News Briefs: Pump Failure Leaves Thousands Without Water in Pennsylvania

Also in this week's sewer and water news, a wastewater treatment facility in Vestal, New York, declares an emergency after a malfunction caused one its buildings to flood with partially treated wastewater

Thousands of residents in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, were without water after a pump failure at the city’s water treatment plant, according to the Beaver County Times. Meanwhile, residents who did have access to water were urged to boil it before consumption.

As seen in the Facebook post below by Ambridge Connection, Ambridge officials quickly rallied to work on the issue and set up water stations in the city.

WWTP Building Floods With Sewage After Pipe Breaks in Basement

The Binghamton Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant in Vestal, New York, recently declared an emergency after a malfunction caused one its buildings to flood with partially treated wastewater.

A 16-inch pipe became separated from a wall in the building’s basement, causing sewage to leak, according to officials.

The emergency declaration allows the staff to spend additional money to clean up and repair the facility. To see an image of the accident, visit the source article on WSKG News.

Pine Needles Tell the Story of PFAS in North Carolina

The humble pine tree is more than just a common sight in North Carolina – it’s also a handy tool for monitoring the proliferation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in over time.

Researchers from North Carolina State University used historical and current pine needle samples to trace the presence and concentrations of over 70 different types of PFAS in six North Carolina counties from 1961 to the present. The findings are a snapshot of the evolution of PFAS in the state over a 50-year period.

Why pine needles? “They’re everywhere in the state and free, so it’s very easy to sample numerous locations and time points without having to build and retrieve expensive sampling equipment,” says Erin Baker, associate professor of chemistry at NC State and co-corresponding author of the work.

As for the needles themselves, the waxy coating that protects them from the elements also acts as an efficient trap for airborne contaminants such as PFAS. And since pine trees drop their needles on an annual schedule, researchers can be certain about the points in time they’re looking at when they take samples.

Read more about the study here.


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