July 31, 2009

Friday’s Water News: Sewage Closes Busy Iowa Vacation Site

Posted in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, National, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 3:42 pm by pjtabit

Vacationers hoping to cool off in Iowa’s Big Spirit Lake have been sent home after a broken sewer main spilled an unknown amount of raw waste in a section  of the lake.

Headlines
A water main break in Scranton, Pennsylvania has left 300 residents without water. A Pennsylvania American Water spokesperson decline to estimate how long repairs would take or when water would be restored.

A 20-inch water main in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania ruptured on Thursday sending thousands of gallons of water into city streets.

While firefighters battled flames in York, Pennsylvania, a 6-inch water main ruptured just one block away, adding to the confusion for city officials.  Officials have not yet determined whether the water being drown from hydrants at the fire site may have triggered the burst.

Stimulus Spotlight
Mascoutah and Hamel, Illinois will invest a combined $2.1 million in various drinking water and clean water projects including installation of 9,000 feet of 12-inch water pipe, and repair of a underground water pump.

New statistics show stimulus funding for clean water and drinking water has been slow to get out the door, as the EPA has paid out only $30 million of the available $6 billion.

According to a new report from IHS Global Insight, despite funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), instracture spending is still set to decline by 4.3% in 2009. The report also states that spending will increase marginally in 2011 as the economy recovers and the stimulus package is fully implemented.

Sewer Rates
Kansas City, Missouri
Galion, Ohio
Vero Beach, Florida

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July 30, 2009

Thursday’s Water News: Aging Sewer System Closes Lake Erie Beaches

Posted in Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, National, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont at 3:15 pm by pjtabit

Vacationers hoping to enjoy the beaches of Lake Erie (N.Y.) are increasingly being turned away due to polluted waters. According to officials in Lake Erie County, the region’s aging sewer system can no longer handle demand prompting beach closures after only a half  inch of rain in a 24-hour period.

Headlines
Officials in Des Moines, Iowa have closed a busy downtown street and the adjacent YMCA indefinitely in reponse to a water main break earlier today.  The cause of the break is unknown.

Increased federal investment in water infrastructure is providing a lifeline to many struggling utility companies, a Forbes publication reports.  One firm, for example,  has seen profits double as a result of the investment.

Washington based group, the Aspen Institute, has released a report titled “Sustainable Water Systems: Step One – Redefining the Nation’s Infrastructure Challenge.” In addition to making recommendations for improving the health of the nation’s water systems, the report also outlines strategies for constructing sustainable water infrastructure.

Stimulus Spotlight
In a special vote, residents of Bellows Falls, Vermont authorized $6 million in sewer improvements. The town will apply for stimulus funds to cover the projects’ costs.

New York state will award $80 million in federal stimulus money to green clean water infrastructure projects as part of an effort to cut down on water contamination that has been responsible for dozens of beach closures this year.

Sewer Rates
Monticello, Georgia
Peru, Illinois
Abington, Massachusetts

July 29, 2009

Wednesday’s Water News: EPA Sues West Virginia Town Regarding Failing Sewage System

Posted in Alabama, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, National, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia at 3:13 pm by pjtabit

The EPA has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Fort Gay, West Virginia. The suit alleges the town is allowing malfunctioning sewer pumps to discharge raw waste into the town’s drinking water supply.

Headlines
A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Counsel notes that beach warnings and shutdowns resulting from water quality concerns have surpassed 20,000 for the fourth consecutive year. The study also states that most contamination occurs when waste water collection systems become overwhelmed by heavy rainfalls.

The city of Stockton, California will pay $4 million to the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance to settle a lawsuit, filed under the Clean Water Act, which alleged that 1,530 sewage spills in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have endangered public health.

Travelers in Colfax, Idaho are facing delays after a morning water main break on U.S. Highway 195 reduced traffic to one land in each direction.

Stimulus Spotlight
Monroe City, Missouri will use $1.4 million in stimulus funds to make repairs and improvements to its water distribution system. Announcing the plan, State Senator Wes Shoemyer noted that the thirty year old system could “no longer keep up with the demands placed on it.”

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire says the town of Metaline will get $600,000 in federal stimulus money plus another federal grant of nearly $1 million to pay for 320,000-gallon water storage tank, a filtration plant and new water meters for the town of 175 residents.

Sewer Rates
Boulder, Colorado
Dothan, Alabama
Leesburg, Virginia

July 28, 2009

Tuesday’s Water News: Sewage Spill Closes Beaches in Long Beach

Posted in California, Florida, Michigan, National, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina at 3:20 pm by pjtabit

Two pumps in the Bixby Terrace neighborhood of Long Beach, California failed Sunday, sending 1,000 gallons of untreated sewage into Los Alamitos Bay.  Officials say the Long Beach sewage spills are fairly common, usually caused by spills in upstream cities.

Headlines
A new report from a House of Representatives committee  confirms infrastructure projects have saved or created 49,377 jobs, more than double the number in the previous month.  The report also notes that only 142 projects, out of 5,079 that will receive stimulus funds, have been completed.

One hundred homes in Pass-A-Grille, Florida are left without water after a water main break Monday night.  Businesses in the area are also struggling to maintain normal operations while repairs are being done.

The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati is planning to sell municipal bonds worth $150 million on August 10 to fund capital upgrades aimed at curbing sewer overflows and  repairs required by the EPA.

Stimulus Spotlight
Stimulus funds will finance $2.4 million in repairs to the sewer system in Jamestown, North Dakota.  The repairs will address lack of capacity that has lead to raw sewage dumps into the James River in the past.

Sewer Rates
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Las Flores, California
West Branch, Michigan

July 27, 2009

Monday’s Water News: Michigan Wants to Change Name of CSOs

Posted in Arizona, California, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee at 5:04 pm by bengann

In Michigan, combined sewer overflows (CSOs) may be getting a new name. The state’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have suggested that CSOs, of partially treated stormwater and sanitary sewage, should be called “retention treatment basin discharges.” The state’s DEQ argues that the RTB label is a better one, because not all CSOs receive partial treatment in the state.

Headlines
Two northbound lanes on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco were shut down on Sunday leaving tourist-season traffic gridlocked and dozens of residents without water for several hours after an overnight break in a 100-year-old water main.

More than 7 million gallons of combined sewage overflowed from the Saginaw Wastewater Treatment Plant in Michigan after rain last week.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority has awarded $27.3 million in federal stimulus funds to communities across the state for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

A total of 40 North Carolina communities in 31 counties have been awarded more than $45 million in stimulus funding for drinking water, stormwater and wastewater projects.

Sewer Rate News
Cottonwood, Arizona
Las Flores, California
Mosheim, Tennessee
West Branch, Michigan

July 24, 2009

Friday’s Water News: Major Water Main Break in San Antonio

Posted in California, Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas at 3:30 pm by bengann

A large water-main break Thursday flooded a neighborhood street on San Antonio’s Northeast Side and did serious damage to people’s driveways leaving quite a mess.

Headlines
The Borough Council of Blairsville, Pennsylvania at its Tuesday night meeting recognized the approval of more than $13.4 million in state funding to expand its sewage treatment plant and to help reduce storm sewer infiltration that places an unnecessary burden on the plant.

In California, the Town of Hillsborough and the neighborhood of Burlingame Hills have agreed to improve their wastewater treatment systems to the point that within five years they have fewer than five spills per year in each area.

The second water main break to occur in downtown Dover, New Jersey in the past two days left an additional 40 homes and 10 businesses under a boil water advisory on Thursday.
 
Stimulus Spotlight
Another round of stimulus fund announcements will bring $5.5 million more to the community of Fort Madison, Iowa this time for its water treatment facility.

Sewer Rate News
Ontario, Ohio
Riverbank, California

July 23, 2009

Thursday’s Water News: Car Driven into Sinkhole After Water Main Break Erodes Ground

Posted in Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Pennsylvania at 3:58 pm by Colleen Wetherill

In Alamogordo, New Mexico, a driver did not see a hazard in the road and drove his car into a sinkhole. A water main break possibly caused by corroded a pipe eroded the ground and formed the sinkhole that the driver did not avoid.

Headlines
Owners of property along East Blackwell Street in Dover, New Jersey were told to boil tap water on Wednesday before using it to cook, clean, or drink, due to a water main break that occurred earlier that morning.

The state of Pennsylvania has targeted $355 million for 111 clean-water projects, which will include several projects within the northeast region.

Work on the rehabilitation of sewer in the Eden area of Pell City, Alabama should begin sometime next week. The project is one of several that is required by a 2006 agreement between the city and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

Stimulus Spotlight
More than $3.2 million in federal stimulus funds have been earmarked for the city of Long Beach, California’s effort to improve the the Colorado Lagoon’s water quality.

Sewer Rate News
Riverbank, California
Farmingham, Massachusetts
Hayward, California

July 22, 2009

Wednesday’s Water News: Water Main Break Stalls Boston Traffic, Floods Cars

Posted in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin at 5:31 pm by pjtabit

An overnight water main break opened a massive sinkhole in Boston’s South End.  Authorities warned there would be “major delays” during the morning commute and asked people to avoid the area.

Headlines
Increased investment in water and sewer infrastructure has spurred one Ohio business to increase its workforce by 15 percent. Says the president and CEO, Llewellyn Rhone, “a lot of the infrastructure here was put into practice in the early 1900s, we hope to repair and replace the old pipes underground.”

Residents of East Conemaugh Borough, Pennsylvania will benefit from $6.4 million in state aid to help bring their sewage system up to state standards.  The investment is part of $355 million in state aid, announced Tuesday by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, for 111 green infrastructure projects in 47 counties.

An inadequate sewer system in Ironton, Ohio  succumbs to heavy rains, sending sewage, yard debris, and other waste into residents’ yards.  Residents complain that the system has repeatedly failed causing thousands of dollars in personal property damage.

Stimulus Spotlight
$39 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds will finance twenty three water and sewer projects across the state of Georgia.  Additional funds will come from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) which allocates funding received from the federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

Lake Havasu City, Arizona will benefit from $2 million in stimulus funds, as well as other assistance, as they phase out aging septic tanks and upgrade their sewer system.

Sewer Rate News
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
King George County, Virginia
Grand Chute, Wisconsin

July 21, 2009

Tuesday’s Water News: Sewage Line Break Sends Waste Through UGA Campus

Posted in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia at 5:39 pm by bengann

A broken 18-inch sewer line sent raw sewage rushing through the University of Georgia campus on Monday. Workers had hoped to replace the section of broken pipe Monday evening, but as they excavated the clay pipe from the stream bank, the crew discovered that the length of damaged pipe was longer than expected – at least 10 feet. Instead of repairing the break right away, workers installed a temporary fix and planned to repair the break today.

Headlines
A Kalamazoo, Michigan street was expected to reopen today after work to repair damage from a water-main break took longer than expected. City workers are behind schedule because the break, which occurred on Sunday, caused damage to a storm sewer, a couple of sewer leads and a water-service lead to a nearby house.

In New York, crews were working into the evening yesterday to repair a water main break that is a major source of water for thousands of people in the city of Rensselaer and the towns of North Greenbush, East Greenbush and Schodack.

Stimulus Spotlight
In Ohio, part of Wyandot County’s federal stimulus money will go toward a first-ever sewer system for the village of Wharton and a sewer improvement project in the village of Carey.

More than $4 million in stimulus money will help upgrade Pittsford, Vermont’s water system after the USDA awarded the town a $2.1 million grant along with a $2.6 million loan.

Sewer Rate News
Bethlehem, West Virginia
Lake Jackson, Texas
Marco Island, Florida
Smyth County, Virginia

July 20, 2009

Monday’s Water News: 70 Year Old Water Main Fails, Causes Boil Advisory and Road Closures

Posted in Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming at 5:37 pm by pjtabit

A water main break in Kalamazoo, Michigan closed streets and required a water boil advisory that is still in effect.  City officials noted that the age of the pipe likely caused its failure.

Headlines
An effective sewage system in San Marcos, Texas allows residents to recycle water, solving the city’s drought problem.  According to city officials, the water “meets Type 1 designation which is approved for uses where public contact is likely.”

A water main break in Honesdale, Pennsylvania has resulted in a water boil advisory for residents while the Department of Environmental Protection tests water quality.

Stimulus Spotlight
Virginia is investing $1 billion in stimulus funds in highway and sewer projects.  An additional $4.8 billion in stimlus funds is expected.

Federal stimulus funds will jumpstart a flood control project and bridge construction in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In addition, the city will invest $1.15 in water mains and sewers surrounding the work site.

Sewer Rate News
Jackson, Wyoming
Corsicana, Texas
Joliet, Illinois

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