March 31, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Flooding Causes Sewer Overflows in Rhode Island

Posted in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island at 2:46 pm by bengann

The rapidly rising waters of the Pawtuxet River in Rhode Island caused unprecedented flooding at the West Warwick and Warwick sewage treatment plants yesterday, shutting down both plants and spreading untreated sewage. Such extensive flood damage of two major sewer plants has never happened before.

Approximately 25,000 people living in Harrison Township, Michigan were without water for almost 12 hours on Monday when the water main which serves as the connector to Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) broke. The township receives all its water from DWSD.

Work is now underway on the largest of four sewer projects in Evansville, Indiana. City officials say the project will improve service to 1,500 homes, should be a major step forward in fixing the city’s sewer and drainage system.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington has received $1.95 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund,  including $950,000 from the economic stimulus, for the purchase and installation of a manure bioenergy management facility.  

Congressman Baron Hill visited Columbus, Indiana yesterday to tour the new wastewater treatment facility currently under construction. Part of the $50 million cost of the projects is being offset by $4 million in economic stimulus funding.

Sewer Rate News
Mattoon, Illinois
Milltown, New Jersey
Tyrone Township, Michigan

March 30, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Chatham’s (Mass.) Wastewater Plan Will Not Be Blocked

Posted in California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina at 11:08 am by bradhannon

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has announced it will  not block the Town of Chatham’s $300 million wastewater project. Construction started several weeks ago and when completed should reduce the amount of nitrogen into coastal waters.

A water main break in Harrison Township, Michigan has affected 11,000 homes.  The incident is weather and age-related.  A boil alert is expected to be in place for 48 hours after the main is repaired.

The Santa Margarita Water District’s 24-inch iron wastewater pipe in Rancho Santa Margarita, California ruptured last Tuesday, leading Orange County public health officials to declare the surf off limits until the bacteria dissipated.  Three miles of southern Orange County coastline had been off-limits due to the sewage spill.

An 8-inch water main ruptured in southeast Portland, Oregon on Monday morning, leaving some residents without water and others with dirty water.  There’s significant buckling of the street pavement where the main break occurred.

Baltimore County, Maryland Public Works officials are responding to a sanitary sewer overflow that occurred Saturday from an 18-inch diameter gravity sewer line.  Officials said the spill released approximately 18,000 gallons.  The overflow was caused by a blockage in the line.

Stimulus Spotlight
A project involving the placing of water lines and sewer infrastructure in the Orangeburg, South Carolina area will receive federal funding.  The $4.5 million project will be funded with stimulus money and traditional Army Corps of Engineers appropriations, with the Lake Marion Regional Water Agency responsible for about 25 percent.  The project will include the placement of 9.5 miles of waterline.

Sewer Rate News
Lockport, Illinois
Reidsville, North Carolina
Vero Beach, Florida
Washington County, Maryland

March 26, 2010

Friday’s Water News: House Passes Bill to Expand Water Infrastructure Investment

Posted in California, Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, National, New York, Ohio, Virginia at 1:59 pm by bradhannon

On Wednesday, by a vote of 246-178, the House of Representatives passed the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act, which would among other things would eliminate the state volume cap currently in place for water and wastewater projects funded with private activity bonds. If passed, it is estimated that $5 billion annually in incremental private investment for water and wastewater infrastructure could be generated at a very low-cost to government.

A Broken water main caused flooding in northwest Redding, California.  A 12-inch water main broke before dawn and a utility truck responding to the broken water main got stuck in a sinkhole when the pavement collapsed under the front tires.

A coalition of municipal water suppliers from the Denver, Colorado area and Wyoming announced Thursday that they’re banding together to study a project.  Each utility in the coalition will contribute $20,000 to a feasibility study for a massive municipal water pipeline project called the Colorado-Wyoming Cooperative Water Supply Project, which would pipe water for 532,000 people.

In Missouri, the Kansas City Water Services Department report that Pied Creek Pump Station discharged an estimated 50,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater into a tributary of Walnut Lake.  The pumps at the station clogged causing the automatic controls at the pump station to malfunction.

Stimulus Spotlight
New York Governor David Paterson announced that $24 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding has been awarded to 206 energy conservation projects.  These funds will benefit a variety of facilities, including waste water treatment plants.

More stimulus money could be headed to the Zanesville, Ohio area via a federal-backed loan through the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service Program for water and waste disposal loans.  

Sewer Rate News
Berryville, Virginia
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Olean, New York
Vicksburg, Mississippi

March 25, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Water Main Break in Penn. Causes Mudslide

Posted in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania at 2:51 pm by bradhannon

A water main break this morning near in Brookline, Pennsylvania triggered a small mudslide and partially flooded the first floor of a nearby business.  Workers shut off the eight-inch water line and about 20 homes and businesses were without water.

A sanitary sewer overflow Wednesday from a manhole in Baltimore County, Maryland released about 15,000 gallons into the Loch Raven Watershed.

Residents in Oshtemo Township, Michigan may soon be able to connect to the city of Kalamazoo’s sewer system, as township officials move forward with a project that would run a line under U.S. 131 providing sewer service to many residences.  The project is expected to cost about $2.2 million.

Donora, Pennsylvania will receive $2.1 million in a low-interest loan from Pennvest to help pay for the remainder of the $4 million sewer project.  The money will be used to fund the construction of 27,400 linear feet of sanitary sewers that will serve 185 existing homes.

Stimulus Spotlight
In a recent Maryland Board of Public Works grant approval, Dorchester County received an additional $300,000 for its sanitary sewer project.  The $300,000 State Water Quality Grant, combined with a previous $700,000 state grant, more than $2 million in stimulus funds and more than $6.5 million in federal grants, allows Dorchester County to fund the design and construction of a low-pressure wastewater collection system.

Pembroke, Massachusetts received $1.4 million from economic development bonds, distributed by the county as part of the federal stimulus program, to replace about 8,000 feet of water lines to improve water pressure and quality as well as repave streets and fix drainage issues.

Sewer Rate News
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Lindenhurst, Illinois
Ware, Massachusetts

March 24, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Collapsed Sewer Line Leaks Wastewater into Missouri River

Posted in Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia at 10:24 am by bradhannon

A collapsed sewer line in Sioux City, Iowa wasn’t fixed for a week and spilled about one million gallons of untreated wastewater into the Missouri River.  The line break happened when saturated soil slid into a ravine, carrying a section of the pipeline with it.

In Virginia, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last week to approve a $1.8 million water line extension to the Berry Hill mega park.  The 16-inch line will bring water two and a half miles to a 4,000-acre industrial park.

Town officials in Oyster Bay, New York said Tuesday they plan to approve a $14.3-million bond issue for upgrades to the Plainview Water District.

Stimulus Spotlight
The decades-old system in Houma, Louisiana requires major upgrades that parish officials are planning to pay for through a $15 million loan from the state by way of the federal government’s stimulus package. The 20-year loan, which has a .95 percent interest rate, would be paid off using sewer fees.

A $6.4 million grant from the economic stimulus will allow Wheeling, West Virginia to begin construction this summer on a project that will build another water tower and loop the entire system.

Sewer Rate News
Belhaven, North Carolina
Indianapolis, Indiana
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Washington, Indiana

March 23, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Work Started on New Mexico Water Project

Posted in Florida, Iowa, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, West Virginia at 10:58 am by bradhannon

Survey work in New Mexico has begun on the western portion of the Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project, an undertaking that promises 250,000 American Indian residents drinking water by the year 2040.  The $870 million project will divert nearly 38,000 acre-feet of water it will consist of 260 miles of pipeline and 24 pumping plants.

In Florida, the West Palm Beach City Commission appeared to embrace  a water supply and treatment plan officials said will improve the quality and quantity of the city water supply at the lowest long-term cost.  The new upgrades would cost $72.7 million with an annual operating cost of $6.2 million. They will be funded through bonds.

About 600 customers in the small Seminole County community of Konawa, Oklahoma have gone without drinking water or with limited water since last Thursday because of a combination of a pump breakdown and water line leaks.

Stimulus Spotlight
West Virginia American Water got the go-ahead Monday for an $11 million project to upgrade or replace water lines from Belle to Montgomery.  Members of the Kanawha County Commission gave approval for the water company to secure $11 million in low-interest loans to complete the project. Funding will be through a federal economic stimulus program that pays 45 percent of the interest on the loans.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced economic funding for three projects in western Iowa to improve water quality and public sanitation services.

Sewer Rate News
Dunkirk, New York
Ewing, New Jersey
Red Bank, New Jersey

March 22, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Azle, Texas Gets $14.6M Loan for Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

Posted in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas at 7:59 pm by bengann

In Texas, the City of Azle is getting a $14.6 million loan from the state Water Development Board to upgrade a wastewater treatment plant as part of an effort to meet tougher state and federal environmental standards.

Gilroy, California saved $1.8 million by refinancing a set of bonds used to finance the city and region’s sewer systems, and will use the savings to build a pipeline to the Pajaro River, a project that had been cut due to insufficient funding.

Following an early morning water main break today in Lincoln, Illinois, classes were canceled at the local high school, residents were told to boil their water, and special arrangements were made at the hospital, nursing homes and schools where classes remained in session.

Stimulus Spotlight
Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak has announced the city of Cheboygan will receive a $3.1 million loan from the economic stimulus to make water system improvements.  In addition, 47 jobs will be created or retained as a result of the funding.

Norwich, Connecticut is using $1.3 million from the economic stimulus to refurbish two water tanks and install updated, efficient pumping systems at the two locations.

Sewer Rate News
Boonton, New Jersey
Fremont, Ohio
Marion, Ohio

March 19, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Water Main Break in Cincinnati Causes Floods

Posted in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 11:03 am by bradhannon

A water main breakage on Clifton Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio flooded the surrounding area Thursday night at approximately 11 p.m.  The water has flooded the area around Good Samaritan Hospital, but the hospital is still accessible from Ludlow Avenue. A was car parked when the water main broke and the owner has been unable to move the vehicle. The car has been filled with water but police said moving it would be too dangerous.


A broken sewer main resulted in the release of untreated wastewater into Ramsey Branch in Jackson, Missouri according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The City of Bedford, Virginia has agreed to spend $100,000 on sewer line upgrades in response to a number of sewage spills during heavy rainstorms.  The agreement says the city will replace a number of sewer lines and examine other pipes to see where the water comes from.

A main water line in Rayburn Township, Pennsylvania erupted yesterday causing businesses and nearly 200 residents to be without water yesterday afternoon.  The ground was saturated and it shifted. A rock punctured a hole about the size of a fist in the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron pipe.

Stimulus Spotlight

Illinois will get more than $15 million in stimulus grants and loans for water system improvement projects.  U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the idea is to create jobs and protect public health by improving water quality and public sanitation services.

Construction spending in Nevada will drop more than 10 percent in 2010 compared with 2009, but increases in federal stimulus dollars will cushion the decline.  $224 million will be spent on water infrastructure, up from $167 million in 2009.

Sewer Rate News

Reidsville, North Carolina
Clarinda, Iowa
Medford, Oregon

March 18, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Collapsed Sewer Pipe in Mo. Leaks Sewage

Posted in California, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, West Virginia at 10:51 am by bradhannon

For the second time in three weeks, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources was in Callaway County looking into another sewage overflow.  A collapsed sewer pipe led to the release of an unknown amount of sewage into a tributary of the Middle River from Sunday until Tuesday.


Water line work in Picayune, Mississippi to provide water to residents along Miss. 43N is well underway.  When complete, the water system, under the Pearl River County Utility Authority, also will provide extra water to the city of Picayune.

A one-block stretch of a residential street in Santa Ana, California was closed today due to flooding from a water main rupture.

One of Orange, New Jersey’s 100-year-old water mains broke today, posing possible health risks to residents, officials said.  Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. released a statement asking residents to boil their water before drinking it.

Stimulus Spotlight

The city of Hayti, Missouri broke ground on a new $2.8 million water treatment facility Wednesday.  More than $3 million in federal stimulus grants were secured for this project and other projects in the city.

A public sewage system should be complete come December for residents in the Lanark, West Virginia area, officials say.  The state Department of Environmental Protection, through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, is funding $6.9 million for the project, federal stimulus money provided $2.4 million.

Sewer Rate News

Ashland, Oregon
Boonton, New Jersey
Elburn, Illinois

March 17, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: U.S. Mayors Say Billions Needed for Water Infrastructure

Posted in Minnesota, National, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington at 6:31 pm by bengann

A new report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors finds that water and sewer rates for American households will double to quadruple over the next 20 years. The report forecasts future spending for public water and wastewater systems will range between $2.5 and $4.8 trillion over the next 20 year period 2009 to 2028. Over the last 53 years, local governments have invested $1.6 trillion.

The City of Pipestone, Minnesota has spent $7.5 million over the past decade  to repair and replace water and wastewater infrastructure, trying to stanch the flow of excess water getting into the wastewater treatment system through inflow and infiltration.

Some Orange, New Jersey residents have been asked to boil their water after one of townships 100-year-old water mains broke today, posing possible health risks.

Stimulus Spotlight
Among the approximately $50 million Oklahoma City received in economic stimulus money, $4 million has been allocated for sewer and water main construction and replacement.

Thanks to the economic stimulus, a project in Hanford, Washington is building a larger “pump and treat system” that will pump water out of the ground, remove hexavalent chromium and then reinject the clean water into the ground.

Sewer Rate News
Burton, Ohio
Crossville, Tennessee
Red Bank, New Jersey

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