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This Week in #MOwater and around the nation: S&T wastewater research, pig poop and a cosmetic ingredient ban

Posted in: News- Feb 25, 2015 No Comments


New Wastewater Research: S&T engineering researcher develops new technology

Wang says 0.8 percent of America’s energy use is spent on wastewater treatment. Much of that energy is used to aerate the tanks where wastewater is treated. The energy is used to feed oxygen to the microorganisms that consume the waste, and traditionally wastewater treatment plants maintain an oxygen concentration of 2 milligrams per liter to feed the bugs in the tanks, “which makes them happy,” Wang says. “You can make them a little unhappy,” he says, “because bugs do not have a union.”

He has also developed another treatment system called an Alternating Anaerobic-Anoxic-Oxic (A3O) process that “can achieve superior effluent quality since it can remove organic pollutants plus nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients,” Wang says. It does this without chemicals, and its effluent contains only 5 milligrams per liter of total nitrogen and 0.5 milligram per liter of total phosphorous.

Trout Season: Agencies prepare for another year of fishing

The Missouri Department of Conservation predicts more than 10,000 trout anglers will descend March 1 on the state’s four trout parks — Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, Montauk State Park near Licking, Roaring River State Park near Cassville, and Maramec Spring Park near St. James.


Pig Poop: As streams get fouled, state permits called into question
North Carolina

Few people know the pig business like North Carolina’s Don Webb. Webb raised pigs in Wilson County, North Carolina, until, in the late 70s, residents told him the smell near his farms was unbearable. He tried some solutions. They didn’t work. A study published in January concluded that streams near large industrial farms in eastern North Carolina are full of pig poop bacteria.

Cosmetic Ingredient Ban: Another state joins movement to ban microbeads
New York

New York’s attorney general is asking that state’s legislature to ban microbeads, tiny particles of plastic used in many beauty and skin care products, joining a growing number of states taking aim at the ingredient. “When plastic microbeads leach into our water, they attract toxins that harm fish and birds and get passed on to humans,” U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said in a statement. Illinois last year became the first state to ban microbeads. New Jersey followed suit. California and Colorado are considering similar bans, and many more states are expected to join.

Fertilizer Limits: Senate passes bill regulating application

The Ohio Senate passed a bill on Wednesday aimed at preventing toxic algae blooms like the one that fouled Toledo’s water supply last summer, and makes it illegal for farmers to fertilize while fields are frozen or saturated, or when the weather forecast calls for heavy rain.

Oil Train Spill: 36,000 gallons recovered
West Virginia

Approximately 36,000 gallons of oily-water mixture had been recovered from containment trenches after a CSX oil train derailed last week.