June 1, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Gary, Indiana Struggle with Sewer Separation Costs

Posted in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon at 4:31 pm by bengann

Older cities like Gary, Indiana are struggling with the costs to separate sewers for stormwater runoff and sewage. According to a nationwide survey of wastewater utilities reported by the GAO  in 2002, 41 percent of wastewater utilities were not generating enough revenue from user rates and other local sources to cover their full cost of service. The city is working on a long-term control plan, but does not know at this point what it would take to stop the overflows, how much it would cost or what impact that would have on a household sewer bill.

Headlines
City officials in Clinton, Iowa may forward a long-term combined sewer overflow plan to the state Department of Natural Resources that could total almost $235 million. Through recent upgrades Clinton has reduced its sewer overflows from 14 to 8.

In Michigan, the Ottawa County Health Department is testing water from three locations after a sanitary sewer overflow of 90,000 gallons into Lake Macatawa on Monday.

Stimulus Spotlight
Thanks to the economic stimulus the Town of Ophir, Colorado will be able to borrow up to $500,000 at a zero percent rate for improvements to its water system.

The rural community of Cass County, Michigan is receiving a $10.5 federal loan from the economic stimulus for improvements to water service for residents and firefighting.

Sewer Rate News
Attleboro, Massachusetts
Portland,  Oregon
Saint Charles, Illinois
Springfield, Massachusetts

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