Florida students design winning plants

A team of students from the University of Florida won first place in the Water Environment Federation's 2006 Design Competition. Their expansion proposal for the Orange County Utilities Northwest Reclamation Facility bested projects from five other student-chapter design teams from across North America.

Chicago gives e-waste new home

In November, mayor Richard M. Daley cut the ribbon on the city's Household Chemical and Computer Recycling Center. The $3.8 million, 24,000-square-foot facility will accept batteries, cell phones, fluorescent lamps/bulbs, antifreeze, gas, drain cleaners, and old paint.

New technique cuts cost of treatment

Researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have created a reverse osmosis membrane that cuts the cost of seawater desalination and wastewater reclamation. The technique uses a cross-linked matrix of polymers and engineered nanoparticles that draw in water ions but repel nearly all contaminants.

Water conference proceedings online

If you missed July's conference, get copies of the National Association of Counties'Water Quality Workshops at www.naco.org/techassistance. Topics include “Tools for Protecting and Improving Water Quality,” “Increasing Public Safety Through Wetlands Restoration Funding Opportunities,” and “GIS Playground: See How Your Land Use Decisions Impact Your Community.”

Plant expansion beats deadline

Expansion of Gwinett County, Ga.'s F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center has won a 2006 Project Achievement Award from the Construction Management Association of America, in the category of Infrastructure, more than $100 million. Completion of the $350 million, 40-mgd endeavor—a joint effort between Norcross, Ga.-based Jordan, Jones & Goulding; Englewood, Colo.-based CH2M Hill; and Lawrenceville, Ga.-based Precision Planning Inc.—was projected to be later this year, but it was finished more than a year ahead of schedule.

No-cost recycling promotion

The Aluminum Can Council is offering a radio public service announcement free of charge to any community wishing to promote curbside recycling. The light-hearted spot—a riff on ABC's campy Desperate Housewives—features two women gossiping about a non-recycling neighbor. Visit www.recyclecurbside.com.