September 30, 2008

Tuesday Headlines: New Documentary Tells Story of Water Infrastructure

Posted in Iowa, Michigan, National, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Uncategorized at 11:26 am by bengann

A new documentary by Penn State Public Broadcasting focused on the need to reinvest in our Nation’s water infrastructure will begin airing this week on many local PBS stations. Liquid Assets: The Story of Our Water Infrastructure, is a 90-minute documentary that tells the story of our largely out of sight, out of mind water, wastewater and stormwater systems.

Below is a four-minute trailer of the documentary, click here to check your local listings and see when the documentary will be shown in your area.

Headlines
The effects of time, hydrogen sulfide gas, fats, oils and grease have cost residents in Collierville, Tennessee $248,000 to repair two miles of sewer pipe.

A no-contact advisory was issued yesterday for Wolf Lake in Egelston Township, Michigan, after raw sewage leaked from a nearby transmission line. The break in a 16-inch line resulted in sewage seeping into the wetlands west of the lake.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issued a boil advisory for the City of Cresco last week after officials reported a water line rupture. Several area businesses and schools were forced to close for a day and city residents were advised not to drink water straight from the tap.

In New Jersey, Hanover Township officials are threatening to issue a stop work order or file a lawsuit to halt work on the solar panel project at the Morristown wastewater treatment facility unless township inspectors are given access to the project.

Sewer Rate News
Galveston, Texas
Tiffin, Ohio

September 29, 2008

Monday Headlines: Vermont Town Looks to Improve Aging Water System

Posted in California, Florida, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont at 12:04 pm by bengann

In November, residents in Ludlow, Vermont will be asked to approve a $3.5 million bond to improve the town’s aging water system that would raise their annual water bills by 57 percent. The bond would be financed through a 40-year loan from USDA Rural Development at 2.7 percent with an annual payment $142,700.

Headlines
City crews are still working on a water main break that dried up service to homes and businesses yesterday in Mountain View, California. The age of the pipe–which is 75 years old– is believed to be the cause of the break. (picture courtesy of KFMB)

Officials in Cincinnati had a watery mess to clean up Sunday night. Public works crews had to turn the water off in the area and shut down a major thoroughfare for several hours.

An interesection in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania is expected to remain closed until this afternoon while crews make repairs to a water line break that was discovered early today.

A water main break in El Paso, Texas Friday night flooded a gas station and convenience store. The water continued to stream onto the property for more than two hours before water crews showed up to turn it off.

Sewer Rate News
Kirkwood, New York
Tarpon Springs, Florida

September 26, 2008

Friday Headlines: Despite Improvements Port Huron Struggles with CSOs

Posted in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Michigan, Texas at 12:10 pm by bengann

Despite making significant improvements and spending $135 million since 1988 on separating its combined sewer system, Port Huron, Michigan still ranks in the top five in the state for volume of combined sewer overflows. Last year, Port Huron accounted for 2.3% of the 13.575 billion gallons of untreated storm water and sewage released in the state of Michigan.

Headlines
In Texas, Fort Hood officials have confirmed the cleanup of about 168,000 gallons of spilled sewage, which they believe did not contaminate bodies of water. Public works inspectors have determined a fracture in the main distribution pipe allowed the sewage to escape from the facility.

Neighborhoods in Houston, Texas are experiencing problems with sewage spills as the city’s Public Works Department  tries to get all lift stations operating again. Every sewage lift pump was affected by Hurricane Ike in some way and even municipal utility districts suffered issues with the power outages at lift pump stations that control wastewater.

Long Beach, California made a slight improvement from last year but still had the worst water quality in the state “by far” because the Los Angeles River pours into the city’s waters, according to a new report released by Heal the Bay.

Lawyers for Alabama’s Jefferson County and bond insurers were set to battle on Friday over an emergency request to give control of the county’s heavily indebted sewer system to a court receiver. Jefferson County is negotiating with Wall Street creditors against a Tuesday deadline on restructuring $3.2 billion of troubled sewer-system debt.

Sewer Rate News
Anchorage, Alaska
Glendale, Arizona

September 25, 2008

Thursday Headlines: Pipe Break Leads to 25 Foot Sinkhole in West Chester, Penn.

Posted in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania at 10:50 am by bengann

A 12-foot-deep sinkhole opened up in West Chester, Pennsylvania on Wednesday after a broken stormwater main caused saturated soils to collapse. Workers with the borough’s Public Works Department called in a pipeline construction company to handle the emergency after the sinkhole expanded to 25 feet long by 12 feet across.

Headlines
In Maryland, Anne Arundel County health officials have ordered Bear Neck Creek in Edgewater closed and warn against direct contact with the water. The closure was ordered because of a wastewater overflow Wednesday in a nearby sewer collection system.

Michigan’s environmental chief warned the Detroit City Council on Wednesday that continued delays in approving a $600-million tunnel system to store sewage and storm runoff during heavy rain could cost ratepayers an extra $100 million in interest on construction bonds and put the city in violation of its water pollution permit.

Roughly 21,000 gallons of sewage spilled into Pinehurst Lake on Tuesday after a force main broke in Carthage, North Carolina.

Crews in Colorado Springs, Colorado are working to divert the water in Sand Creek away from a bank that has been badly eroded by recent storms, coming dangerously close to exposing a sewage pipe. Since 2000, Colorado Springs Utilities has spent $100 million dollars on their wastewater collection system.

Sewer Rate News
Camp Verde, Arizona
Colfax, California
Shafer, Minnesota
Sheffield, Alabama 

September 24, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: $843 Mil. Needed to Repair Louisville’s Sewer System

Posted in California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, West Virginia at 10:54 am by bengann

The Metropolitan Sewer District of Louisville, Kentucky says its massive court-imposed plan to rehabilitate the sewer system will cost about 5 percent more than previously estimated. The new estimate of $843 million will pay for repairs to a system that annually spills about 4 billion gallons of sewage into local waterways, such as the Ohio River.

Headlines
In Chicago, a car was damaged after partially falling into a sinkhole created by a water main break. The car, which was parked, fell in after it the ground around it caved. “When the main broke, the water undermined the pavement and soil and created a hole,” said a City Department of Water Management spokesperson.

A quarter of a million people in the Houston region are still without running water nearly two weeks after Hurricane Ike caused extensive damage, Restoring water service may prove complicated. The problem has a myriad causes including severe infrastructure damage in coastal areas.

Sludge and sewage runoff from Bismarck, Missouri’s current treatment plant into a receiving stream has forced the city to move forward with plans for a new wastewater treatment plant or face stiff fines from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Southeastern Michigan has proposed investing $2.4 billion in projects aimed at reducing combined sewer overflows in communities, according to a report released Tuesday by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. The projects, in which about $1 billion is in place now, has resulted in an 85 percent reduction in untreated CSO discharges from 1990 levels, the report said.

Sewer Rate News
Bradenton, Florida
Humble, Texas
Huntington, West Virginia
Riverside, California

September 23, 2008

Tuesday Headlines: Pennsylvania Voters Asked to Approve Borrowing $400m to Upgrade Water, Sewer systems

Posted in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin at 12:29 pm by bengann

When voters in Pennsylvania go to the polls on November 4, there will be a referendum on the ballot asking them to approve $400 million in debt to help upgrade the state’s water and sewer systems. Municipal authorities with problems involving water and sewer infrastructure, stormwater issues, flood control or high-hazard dams would be eligible to receive funding.

Headlines
in Chicopee, Massachusetts, about a dozen residents with flooded basements from continued sewer overflow problems have asked the city for help. Combined storm water and sewer lines that need to be separated are the primary cause of the overflows.

A 30-inch water main break in Tampa, Florida forced the city to close a section of North 22nd Street on Monday. Repairs to the pipe are underway but the road resurfacing won’t be completed until Wednesday. The city is asking drivers to seek alternate routes until restoration is completed.

A delegation from the City of Laurel, Mississippi is scheduled to meet with Governor Haley Barbour’s staff today to discuss the city’s aging water and sewer line problems. Earlier this year city officials met in Washington, D.C. with members of the Mississippi congressional delegation about the need for federal assistance in addressing the nation’s water infrastructure.

Mayor of Milwaukee Tom Barrett has sent a letter to Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk expressing concern over the massive sewer overflows caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ike. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago estimates that as much as 99 billion gallons of water was untreated during the heavy rains two weekends ago.

Sewer Rate News
DuBois, Pennsylvania
Helena, Montana
Saint Joseph, Michigan

September 22, 2008

Monday Headlines: Water Main Break Causes City to Almost Run Out of Water

Posted in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin at 11:39 am by bengann

Officials in Maple Plain, Minnesota were relieved last week after several hours of searching finally turned up a broken water line that had threatened to empty the city’s water tower. A ruptured 8-inch, dead-ended main situated behind an industrial park building was located and closed off from the rest of the water system with roughly a half-hour supply remaining at the city’s disposal.

Headlines
A $2.6 million project is underway in Hillsboro, Oregon to replace old sanitary sewer lines and add a separate storm water drainage system. The combination of the two will help keep stormwater out of the sewer lines during heavy rainfall.

Residents in a portion of Kirksville, Missouri were under a 48-hour boil order this weekend after a water main break on Friday.

The Butler Township Board of Supervisors has tentatively approved an upgrade of the storm water drainage system in Lavelle, Pennsylvania. A couple of months ago new water lines were put in and the township felt that it would also be a good time to update the storm water infrastructure.

State Route 10 in Cheshire, Connecticut should be opened in both directions this afternoon after a broken water main is fixed and the road patched up. A 12-inch water main underneath Route 10 broke Sunday night, sending water gushing and leaving a sinkhole in the road. Route 10 was shut down overnight but one lane was opened this morning.

Sewer Rate News
Eugene and Springfield, Oregon
Macedon, New York
Manteca, California
Sturtevant, Wisconsin

September 19, 2008

Friday Headlines: Chicago to Release Report on Massive Sewer Overflow

Posted in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 12:26 pm by bengann

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago (MWRD) is on the verge of releasing a report on the billions of gallons of stormwater overflow that were released into Lake Michigan as part of its efforts to fight flooding during last weekend’s torrential rains. MWRD estimates that approximately 90 billion gallons of water were released into Lake Michigan because of last weekend’s storms.

Headlines
In Michigan, the Saginaw Wastewater Treatment Plant also reports that a a record 178.7 million gallons of sewage flowed to the Saginaw River following last weekend’s storms. The plant experienced two overflow events during the weekend, when the area was deluged by the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

York Central School in York, New York is closed today because of a water main break, which has compromised the water pressure in the school.

A water main break in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia tied up traffic for several hours Thursday as city utility workers repaired the pipe. Utilities Director Timothy Mitchell said the break occurred in a 12-inch water main releasing between 1 million and 2 million gallons of water.

In Pennsylvania, the Elizabeth Township Sanitary Authority will pay a $20,000 civil fine for allowing tens of millions of gallons of untreated sewage to flow into the Youghiogheny River, and will eventually shut down its malfunctioning treatment plant and pump its sewage to a planned new treatment facility in McKeesport.

Sewer Rate News
Grant, Nebraska
Pinellas Park, Florida

September 18, 2008

Thursday Headlines: Bay City Reports 57 Million Gallons in Sewer Overflows

Posted in Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas at 2:08 pm by bengann

In Michigan, the details of sewage overflows blamed on last weekend’s storm are starting to trickle in, with Bay City wastewater officials reporting a discharge of 57 million gallons to the Saginaw River. The overflow, of combined sewage and stormwater, occurred from Sunday through Tuesday and was reported Wednesday.

Headlines
As Peoria, Illinois decides how to address problems with combined sewer overflows, the city’s Public Works Department has developed three options for addressing the situation which range in price from $105 million to $260 million.

Quick work by a Honolulu Department of Environmental Services crew prevented 1,125 gallons of raw sewage which spilled out of a manhole and into a storm drain yesterday from reaching Moanalua Stream. The spill was caused by roots clogging an 8-inch sewer pipe.

After five water line breaks along the same segment in the past month, the city of Tyler, Texas has decided to do a line replacement at a cost of $150,000.

Construction crews had to shut-down a city block in York, Pennsylvania for more than 16 hours yesterday following an early morning water break. According to the York Water Company, the 10 inch water main break is a result of old age. The city estimates that 680 miles of piping under the city is about 100 years old, and that it will take around 100 years to replace all of it.

Sewer Rate News
Bath, Maine
Berea, Kentucky

September 17, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: Water Main Break Floods a Children’s Hospital

Posted in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio at 1:57 pm by bengann

The Considine Professional Building at Akron Children’s Hospital has regained electricity and phones after being flooded Tuesday due to a water main break. Damage to information systems and elevators in the Considine building are still being assessed but patient appointments for today in the Considine building have been cancelled.

Headlines
Heavy rains over the weekend in Richland, Michigan caused about 81,000 gallons of water to overflow into the 5-acre, privately owned wetlands. A contributing factor to the overflow, was the water coming into the system through pick holes in manhole covers.

The city of Pontiac, Illinois will submit a long-term control plan to the Illinois EPA to reduce the number of combined sewer overflows, with sewer-rehabilitation work planned for 2010-11, then a two-year monitoring period to see if more measures are needed. Needed improvements to reduce overflow events is estimated to cost $2.86 million.

Imagine waiting a year to fix a sinkhole from water main break. That is exactly what has happened for a community in Ottumwa, Iowa whose long wait will soon be over.

Two New York bond insurers sued Jefferson County, Alabama yesterday, asking that a federal judge appoint a receiver to manage the sewer system, raise rates and take other steps to increase revenues to pay the county’s $3.2 billion sewer debt.

Sewer Rate News
Reminderville, Ohio
Rome, Georgia

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