August 27, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: Marin County’s Sewer Woes Continue

Posted in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin at 1:03 pm by bengann

In California, signs posted along the Larkspur shoreline warn people to stay out of the water after yet another sewage spill in Marin County. The spill resulted from a burst pipe at the dock through which sewage is pumped from the ferries to the sanitary district. There have been at least a half dozen sewage spills in the North Bay so far in 2008.

The city of Lake Ozark, Missouri has pleaded guilty to illegally discharging raw sewage into the Lake of the Ozarks, one of the state’s biggest tourists draws. Mayor Johnnie Franzeskos signed the plea agreement in federal court late Monday, requiring the city to pay a $50,000 fine.

In Wheeling, West Virginia, the city has had its third water main break downtown in a month. Many of the lines in the city are over 100 years old.

Wisconsin State regulators want the city of Appleton’s water utility to make $3 million available to pay for potential fixes to the city’s drinking-water treatment plant. The request by the state Department of Natural Resources is on top of $11 million in work called for in a consultant’s report to address problems with producing drinking water in cold weather.

The Village of Dexter is facing fines of about $25,000 from the Michigan state Department of Environmental Quality for inadequacies in its wastewater treatment plant operation dating back to 2005.

Sewer Rate News
Ansonia, Connecticut
North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Paris, Texas
Williamsburg, Iowa

Ok, I’m taking a few days off. Check back again on Tuesday, September 2.

August 26, 2008

Tuesday Headlines: Water Main Failure Has 282 Apartments Without Water

Posted in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, Washington at 11:12 am by bengann

282 apartments in DeKalb County, Georgia are still without water after a water main break disrupted service to residents on Saturday night, the latest in a series of water-related problems in the county. Residents can’t shower or draw drinking water from their taps after the failure of a 48-inch water main that served the complex.

In Alabama, sewage spills blamed on rains in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Fay were reported Monday in both Baldwin and Mobile counties.

A sewer line blockage in the Lula, Georgia Sunday afternoon caused more than 3,200 gallons of raw sewage to spill into a tributary of Hagen Creek, which feeds into the Chattahoochee River.

Some homes in Cameron Park, California were flooded early Tuesday when an underground water main broke. Water could be seen gushing up from the road before the Irrigation District could shut off the main.

Slowed by the summer rain, commuters in Juanita, Washington also had to contend with a water main break that shut down part of major road.

Sewer Rate News
Branson, Missouri
Brockton, Massachusetts
Ottumwa, Iowa
Tarpon Springs, Florida

August 25, 2008

Monday Headlines: Water Main Break Causes Evacuation at Marshall Univ.

Posted in Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia at 12:26 pm by bengann

Marshall University’s landmark building was evacuated Saturday afternoon after what was initially reported as an explosion at the Old Main building turned out to be a broken water line. The evacuation occurred in the midst of Marshall’s Welcome Weekend, when students return to campus to begin the fall semester.

In Branson, Missouri, raw, untreated sewage spilling from a clean-out pipe at a wastewater treatment facility has tested 1,000 times more potent than the state’s Department of Natural Resources guidelines.

A water main break Saturday evening sent water gushing 30 feet in the air, adding more mud to an already rain soaked neighborhood in Laredo, Texas. (picture courtesy of KGNS)

As city employees in Wheeling, West Virginia work to repair the damage from a waterline break on Saturday, the city’s Public Works Director Russell Jebbia says replacing the pipes to prevent such breaks would be very costly. “It would cost us several millions of dollars to replace all of our old waterlines,” stated Jebbia.

There have been half a dozen breaks in just the past few days in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. a Field Operations Manager with Pennsylvania American Water attributes the breaks to aging pipes, most of them in the area are about 50 years old.

Sewer Rate News
Galveston, Texas
Randolph, Massachusetts

August 22, 2008

Friday Headlines: Battle Creek, Mich. Revises Sewer Overflow Estimate

Posted in California, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina at 11:23 am by bengann

In Battle Creek, Michigan, an investigation into a July 2nd sewage overflow at the city’s wastewater treatment plant has led officials to sharply increase their estimate of how much sewage actually spilled. State officials have filed a new report listing a 160,000-gallon spill, some of which went into the Kalamazoo River. The initial report estimated an overflow of only 500 gallons.

By spilling 23 billion gallons of raw and partially treated sewage into surface waters during 2007, Detroit, Michigan has earned the dubious distinction of earning the 2007 “Crappie Award” for combined sewer overflows. The awards created by Muskegon Chronicle writer Jeff Alexander is given to the municipality in Michigan with the largest volume of sanitary sewer overflows and combined sewer overflows.

In Oceanport, New Jersey, the state has levied a $140,000 penalty against the New Jersey’s Sports and Exposition Authority for a sewer overflow from Monmouth Park into Branchport Creek. The same authority was fined $35,000 last year by the state for the same offense.

Public works crews were busy yesterday in Walnut Creek, California following a water main break that caused a street to buckle. Commenting on the cause of the break the city Public Services Director said, “It just appears to be a break from wear and tear.”

The Town of Owasco, New York will continue to pay thousands of dollars in state fines until it upgrades its wastewater infrastructure. Owasco officials are set to sign a consent order, ordering it to have a new wastewater collection system in place by October 2010 and proof that it is functioning properly by June 2011.

Sewer Rate News
Anderson County, South Carolina
Hamilton, New Jersey

August 21, 2008

Thursday Headlines: Fort Wayne to Address Sewer Overflows

Posted in Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Washington at 1:06 pm by bengann

Fort Wayne, Indiana will make two more fixes at sites where sewage flows into the rivers during periods of heavy rains as it continues to resolve past violations of the federal Clean Water Act. The cost of the two projects is estimated to be $97,000.

In Silverdale, Washington a big sewage spill has the Kitsap County Health District warning people not to go near the northern half of Dyes Inlet through Saturday. On Monday, a sewer main ruptured under a road spilling 20,000 gallons of raw sewage into Strawberry Creek. It then flowed directly into Dyes Inlet.

A recent water main break in Owosso, Michigan has put the spotlight on the age of its water infrastructure and the cost to replace it. Owosso Utilities Director estimates the cost of replacing the problematic mains in the city to be $350,000 per year. To date, out of an approximate 90 miles of pipe running under the city only 2 percent has been replaced.

Residents and businesses in Strasburg, Pennsylvania must boil their water until further notice, thanks to a water main break Wednesday night. The break occurred in a section of the system installed in 1957. Borough officials were concerned that the break had occurred in an older section that dates back 110 years.

Water customers in Holden, Massachusetts should brace themselves for another rate increase – the third in three years – to pay for repairs and maintenance projects that have been put off for years.

Sewer Rate News
Plattsmouth, Nebraska

August 20, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: Honolulu Found Liable for 297 violations in Sewage Spills

Posted in California, Florida, Hawaii, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas at 12:25 pm by bengann

A federal judge has found the city of Honolulu, Hawaii liable for 297 violations of the federal Clean Water Act for discharging millions of gallons of sewage into streets, streams, homes and waterways over nine years. The judge’s order comes 10 months after ruling the city violated a federal wastewater discharge permit 4,013 times by failing to meet construction schedules for two key projects.

In Newport Bay, California, a portion of Newport Bay was closed Tuesday afternoon after a sewage spill near Bayshore beach. The spill was caused by a sewer line that backed up from a rehabilitation hospital.

What was that story yesterday about Syracuse, New York having old water infrastructure? This morning, a water main break outside Crouse Hospital in Syracuse has flooded lower levels of the building and forced at least 12 surgeries to be postponed.

Water service was restored Tuesday afternoon to several residences and businesses in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania  after a more than 17-hour interruption. The borough issued a boil advisory Tuesday morning “until further notice” as a result of the water main break.

Repairs have been made to a water main break in Kingston, Rhode Island after a cast iron 8-inch main that dated to 1884 cracked, closing down a one-block area.

Sewer Rate News
Lehigh Acres, Florida
Lewisville, Texas
Victoria, Texas
West Mahanoy Township, Pennsylvania

August 19, 2008

Tuesday Headlines: Ky. City Receives Earmark to Fix Water Infrastructure

Posted in California, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, New York, Oregon at 12:54 pm by bengann

Work to expand Lexington, Kentucky’s most troublesome sanitary sewer pump station will begin in Spring 2009. The $18 million project will be partially funded by a $1.18 million federal budget earmark. Explaining the purpose for the earmark, Rep. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) said, providing the proper infrastructure “is what government’s about and what government has to do to serve their people.”

In Topeka, Kansas, a small amount of sewage that got into Wanamaker Creek on Monday prompted the city to issue stream advisory for the creek that flows to the Kansas River.

Monday morning’s sudden deluge caused the city of Portland, Oregon’s sewer system to overflow into the Willamette River.

In California, Placer County work crews had to repair a broken pipeline that spilled about 2,000 gallons of sewage into the Auburn Ravine. Residents are being urged to stay out of Auburn Ravine.

Here’s an interesting story about the state of Syracuse, New York’s water infrastructure, most of which was laid underground in the 1800s.

Sewer Rate News
Great Bend, Kansas
Helena, Montana

August 18, 2008

Monday Headlines: Gov, New Group Tackle New York’s Water Infrastructure

Posted in California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, New York, South Carolina, Texas at 12:38 pm by bengann

New York Governor David Patterson has announced the the formation of an environmental and government collaborative to help tackle a looming water infrastructure crisis facing New York State. The new initiative is focused on pressuring the federal government to help fix the water and sewer systems it helped build decades ago.

The small community in Woodloch, Texas is facing the unenviable task of repairing its crumbling infrastructure without raising tax or water rates. Faced with cracking water mains, pipes made of asbestos concrete and a rusting storage tank, the town is in no position to lower rates, officials say.

A water main break in Boiling Springs, South Carolina shut down large portions of a road and flooded a nearby church last night.

In Lafayette, Indiana, Riehle Plaza will be closed for about two months beginning today as contractors prepare for construction of an underground combined sewer overflow system.

Sewer Rate News
Arlington, Texas
Lawrence, Kansas
Mill Valley, California
Vernon, Connecticut

August 14, 2008

Thursday Headlines: Is Pipe Break to Blame for E. coli in Water Supply?

Posted in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Texas at 12:26 pm by bengann

A water boiling advisory has been issued in two more Massachusetts towns after E. coli bacteria was found in the public water supply. Tests show that the contamination is not from the towns’ water source, but that it entered the system some other way, possibly through a water main break.

A break in a water main has prompted the city of San Marcos, Texas to issue a boil water notice. A statement from the city of 35,000 says the boil water notice is in effect until at least midday Friday as testing continues.  

If you live on Campbell Boulevard in Amherst, New York you are probably sick of water main breaks. Records show the Erie County Water Authority has come out and made repairs 80 times on the Boulevard in recent years.

In West Palm Beach, Florida, a proposed settlement with the Palm Beach County Health Department and the state Department of  Environmental Protection calls for the city to  pay the agencies about $445,000 after problems at a water treatment plant led to a fecal bacteria outbreak last year. That settlement includes about $386,000 in penalties. 

In Sacramento, a state water quality control board has lodged millions of dollars in fines against two municipal treatment plants in Colusa County for violating wastewater discharge limits.

Sewer Rate News
Lynn Haven, Florida
Maple Heights, Ohio
McFarland, California
Newark, Ohio

August 13, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: Sewage Spill Closes Shoreline in Long Beach

Posted in Arizona, California, Texas, Vermont, Virginia at 11:35 am by bengann

A sewage spill in Long Beach, California has forced authorities to close a nearly four-mile stretch of shoreline, and the area is expected to remain closed indefinitely. Close to 20,000 gallons of sewage flowed into the Los Angeles River via Compton Creek on Tuesday afternoon, caused by a broken sewer line near Watts.

A broken water main ripped open a massive sinkhole on a residential street in Wilder, Vermont Saturday night. Neighborhood residents were without water as the highway department worked through the night to fill the hole and fix the street.

In Virginia Beach, a water main break sent thousands of gallons of gushing water high enough to knock out a transformer on a power pole on Monday. The break occurred in front of Claudette Ellis’ home damaging her roof, ceiling and carpets.

A blocked line at the wastewater treatment facility in Plainview, Texas caused 300,000 gallons of wastewater to overflow into the aeration basin at the facility. The city’s quick response as well as the facility not being in a populated area are being given credit for keeping this incident from becoming a public health hazard.

Sewer Rate News
Amherst, Virginia
Marana, Arizona
Fillmore, California

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