Florida county goes social

Hillsborough County, Tampa, Fla, is inviting residents to go online and provide input on its 2011 budget. By clicking on the megaphone icon at www.hillsboroughcounty.org, residents can watch live budget hearings and workshops, as well as prior meetings. All public comments will be sent to county management, budget staff, and commissioners. Residents can also become fans of the county on Facebook, follow the county on Twitter, or join budget discussions on blog posts. (For more on public agencies going social, see page 56.)

The high cost of the erosion explosion

Up to one-third of drinking water doesn't reach consumers because of leaks, and degraded materials account for 3% to 4% of the gross domestic product of industrialized nations. That's why the World Corrosion Organization has deemed April 24 the first Corrosion Awareness Day. Visit www.corrosion.org.

All-natural water treatment improves pools

Joining the elite company of Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps and 23 others, David Knighton, MD, co-founder and president of Creative Water Solutions LLC, has been named to the “Power 25” by Aquatics International for developing an all-natural pool and spa water treatment system that uses a species of Sphagnum Moss to treat water and dramatically lessen the amount of chemical loads, maintenance time, and the irritating and often costly side effects to swimmers and systems caused by conventional water treatment products. For more information about the method visit www.cwsnaturally.com.

Updated safety apparel guidelines

In addition to criteria for flame-resistant garments, the newly revised “American National Standard for High Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear” (ANSI/ ISEA 107-2010) includes service-life guidelines established by the Federal Highway Administration. The 43-page standard includes examples of apparel configurations that meet the standard. Visit www.safetyequipment.org.

ASSE launches utilities branch

The new Utilities Branch — part of the American Society of Safety Engineers' Construction Practice Specialty — will provide a forum for safety, health, and environmental professionals to network and develop best practices in safety and health issues affecting electrical, solar, and wind generation; natural gas production and distribution; water/wastewater; telecommunications; public works; and other utility areas. Visit www.asse.org

Donors needed for engineering book

Trilogy Publications, publisher of Those Amazing Engineers, is seeking donors to purchase the 28-page glossy book and accompanying teacher's guide and provide them to elementary classrooms as a way to introduce students to engineering. Under the Adopt-a-School program, the company will match private donors with schools interested in receiving the book. The book can also be used in public outreach programs. Visit www.trilogypublications.com.

Free earthquake-resistant building guide

The American Institute of Steel Construction's new publication, Facts for S teel Buildings Number 3: Earthquakes and Seismic Design, provides a basic understanding of earthquake engineering and the U.S. building codes that are designed to prevent such catastrophes as the widespread destruction that recently occurred in Haiti. The publication is available as a free download at www.aisc.org/facts.

Security manual available for $99

For help with hardening a treatment plant or facility against natural and manmade emergencies, the American Society for Industrial Security's five-star review says the third edition of the Integrated Physical Security Handbook “builds on known information and introduces novel concepts in logical order with reader-friendly definitions and examples, well-researched facts, plausible scenarios, and recommendations for expanding knowledge and mitigating risks. An excellent textbook for novice security managers and a great desk reference for industry veterans.”