November 30, 2009

Monday’s Water News: Oklahoma Uses Stimulus for Drinking Water Projects

Posted in California, Idaho, Illinois, Oklahoma, Washington at 2:04 pm by bengann

Federal stimulus money will be used to fund more than 20 drinking water projects in Oklahoma, expanding old water treatment plants and services and bringing some providers into compliance with health and environmental standards.

Crews worked throughout the night to fix a water main break that shut down the water to the Boise State University student union building.

A water main ruptured early Saturday near Hancock Park in Los Angeles, flooding a street and forcing customers to lose service.

Stimulus Spotlight
Washington Governor Christine Gregoire and the state Department of Ecology have approved clean water projects in Olympia, Spokane, and Seattle worth a total of $5.6 million in economic stimulus funding.

Thanks to federal stimulus money, the city of Washington, Illinois will save $3.9 million on a $7.6 million loan it received from the Illinois EPA to begin the expansion of a water treatment plant.

Sewer Rate News
Eureka, California
Gig Harbor, Washington
Salinas, California

November 24, 2009

Tuesday’s Water News: Arkansas City Approves $18m for Sewer Projects

Posted in Arkansas, Illinois, National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia at 4:20 pm by bradhannon

In Jacksonville, Arkansas, the city council has approved $18 million in bonding authority for a series of projects to rehabilitate its aging sewer system.

A break in a 36-inch water main in Arlington, Virginia has caused traffic delays and flooded some basements.

At a recent public meeting, the Allegheny County (Penn.) Regional Sanitary Sewer Authority estimated that it will cost “several billion” dollars to fix the region’s aging sewer systems.

Stimulus Spotlight
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the selection of $117.3 million in water and environmental project loans and grants that are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for rural water projects.  The funding will support 31 water and wastewater projects in 17 states.

In Illinois, after months of waiting, the city of Spring Valley will receive nearly $5 million in stimulus funding for the three water and sewer projects. The funding is a no-interest loan which includes forgiveness for 25 percent of the loan. The city will have 20 years to repay the balance.

Sewer Rate News
Athens Borough, Pennsylvania
Columbus, Ohio
Lima, Ohio
Mapleton, Utah

November 23, 2009

Monday’s Water News: Communities Struggle with Sewer Overflows

Posted in California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, National, Pennsylvania, Texas at 8:11 pm by bradhannon

Yesterday, The New York Times as part of its ongoing series on the worsening pollution in America’s waters, focused on the alarming number of sewer overflows across the country. The article cites data from the EPA that  in the last three years alone, more than 9,400 of the nation’s 25,000 sewage systems have reported violating the Clean Water Act by dumping untreated or partly treated human waste, chemicals and other hazardous materials into rivers and lakes and streams.

A water main ruptured in St. Paul, Minnesota neighborhood soaking basements  and made for a hectic weekend of cleanup. Homeowners will be able to file claims with the city to recover damages to their homes and belongings.

Crews were working Saturday to repair a break in a 14-inch water main that caused a sinkhole and flooding in the Los Angeles community of Stevenson Ranch.

Major upgrades are underway to improve water service for some residents of Springfield, Illinois. The project includes two additional water storage tanks and water main extensions.

Stimulus Spotlight
The city of Clare, Michigan is one of six communities receiving stimulus funds for water and wastewater upgrades.  A $3 million loan to the city of Clare is part of $31.5 million made available to six Michigan communities to improve their drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

The Texas Water Development Board has approved a $31.8 million loan to the city of Austin to finance wastewater system improvements. The loan comes from the economic stimulus and portions of the project qualify for the green infrastructure provisions in the stimulus.

Sewer Rate News
Keokuk, Iowa
Limerick, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Southmont, Pennsylvania

November 20, 2009

Friday’s Water News: Water Main Break Floods Parking Lot in Sacramento

Posted in California, Florida, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont at 5:04 pm by bradhannon

Residents of a South Sacramento apartment complex are waking up to a flooded parking lot after an overnight water main break. Water was high enough to in the apartment parking lot to flood the interiors of some cars and several cars stalled out in the two-feet deep water and had to be pushed out of the water.

School ended early Thursday in Morristown, New York after a water-main break near the lobby flooded hallways.  District Superintendent David J. Glover said the main broke due to age, forcing officials to send students home around 9:30 a.m.

Two water main breaks today in Columbia, Missouri  has disrupted water service and, in some areas, diverted traffic. Bystanders were taking pictures of the flood as it flowed high under cars parked along the side of the street. One car was towed to allow access to the break.

Stimulus Spotlight
Competition has emerged for utilities looking for loans to extend water pipes. Waterline extensions are almost always paid for with borrowed money. The Obama Administration’s economic stimulus program includes an offer to have the federal government pay 45 percent of the cost of interest payments for public works projects’ financing through revenue bonds.

In Florida the Haines City Commission on Thursday approved two water projects totaling $2.3 million that will be financed almost entirely by federal stimulus money.

Vermont’s congressional delegation  announced that the village of Barton will receive $2.8 million for water system improvements funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Sewer Rate News
Colusa, California
Harrisburg, South Dakota
London, Ohio
Sayre, Pennsylvania

November 19, 2009

Thursday’s Water News: Water Main Replacement in North Cumberland County (Penn.)

Posted in California, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin at 4:35 pm by bradhannon

People who live and work on Packers Island in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania  may finally be able to look forward to reliable water service. A water main that caused trouble last year is being replaced underneath the Susquehanna River bed. The $700,000 project will replace the existing main that supplies water from the Milton water treatment plant to about 130 homes and business on Packers Island.

A water main break caused traffic delays in Santa Cruz, California after a ruptured water main swamped Highway 9, trapping motorists on Wednesday.

A water main break sent hundreds of gallons of water rushing down a busy road on Cincinnati’s westside overnight and caused some damage to the road.

A 12-inch water main break this morning in Baltimore County affected about 120 homes and caused traffic detours.

Stimulus Spotlight
Liberty, Missouri  is getting $1.47 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to make improvements to some of the city’s worst sewer lines.

The village of Fort Plain in Montgomery County, New York will receive $1.7 million in federal stimulus aid to improve its municipal water system.

Sewer Rate News
Erie, Pennsylvania
Okaloosa, Florida
Polson, Montana
Spring Valley, Wisconsin

November 18, 2009

Wednesday’s Water News: $1.8 Million Project to Begin in Wilmington, N.C.

Posted in Alabama, Arizona, California, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio at 1:15 pm by bradhannon

Work will begin soon in Wilmington, North Carolina on a $1.8 million  project downtown which includes the replacement of sewer and water pipes and storm drains, as well as a new road, sidewalks and traffic signals.

The city of Aurora, Ohio has moved one step closer to securing $830,000 in state funds for the cleaning and relining of four water mains. The city’s share for the cost of the project is $800,000 and is expected to take about six months to complete

A water main break in Hackensack, New Jersey flooded a local street washing mud onto the road and causing a 20-foot sinkhole.  Approximately 200 people and nearby businesses were affected by the break.

Stimulus Spotlight
Groundbreaking for New Hampshire’s largest stimulus-funded water project began yesterday.  The town of Seabrook is receiving $5 million from the economic stimulus for construction of a new drinking water treatment plant. 

A Stark County drinking water project and four sewer projects in Wayne, Stark and Portage counties are getting federal stimulus funds and state loans from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Sewer Rate News
Baxter, Minnesota
DeKalb, Alabama
Henderson, Nevada
Kingman, Arizona
San Diego, California

November 17, 2009

Tuesday’s Water News: Water Main Break Floods Homes in Oregon Community

Posted in California, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, Wyoming at 11:05 pm by bradhannon

A broken water main in a Roseburg, Oregon neighborhood caused flooding and damaged some area homes. The force of the water was so strong, it caused the street to bubble up and crews had to take out that section of road and make repairs. 

Two major intersections in Warner Robbins, Georgia were closed this evening as crews tried to repair a massive water main break that flooded businesses and stopped traffic throughout the afternoon.

The rash of water main breaks that have flooded streets, homes and business and snarled traffic across Los Angeles over the last few months might have been triggered by minor increases in pressure because of an unusually full reservoir and fluctuations after a trunk line ruptured.

After 10 years of work, a $10 million budget, 26 miles of meandering pipeline, and one year of construction, the 450 people living in the town of Bear River, Wyoming will have clean water coming out of their faucets by Christmas time.

Stimulus Spotlight
In record time, the California Water Resources Control Board has completed awarding its full allotment of $270.5 million in federal stimulus funds for clean water projects that protect public health and the environment, and create jobs for Californians.

Over 96 percent of stimulus funds allocated for water quality projects in Minnesota are invested in projects that have already broken ground. The rate is the best in the nation whereas the national average is 48 percent.

Sewer Rate News
Amesbury, Massachusetts
Fort Scott, Kansas
Kenner, Louisiana
Spotsylvania, Virginia

November 16, 2009

Monday’s Water News: Billion Gallons of Sewer Overflows into the Hudson River

Posted in Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, New York, Ohio at 8:48 pm by bengann

Aging sewer systems in New York’s Capital Region are dumping 1.2 billion gallons of watered-down, untreated sewage into the Hudson River each year, according to a new report issued by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission.

Authorities in La Mesa, California were trying to determine today what caused a 6-inch cast-iron water main to rupture, leaving 32 residences without water.

Last week heavy rains and high tides contributed to a sanitary sewer overflow at the wastewater facility in Solomons, Maryland.

A water main break in Indianapolis disrupted morning rush hour traffic on Friday on the city’s Northside. The pipe that failed was installed in 1940. This year there have been 417 water main breaks in Indianapolis, and last year there were 578.

Stimulus Spotlight
The city of Livingston, Montana will receive an additional $750,000 in economic stimulus funds for its wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project.

Sewer Rate News
Attica, Ohio
Elgin, Illinois
Kingman, Arizona
Troy, Ohio

November 13, 2009

Friday’s Water News: Philadelphia Proposes Stormwater Plan

Posted in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania at 4:56 pm by bradhannon

Philadelphia’s proposal for an ambitious stormwater plan comes with a catch. The cost to taxpayers would be at or above the upper limit of EPA’s affordability criteria because residents could see their yearly wastewater bill increase 230% over the next 20 years. Philadelphia is required  by the EPA to reduce combined sewer overflows by 85% — or face hefty fines for non-compliance.

North Dakota’s state Water Commission is moving forward with plans for a $15.3 million upgrade to the system of canals and pipes that drains Devils Lake floodwaters into the Sheyenne River.

Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District  has awarded contracts totaling more than $1.4 million to five communities for storm-water control.

A water main break that created problems for one of Indianapolis’ busiest intersections Friday morning was repaired in time for the evening commute. But no sooner had crews fixed that leak than another sprang up this afternoon.

Stimulus Spotlight
Next week, the city of La Salle, Illinois will begin construction on a new wastewater treatment plant that is being funded with $15 million from the economic stimulus.

Sewer Rate News
Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Keene, New Hampshire
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jerome,  Arizona

November 12, 2009

Thursday’s Water News: Water Main Break Slows Traffic on Capital Beltway

Posted in Arkansas, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia at 8:13 pm by bengann

A water main break affecting the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway snarled traffic in the Washington, D.C. suburbs on Thursday and is expected to cause delays for commuters through Friday morning. The failed 10-inch main was buried 11 feet underground making it difficult fix the broken pipe.

Akron (Ohio) City Council has approved an agreement with the EPA that is expected to result in the city spending hundreds of millions of dollars to address combined sewer overflow.

Water sample tests from the Hudson River and its tributaries in Rensselaer County, New York have come back with bacteria levels exceeding state limits. The bacteria levels were a result of sewer overflows into the river and creeks from the out-dated infrastructure.

Raw sewage spilled into Columbia, South Carolina’s three major rivers and Lake Murray on Wednesday as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida soaked the city and overwhelmed wastewater treatment systems.

Stimulus Spotlight
An environmental assessment of a proposed multi-county water line extension in Arkansas has determined the project has no adverse consequences and will allow the project to proceed. The $12 million in funding for the construction project includes a $6 million federal stimulus grant.

Sewer Rate News
Gainesville, Georgia
Glenview, Illinois
Laureldale, Pennsylvania
Newark, Delaware

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