U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Hawaii Clean Water Act Case

photo: degraded coral reef

Degraded coral reefs at Kahekili Beach Park in west Maui, Hawaii. Peter Swarzenski / Usgs

In a case watched closely both by polluting industries and clean water advocates across the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up an appeal of a Clean Water Act case out of Hawaii concerning treated sewage flowing into the Pacific Ocean from injection wells.

Last March, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals … [more…]

A sewage spill polluted oyster beds in South Carolina town

photo: sewage spill contaminated oyster beds in South Carolina

Photo: John Forsyth (left) and Tim White with the Dorchester County Water & Sewer Department prepare to use a VacTruck to clean grease and other waste from Lift Station 117 in Hollywood on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

Some residents worry about the fix.

Negotiations are moving forward on a plan to help the small town of Hollywood’s beleaguered sewer system, but some tensions are already appearing.

The plan, … [more…]

Record-setting rain has created a biosolids problem for sewage treatment plants

photo: Biosolid treatment by-products use stalled due to heavy rains

Photo: Record-setting rain in the D.C. area has caused problems for local sewage treatment plants. (Robert Miller/The Washington Post)

Sewage treatment plants throughout the Mid-Atlantic are dealing with a smelly problem: The farmland that typically uses the material that remains after the treatment process as natural fertilizer is saturated from last year’s heavy rains.

That means utilities have to store the biosolids until the farmland dries — and some of

[more…]

Elevated Nitrate Levels Found in Millions of Americans’ Drinking Water

photo: residential drinking water sauce

Photo: Steve Johnson / Flickr

Public water systems serving more than 5.6 million Americans contain concentrations of nitrate at levels found to cause health problems, including cancer and birth defects, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Health. Systems serving Hispanic populations tended to have the highest levels of nitrate in drinking water.

Nitrate in water originates from various sources, including fertilizers, sewage treatment systems, and … [more…]

The Death of the Delaware River

historical photo

A photo circa 1965 showing an outfall pier being built on the Schuylkill River, where it flows into the Delaware River. Prior to the Clean Water Act, little regulation existed to halt industrial pollution and raw sewage from flowing into the nation’s waterways. (PWD archival photo)

Joe Newton would fish on the Delaware River every day if he could. “It depends on the weather and the conditions and the like,” … [more…]