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March 20, 1847: Ignaz Semmelweis Joins Vienna Clinic

This Day in Water History

0320 Ignaz SemmelweisMarch 20, 1847: First official day that Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis assumed his position as assistant physician in the maternity clinic in Vienna, Austria.  Semmelweis is credited with recognizing the high death toll among women during childbirth caused by physicians using unsanitary procedures.  He instituted the disinfection of physicians’ hands with a concentrated chlorine solution and the death rate of new mothers plummeted.  His research and practical applications assisted later proponents of the germ theory of disease and also indirectly contributed to the use of chlorine for disinfection of drinking water.

Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (July 1, 1818 – August 13, 1865) (born Ignác Fülöp Semmelweis) was a Hungarian physician now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “savior of mothers”, Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics. Puerperal fever was common in…

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Customer Questionnaire

English Septic Blog

I have an interesting dilemma sitting in front of me regarding an estimate. I guess the best way to describe it is to describe the events that have led up to me writing this.

I just finished putting the final touches on my first Blog post ( sent it out to the world. I grabbed a stack of paperwork and the first note I read is “Customer wants budget proposal”. Background: We performed a septic inspection of this property last week (40-year-old house and system) and found 2 systems. One system has a tank and small “drain field” (really it’s a couple of laterals). The other “system” has a grease trap and a cesspool for gray water (kitchen sink, dishwasher and laundry discharge). The buyers really want the property and the seller is “motivated to sell” (I’m not 100% sure what that means but I’ll play along).

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November 19

This Day in Water History

November 19, 1914Operation of Sewage Disposal Plants. By Francis E. Daniels. “A man in charge of a sewage disposal plant should know what each unit of his works is doing every day. A skilled observer may detect faults and short-comings with some degree of certainty by mere inspection; and if the output is bad and a heavy pollution is occurring or a local nuisance is resulting, it is not at all difficult to recognize the trouble. If the break-down has been sudden and due to a wash-out, a broken bed or wall or some other equally obvious cause, an expert is not needed to diagnose the case. But suppose the output of a plant or of some of its units is gradually falling below the requirements. In that case the gradual decline cannot be detected by observation and in order that one may know what is actually happening…

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Introduction To Wastewater Microbiology

This 2 hour online class “Introduction to WasteWater Microbiology”, has ended but contact us for future dates.


Designed for anyone who manages wastewater systems of any size or technology requiring monitoring of biological organisms – and is not only for large municipal systems. Using stunning phase contrast electron microscope images, this is an opportunity to see & appreciate minute living organisms which form the basis of treating and recycling water. Fee is $40 with the option to purchase, at $35, a CD of slides and video resources. CD Purchase Information attached here.

Water Utilities Need Holistic View of Energy Consumption, says Report | Energy Manager Today

Water Utilities Need Holistic View of Energy Consumption, says Report | Energy Manager Today.

Water Utilities Need Holistic View of Energy Consumption, says Report

April 5, 2013

The Water Research Foundation’s Toolbox for Water Utility Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emission Management aims to develop a global framework for energy use and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) assessment for the water industry.

There is a close link between energy and water consumption: the water-energy nexus. For many components of the urban water cycle, energy is the number one operational cost after staff, and is the number one source of GHG emissions. Energy management and GHG accounting tools are proliferating. However, because they are typically developed in response to differing location and sector-specific needs, no universally accepted methodologies that support the unique needs of the water sector currently exist, according to the Water Research Foundation.

Water utilities around the world are responding to energy-use pressures and GHG reporting needs differently. This variability is driven by three fundamentally different situations that water utilities are facing with respect to GHG reporting and energy use requirements: (i) regions with clearly mandated regulatory reporting requirement for either/both GHG and energy, such as the UK; (ii) regions with uncertain or complex regulatory reporting requirements, where some combination of national, state/provincial and voluntary requirements have created a mixture of standards and reporting requirements, such as in the US and the EU; and (iii) regions without regulatory reporting requirements but with some pressure to monitor or reduce GHGs or energy use, such as South Africa and Singapore.

In the first type of environment the reporting standards are clear and tools are in place to enable this reporting. In the second and third types of environment the reporting requirements are unclear and present a variety of options for protocols, methodologies and available tools.

Among the recommendations is to develop methodologies and tools that represent the full range of GHG emissions associated with the urban water cycle or a whole-systems level analysis of emissions. At present most methodologies address GHG emissions from a selected subset of the urban water cycle, such as sourcing, storing, treating and distributing drinking water or treating wastewater, but do not address the water cycle holistically.

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson | Online Resources

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson | Online Resources.

“It is the summer of 1854. Cholera has seized London with unprecedented intensity. A metropolis of more than 2 million people, London is just emerging as a one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure necessary to support its dense population – garbage removal, clean water, sewers – the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure.”