Sector: water pollution

Posted: March 12, 2014
Source: Environmental Protection online

In the past century, population growth, urbanization and intensified agricultural practices have combined to increase strain on wastewater treatment facilities. A foremost challenge for utilities is managing nutrient levels in the water – and doing so while juggling economic and energy constraints.

The Road Toward Smarter Nutrient Management in Municipal Water Treatment, a new Charting New Waters explores opportunities for the water utility sector to continue providing clean effluent, while also examining the opportunities for recovering nitrogen and phosphorus and returning it to the agricultural cycle.

The report is the product of a meeting convened by The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, The Water Environment Federation and the Environmental Defense Fund, which brought together a group of experts to discuss how wastewater treatment can achieve more ambitious goals for the clean water it provides, while holding the line on energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
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Posted: February 3, 2014
Source: The Gazette, Iowa City

Feb. 02 IOWA CITY
When a patient emerges from anesthesia after surgery, his nurse wants to make sure he doesn’t feel pain.

She gets a 1 milliliter syringe of hydromorphone, a generic form of Dilaudid, from a secure drug cabinet. She plans to give her patient .2 milliliter. Even patients with open hysterectomies some of the most painful procedures need just .4 milliliter.

She squirts the rest of the drug down the drain, where it can’t be abused by addicts but can pollute drinking water.

UI nurses disposed of an average 70 percent of each of 47,000 hydromorphone 1 milliliter syringes with waste in fiscal 2013.

Portions of nearly 250,000 doses of prescription medication were flushed down the drain or returned to the UI Hospitals and Clinics pharmacy to be wasted in the past two years, despite U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines against flushing drugs.
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FRESNO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it recently awarded the State of California $174 million in federal funding to invest in water infrastructure projects. The California Department of Public Health received a $79 million grant for its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the California State Water Resources Control Board received a $95 million grant for its Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The funding will be used for projects to control water pollution and provide low-cost loans for both drinking water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades statewide.

“In the last 26 years, EPA has provided more than $4 billion in funding for California water projects alone” said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator of EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Without this investment at the federal level, many communities would not be able to satisfy Californians’ basic needs for clean and safe drinking water.”
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