WaterWorld Weekly Newscast, December 27, 2016

Dec. 28, 2016
A transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast.

The following is a transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast.

Hi, I'm Angela Godwin for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you water and wastewater news headlines for the week of December 27. Coming up...

Interior finalizes Stream Protection Rule
EPA releases dental effluent guidelines
Scientists use electricity to remove chromium from drinking water
USGS rolls out new water data management platform in Alabama

The U.S. Department of the Interior has released final regulations to prevent or minimize impacts to surface water and groundwater from coal mining.

Developed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, the final Stream Protection Rule updates 33-year old regulations and establishes requirements for surface coal mining that are expected to protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests over the next two decades.

The final rule would require companies to avoid mining practices that permanently pollute streams, destroy drinking water sources, increase flood risk, and threaten forests.

It would also require companies to restore streams and return mined areas to the uses they were capable of supporting prior to mining activities.

The rule requires the testing and monitoring of the condition of streams that might be affected by mining -- before, during and after their operations -- to provide baseline data.

To learn more about the rule, visit osmre.gov.

The Environmental Protection Agency has published new dental effluent limitation guidelines to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices into publicly owned treatment works.

Under the final rule, dental offices that place or remove amalgam must operate and maintain an amalgam separator and must not discharge scrap amalgam or use certain kinds of line cleaners.

Once captured by an amalgam separator, mercury can be recycled.

EPA expects compliance with the final rule will reduce the discharge of mercury and other metals found in waste dental amalgam by 10.2 tons per year.

A research team led by an engineer at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a novel approach to convert chromium-6, a cancer-causing chemical, into common chromium-3 in drinking water, making it safer for human consumption.

Scientists have previously converted chromium-6 to chromium-3 in a chemical process using iron, but the team at Washington University in St. Louis used electrocoagulation.

The researchers say using electricity as opposed to chemical alteration is an easier, more precise and scalable process.

The team had already used the process successfully to treat for arsenic. Next, they say, they will tackle selenium.

You can learn more at wustl.edu/research.

The USGS is in the process of modernizing its National Water Information System, starting with the state of Alabama, where it has deployed the AQUARIUS Time-Series software.

With the new platform, developed by Aquatic Informatics, all USGS continuous water data in Alabama are stored and managed in AQUARIUS Time-Series to provide reliable, real-time information about surface and ground water, water quality, and meteorological conditions.

By mid-2017, USGS plans to retire its legacy Automated Data Processing System (ADAPS) system, originally designed in 1985.

For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.

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