December 23, 2008

Tuesday Headlines: Massive Water Main Break in Bethesda, Maryland

Posted in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, National, North Carolina, Virginia at 12:20 pm by bengann

It was a harrowing experience this morning for some motorists in Bethesda, Maryland after a break in a 66-inch water main flooded a major road in Montgomery County. To make the situation even more worse the temperatures were around 15 degrees at the time of the break. Here are reports from a number of news outlets.

Here’s the raw video from CNN.

From WRC-TV:

The water main broke just before 8 a.m.  As many as 18 cars may have been trapped in the water, which is said to be 3 to 4 feet high in some places. 

A helicopter rescued people using a basket and transported them to safety.  Crews using boats and a fire truck rescued others.

WTTG-TV has video of the rescue efforts


Swift water rescue crews used a helicopter, a boat and ropes to rescue motorists trapped when a water main break sent a four-foot wall of water down River Road near Fenway Drive…

At least a dozen vehicles were trapped and 15 or 16 people were rescued, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said.

The Associated Press says:

Rescuers scrambled helicopters and boats to pull commuters from frigid floodwaters unleashed by a massive water main break Tuesday on a commuter road just outside Washington.

One neighbor described the torrent as a river that filled the street after the rupture of a main measuring 5-1/2 feet in diameter.

Other headlines are after the jump

December 22, 2008

Monday Headlines: Boston Works to Reduce Water Main Breaks

Posted in Arizona, California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin at 12:36 pm by bengann

Saturday the Boston Globe profiled the job being done by the Boston Water and Sewer Commission in reducing the number of water main breaks and conserving water. Joanne Rathe describes what is going on in the city.

Over the past decade, as erosion and widespread construction have weakened aging pipes, city officials have poured $335 million into replacing and repairing the system. Part of the money has paid for the work of a crack squad of hole-digging, sound-detecting technicians such as [Mark] Collins, who spend their shifts scouring the city for leaks and patching them to prevent breaks.

In California, the Newport Beach waters just north of Balboa Island in the harbor will be closed to swimmers until at least Wednesday afternoon because of a sewage spill.

It was so cold yesterday in Milwaukee, a water main break froze in minutes. City workers fixed the problem quickly, despite the stinging cold temperatures.  

A water main break in Warner Robins, Georgia had crews working to repair it at 3:30 this morning. It’s the second break in the area in several weeks.

Two lanes of busy road in Clemmons, North Carolina are open to traffic after a water-main break sent water spilling onto the roadway last night. Water was still seeping onto the road and freezing this morning.

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Forsyth County, Georgia
Kirkwood, New York
Somerton, Arizona
Tuxedo and Warrick, New York

December 19, 2008

Friday Headlines: Condos in Kansas City Flooded After Water Main Break

Posted in Illinois, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Wisconsin at 2:04 pm by bengann

A water main break sent rushing water into some condominiums in Kansas City on Thursday. Residents spent most of the morning bailing water out of their homes.

A water main break shut down an Anderson, South Carolina street and kept work crews busy Wednesday night and into Thursday morning to restore service and to clean up.

The city of Decatur, Illinois will use a portion of the $10 million in newly approved city bonds to take another step toward bringing the city’s water supply up to the recommended level.

Trustees of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District recently approved a contract for the rebuilding of more than a mile of sanitary sewers. The new sewers would allow the district to eliminate two illegal sewer bypasses which dump raw sewage in streams or on the ground in heavy storms.

Two large sink holes caused by the collapse of storm water pipes in the in Deerfield Township, Ohio have caused a big problem. The local storm water board has agreed to pay half the storm water pipe repair costs, which have been estimated at close to $400,000, and the plan is to assess about 600 area residents approximately $333 total to fix the entire system.

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Burlington Township, Pennsylvania
Coon Valley, Wisconsin
Lockport, New York

December 18, 2008

Thursday Headlines: Broken Water Main in Cleveland, Ohio Installed in 1897

Posted in California, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio at 2:32 pm by bengann

We’re now in day 2 of the massive water main break affecting water service in Cleveland, Ohio. Today The Plain Dealer pens a story detailing the city’s crumbling water and wastewater infrastructure. The break in the 42-inch main was  put into the ground in 1897. Read the whole article but here are the first two paragraphs from The Plain Dealer story.

The perils of an aging water system struck Cleveland twice Wednesday, first when a 42-inch water main burst in the morning, cutting off water to much of the city, and again in the afternoon, when a drop in pressure temporarily left firefighters without water to fight a blaze in a downtown office tower.

The incidents underscored the sorry state of Cleveland’s deteriorating infrastructure. Massive water-main breaks are at least an annual event for a system largely built at the end of the 1800s.

Headlines are after the jump

December 17, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: Major Main Break Causes Disruptions in Cleveland

Posted in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas at 12:28 pm by bengann

A  42-inch water main rupture around 7:30am this morning in Cleveland, is flooding streets and drying up taps for miles. The break has trapped at least three people in nearby warehouses while leaving several businesses, homes and the Cleveland Clinic without water.

Michigan communities should start a wish list of improvements to infrastructure such as sewage disposal and water systems which could be ready to go in a few months, if a state engineering firm’s government sources are correct. A stimulus package, if approved by Congress, would favor projects ready to start construction in 4-6 months and provide needed investment to states and communities.

The large volume of rain in the Macon, Georgia area on Thursday and Friday of last week led to a variety of sewage spills all across Bibb County. There were 13 sewer overflows over the two day period which was caused by 5.07 inches of rain.

Approximately 20,000 gallons of water gushed from an 8-inch broken main flooding part of  downtown San Anselmo, California. The 1940s-era pipe was scheduled to be replaced this past summer at night to keep busy San Anselmo Avenue clear during the day. But neighbors voiced concern that noise from the project during summer nights, when windows are left open, would be intrusive, so the water district delayed work until spring 2009.

An underground water main break created a sinkhole that briefly captured the front end of a pick-up truck Tuesday morning in Danbury, Connecticut. The driver was not injured and the truck sustained only minor damage.

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Jacksboro, Texas
Juneau, Alaska
Sharon, Pennsylvania
Waseca, Minnesota

December 16, 2008

Tuesday Headlines: Greenwich Pumping Sewage into River After Main Break

Posted in Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Montana, Ohio, South Carolina, Wisconsin at 1:02 pm by bengann

Friday’s sewer line break in Greenwich, Connecticut is forcing the town to dump raw sewage into the Mianus River at three points. The temporary fix was still ongoing Monday night, pumping sewage into the Mianus River over four days with no clear end in sight.

A water main break outside of Akron General Medical Center caused some inconveniences Tuesday morning and created a sinkhole in the walkway outside of the facility that is six feet deep. The age of the pipe (58-year old) combined with the extreme and rapid drop in temperature since Monday are believed to have caused the break.

A force main leak in Florence, South Carolina caused about 125,000 gallons of sewage to flow into a creek. City crews are disinfecting the area with lime and are having water samples analyzed to ensure the overflow poses no threat to public health or the environment.

Gainesville, Georgia has agreed to pay $3,750 to the state Environmental Protection Division for a sewage spill that occurred July 22 when an estimated 50,000 gallons of sewage flowed into Balus Creek. The city typically has several spills each year and pays fines ranging from about $100 to more than $1,000 for each incident.

The cold weather has been blamed for at least one water main break that occurred late Sunday night in Bozeman, Montana, and has impacted several local businesses as well as about a dozen homes and residencies.

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Danville, Illinois
Darien, Wisconsin
Waterford, Connecticut

December 15, 2008

Monday Headlines: Sewer Plans for City are $150 Million over 40 Years

Posted in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 1:41 pm by bengann

The City Council in St. Joseph, Missouri will vote tonight on approving a $2.7 million contract to craft a facilities plan that will determine how the city spends $150 million on sewers over the next 40 years. The city’s combined sewer overflow long-term control plan will cost $450 million over 120 years.

The most expensive and elaborate portion of Lynchburg, Virginia’s CSO project was just completed. At a cost of $70 million, the city is replacing the James River Interceptor, a 7-mile sewer pipe that runs from Reusens Dam to the Lower Basin and collects sewage from the entire city.

Some Milford, Massachusetts residents had their homes “sewer-soaked” when untreated wastewater overflowed from the municipal system  because of heavy rains.

Work crews are expected to be on Main Street in downtown Stratford, Connecticut until about 4 p.m. today following a water main break early this morning.

A large water main break flooded a Colorado Springs, Colorado home and shut down two lanes of traffic on Saturday. When the main broke, it started letting out about 16-hundred gallons of water every minute.

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Altoona, Pennsylvania
Lake St. Louis, Missouri

December 12, 2008

Friday Headlines: After Spending $6 Million Town Still Out of Compliance

Posted in California, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont at 11:55 am by bengann

Springfield, Vermont is being fined $25,000 by the state for failing to completely separate its stormwater drainage system from its sewage system despite more than $6 million spent by the town in recent years to fix the problem.

Years of deferred maintenance on its wastewater infrastructure has left Framingham, Massachusetts with a costly predicament: fix the infrastructure or face state fines. During the period between 2004 and spring 2007, sewage overflowed more than 50 times in the town.

In California, the Santa Margarita Water District was fined $133,190 Wednesday for two sewage line breaks that occurred in 2007 and spilled more than 800,000 gallons of raw sewage.

With state and federal mandates requiring Wapakoneta, Ohio to eliminate raw sewage entering natural waterways, an engineering firm presented the city six different proposals to fix the problem with estimates ranging from $20.7 million to $32.7 million.

Officials in Cathedral City, California  are looking into obtaining a $40 million loan from the California Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund to help with the city’s water infrastructure.

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North Royalton, Ohio
Sunbury, Ohio

December 11, 2008

Thursday Headlines: Water Main Break Shuts Down Road in Ashland, Kentucky

Posted in Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania at 12:42 pm by bengann

U.S. 23 in Ashland, Kentucky reopened Thursday morning after a water main break closed the busy road and sent hundreds of students home from school. The 12-inch water main that broke provides water to the city of Catlettsburg, Marathon Oil’s refinery complex south of Catlettsburg and thousands of homes in South Ashland.

Mandated by the EPA and the state Department of Natural Resources, construction of the CSO elimination program would cost an estimated $100 million; therefore, Clinton, Iowa and other cities have turned to the courts to fight the requirement.

In Alabama, sewer overflows were reported Wednesday in Mobile and Daphne after heavy rains in the area. Heavy rain sending water into sewer lines blocked by grease was the cause of the spill.

After six years of construction work and planning, a flood-control and sewer project in Fort Wayne, Indiana is finally complete. The project is intended  to prevent streets from flooding during rainy weather and sewage from backing up in basements.

A  break in a 12-inch water main in Kansas City beneath the Broadway Extension has forced the closure of the southbound lanes US-169. On average about 35,000 cars travel on that stretch of highway each day.

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Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Homer, Alaska
Waseca, Minnesota
Willow Springs, Missouri

December 10, 2008

Wednesday Headlines: Water Main Break in Boston Disrupts Traffic

Posted in Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, National, North Carolina, Pennsylvania at 12:56 pm by bengann

Part of a major artery in Boston remained closed this morning as crews worked to repair a 24-inch pipe that ruptured near City Hall and spilled tens of thousands of gallons of water.  

680 middle school students in Anchorage, Alaska were sent home Tuesday morning because of a sewage backup caused by a blockage in underground pipes.

In Pennsylvania, Allentown workers are repairing a broken water main in the city’s west end. Public works officials speculated the freeze-and-thaw cycle this time of the year could be a factor. The break interrupted service to 15 properties.

Public Utilities crews in Raleigh, North Carolina spent most of Tuesday fixing a water main broke due to the cold weather. Crews repair an average of two leaks a day, according to city officials, and many of those repairs occur as pipes age.

An op-ed appearing in the Washington Post on Monday argues that Conservatives can and should support increased investment for infrastructure–including water and wastwater infrasturcture–on the grounds of future economic growth and globabl competitiveness.

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Clarkston, Idaho
Spring Hope, North Carolina
Traverse City, Michigan

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