March 2011, Vol. 23, No.3


The International Boundary and Water Commission has reached a 5-year agreement with Veolia Water North America (Chicago) to continue operations that address sanitation needs on the Tijuana/San Diego border.

Valued at approximately $35.5 million, the contract includes managing, operating, and maintaining the existing wastewater treatment plant located in the San Ysidro community in southern San Diego, as well as responsibility for the startup and then the long-term operation of a secondary treatment expansion unit. The San Ysidro facility is a 95,000-m3/d (25-mgd) advanced primary wastewater treatment plant that includes five surface-runoff canyon collection systems and two pump stations.


Construction has begun on a hard-rock stormwater overflow and relief-sewer tunnel 55 m (180 ft) below the surface in Columbus, Ohio. The nearly 7.2-km-long (4.5-mi-long) tunnel has a 6-m (20-ft) diameter and will further limit combined sewer overflows into the Olentangy and Scioto rivers.

Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.), in association with H.R. Gray (Columbus), is providing construction management for the tunnel project, which will augment the existing Olentangy Scioto Interceptor Sewer (OSIS).

The OSIS Augmentation and Relief Sewer project is one of the largest capital investment elements to date in the wet weather management plan developed by Columbus in response to consent decrees requiring development of capacity, management, operation, and maintenance and long-term control plans.


QGC (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) , a leading Australian coal-seam gas explorer and producer, has signed a contract with a consortium of GE (Fairfield, Conn.) and Laing O’Rourke (Brisbane) for the construction of a water treatment plant in southwest Queensland that will support the region’s rapidly growing coal-seam gas industry.

Coal-seam gas is a form of natural gas trapped in coal beds by water and ground pressure. High-salinity water is produced as part of coal-seam gas extraction and must be treated in an environmentally responsible manner.

The Kenya Water Treatment Plant will use membrane and thermal water treatment technologies to desalinate water produced during the extraction of gas from the coal seams. The reclaimed water will be suitable for use in irrigation by farmers and in process water by industrial customers.


The National Institutes of Health Superfund Research Program last year awarded $845,000 to Advanced MicroLabs LLC (Fort Collins, Colo.) to develop the hardware for an on-line perchlorate sensor. Perchlorate is a small inorganic ion that impairs thyroid function when consumed, especially in fetuses and children. Perchlorate’s appearance in groundwater sources is primarily a result of improper storage of rocket fuels and explosives.

The sensor uses microchip capillary electrophoresis with patent-pending electrochemical detection technology, which originated at Colorado State University (Fort Collins), plus patent-pending sample-delivery technology for real-time analysis.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $144,000 to Consolidated Public Water District No. 1 of Pemiscot County, Mo., to construct a new water supply well near Hayti, Mo. The existing water supply well has exceeded its life expectancy and is in danger of failing. This project is expected to be completed by 2012 and is designed to ensure a continued adequate supply of drinking water.

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