Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Now Facing Charges

A wastewater treatment plant operator in Eastern Carolina is now facing charges.

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced 49-year-old John Belangia of New Bern was charged with eight counts of falsifying records at the Trenton, Jones County wastewater treatment plant he was contracted to operate.

Officials say an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation and the N.C. Division of Water Quality led to this week’s arrest.

According to a news release, "the N.C. Division of Water Quality contacted the SBI’s Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit for assistance when the division identified what appeared to be inconsistencies in the facility’s recordkeeping. The state Division of Water Quality is responsible for oversight and permitting of the wastewater treatment plant’s National Pollution Discharge System, a federally-mandated program."

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  • by Anonymous on May 11, 2011 at 03:46 PM
    If you don't know what you're talking please don't comment. First off this is about wastewater not drinking water and yes while some wastewater might be turned into drinking water most of the drinking water in Eastern NC is gotten out of the aquifers through use of well pumps. Chlorine and other chemicals are added as disinfectants for bacteria or take out those neurotoxins that ya'll keep mentioning that occur naturally in some places. The face of the matter is wastewater is treated so it doesn't kill marine life when it discharges in streams or rivers or lakes or whatever. What we should be focusing on is the fact they got a bad apple out of the system who was putting marine life in harms way which in turn we eat after fishing or what not.
    • reply
      by Gwalker on May 13, 2011 at 09:54 AM in reply to Anonymous
      Bottomline is do you want the lowest bidding contractor running your wastewater plant or drinking water facility? I would think not. But someone who may actually care about the environment and regulations, unfortunately they often don't seem to have the budgeting skills that are necessary to keep costs in check. Anonymous, several large communities in the Eastern part of the state use surface water for their drinking water (Greenville, Wilmington, Brunswick Co) just to name a few that are over 20MGD. Also there is natural fluoride in these river basins.
  • by Anonymous on May 6, 2011 at 05:04 AM
    To JusticeForAll: If you disagree with the quality of the distributed water, you might find the closest stream to your house and use that water instead. Chemicals are added to water to improve the quality and longivity of the water is it passes through the distribution system. These are added at specific concentrations to achieve disinfection without causing a problem to the public health. For example chlorine is added to a large majority of water distribution systems. At high concentrations yes it is lethal but at the appropriate concentrations it acts as an efficient disinfectant.
    • reply
      by JusticeForAll on May 6, 2011 at 03:12 PM in reply to Anonymous
      Keep drinking that kool-aid, "Anonymous"... There is not a single chemical added to water to "improve longevity" of water. Chlorine is added as a disinfectant at the plant. Fluoride, uranium, and other neurotoxins and carcinogens are added specifically because the fertilizer and aluminum industries lobbied to use them as "water treatment" rather than dispose of them as hazardous waste (which they are). They have turned a toxic liability into a revenue stream--with complete disregard for the health of the American public. Follow the money... Research who the first people to put fluoride into drinking water were, and why they did it. Those facts alone should raise some red flags...
      • reply
        by Gwalker on May 11, 2011 at 12:50 PM in reply to JusticeForAll
        justiceforall, you are incorrect in stating "specifically because the fertilizer and aluminum industries lobbied to use them as water treatment". Fluoride in any of its forms and aluminum are optional chemicals determined by each local government and preposed by a written resolution to NCDENR as whether or not to feed them. NC state statutes says so (15A.1400). Everything can be made toxic at some level, even pure water is toxic if you can't swim, or if you drink too much while exercising. Fluoride feeding could even be rescinded but since every local government person is in the fertilizer and aluminum can man's pocket according to you, it will never be stopped. :-P Best of luck on your crusade.
  • by Old West on May 5, 2011 at 06:43 PM
    And what about the gavanized chock buckets they use to drink beer out of when they built the railroad in the 1800s? I bet that was REALLY healthy, hummm?
  • by Anonymous on May 5, 2011 at 03:27 PM
    This article is about wastewater, not drinking water.
    • reply
      by ?? on May 6, 2011 at 06:33 AM in reply to
      Waste water is turned into drinking water! Did you not realize that?
  • by Ray on May 5, 2011 at 03:03 PM
    If your salary level depends on the numbers you write, that tends to make one rather creative with monthly monitoring reports.
  • by JusticeForAll on May 5, 2011 at 02:17 PM
    What people should REALLY be looking into is the stuff they put in the water at these plants. Just go to your local water treatment facility, and ask to see the Material Safety Data Sheet on "sodium fluoride", and then ask yourself "why are we drinking this deadly neurotoxin?"... And we won't mention the fact that almost ALL the natural deposits of sodium fluoride in the US are also natural deposits of uranium--which is ALSO in the stuff they put in our water...
  • by Ray Holder Location: J'ville on May 5, 2011 at 01:36 PM
    This goes on all the time in the wastewater treatment business. It's like standard operating procedure.

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