May 25, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: State Asks Charlottesville (Va.) Asks to Address Sewer Overflows

Posted in Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia at 4:49 pm by bengann

Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has become so concerned about the City of Charlottesville’s repeated sewage overflow problems that it is demanding the city take immediate action. The DEQ says since July 2008 Charlottesville’s waste system has back-up and dumped sewage into creeks and streams at least 40 times. 

Residents in Adrian, Michigan were advised to avoid contact with the River Raisin after an estimated 500,000 gallons of diluted sewage spilled from sewer pipes during heavy rain Friday night and early Saturday morning.

Water shot more than 20 feet into the air Tuesday morning in Raleigh, North Carolina because of a broken valve to a water main under the ground.

More than 100,000 gallons of sewage spilled from a pumping station overnight in Severna Park, Maryland, leading health officials to close Cypress Creek to swimming, skiing and other direct-contact activities.

Stimulus Spotlight
The construction of water and sewer lines and a water tank to serve the newly built General Mills distribution facility in Social Circle, Georgia is expected to come in $200,000 under budget. A grant from the economic stimulus covered 80 percent of the $1.4 million project.

Sewer Rate News
Birch Run, Michigan
Grandville, Michigan
Independence, Missouri
Waynesboro, Virginia

May 24, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Forces Cornell University to Close Art Buildings

Posted in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia at 4:45 pm by bengann

Cornell University’s Foundry–which house art studios on campus–are closed until further notice after water from a main break eroded the ground around the building. Civil engineers are developing a plan to stabilize the bank so the building may be reopened.

Early Sunday morning, an eight-inch water main broke outside a hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado spilling thousands of gallons of water onto a road and into the basement of the hospital. It took crews approximately two hours to shut off the flow of water.

The Associated Press has a story on the problem small Oregon communities are having in addressing repairs to their sewage systems. “Ten or 15 years from now, people will be paying routinely $200, $300 a month bills for sanitary sewer service,” said  Hermiston City Manager Ed  Brookshier. “And people will realize, Wow, what happened here.”

Stimulus Spotlight
A project in Antioch, California that reuses water for landscaping at parks and green spaces throughout the city is receiving $787,000 in economic stimulus funds from the Bureau of Reclamation. Without the stimulus money, it would take 44 years for the recycled water costs to break even with current water costs.

The city of Virginia, Illinois is receiving a loan from the EPA via the economic stimulus to construct a lime-softening plant, five wells and a 300,000-gallon water tower that should be online by March 2011.

Sewer Rate News
Block Island, Rhode Island
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Lewisboro, New York
Louisville, Kentucky

May 21, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Sioux City (Iowa) Wants More Time for Treatment Plant

Posted in California, Iowa, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia at 2:19 pm by bengann

Leaders in Sioux City, Iowa and major industrial users are asking the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DVR) for more time to get a wastewater treatment plant in compliance with state regulations. In 2006, the Iowa DNR gave Sioux City five years to get its new wastewater treatment plant up and running. It spent more than $70 million on a new treatment process but wants more time to evaluate the plants capacity.


The City of Poughkeepsie, New York will use $325,000 in federal funds to repair a century-old sewer line. Funding for the project will come from a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The city receives approximately $1 million each year in CDBG funding.

Clarksville, Virginia is seeking a grant from USDA for the construction of a sewer upgrade project. Like many larger communities, the town experiences sewer overflows during periods of heavy rains.

A private consultant has told the Town Council in Front Royal, Virginia that it could cost more than $1.7 million for a complete upgrade to the town’s sanitary sewer manholes.

Water crews in Albuquerque, New Mexico were still working this morning to fix a water main break. The break flooded a street and has led to water outages. One motel guest affected by the break said he woke up with no water and couldn’t take a shower.

A broken 16-inch water main caused a sinkhole in San Diego early today, shutting down an intersection for what could be the rest of the day.

Sewer Rate News
Brandon, South Dakota
South Pittsburg, Tennessee
Ventnor City, New Jersey

May 20, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Tax Extenders Bill Has Good News for Water Infrastructure

Posted in Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, National, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon at 5:19 pm by bengann

Today, Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Chairman  of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, released an agreement on a “Tax Extenders” bill (H.R. 4213) which includes a provision that would exempt water and wastewater projects funded via private activity bonds (PAB) from the state volume cap.

The Senate Finance Committee estimates the PAB provision will cost $372 million over 10 years, and is identical to the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act (S. 3262) introduced several weeks ago by Sen. Menendez (D-N.J.). A summary of H.R. 4213, the “Tax Extenders” bill, can be found here.

Oak Lawn, Illinois will use a $40 million loan from the state’s EPA to jump-start its water distribution system upgrade. The total cost of the project that would modernize the waterworks and increase its pumping capacity is between $100 million and $200 million.

Work crews in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey worked Wednesday night to repair a large sinkhole on State Route 17 created by a water main break.

Stimulus Spotlight
In New Mexico, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority has started a $30 million irrigation project will add new pipeline to pump treated wastewater to parks, fields and other recreational areas. A portion of the project is funded through the economic stimulus. 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has announced his state has been rated first in the nation in using federal stimulus money for wastewater improvement projects.

Sewer Rate News
Centerville, Georgia
Granville, Ohio
Hickory, North Carolina
Portland, Oregon

May 19, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Pennsylvania Communities Seek $6M for Sewer Line Extension

Posted in California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia at 6:02 pm by bengann

Five communities in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania are seeking $6 million in state and federal grants for a sewer line extension project along State Route 366.

The small city of Astoria, Oregon is looking to its state’s Department of Environmental Quality to help in paying for federally mandated work to separate its sanitary and stormwater sewers. It is estimated that $50 million to complete the combined sewer overflow projects.

It had already been reported but it is now official: Kansas City has signed an agreement with the EPA  to upgrade its sewer systems at an estimated $2.5 billion over 25 years. Kansas City will also pay a $600,000 civil penalty for Clean Water Act violations.

Stimulus Spotlight
In Illinois, Kane County has received about $17 million in economic stimulus money that officials have decided to earmark for water-related projects. The money is in the form of Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds.

Plans for an expansion of Novato Sanitary District (Calif.) water recycling facilities got a boost with the arrival of $1.5 million in federal stimulus money. Novato will use the money to fund a project with the North Marin Water District to help bring the water to Valley Memorial Park Cemetery. The expanded system will have to be finished by August 2011.

Thanks to the Buy America Bond provision in the economic stimulus, the city of Florence, South Carolina has issued $99 million of refunding and new-money revenue bonds for its water and sewer system, saving the city’s utility system more than $5.5 million by refinancing bonds originally issued in 1993 and 2000.  The bonds included $31 million of refunding bonds and $68 million of new-money bonds.

Sewer Rate News
China Grove, North Carolina
Harbor Springs, Michigan
St. Albans, West Virginia

Terre Haute, Indiana

May 17, 2010

Slow Posting Next Two Weeks

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:22 am by bengann

We will not be posting today or tomorrow because of the 2010 NUCA Washington Summit. Posting will return on Wednesday, May 19. We will also be taking a short vacation toward the end of next week so postings will be a little sporadic over the next two weeks. Thank you for reading Water News Update.

May 13, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Drinking Water SRF

Posted in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, National, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Washington at 5:04 pm by bengann

The House Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing today on reauthorization of EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The hearing follows the introduction of legislation this week by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass) to  reauthorize the program.

Engineers have identified as many as 100 other couplings similar to the one that ruptured earlier this month in the Boston area triggering a water-main break that left 2 million residents without safe drinking water for 2 days.

A sewer main line break in Grandview, Washington spilled an estimated 300,000 gallons of wastewater into the Sand Canyon water drain and was expected to reach the Yakima River. As a result, a health alert has been issued advising people not to swim in the river or drink untreated water from it.

Stimulus Spotlight
Construction is underway on a $38 million project to replace the outdated sewer system in Framingham, Massachusetts thanks in part to the economic stimulus. The stimulus is providing $4.46 million in grants with the rest of the $38 million project being funded by a low-interest loan through the state revolving fund.

In Hawaii, construction work has finished on a $3.5 million economic stimulus project in Kauai County to improve the reliability of water service in an area that has suffered from frequent water main breaks.

About 10 percent of the Union-Rome Township Sewer District (Ohio) relining project is completed. The $3.9 million project is expected to be completed by February 2011 and was financed in part by economic stimulus money with the other half from a low-interest loan from the Ohio EPA Water Pollution Control Loan Fund.

Sewer Rate News
Belmont, California
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Palm Springs, California
Winchester, Virginia

May 12, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Daytona Beach Traffic and Water Service Disrutped By Water Main Break

Posted in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, National at 4:07 pm by bengann

A water main break in Daytona Beach, Florida has caused a giant car-sized hole in the middle of one of the city’s busiest roads. Water was still gushing out of the of the pipe and onto the road this afternoon because the 50 year-old pipe is so old, the valves don’t work anymore, and crews can’t turn the water off to fix the pipe.

Individual septic systems in Wolf Creek, Montana are slated to be replaced with a $3 million community wastewater treatment facility to better protect the small town’s drinking water. Funding for the project includes a $1.16 million grant and $3999,000 loan from USDA. Those funds will be used in conjunction with a $750,000 grant from the Treasurer State Endowment Fund; $100,000 from the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation; and $529,000 from WRDA.

Milton, Indiana will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday for a new $3.7 million wastewater treatment project that will install sewer lines, a pump station and a 6.5 mile force main. Milton won a $1 million grant from the state’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs to help pay for the project.

A recent study by Lux Research suggests the market for harnessing energy from wastewater sludge will almost double over the next decade.

Stimulus Spotlight
Oronoko Township, Michigan is considering a $5.98 million sewer project that would be partially funded by the Build America Bond program in the economic stimulus.

Sewer Rate News
Brooktrails, California
Pima, Arizona
St. Marys, Georgia
Vacaville, California

May 11, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Kansas City Set to Start First Phase of $2.5B Sewer Project

Posted in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Virginia at 1:50 pm by bengann

Kansas City will soon start the first phase of a massive 25-year sewer project to cut the overflow of raw sewage from nearly 6.5 billion gallons a year to less than a half billion.  The total cost of the 25-year plan is estimated to be $2.5 billion. It is the biggest public works project in the city’s history.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is urging a City Council Committee to approve the sale of the city’s sewer and water utilities to Citizens Energy. The transfer is expected to net the city about $425 million in cash, savings and borrowing power.

Voters in Mattapoiset, Massachusetts have approved a $6.8 million sewer extension to parts of the area currently using septic systems.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Montana communities of Sweet Grass and Valier will soon start construction to upgrade their water systems, having received $3 million in loans and grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

A $20 million waste water expansion project is underway in Warrick County, Indiana.  $15 million is coming from the state while the rest is funded through economic stimulus. The entire project should be completed by April 2011.

Sewer Rate News
Geneva, Illinois
Granby, Connecticut
Tarboro, North Carolina
Waynesboro, Virginia

May 10, 2010

Monday’s Water News: NW Indiana Wastewater Plants Have Frequently Violated EPA Permits

Posted in Indiana, Iowa, National, New York, North Carolina, Washington at 5:21 pm by bengann

Municipal wastewater treatment plants — not big industry — are the most frequent violators of major wastewater permits in Northwest Indiana, according to a Post-Tribune analysis of violations in a new EPA database. The Hammond Sanitary District was the most frequent violator with 31 violations between 2007 and April 2010.

A little more than a week after a water main break disrupted service to 2 million Boston-area residents, the Boston Globe examined the Water Protection and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 3202). Although the legislation would establish a trust fund for water and wastewater infrastructure projects, soda and bottled water companies oppose the legislation because of a proposed 4 cents-per-bottle tax on bottled beverages to generate revenue for the trust fund.

Iowa Senator Charles Grassley announced that USDA has awarded a loan and grant to the Town of Chariton through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.

Two years into its 18-year, $240 million plan to reduce sewer overflows, Fort Wayne, Indiana already was able to remove 1 billion gallons of contaminated water from the rivers in 2009.

Stimulus Spotlight
Funding from the economic stimulus is helping to build a  ground water treatment system at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Richland Washington.

Sewer Rate News
Forsyth County, North Carolina
Isle of Wright, New York
Syracuse, New York

Next page