October 15, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: Sewer Overflow in Tampa Revised to 1.8 Million Gallons

Posted in California, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin at 11:13 am by bengann

An update on a story that appeared here last Wednesday about Tampa, Florida. Hillsborough County Water Resource officials have drastically revised the estimate on the amount of raw sewage that spilled from a broken pipeline last week. The initial estimate of 300,000 gallons of sewage poured into Sweetwater Creek has been revised to 1.8 million gallons.

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The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is investigating a sizable overflow of sewage from a Nether Providence Township line into a Ridley Creek tributary last month. The discharge of the sewage into the waterway represents a violation of the state Clean Streams Law.

In Flordia, Miami-Dade County broke ground on water and sewer improvements to Palmetto Bay’s main commercial hub Friday, 10 years after business owners first started pushing for the changes. Palmetto Bay officials hope the $14 million project to provide water and sewer service to homes and businesses still on wells and septic tanks will attract more businesses to the southwestern corner of the village.

About $1.4 million in state mandated sewage projects have all but guaranteed higher sewer rates for residents in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania. Borough officials say sewer rate hikes are certain, but exact increases will not be calculated until they know how the projects will be financed.

Sewer Rate News
Germantown, Wisconsin
Muskegon, Michigan
Rubidoux, California

October 14, 2008

Tuesday Headlines: As Funding Decreases Tennessee’s Needs Grow

Posted in Alabama, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin at 11:21 am by bengann

There is a growing gap between badly needed improvements to Tennessee’s water and wastewater infrastructure and the funding to complete those projects, according to a recent study conducted by the Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance.

According to the Tennessee Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, the cost of 1,773 needed water system improvement projects increased by $349 million between 2004 and 2005 to a total of $3.3 billion. The report also points out, available funding for such projects is dropping. State revolving funds have dropped by 33 percent between 2004 and 2006 and federal funding has dropped by nearly 79 percent since 1980.

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Some Jersey City residents are advised to boil their water after a break in a 30-inch water main early Tuesday morning. Residents in the affected area can expect lower than normal water pressure or even no water in high rise buildings. Repairs are expected to take most of the day.

A water main break in Robbins, Illinois forced three schools to close Tuesday morning. Robbins police say the water main erupted Monday night. They expect to have water restored Tuesday afternoon.

It is unclear if a Rite Aid in Yakima, Washington will reopen today after a water main ruptured twice outside the store on Monday. Officials noted that between 25,000 and 30,000 gallons of water was lost during the first break. 

A broken water main under Grand Avenue in Wausau, Wisconsin forced the closure of the northbound lane this morning.

Sewer Rate News
Ambridge, Pennsylvania
DuBois, Pennsylvania
Oakwood, Illinois
Prichard, Alabama
Woodstock, Ohio

October 13, 2008

Monday Headlines: Lagoon in Long Beach Closed After Sewage Spill

Posted in California, Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas at 10:56 am by bengann

The Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach, California remained closed after a sewage overflow that reached the lagoon. Approximately 1,200 gallons of raw sewage flowed through the storm system and into the lagoon. According to an annual report released in September, Long Beach has the worst water quality in the state.

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Repairs were made to a sewer line from the Hampton Inn in Coralville, Iowa after a plugged line caused an overflow, according to an Iowa Department of Natural Resources statement.

Some Tampa, Florida residents have been advised to avoid Sweetwater Creek and the area where it flows into Tampa Bay for the next few days, after a broken sewer line dumped about 300,000 gallons into the creek.

City officials in Salem, Oregon say about 100 gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Little Pudding Basin this weekend. The overflow was caused by a blocked sewer line.

A portion of Belmont Road in Bettendorf, Iowa was closed Friday afternoon because of a ruptured water main. An estimated 50 homes had water service disrupted because of the break.

Sewer Rate News
Ashland, Pennsylvania
Lake Jackson, Texas
Lowell, Massachusetts

October 9, 2008

Thursday Headlines: Water Main Break Floods Shopping Mall

Posted in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas at 12:39 pm by bengann

The lower floor of a major western Pennsylvania mall is closed while firefighters and other crews work to clean up after an 8-inch water main break flooded at least 30 stores. More than 80 firefighters are using squeegees and pumps to clear out the water at the Westmoreland Mall in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

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A Marin Municipal Water District main broke early Wednesday in Woodacre, California sending a geyser-like flow 50 feet into the air. Water shot in the air unabated for almost 30 minutes, as 4,500 gallons were lost through a hole in a 6-inch line.

There was a raging torrent of water on Wednesday morning in Honolulu after a 24-inch water main break . An area resident said, “looks like one big surf coming through — one big surf. Everything, garbage cans, everything came toward us.”

The new water pre-treatment plant in Waco, Texas will cost about 39 million dollars and pull the plug on the problem with the city’s tap water.

Sewer Rate News
Brockton, Massachusetts
Bullhead City, Arizona
Hollister, Missouri
Livermore Falls, Maine

I’m out of the office tomorrow, so check back on Monday for all new headlines.

October 8, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: Sewer Repairs to Cost Windsor, N.J. Millions

Posted in Arizona, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas at 2:10 pm by bengann

Sporadic sewer problems around West Windsor, New Jersey have prompted the township council to approve a bond ordinance for sewer improvements totaling $6,072,621 and the issuance of $3,510,000 in bonds to finance part of the cost. The township has been plagued by a series of sewer problems, many of them due to heavy rains.

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A state consent decree requiring Middletown, New York to build a new sewer treatment plant and correct sewage overflow problems was approved by the Common Council Tuesday evening.

The installation of a 24-inch water line in downtown Tempe, Arizona and adjacent to Arizona State University is expected to create delays and detours for pedestrians and motorists alike. This $4.8 million project is necessary in anticipation of new developments in the downtown area creating a greater demand for water. The project is expected to be completed by mid-December.

City Council members in Tama, Iowa decided on Monday to add on to the city’s water treatment plant. The city has about $400,000 saved for the project, but addressing the water problems will likely require a rate increase.

Some households in Jacksonville, Texas will see improvementsin their wastewater system in the near future as more than 4,000 feet of sewer lines will be replaced.

Sewer Rate News
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Marshall, Texas

October 7, 2008

Tuesday Headlines: Sacarmento Looks to Upgrade its Sewer System

Posted in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 3:26 pm by bengann

District officials are recommending that the Sacramento Area Sewer District board spend millions of dollars installing new hardware and cleaning lines to prevent costly sewage overflows. In recent years, the number of claims against the district – most often a result of raw sewage spilling into a home – has tripled. In 2007, the district paid $3.1 million in settlements.

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A water main break in Alexandria, Virginia left four high-rise apartment buildings without water from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. this morning.  

A broken water main shut down part of Atlantic Street in Bridgeton, New Jersey for much of the day on Monday. “That’s just another old section that we have,” said Department of Water and Sewer Superintendent John Wuzzardo. “We had to replace 13 feet of main. … Just old pipe. Not much we can do. I don’t know how old that section is, but we have 100-year-old pipe.”

In New York City, Department of Environmental Protection officials are monitoring a water main break that has shut down several streets and one entrance to the Holland Tunnel. City officials also say flooding may have undermined the integrity of  part of the street.

Sewer Rate News
Honesdale, Pennsylvania
Lincoln, Illinois
Lynn, Massachusetts
Oneida, Illinois

October 6, 2008

Monday Headlines: 150,000 Gallon Sewer Overflow in Florence, S.C.

Posted in California, Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina at 6:16 pm by bengann

Work crews in Florence, South Carolina are cleaning the site of a 150,000-gallon sewer overflow that ran into Jeffries Creek. Crews removed the blockage that caused the overflow and then cleaned visible solids at the discharge site using lime to disinfect the affected area.

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In San Diego, more than 3 million gallons of water spilled from a pipeline that failed yesterdayin a remote section of Mission Trails Regional Park. Emergency repairs on the 72-inch concrete pipeline has already started. Constructed in 1977, the pipeline delivers untreated water to the city’s Alvarado and Otay water treatment plants and the Sweetwater Authority’s Perdue Treatment Plant.

On Friday, city officials in Portland, Oregon urged people to avoid going into the Willamette River after rains caused the city’s sewer system to overflow.

A water main break Saturday night in Troy, New York had crews working overtime to repair not only the water main, but the pavement which buckled. The Department of Transportation said the road reopened at 3:30 p.m. Monday with no delays.

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

Sewer Rate News
Antrim Township, Pennsylvania
Buhl, Idaho
Lowell, Massachusetts
Northwood, Ohio

October 3, 2008

Friday Headlines: Water Main Break Closes Major Street in Sioux City

Posted in Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Washington at 1:25 pm by bengann

A section of a busy street Sioux City, Iowa could be closed until the middle of next week after a water main break Thursday afternoon. It didn’t take long to fix the break, and restore service, but city workers say it could be until next Wednesday before they can fill the hole and repair the street.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will provide a $1.9 million low-interest loan to city of Willoughby for sewer improvements in exchange for the city’s agreement to purchase wetlands in Summit County.  Willoughby will benefit from the loan with better sewers and Summit will get protection for wetlands along the Tuscarawas River.

The Department of Energy is preparing to build Hanford, Washington’s largest water treatment system to clean up one of Hanford’s most problematic underground plumes of contaminated water. DOE is planning to build Hanford’s largest pump and treat station at a cost of $174 million to attack the contaminants and clean the water.

A water main broke on West Michigan Avenue in Battle Creek, Michigan Friday morning closed part of the road and may affect Battle Creek Central High School’s Homecoming Parade, which is scheduled for today.

In Massachusetts, both branches of the state legislature approved the Nantucket Sewer Act this week, which if signed by Governor Deval Patrick will give the town a broader ability to manage and expand the municipal sewer system.

Sewer Rate News
Grant, Nebraska
Rome, Georgia

October 2, 2008

Thursday Headlines: California Issues $1.7 Mil in Fines for Sewage Discharges

Posted in California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island at 1:45 pm by bengann

In California, San Mateo, Hillsborough and the county-run Crystal Springs sanitation districts must collectively pay more than $1.7 million in fines to a regional enforcement agency for discharging raw sewage into streets, creeks and San Francisco Bay in violation of the Clean Water Act. In addition to the fines, the staff of the Regional Water Board is asking board members to approve a collective “cease-and-desist order” that would impose long-term requirements on each sanitation district to do better monitoring of pipeline leaks and come up with lasting solutions.

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Scientists for the state of Rhode Island are working to find out what is causing the high amounts of fecal coliform bacteria turning up in the Kickemuit River. The cause of the bacteria is unknown, however, there is a correlation between river bacteria and nearby storm drain bacteria, leading scientists to think polluted storm drain runoff is the cause of the river contamination.

In Chicopee, Massachusetts, 45 people met Wednesday night with city officials and design engineers about a combined sewer overflow problem which has particularly plagued the Lorraine and Stedman streets area. The city has $180 million worth of combined sewer overflow work it needs to separate over a 20-year period.

A large water main break in Shelton, Connecticut Wednesday evening, left 75 businesses and condominiums along a busy street without water.

Sewer Rate News
Belleview, Florida
Rochester, Michigan

October 1, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: In Arkansas, Election to Decide Water Bond Program

Posted in Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma at 1:59 pm by bengann

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said he expects voters to approve a $300 million bond issue for water projects in November, provided they understand it will not raise their taxes. The measure would extend a $300 billion bond program approved by voters 10 years ago, and would renew bonding authority for the state’s grant and loan program for water, sewer and waste disposal projects.

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A water main break today in downtown Norwich, Connecticut has closed Courthouse Square to all vehicular traffic. It is believed that it will take anywhere from four to eight hours to complete repairs. Also, the basements of two businesses sustained water damaged and were pumped out.

Crews in Lawrence, Kansas worked yesterday to fix an 8-inch water main that broke Tuesday morning. Repairs to the waterline were completed yesterday with patching of the road stretching into today. 

An 8-inch water main also broke yesterday in Bernards Township, New Jersey leaving 250 residents on 18 streets without water. Residents have been told to boil their tap water for five minutes before drinking it.

After years of talk, the City Council in West Liberty, Iowa has finally agreed to move forward on the expansion of its wastewater treatment facility.

Sewer Rate News
Delta, Missouri
Waurika, Oklahoma

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