- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 11, 2007



Officials craft plan to recycle water

A recycling program that would allow treated wastewater to be used for irrigating parks, lawns and crops, cooling industrial equipment, washing cars and flushing office toilets has moved one step closer to reality.

For the past seven years, Virginia officials have been working on regulations for recycled water that would protect public health and the environment.

On Friday, the State Water Control Board granted preliminary approval to the proposed program’s long-awaited set of rules.

After a public-comment period and some tweaking of the rules, officials hope for a final board vote in September and a finished product in place by the end of the year.

The draft program is aimed at conserving drinking-water supplies and curbing the amount of wastewater discharged into creeks and rivers that contributes to pollution, said Valerie Rourke, a water-programs manager with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

The program would prohibit recycled water from being used for residential purposes inside a home, though it could be sprayed from an outdoor hose to irrigate lawns or wash the family car, Miss Rourke said.

Under the system, tainted water from homeowners’ toilets and sinks would wind up at a local sewage-treatment plant, where bacteria and contaminants are filtered and neutralized. The treated water then would be piped to a customer, such as a golf course, a farmer or an oil refinery, rather than discharging the wastewater back into the open environment. Customers would use the water for many daily tasks, but not for drinking or cooking.

Less water would have to be withdrawn from lakes, rivers and wells, thus conserving these raw supplies and better protecting the state from drought.

If approved, Virginia’s program likely would progress slowly because providing the recycled water to users would require the laying of new pipes.


Two killed in fire in trailer park

Two persons were killed in a fire yesterday morning at a mobile home.

The fire broke out at about 10:30 a.m. in a double-wide mobile home at the Meadows of Chantilly trailer park. Fire department spokesman Dan Schmidt said the trailer was engulfed in flames that were 25 to 30 feet high.

Firefighters found the bodies of two adults in the home.

About 60 firefighters responded to the blaze and were able to keep the flames from spreading to other trailers, Mr. Schmidt said. The cause of the fire was not known.


Man, 84, endures hiccups without end

A man’s battle with the hiccups continues — more than six years after he swallowed the soup that started the condition.

Bill Holloway, 84, said the hiccups have stopped only once for more than a couple of days.

But the paper mill retiree remains upbeat.

Doctors say they are baffled by Mr. Holloway’s condition, which has not attracted as much attention from reporters as the plight of a Florida girl whose 37 days of hiccups ended Feb. 28.

Mr. Holloway said he has tried all the usual home remedies, as well as medical workups and therapies. But he is a long way from the record; according to Guinness World Records, an Iowa hog farmer hiccuped for 68 years.

Because of the hiccups, Mr. Holloway has had to quit performing gospel music and teaching Sunday school.



Man held in jail after ruckus on plane

An Arizona man has been charged with assaulting two crew members aboard a flight from Phoenix to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Maryland Transportation Authority police said.

Bryan Leon Spann, 34, of Phoenix, also faces federal charges, police spokesman Cpl. Jonathan Green said.

Mr. Spann assaulted the crew members aboard the America West flight that landed at BWI about 4 p.m. Saturday, Cpl. Green said. Mr. Spann, who may have been under the influence of alcohol, the spokesman said, had to be restrained with flexicuffs.

Mr. Spann was charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of second-degree assault. He was being held yesterday at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center, with bail set at $15,000, Cpl. Green said.

The FBI was informed about the incident and also may charge Mr. Spann, Cpl. Green said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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