuse and long-term water sustainability.”

The plant has performed indirect potable reuse for the past 20 years. While Scottdale itself isn’t planning to make use of the DPR system, other cities in the state are actively planning to use its system as a blueprint for their own DPR facilities.

In the meantime, Scottsdale plans to tackle the public perception issue surrounding DPR, and the first step includes — you guessed it — brewing beer.

Fired Water Department Employee Charged for Threats to Shoot Coworkers

A former water department worker for the city of Minneapolis is being charged with threats of violence for plans to shoot employees at the Minneapolis Public Works Water Treatment and Distribution Service.

The former employee, Michael Butler, had been fired from his job for missing a few consecutive days at work. He says he went on a three-day binge smoking crack and using meth before checking himself into the hospital. It was there he told authorities about his plans to shoot his former coworkers and divulged that he had guns and ammunition stashed away near the facility.


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