Saturday , 25 February 2017

September 14, 2016 E-News

OFFICIALS: REPLACING LEAD PIPE WORTH THE COST, WHATEVER IT IS – Top Milwaukee and state officials agreed Wednesday that Wisconsin must move as quickly as possible to replace all of the estimated 176,000 lead pipes providing drinking water to homes and businesses in the state, with Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp declaring, “If it costs a lot of money to do that, then it costs a lot of money to do that.” The DNR estimates it could cost between $3,000 and $5,000 for just the homeowner’s portion to replace each lead service line; no statewide estimate was available Wednesday for how much water utilities could spend. The Milwaukee Water Works has estimated that replacing that city’s 70,000 lead service lines would cost between $511 million and $756 million. Madison already replaced all 8,000 of its lead pipes over 11 years, at a cost of $15.5 million.

BARRETT URGES USE OF WATER FILTERS TO REMOVE LEAD – Owners and residents of tens of thousands of Milwaukee homes built before 1951 should install faucet filters capable of removing lead from drinking water, Mayor Tom Barrett said Wednesday. “I strongly urge anyone who lives in a home built before 1950-’51 to get a filter,” Barrett said at a public forum on drinking water held at Marquette University Law School. About 70,000 city residences, including duplexes, or nearly 45% of the total, receive water from street mains through a lead pipe known as a lateral. Although Milwaukee treats Lake Michigan water to control corrosion of lead from those pipes and prevent contamination of drinking water, this step is not a 100% guarantee of clean water, a drinking water treatment scientist said Wednesday.  “As long as the lead pipe is there, no one should consider the water safe” to drink, said Marc Edwards, a professor of environmental and civil engineering at Virginia Tech.

FARMS TO SUBSIDIZE COST OF SAFE DRINKING WATER FOR THOSE WITH TAINTED WELLS – A group of dairy producers in Kewaunee County announced Wednesday that it will pay more than half the initial cost of purifying drinking water for residents whose wells have been polluted by animal waste. The farmers and feedlot owners who belong to the private nonprofit Peninsula Pride Farms also said they would pay for bottled water for up to three months to the owner of any well testing positive for the bacteria e. coli. If an inspection by a private consultant hired by the Peninsula Pride finds that the well’s protective casing isn’t cracked, and the state Department of Natural Resource determines manure is the contamination source, the farmer group will help pay for a water treatment system. The program appears to be an effort to settle a long-simmering dispute over responsibility for bacterial pollution that appear to have caused serious illness in at least a few people.

CROPS CLASH WITH LAKES AND STREAMS IN CENTRAL WISCONSIN – Many crops in this vast, sandy swath of the state would shrivel without water from thousands of high-capacity wells. So would a multibillion-dollar industry that produces fresh potatoes, cans of green beans and bags of Doritos. But in a state with an abundance of water, there are growing concerns about the ecological effects of irrigation and the exponential growth of large wells. Those worries were compounded recently when state regulators began exerting less authority over construction of new high-capacity wells, which can take a potentially harmful toll on the landscape. A “high-capacity well,” under state law, has the capability with other wells on a property to pump more than 100,000 gallons of groundwater a day. That’s equivalent to all of the showers, dishwashing and yard sprinkling that a typical family uses in a year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 1960, in the early days of modern irrigation, there were 97 high-capacity wells in the region, state data compiled by George Kraft, a hydrogeologist at UW-Stevens Point, show. By 2013, the number had blossomed to 2,205 — an increase of 2,173%.

EPA NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH FACILITATED DISCUSSION SET FOR SEPTEMBER 15 – September is National Preparedness Month and communities across the nation are taking action to prepare for the next emergency. The EPA is participating in these efforts by sending weekly updates on steps that can be taken at the local level to enhance resilience to water emergencies. Sign up for the What’s Going On? Newsletter from the Water Security Division to receive weekly alerts.  In celebration of National Preparedness Month, EPA will be hosting a facilitated discussion on September 15, 2016 at 3:00 PM EST. The discussion will feature a scenario based on a water loss emergency for water and wastewater utilities, public health agencies, hospitals, restaurants, businesses and others in the community who rely on water services and would benefit from learning key preparedness actions. The disaster will disrupt the water services in a fictional community. To register, go to-

QUOTE – “One of the most beneficial things I have ever learned is how to keep my mouth shut.” -Eric Clapton

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