Automated Refuse Collection: A White Paperdiscusses evaluation and selection of equipment, such as this automated arm. Photo: Heil Environmental Industries
During a ground-breaking ceremony for State Highway 130, Gov. Rick Perry said the project “represents the future when it comes to how we build our infrastructure in Texas.” Photo: Bob Daemmrich
Partnership tackles water defense technology

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M.; CH2M Hill, Englewood, Colo.; and Tenix Investments, North Sydney, Australia, have announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership to develop an unattended water safety system for chemical and bacteria detection in water supplies. The technology plans to offer detection of unmonitored biological agents such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Initial commercial units and wider deployment are anticipated from late 2005 to mid 2007.

White paper evaluates automated refuse collection

Heil Environmental Industries, Chattanooga, Tenn., has released a 24-page resource—entitled Automated Refuse Collection: A White Paper—to help communities evaluate the viability of automating their operations. The literature discusses the history of automated refuse collection, benefits and disadvantages, selecting and paying for equipment, and other topics. It features examples from communities using automation, worksheets, formulas, sample materials, full-color illustrations, statistics, glossary, frequently asked questions, and a list of additional resources. For more information, visit

Texas governor steers megahighway plan

The Trans-Texas Corridor project, as envisioned by Texas's Republican Gov. Rick Perry in 2002, would be a 4000-mile transportation network costing $175 billion over 50 years, financed mostly with private money. Builders would then charge motorists tolls. The project calls for corridors up to ¼ mile across, consisting of as many as six lanes for cars and four for trucks, plus railroad tracks, oil and gas pipelines, water and other utility lines, and broadband transmission cables. Supporters say the corridors are needed to handle the expected NAFTA-driven boom in the flow of goods to and from Mexico, and to enable freight haulers to bypass heavily populated urban centers on straight-shot highways that cut across the countryside.

Federal agencies sign watershed agreement

The EPA's Office of Water and the U.S. Army's Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works have entered into an agreement to establish a collaborative watershed partnership. The Corps of Engineers attempts to balance competing demands on the nation's critical water resources through flood control, navigation, recreation, and infrastructure and environmental stewardship. The EPA seeks to ensure drinking water is safe, to restore and maintain the nation's aquatic resources for human health, to support economic and recreational activities, and to provide healthy habitat for fish, plants, and wildlife. For more information, visit

Las Vegas groundwater plan approved

Nevada's state water resources chief has approved a plan that could have ground-water from rural Nevada flowing out of Las Vegas faucets by 2007. A Nevada Division of Water Resources ruling lets the Southern Nevada Water Authority pump almost 9000 acre-feet of ground-water each year from four basins in northwest Clark and southwest Lincoln counties. Nye County and the Sierra Club of Southern Nevada are among those who oppose the pumping plan, but the organizations have yet to decide whether to challenge the ruling in court.

Security guidelines issued to water utilities

Funded through an EPA initiative, the American Society of Civil Engineers— with the American Water Works Association and Water Environment Federation—have developed a set of three security guidance documents that cover the design of online contaminant monitoring systems, and physical security enhancements of drinking water, waste-water, and stormwater infrastructure systems. The voluntary guidelines will assist drinking water and wastewater utilities in addressing potential vulnerabilities in their systems through the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of both new and existing systems of all sizes. For more information, visit

Construction, surveying user conference

Trimble Navigation Ltd., Sunnyvale, Calif., will hold its International User Conference Oct. 23-26 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. With more than 100 sessions planned, the event will focus on applying technology to the needs faced daily by surveying, construction, and civil engineering professionals, including sessions on practical application of technology, training, and emerging applications. For more information, visit

Company tapped for large-pipe CSO project

ADS Environmental Services, Huntsville, Ala., has been contracted by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to install and operate 100 temporary flow meters. The goal is to collect sufficient and accurate flow information for the San Francisco Combined Sewer System to calibrate the city's hydraulic model. The city is in the process of developing a 30-year capital improvement program for its wastewater system, and the flow-monitoring data need to be collected during a wet-weather window to successfully calibrate the model. The ranges of pipe heights being measured is from 15 inches to 25 feet and many are oddly shaped, including egg-shaped, basket-shaped, and box configurations. A total of 78% of the pipes measured in the project are 36 inches or larger. For more visit

SWANA symposia proceedings on CD-ROM

Proceedings from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) 2004 Annual Waste Reduction, Recycling & Composting/Collection & Transfer Symposia are available on CD-ROM. Content includes talks on resource management, policy issues, diversion incentives, and other topics. Cost for the CD-ROM is $75 plus shipping. For more information, visit