April 29, 2009

Wedesnday Headlines: Another Major Water Main Break in the Baltimore Area

Posted in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Virginia, West Virginia at 7:13 pm by bengann

A water main break in Halethorpe, Maryland this morning forced six area schools to close, halted MARC and Amtrak train services up and down the Penn Line and affected the water supply in Baltimore and Howard counties.

Steady rains and water-logged ground have caused sewage spills in three separate parts of Genesee County, Michigan dumping more than 6 million gallons of diluted sewage overflow into the Flint River.

The faucets are running again for people in Lake Monticello, Virginia  after a water main break left homes without water Wednesday morning.

Stimulus Spotlight
Water and wastewater projects in New Mexico soon will be receiving $43.2 million in federal stimulus funds. The money is coming from the USDA’s Rural Development Water and Environmental Programs (WEP) to provide water and wastewater infrastructure funding for rural communities.

Both West Virginia and Virginia are also getting millions in federal stimulus money from the USDA’s WEP to help rural communities provide safe drinking water and improve wastewater treatment systems. West Virginia is receiving $65 million to help 20 communities and Virginia is receiving $11 million to help four communities.

Sewer Rate News
Avon Park, Florida
Mount Washington, Kentucky
Plymouth, Massachusetts

April 28, 2009

Tuesday Headlines: Massive Water Main Break in Downtown Baltimore

Posted in Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Utah, Wisconsin at 10:46 pm by bengann

All city buildings in downtown Baltimore and the federal and circuit courts were closed Tuesday after a massive water main break. Public Works officials had been planning repairs in the area, but the break occurred before those repairs could start. Mayor Sheila Dixon says the line that broke is about 100-years-old.

In Indiana, the city of Richmond has issued a combined sewer overflow alert and residents are advised to avoid all contact with the East Fork and Whitewater Rivers for at least 72 hours.

Sewer Overflows persist in Milwaukee after more than 4 inches of rain fell on the area.  The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewer District is blending partially treated sewage with fully treated wastewater and in an attempt to prevent basement backups in the area served by the district and to prevent overflows of separate sanitary sewers to urban streams.

Lake Ozark, Missouri has been sentenced by a U.S. District Court in a case involving a sewage spill that occurred in the fall of 2007. As a result of the spill the city was sentenced to a $50,000 fine and five years probation.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Salt Lake City area will see improvements to its drinking water systems after receiving millions in stimulus funds to meet new pressure and capacity standards, as well as to provide safer drinking water.

Sewer Rate News
Holts Summit, Missouri
Worcester, Massachusetts

April 27, 2009

Monday Headlines: East Boston Water Main Break Detours Traffic

Posted in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina at 5:32 pm by bengann

A break in a 12-inch water main in East Boston near the entrance to the Sumner Tunnel forced a detour, created a sinkhole, left parts of nearby streets under 5 inches of water and forced the evacuation of two apartment buildings.

In Florida, a water main break on Central Florida Parkway in Orange County diverted traffic to a local hospital. Firefighters say they responded to a report of a large water main break, which was causing flooding on the main road.

A $43 million project in North Palm Beach County, Florida is underway to meet stricter standards for drinking water. Upon completion, 80,000 customers will no longer have a yellow tint in their drinking water caused by the current lime-softening plant.

Water officials have nearly doubled the chlorine levels at a treatment plant in Bloomfield, Connecticut and plan marathon testing  in response to last week’s outbreak of microorganisms in metro Hartford’s public water supply.

Stimulus Spotlight
It’s a new segment on Water News Update called “Stimulus Spotlight.” Today,  three cities in North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad  are among the first in the state to receive federal stimulus funding for wastewater and stormwater projects.  Each project will receive a loan for the project, half of which will go toward principal forgiveness (making it a direct subsidy) and the other as a zero percent interest loan.

Sewer Rate News
Minnetonka, Minnesota
Tivoli, New York

April 24, 2009

Friday Headlines: Ohio Announces Stimulus Funding for Projects

Posted in Connecticut, Iowa, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio at 4:45 pm by bengann

The Ohio EPA yesterday announced the 324 water and wastewater infrastructure projects that will be funded from $278 million in federal stimulus money. 3,300 applications were received by Ohio EPA from cities, counties and villages seeking funding to fix or replace water and wastewater infrastructure.

A budget review committee  in Nashua, New Hampshire has recomended borrowing $51.3 million for improvements to the city’s combined sewer system.

A Connecticut homeowner’s discovery on Monday of what turned out to be harmless copepods and rotifers in his water filter prompted an initial advisory to tens of thousands of customers in Hartford and nine area communities to boil their tap water before drinking it or using it for cooking.

Crews in Ottumwa, Iowa are conducting smoke tests on the sewer system to locate breaks and defects in sanitary sewer pipes.

A $486,000 sanitary sewer project in Torrington, Connecticut is still expected to be completed on time  despite currently being slightly behind schedule.

Sewer Rate News
North Ridgeville, Ohio
O’Fallon, Missouri

April 23, 2009

Thursday Headlines: Senate Bill Introduced to Correct Sewer Overflows

Posted in Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, National, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania at 8:40 pm by bengann

Ohio Senators George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown introduced a bill, the Clean Water Affordability Act of 2009, on Wednesday that would give the EPA more flexibility in dealing with communities with sewer overflow problems and would create a $1.8 billion program over five years to provide federal grants up to 75 percent of a sewer project’s cost.  A similar provision in the Water Quality Investment Act (H.R. 1262) passed by the House of Representatives in March includes $2.5 billion in grants over five years for sewer overflow control grants.

In Kansas, a project to improve the city of Emporia’s water treatment plant is one of 39 drinking water infrastructure projects in the state selected to receive $360,000 in stimulus help. The money will pay for 20 percent of a $1.8 million project that has been on the city’s capital improvement plan for some time.

A valve malfunction led to a spill of about17,500 gallons of untreated sewage into the Pearl City area of Honolulu. City crews repaired the valve and were able to collect 105,000 gallons of sewage and transfer it back into the treatment system before it entered the harbor.

A large project in Dunwoody, Georgia that will double the size of a waterline bringing raw water from the Chattahoochee River to the reservoirs at a water treatment plant is slowly moving forward.

Sewer Rate News
Chouteau, Oklahoma
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
West Cape May, New Jersey

April 22, 2009

Wednesday Headlines: Water Main Break Floods Children’s Medical Center

Posted in Arizona, Indiana, Minnesota, Texas at 6:40 pm by bengann

Children’s Medical Center of Dallas was forced to turn away patients Wednesday morning as it dealt with water problems from a water main break that flooded the ground floor of the building.

Five communities in Northwest Indiana will see more than $3.4 million in grant money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve their wastewater and drinking water systems.

A partial blockage in a sewer line in Duluth, Minnesota caused a sanitary sewer overflow of 4,500 gallons on Tuesday. Residents should avoid contact with any sewer overflow due to the potential for exposure to disease-causing organisms.

An intersection in Tuscon, Arizona was closed after one of the cities four water lines broke causing a very large water outage.

The Utility Service Board in the town of Chesterton, Indiana has agreed to put a $4 million bond issue on the ballot to finance an ambitious package of wastewater infrastructure projects.

Sewer Rate News
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Memphis, Tennessee
Tulsa, Oklahoma

April 21, 2009

Tuesday Headlines: Rhode Island Town May Suspend Sewer Expansion

Posted in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, West Virginia at 11:31 pm by bengann

The Town Administrator of North Smithfield, Rhode Island has asked the Town Council to suspend a controversial town sewer expansion project for up to 60 days in response to criticism over the project’s cost. Some homeowners have voiced concerns about the long-term cost of the project, which is being financed by a $21-million sewer bond approved by voters in 2007.

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has announced that a total of 108 drinking water and wastewater projects will be partially funded by money from the economic stimulus.

The city of Lorain, Ohio will spend $3 million on the final phase of an Ohio EPA-mandated project to deal with the delivery and storage of sewage.  

Works crews have finished cleaning up a 14,000- gallon sewage spill in Winterville, North Carolina after a small split in a sewer pipe sent raw sewage onto a pathway and into an adjacent canal.

The Bureau of Reclamation will spend $1 billion in federal stimulus money on water-infrastructure projects, including about $88 million in the state of Arizona.

Sewer Rate News
Jacksonville, Florida
Manteno, Illinois
Pontiac, Illinois
Star City, West Virginia

April 20, 2009

Monday Headlines: Texas Reaching Decision on Stimulus Projects

Posted in Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas at 11:50 pm by bengann

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is in the process of reviewing approximately 1,000 applications for the state’s $340 million in economic stimulus funds for drinking water and sewer projects. The TWDB is focusing on shovel ready projects that make an immediate impact on the economy.

Three Pennsylania communities in the Johnstown Regional System will receive nearly $12 million in loan-interest loans through PENNVEST to meet state mandates to reduce sewer oveflows.

A day before the Bosotn Marathon, some  businesses had a mess on their hands on Sunday after a massive water main break flooded the streets.

A massive water main break in Bensalem, Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon caused the road to buckle and left nearly 300 homes without water.

Officials in Niagra Falls presented their plan on Monday for helping a group of residents recover from a ruptured water main that caused extensive damage to homes last month.

Sewer Rate News
Marion, Ohio
Monroe, Louisiana
Williamston, South Carolina

April 17, 2009

Friday Headlines: NYT Documents Deteriorationg Water Infrastructure

Posted in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, National, South Dakota at 5:49 pm by bengann

The New York Times has a story today on how it is becoming  more difficult for municipalities across the country to ignore their aging water infrastructure as the pipes break at an increasing frequency.  Here is the most relevant from the quote the story.

The new federal stimulus law provides $6 billion for water projects, with $2 billion of that directed to drinking water systems. But that money is only, well, a drop in the bucket: a report released last month by the E.P.A. estimated that the nation’s drinking water systems require an investment of $334.8 billion over the next two decades, with most of the money needed to improve transmission and distribution systems.

$56.5 million in federal stimulus  money from the Bureau of Reclamation will be used to build the second phase of the Lewis & Clark water treatment plant near Vermillion, South Dakota.

The state of Michigan is receiving $236 million under the economic stimulus plan to upgrade municipal water and sewer systems as part of a long-range effort to restore the Great Lakes.

A break in an old water main on South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, Florida is causing traffic detours this afternoon as crews complete repairs.

About one million gallons of water burst through the a broken water main drowning out an estimated $50,000 of lunch business across Estero Island in Southwest Florida.

Sewer Rate News
Alamosa, Colorado
Clarksdale, Arizona
Salisbury, Maryland
Sedona, Arizona

April 16, 2009

Thursday Headlines: Two Montana Projects Receive Help fron Bureau of Reclamation

Posted in California, Indiana, Montana, Ohio at 4:15 pm by bengann

Two major water projects in northcentral and northeastern Montana will receive $60 million in funding from the Bureau of Reclamation–as part of the federal stimulus package–to build water treatment plants and lay pipeline to deliver water to more rural communities.

The small town of Churubusco, Indiana will receive a grant of $1.3 million from the recently passed economic stimulus bill to begin improvements of its drinking water system.

According to an annual report just released by the city of Columbus, Ohio, it paid the state EPA a total of $270,500 for 562 overflows and leaks from its sanitary sewers last year. Columbus plans to spend $2.5 billion over 40 years to expand its sewer capacity and upgrade aging lines.

A San Diego intersection was closed during the Thursday morning rush hour as crews repair two major water main breaks in the area. About 120 customers were affected by the break.

Businesses in El Sobrante, California used sandbags and towels to stem the tide of water into their storefronts after a water main break Wednesday afternoon sent water gushing down the street and causing some flooding.

Sewer Rate News
Crown Point, Indiana
Richfield, Ohio
San Andreas, California
Sausalito, California

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