Fluoride is on the ballot tomorrow
November 3, 2008

Dozens of Nebraska cities and villages will vote tomorrow on whether to begin adding fluoride to their municipal water supplies. Fluoride has long been used to prevent tooth decay in many parts of the US, but some communities have resisted due to fears about the safety of fluoride. Those fears are generally overstated, particularly since fluoride already occurs naturally in many water supplies throughout the state, and when it is added mechanically it is still a safe and effective public-health treatment. Simple and effective fluoride monitors can be used to ensure that the dosages remain safe.

Civil engineers ask for $38 billion in infrastructure improvements
November 4, 2008

As part of Congressional testimony, the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers asked the Transportation and Infrastructure committee to consider $38 billion in infrastructure investments as part of any additional economic-stimulus spending. The testimony specifically pointed out the need for more than $200 billion in Federal and local spending to separate the nation's stormwater and sanitary sewers.

If you have questions about products related to separating sanitary and storm sewers, like water-control gates or pumping stations, please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Public-works projects are popular, but where will the money come from?
November 5, 2008

The construction industry feels a mix of anticipation and anxiety as promises to expand public-works spending (on roads, dams, bridges, and water-treatment plants) run up against the fiscal reality that there just isn't a lot of money avaialble to make good on what people want.

A $300 billion funding gap
November 6, 2008

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies, an affiliation of hundreds of public agencies and organizations in the wastewater-reclamation field, has submitted testimony to the US House of Representatives calling for billions of dollars in Federal aid to help cover the $300 billion funding gap between needed improvements to the nation's wastewater infrastructure and available money to take action.

Applications for Iowa Environmental Excellence Award are available
November 7, 2008

Applications for the Iowa Environmental Excellence Award are available now, with special recognition available to organizations (like municipalities) that showed extraordinary dedication to disaster recovery, in addition to the normal categories in water quality, energy efficiency, waste management, and other sectors.

Nebraska AWWA meeting makes the news
November 10, 2008

The annual meeting of the Nebraska Section of the American Water Works Association was covered by KNOP-TV in North Platte last week. The public rarely hears much about clean water -- particularly about the good news, like when professionals meet to share information on research and best practices -- so it's to KNOP-TV's credit that they helped tell the story of safe drinking water in Nebraska.

Fluoride defeats are unfortunate news
November 11, 2008

Voters in Grand Island, Hastings, North Platte and Sutherland rejected measures to introduce fluoride to their drinking-water supplies on Election Day last week. Unfortunately, the anti-fluoride movement is bolstered by anecdotes that make dubious and misleading claims about the safety of fluoride, which has been shown repeatedly by scientific study to be safe and overwhelmingly effective at dramatically reducing the incidence of tooth decay.

Fluoride occurs naturally in many water supplies, so whether it's naturally present or added at the water treatment plant, we recommend the use of fluoride monitors to ensure that fluoride levels are maintained in the safest range. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

"You just can't build something and never pay attention to it again"
November 12, 2008

There is a lot of expectation building that the government will initiate another economic-stimulus plan soon, which may include funding for infrastructure improvements in the water and wastewater sectors. Many projects funded with Federal money in the 1970s have reached or exceeded their expected useful lives, and need significant replacements and upgrades.

A short history of the quality of the Cedar River
November 13, 2008

The summer floods which did significant damage to much of Iowa, including many water and wastewater treatment plants, has brought renewed attention to the quality of the water in the Cedar River which runs through the eastern part of the state. Even as recently as the 1960s, the river was in bad ecological shape, but with improvements in wastewater treatment (particularly in the 1970s), the health of the river improved. While the effects of the summer flooding will probably continue to raise bacteria levels for a while, in the long term, lots of attention will be needed to the matter of non-point-source pollution, which is harder to control than what flows into the sanitary sewers.

Modern technology begets modern threats
November 14, 2008

As SCADA and networked systems become more common inside critical facilities like water and wastewater treatment plants, the need to ensure the security of those electronic control systems becomes even more important. Variable-frequency drives (VFDs) and programmable-logic controllers (PLCs) are frequently used in our lift stations and booster pump stations, and those are just two examples of high-tech pieces of the modern infrastructure puzzle. Attacks are not a commonplace occurrence yet, but disgruntled parties have used radio controls to cause pump station failures.

LA wildfires force 40,000 people to evacuate
November 17, 2008

The Triangle Complex fire has forced 40,000 people from their homes and burned 29,000 acres. There's some debate now over whether these are the worst fires in LA in a half-century.

We offer portable firefighting pumps for quick shipment anywhere in the lower 48 states, as well as PTO-driven fire pumps commonly used by firefighting teams. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Shipping chlorine is about to get more expensive
November 18, 2008

The TSA is planning to impose costly new measures to ensure the safety and security of chlorine gas shipments traveling by rail. The leading concern is that unguarded chlorine gas can be (and has been) used as a weapon of terrorism, and that there has never been a sufficiently stringent set of controls imposed on the transportation of chlorine gas across the country. The expense of dealing with the new shipment rules may encourage some facilities to shift to the use of safer chlorine tablets for disinfection purposes. Tablet chlorine poses far less risk to safety than its gas or liquid forms.

Water groups want more money, fewer mandates
November 19, 2008

The American Water Works Association, along with three other water-industry groups, have issued a joint "National Agenda for Drinking Water" to the President-elect for his consideration before the new legislative year begins in January. In it, the groups ask for $1 billion in "economic-stimulus" funding for new water-infrastructure projects, $2 billion for SRF loans and USDA rural-water loans and grants, and lots of new efforts to reduce non-point-source pollution of the nation's water supplies. They also ask for a freeze on new water-related regulations that are mandated by Congress, rather than by the EPA, and argue that several polices currently in force or under review as part of homeland-security guidelines be put on hold. In particular, they are concerned about new rules on chemical storage and safety as well as the possibility that they'll be forced to answer to both the EPA and the Department of Homeland Security at the same time.

We are capable of helping water and wastewater-treatment plants across a broad spectrum of needs, from pumps to sensors for ensuring water safety. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Nebraska water
November 20, 2008

The University of Nebraska at Lincoln and a group of partner institutions have produced a comprehensive map of water information for Nebraska, which is available as an interactive online map or as a downloadable PDF. From pumps for drinking-water systems to gates for irrigation control to products used on the farm, our interest in water issues throughout Iowa and Nebraska runs deep.

Quick access to Gorman-Rupp pumps and parts
November 21, 2008

We have launched a new page for Gorman-Rupp pump parts, which we hope will make it easier for our customers here in Iowa and Nebraska to get the parts they need quickly and conveniently. While we of course always invite telephone calls at 515-223-4144, the new pump parts request page is just another way to make us even more accessible, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Cleaning the wastewater at the nation's largest meat-processing facility
November 24, 2008

The Smithfield pork plant at Tar Heel, North Carolina, is the nation's largest meatpacking plant. Obviously, such an operation produces significant amounts of wastewater that must be treated for the safety of users downstream. Stamford Scientific has been chosen to supply the fine-bubble aeration for a project to upgrade their industrial wastewater treatment process.

Checking pump clearances could save Nebraska farmers a fortune
November 25, 2008

Some research done by the University of Nebraska suggests that 85% of Nebraska farmers who irrigate are wasting energy through inefficiency and poor pump maintenance. Pump efficiency depends heavily upon the maintenance of a good impeller-to-wearplate clearance -- which, as it happens, is one of the key ease-of-use advantages to the Gorman-Rupp Super T Series and Ultra V Series pumps. While these pumps aren't often found in irrigation service since they're intended as solids-handling pumps (we offer other pumps for clean-water service), the same principles of efficiency that apply to irrigation apply to municipal and industrial service, too. And the external shimless adjustment of the Super T and Ultra V pumps is extremely easy to perform -- it can be done in a matter of about three minutes, and without any heavy lifting required. The operator doesn't even have to open the pump. Want to know more? Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Bottled water can't fight fires
November 26, 2008

A fire in an unincorporated town in Nebraska last week took a lot of effort to contain and left behind a lot of damage because the town had no fire hydrants. While people often complain about even small increases in the fees they pay for municipal water service, they rarely understand the crucial role that a town's municipal water infrastructure serves in protecting life and property, from the pumps at the water plant to the water towers and booster stations in the field. While it's possible to use portable fire pumps and tanker trucks to fight fires in remote areas, municipal water lines probably look like a cheap investment through the rear-view mirror after a fire like the one in Nashville, which is just a few miles north of Omaha (yet clearly a world away in terms of available municipal water infrastructure).

Happy Thanksgiving
November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! Our office will be closed on November 27th and 28th for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Past water and wastewater news updates

last revised November 2008