February 26, 2009

Thursday Headlines: Obama Wants More Funding for Water Infrastructure

Posted in Michigan, National, New Mexico, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin at 1:43 pm by bengann

States would receive more federal dollars for drinking water and sewer systems under the budget President Obama proposed today. The President’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget would provide $3.9 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The White House expects the increased investment to fund over 1,000 clean water projects and nearly 700 drinking water projects annually.

Headlines
New Mexico is set to receive nearly $40 million in federal stimulus money to improve water quality, drinking water infrastructure and sewage treatment systems. State officials agree however that the stimulus money will only begin to address the its need for water system improvements.

In Michigan, more than 100 million gallons of sewage flowed to the Saginaw River earlier this month after an overflow from the Saginaw Wastewater Treatment Plant. For 2009, has had combined sewer overflows totaling 112,000 gallons.

A water main break is causing problems for business owners in Charleston, West Virginia this morning. Some business owners affected by the break have report water entering their buildings.

In Milwaukee, traffic on the Locust Street bridge was reduced in both directions after a 21-inch combined sewer pipe collapsed opening up a huge sinkhole.

Sewer Rate News
Charlottesville, Virginia
Saratoga Springs, New York

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February 25, 2009

Wednesday Headlines: 890,000 Gallon Sewage Spill in Bay Area

Posted in California, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin at 6:39 pm by bengann

It happens a lot this time of year in the Bay Area. A sewage spill in Richmond, California released 890,000 gallons of raw sewage mixed with rain water into the East Bay. Warning signs have been posted along the shoreline asking people and animals to stay out of the water.

Headlines
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear was in Louisville today to outline the state’s plan for spending an estimated $3 billion in stimulus funding from the federal government. The plan includes about $71 million for water and sewer line projects.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm visited two local communities Tuesday to highlight drinking water projects that could be funded by the federal economic stimulus program. The state is expecting $168 million for sewer repairs and $67 for drinking water infrastructure.

The city of Binghamton, New York is asking for $300,000 in federal appropriations to continue a project separating sewage lines from storm water drains.

About a foot of water flooded a residential intersection in Chicago after a water main break late Tuesday. Water came up in two different locations in the intersection and there were about 12 inches of water flooding the area.

Sewer Rate News
North Hudson, Wisconsin
Westminster, Maryland

February 24, 2009

Tuesday Headlines: Hundreds of Millions Needed for Bay City, Mich.

Posted in Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon at 6:55 pm by bengann

Officials in Bay City, Michigan say it would take hundreds of millions of dollars to overhaul the city’s aging water and sewer infrastructure. As a result, local officials have begun discussing discussing the challenges, which include water main breaks, sewage overflows, beach closings and bacteria in the water.

Headlines
Pamlico County, North Carolina commissioners will discuss applying for federal stimulus grant money toward more than $2 million worth of planned water system improvements.

In Ohio, the city of Akron will have to pay $1 million in added costs for the city’s first project to curtail its combined sewer overflows. It is part of Akron’s $370 million plan to eliminate combined sewers that pollute the Cuyahoga and Little Cuyahoga rivers and the Ohio & Erie Canal after heavy rains.

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission officials say a blocked sewer line blocked sent an overflow of 10,700 gallons of untreated wastewater into a wooded area in Laurel, Maryland.

In Columbus, Ohio, a water main break that sent water gushing into the air early Tuesday prompted the closure of a elementary school. The cold temperatures caused the water to freeze as it hit trees and power lines. There was also ice on the street.

Sewer Rate News
Saginaw, Michigan
Sharpsburg, North Carolina
Spring Lake Township, Michigan
Winchester Bay, Oregon

February 23, 2009

Monday Headlines: Outdated Infrastructure Causing Sewer Rates to Rise

Posted in Alabama, Massachusetts, Michigan, National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia at 5:44 pm by bengann

The Associated Press ran a story this weekend on how sewer rates in Ohio and across the United States are climbing to help cover multimillion-dollar renovations of outdated infrastructure.  Below is a quote from the story that accurately captures the sentiment in communities across the country.

“The feds aren’t helping,” said Rick Tilton, spokesman for the sewer district that serves Columbus. “It’s all on the rate payers.”

Columbus residents have seen double-digit rate increases in the past few years. Cincinnati has raised its rates by 12 percent and anticipates the same increase next year.

Headlines
James City County, Virginia has requested funds from the recently passed economic stimulus package to fund three shovel-ready water projects totaling $18.4 million.

Ironton, Ohio will pursue private funding for the design of the first phase of the city’s combined sewer overflow project. The storm sewer separation is required under a consent order issued last month by the EPA.

In Alabama, health officials are cautioning against swimming in or eating seafood from Mobile Bay after a sewage overflow Saturday morning.

A water main break in North Salt Lake, Utah caused a huge sinkhole on a residential street Monday. The break crated a sinkhole more than 6 feet deep and 20 feet wide.

Sewer Rate News
Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania
Lynn, Massachusetts
Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
Saginaw, Michigan

February 20, 2009

Friday Headlines: Interstate Closed After Leaking Drainpipe Causes Sinkhole

Posted in California, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, National, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia at 1:35 pm by bengann

Work to repair a sinkhole and drainpipe beneath Interstate 215 in Murrieta , California will take until next week. The sinkhole was caused when the leaking drainpipe and rainwater eroded the soil around the pipe. I-215 has been closed and in both directions in the area around the sinkhole and will not completely reopen until Tuesday.

Headlines
According to federal officials, as part of the stimulus plan, the state of Tennessee will receive an estimated $77.7 million in federal dollars to work on sewage treatment plants, water quality and drinking water systems.

Sixty mayors from across the country met with President Obama this morning to discuss the recently passed economic stimulus package. Among the Mayors in attendance was Bill Gluba–the Mayor of Davenport, Iowa–who pitched a long wish list of city projects, most notably a sewer diversion tunnel.

A water main break on in Spotsylvania County, Virginia is causing major traffic delays today. Water service will be disrupted for some residents while repairs are being made.

The state of Virginia will receive about $102 million from the recently approved federal stimulus legislation for improved sewage treatment plants, water quality and drinking water systems.

Sewer Rate News
Morristown, Indiana 
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Norwood, Massachusetts
South Zanesville, Ohio 

February 19, 2009

Thursday Headlines: Illinois Gets $258 Million for Clean Water from Stimulus

Posted in California, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas at 6:54 pm by bengann

The EPA says that the state of Illinois will receive $258.5 million in stimulus money to go toward clean water projects. The state is to receive $179 million in its clean water fund and $79.5 million in its drinking water fund.

Headlines
After a roundtable discussion Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), the mayor of Wapakoneta says he has a new-found confidence his city’s infrastructure needs will receive some federal assistance. The city needs and estimated $30 million for combined sewer overflow project.

 Travel on the main road through Carson City, Nevada was restricted this morning because of  a water main break. Nevada Highway Patrol says motorists should avoid the area, and use an alternate route.

The Ohio EPA and 20 Columbus-area communities have signed an agreement intended to reduce sewer overflows. Under the agreement, communities are required to investigate their sewer lines in coming years to determine where excess storm water and groundwater enters their systems.

A water main break dumped gallons of muddy water and debris on to San Francisco streets this morning, and continues to affect water service to some customers. Investigators don’t know yet what caused the rupture but it most likely succumbed to old age.

Sewer Rate News
Cape May, New Jersey
Plano, Texas
Seligman, Missouri

February 18, 2009

Wednesday Headlines: Communities Ask for Stimulus Funds for Water Projects

Posted in Arizona, California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee at 6:54 pm by bengann

In Maryland, a state official has urged Somerset County Commissioners to use their influence to convince the county’s Sanitary Commission to apply for federal economic stimulus funds before a February 28 deadline.

Headlines
A water main break on Penn State’s University Park campus broke Wednesday morning, causing several buildings to lose water service.

Framingham, Massachusetts officials have given the state a list of more than 65 projects that will supposedly be “shovel-ready” within 180 days of approval, including  a $43 million request for the construction of a water treatment plant.

In California, a southern Marin County sanitation district under federal orders to replace aging infrastructure will have spilled 300,000 gallons of bacteria-laden sewage into San Francisco Bay by noon today after a rupture in a sewage treatment plant pipeline.

Harnett County, North Carolina officials will apply for federal stimulus grant money for water and wastewater projects in the county. Among the projects submitted include expansion of a water treatment plant to meet regional service requirements to Fort Bragg.

Sewer Rate News
Jefferson, Ohio
Nashville, Tennessee
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Tuscon, Arizona

February 17, 2009

Tuesday Headlines: Stimulus a Down Payment on State Infrastructure Needs

Posted in California, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia at 6:19 pm by bengann

Throughout the state of Montana, approximately 100 water and wastewater projects are in need of money to begin construction. Even as the stimulus bill is signed into law many of Montana’s small towns see the economic stimulus bill as just a start in addressing it’s infrastructure needs. Much of the state’s water infrastructure was built in the 1950s and ’60s and now needs to be replaced.

Headlines
In Bay City, Michigan,  a sewer overflow last week from a wastewater treatment plant totaled almost 58 million gallons. The discharge was blamed on snow melt and rain that totaled about 1.3 inches.

A blocked sewer line is to blame for the release of raw sewage into the Cayucos Creek. A officer for San Luis Obispo County, California reports a manhole cover overflowed and dumped an unknown amount of sewage into a nearby storm drain.

Some residents in Brewer, Maine did not have water when they woke up this morning due to a massive break in the water main in the area. The 10-inch water main was mangled by the fluctuating recent temperatures.

Fifteen months after the Lisbon, Ohio’s  upgraded water treatment plant began operation, the Ohio EPA has lifted the order that required the improvements as the treatment plant is now in compliance with the state’s clean drinking water laws.

Sewer Rate News
Halifax, Virginia
Inman, South Carolina

February 16, 2009

Monday Headlines: President Obama to Sign Stimulus Bill Tomorrow

Posted in California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, National, Pennsylvania, South Carolina at 6:40 pm by bengann

Tomorrow President Barack Obama will sign the $787 billion economic stimulus package that includes as much as $17 billion for environmental infrastructure. The investment in water and wastewater infrastructure is seen as having the dual benefit of creating jobs in the beleaguered construction industry and providing needed money for America’s chronically underfunded water and sewer systems.

Headlines
In California, a Marin County sewerage agency has agreed to pay $1.6 million in fines for spilling sewage into Richardson Bay last year. The incident closed public beaches for several days after 2.45 million gallons of raw sewage was spilled on Jan. 25, 2008 and another 962,000 gallons of partially treated sewage was spilled six days later.

Johnstown, Pennsylvania is facing a mandatory repair job of its sewer system that will cost millions of dollars. Residents’ sewage rates are likely to rise substantially, and the city will have to apply for financial help to pay for the rest of the system wide overhaul.

The first floor of a San Francisco hotel was flooded Saturday night after a break in a high pressure water main.

A water main break in Goshen, Indiana closed part of busy street to traffic yesterday after the force of the water damaged the roadway and caused chunks of pavement to break away.

Sewer Rate News
Charleston, South Carolina
Foxboro, Massachusetts
Lathrup Village, Michigan

February 13, 2009

Friday Headlines: Congress Passes Stimulus, Awaits President’s Signature

Posted in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, National, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont at 7:39 pm by bengann

Today, the House passed the economic stimulus conference report that contains billions of dollars in investment for water and wastewater infrastructure by a vote of 264-183. The Senate is expected to pass the conference report late this evening. Once passed, President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.

Headlines
In Burlington, Vermont, combined sewer overflows are believed to be the cause of  a variety of man-made chemicals that have been found in the streams and waterways that discharge into Lake Champlain.

WTVF-TV in Nashville reports on the decay of the city’s sewer system. Mayor Karl Dean has proposed a sewer rate increase to pay for infrastructure upgrades needed to comply with federal mandates.

People in Ogden, Utah have quite a mess to clean up after an 18-inch water main broke last night as the water turned to ice which coated the trees and buildings. At one point water shot as high as 50 feet into the air.

A water main break in Bay Park, California has caused the closure of a school for a fifth time. The frequent water main breaks are frustrating school officials which last closed school in December because the same water main broke.

Sewer Rate News
Amherst, Massachusetts
Southington, Connecticut

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