November 25, 2008

Tuesday Headlines: Tulsa on Pace for Sewage Spill Record

Posted in California, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon at 1:05 pm by bengann

This year three sewage spills in Tulsa County, Oklahoma has accounted for about half of the 53 million gallons leaked this year and has put the county on pace to record its largest amount of spilled sewage since the state has tracked unpermitted discharges.  During those three incidents, an estimated 25 million spilled from sanitary sewer systems in Tulsa County.

For the second time in November,  work crews in eastern North Carolina are cleaning up a sewage spill after 60,000 gallons spilled on Monday. Only 10,000 gallons of sewage contacted state waters—which occured when the sewage flowed into some roadside ditches.

A pump station failure has caused a large discharge of raw sewage in Waldorf, Maryland. Officials estimate that over 10,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into a stream near the pumping station, and they are advising the public to avoid contact with the water in that stream.

In Del Mar, California, an area around the San Dieguito River outlet is unsafe for recreation after a 8,090-gallon sewage spill Monday.

Gravel and debris combined to block a portion of Cary North Carolina’s sanitary sewer system resulting in a spill discovered on Sunday. An estimated 3,499 gallons of untreated waste escaped from a manhole and reached an unknown tributary of Crabtree Creek.

Sewer Rate News
Dubuque, Iowa
Lacey Township, New Jersey
Leominster, Massachusetts
Salem, Oregon

That’s it until Monday. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

November 24, 2008

Monday Headlines: Chesapeake Bay Cleanup to Cost Pennsylvania $1.4 Bil.

Posted in California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 12:17 pm by bengann

Upgrading sewer treatment systems to meet Chesapeake Bay cleanup mandates will cost Pennsylvania municipalities an estimated $1.4 billion, according to a new state legislative study. The study by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee was authorized by the state Senate to find out how much the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy will cost to implement.

Warning signs were posted Sunday after thousands of gallons of sewage spilled out of manholes in several areas across Honolulu. This weekend’s heavy rains are being blamed for the overflows.

Havelock, North Carolina experienced a spill of untreated wastewater of estimated 60,000 gallons today, an estimated 10,000 of which reached State waters.

About 600 gallons of raw sewage spilled Friday onto a seaside road about a quarter-mile south of Hobson County Park in Ventura, California.

A home in Lancaster, Kentucky may be a total loss after a sewage backup ruined the basement and part of the front lawn. A sewer pipe that serves about 40 homes in the area had blockage in it caused by rags that may have been caught in a crack in the pipe.

A water main break in Waynesboro, Virginia created a small sinkhole and forced an elementary school to shut down Monday.

Sewer Rate News
Benton Harbor, Michigan
Delaware, Ohio

November 21, 2008

Friday Headlines: Town in Maine Looks to Repair Water Main Under I-95

Posted in Arkansas, California, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont at 1:11 pm by bengann

Looking to repair a water main break under Interstate 95, the Board of Selectmen in Seabrook, Maine are considering replacing the main using directional drilling technology to pull a new pipe through a bore hole. The 12-inch, 350-foot water main remains shut off after it broke in two places in November 2007 and the cost of repair is estimated at $235,700.

Town officials in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania are busily trying to figure out how to pay for $1.4 million in state mandated sewer work. The sewer work includes dredging sludge out of lagoons at the treatment plant, correcting combined sewer overflow problems and installing flow meters. 

Customers of the Grand Rapids, Michigan water and sewer systems will face big rate increases next year, thanks to expansive upgrades and the defection of five suburbs from its sewer system. The average city resident will get a quarterly water and sewer bill of $168.10, an 8.2 percent jump over this year.

A broken water main in Chester, Vermont left some residents without water last night and forced the closure of a local high school for today.

For more than a week, the left lane of a key San Francisco artery has been closed by orange cones and sawhorses. The sinkhole, formed because of a broken sewer main, needs major repair. and patching the hole is in advisable because the hole might return and cause serious damage to a vehicle.

Sewer Rate News
Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Coldwater, Michigan
El Dorado, Arkansas
Sayre Borough, Pennsylvania

November 20, 2008

Thursday Headlines: Editorial Addresses Infrastructure in Economic Stimulus

Posted in California, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, National, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania at 12:13 pm by bengann

An editorial in today’s Arizona Daily Star addresses the need for an economic stimulus package that includes investment in infrastructure. Although the editorial focuses on the need to put people back to work by addressing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, it does specifically address the dire state of America’s wastewater systems.

Consider, for instance, the nationwide problem of sewage overflows. Many older cities have combined sewer-stormwater systems that overflow during big storms, dumping untreated waste into rivers and drinking-water reservoirs.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, at least $202 billion is needed to prevent sewer overflows at some 16,000 wastewater treatment plants across the country. While Congress can’t invest that kind of money immediately, it could make a down payment on a health threat that grows bigger every year.

Headlines are after the jump

November 19, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: 60-inch Water Main Breaks in Central New Jersey

Posted in Arizona, California, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, West Virginia at 1:40 pm by bengann

In New Jersey, a break in a 60-inch water main break in Middlesex and Somerset Counties is affecting 100,000 customers and has partially collapsed part of the road above the pipe. A boil-water advisory remains in effect for the nearly 20 Central Jersey towns affected, and customers will be contacted by phone when it is lifted, which is projected to be around noon Thursday. Although the cause of the break is unknown the water main was installed in 1958.

Sewer Rate News
Lansing, Michigan’s long-term endeavor to reduce the flow of raw sewage is 59 percent completed and already seeing significant results. Annually, some 1.65 billion gallons of sewage went into the rivers before the CSO work started. That has been reduced by 585 million gallons a year. The work is not slated to end until 2020.

Astoria, Oregon under a federal consent decree, has a 20-year program to prevent sewage from overflowing into the Columbia River and Youngs Bay during heavy rainstorms. The latest project is the first phase of a two-phase CSO project, which will install new pipes to carry stormwater into the bay and construct a giant storage tank for sewage.

Traffic was restricted on a major Mesa, Arizona roadway Tuesday evening after a 12-inch water main leak caused a sinkhole in the road.

Work crews in Kalamazoo, Michigan worked through the night to dig out a couple of water main breaks. There are water main breaks all the time in this city, which is an older system where fluctuating temperatures (a common occurence this time of year) makes the ground heave and pipes burst.

Sewer Rate News
McKinleyville, California
Ranson, West Virginia
Sugarcreek, Ohio

November 18, 2008

Tuesday Headlines: Kansas City Moves Forward on Sewer Overflow Plan

Posted in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington at 12:14 pm by bengann

After months of delays, Kansas City’s largest publicly financed project, an effort to improve its sewer system, moves forward this week. Yesterday city officials announced the latest version of a $2.4 billion plan to reduce sewer overflows into local streams during heavy rains–improvements that are required by the federal government.

It’s called the Big Pipe project, and when it is completed in 2011 it is expected to reduce Portland, Oregon’s sewer overflows to three or four a year instead of every time it rains.  The 20-year project will cost $1.4 billion and has been financed with sewer rate increases in recent years. It is the biggest construction project in the city’s history.

 A water main break in Kalamazoo, Michigan has closed two schools for the day.

The University of Maryland experienced its second water main break in as many days after a 16-inch main broke near a campus parking lot. Age is believed to be the biggest factor in causing the break.

Basements of about approximately a half-dozen homes in Bellevue, Washington were flooded when a water main broke Monday morning.

Sewer Rate News
Ontario, California
Sandy Township, Pennsylvania
Waterford, Connecticut

November 17, 2008

Monday Headlines: Water Main Break Leads to Boil Alert in Suburban DC

Posted in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania at 1:19 pm by bengann

Although service has been restored following a water main break on Saturday in Largo, Maryland, residents remain under a boil water advisory. The break also affected traffic for fans traveling to the game last night between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. The advisory involves homes in a 39-square-mile area in central Prince George’s County, as well as several schools and and government buildings.

An above-ground pipe spewed at least 100,000 gallons of raw sewage Saturday in Vista, California. The sewage spilled near the on-ramp of state Route 78 on Saturday. The age of the pipe is believed to be the cause of the spill.

In Maui, Cove Park was closed on Thursday after a blockage at a wastewater pump station Thursday led to an overflow of about 1,200 gallons of untreated sewage from a manhole cover.

A water main break slowed traffic this morning on a state highway outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania in Dickson City.

Schools are closed in Beacon Falls, Connecticut today because of a water main break.  

Crash investigators in Kansas City, Missouri said a water main break may have caused an accident on Interstate 35 Sunday morning. Police said water from the break froze over the highway and a car and truck slid into each other on the slippery surface.

In the ongoing situation with Jefferson County, Alabama and its sewer debt, a federal judge will hold a hearing Monday morning to determine whether bond insurers are entitled to have Jefferson County’s troubled sewer system placed under the control of a receiver who can manage the sewer system. The county is in danger of defaulting on it $3.2 billion sewer debt.

Sewer Rate News
Burlington, New Jersey
Williams, Oregon

November 13, 2008

Thursday Headlines: State of Michigan Forces City to Upgrade Sewer System

Posted in Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont at 12:58 pm by bengann

The city of Marysville, Michigan is poised to spend about $25 million to correct problems with its water and sewer systems. The plan would increase the capacity at the wastewater treatment plant from 2.4 million gallons a day to 3.4 million gallons a day, build an underground sanitary-sewer storage tank to reduce overflows, rehabilitate aging or damaged sewer lines and make general improvements to the water and wastewater treatment plants.

A water main break in New Orleans has collapsed a large section of a woman’s front yard, including parts of her driveway, sidewalk and flower bed.  

Nether Providence, Pennsylvania has provided the state Department of Environmental Protection with a detailed response on a sizable overflow that occurred in mid-September. The correspondence includes a plan by the township to prevent future incidents, which would spend more than $330,000 on an assortment of initiatives, including equipment purchases, repairs and monitoring programs.

A combination of recent rains and a plugged sewer line caused a sewage spill in Davenport, Iowa late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

A recent engineering analysis has revealed that a 250-foot section of century-old ceramic sewer pipe owned by the City of Barre Town, Vermont, and located more than a mile from a proposed residential development, will have to be replaced in order to handle the wastewater generated by more than five dozen new single-family homes.

Sewer Rate News
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Memphis, Missouri
Portage County, Ohio

November 12, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: Columbus Residents Support Rate Increase

Posted in Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania at 12:48 pm by bengann

Most speakers at a hearing on proposed water and sewer rate increases for Columbus, Ohio told the city council Tuesday night they supported the higher fees. The increase is to cover the cost of preventing overflow problems that damage creeks and rivers in the area.

A one foot section of corroded pipe in Reno, Nevada on Monday caused a water main rupture sending thousands of gallons of water onto the roadway.

In Maryland, residents in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties can sign up for a service that will alert them via e-mail or mobile phone text message if a burst pipe has cut off water service to their home or will snarl traffic.

Aging water infrastructure and a dramatic rise in system repairs forced the city council in Stillwater, Oklahoma to take a look at the situation and find solutions Monday.

Several residents in the Kansas City suburb of Olathe, Kansas recently attended a city council meeting after enduring wastewater backup problems for more than a decade.

Sewer Rate News
Gretna, Pennsylvania
Hollister, Missouri
Portage Township, Michigan
Sugarcreek, Ohio

November 11, 2008

Tuesday Headlines: Fort Wayne Looks for Ways to Pay for Sewer Improvements

Posted in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin at 12:45 pm by bengann

A $240 million plan to keep raw sewage out of Fort Wayne, Indiana’s rivers would triple local sewer rates unless a new source of funding is created, and has led to a discussion of a half-cent increase in the local sales tax to pay for almost the entire project.

As winter approaches, Mid-Michigan’s infrastructure is crumbling but financial help will be tough to come by. “There’s no question that there’s a lot of work that needs to be done in communities across the state,” said Michigan DEQ spokesman Robert McCann.

In Pennsylvania, Meyersdale borough officials are beginning to dig into a pile of state-ordered sewer projects that cost about $1.4 million. “This is something just about every community is going through,” borough President Bud Edmunds said. “We are not unique.”

It looks like it will cost the City of Middletown, New York more to borrow money to repair its massive Sterling Street sewer problems. The city had hoped to secure an interest free loan but does not have sufficient points to qualify and may have to borrow money  at a 4-4.5 percent interest rate to finance construction of the project.

Sewer Rate News
DuBois, Pennsylvania
Ottumwa, Iowa
Shelton, Washington
Wrightstown, Wisconsin

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