August 31, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: New Jersey Appropriates $821 Million for Wastewater, Drking Water Projects

Posted in Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia at 4:36 pm by bengann

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation to appropriate $821 million in no-cost and low-cost loans for crucial water and sewer infrastructure projects across the state. The financing, administered through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program, will make available approximately $549 million for clean water project loans and $272 million for drinking water project loans, with the federal government picking up at least half of the cost.

The city of Austin, Texas is cleaning up a wastewater spill in a heavily wooded area of eastern Travis County. City officials estimate at least 100,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the creek and said that residents and their pets should avoid the water there until crews can clean up the spill.

A water main break on 16th Street in Omaha is fixed, but road restrictions remained in effect this morning. Traffic has been reduced to one lane in each direction on 16th Street as repairs are being made.

Stimulus Spotlight
Today in Louisiana, the Iberia Parish government and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had a ceremonial groundbreaking for the construction of an Iberia Parish wastewater treatment facility near the Acadiana Regional Airport. The federal portion of this project is funding through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will be in Berlin, Maryland this week to see firsthand the construction progress of the town’s wastewater treatment plant, a project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Sewer Rate News
Fluvanna County, Virginia
Marshall, Missouri
Parkersburg, Pennsylvania
Petoskey, Michigan

August 30, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Massive Water Main Break Leads to Smaller Ones in New Jersey

Posted in California, Georgia, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin at 8:05 pm by bengann

In New Jersey, seven additional water mains ruptured in and around Clifton and Passaic in the hours after a massive water main break last Tuesday dumped 40 million gallons of water into a parking lot.

The Washington state Department of Ecology has lowered the dollar amount of the penalty that King County was assessed for sewer overflow violations earlier this year. Originally, King County was fined $46,000, but that amount was lowered to $39,500 after the penalty was recalculated by the state at King County’s request.

Work has begun in Duluth, Minnesota to address its sewer overflow problems by constructing a 1 million gallon tank at one of the Sanitary District’s pumping station.

Stimulus Spotlight
Officials in North Dakota today broke ground for a water treatment facility in Linton for the South Central Regional Water District. The project has received more than $21 million in federal stimulus grants and more than $7 million in federally backed loans.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District (Calif.) has decided to begin the second phase of a federally funded flood protection and habitat enhancement project on Lower Silver Creek in San Jose. The project, in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, has been awarded $18.5 million in federal economic stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Sewer Rate News
Buellton, California
Holmdel, New Jersey
Rome, Georgia
Superior, Wisconsin

August 19, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Massive Water Main Break Disrupts Service to Half of Waco, Texas

Posted in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Texas, Virginia at 7:22 pm by bengann

A massive break in a 48-inch water main has left Waco, Texas scrambling to save its water supply. Officials are asking residents to stop watering lawns and stop washing cars in order to save precious water. The massive pipe is critical to providing water service to half of the city’s residents.

Work will be completed soon on a $6.5 million sewer project in Noblesville, Indiana. Prior to this project, the existing sewer was a combined sanitary and storm sewer that was constructed of brick over 100 years ago. Over the past year, crews installed large-diameter storm sewers and backup sewers.

A large water main break in Center Point, Alabama this morning damaged a busy road, and caused other property damage. Water also was spraying into the air, and damaged the road and blew out a window in a car.

Stimulus Spotlight
In Montana, though the entire project is years away from completion, the Rocky Boy’s/North Central Regional Water System’s first customers can drink the water pouring out of their faucets. Once a treatment plant is built at Lake Elwell and a waterline is installed, the project will deliver clean water to a territory the size of Delaware. Last summer, $20 million in federal stimulus money more than doubled the funding the project has received since it was authorized in 2002.

The drafting of an application seeking federal stimulus funds for Strasburg, Virginia’s planned $25 million upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant has come to a standstill as an environmental review document has become outdated during the process.

Sewer Rate News
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bradenton, Florida
Jackson, Mississippi

The blog is taking its summer vacation. We’ll return with all new material on Monday, August 30.

August 18, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Water Main Break Causes Traffic Headaches in Greenville, S.C.

Posted in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas at 11:48 pm by bengann

A water main break in Greenville, South Carolina that caused headaches for commuters has been fixed. Right before morning rush hour today, the water main broke below I-385 causing delays for the morning commute. For much of the day, Wednesday, the giant crater caused problems, not only to commuters, but also to residence’s and businesses.

In Amarillo, Texas about 80,000 gallons of wastewater leaked from a broken sewage pipeline. The wastewater leak was discovered by city personnel. The pipeline broke because the pump controls at the main pump station in Southeast Park failed and caused a pressure surge in the pipeline.

Rockton, Illinois leaders are speaking out against the Illinois EPA fining the Village for leaking raw sewage into the Rock River.

Residents in Niles, Ohio want to know what the city is doing to stem flooding in the Washington Avenue area during heavy rains.

Stimulus Spotlight
Growth in the Hernando, Florida, which now has a population estimated at 15,000 and growing, is projected to continue, and city officials took steps Tuesday to seek authorization for a $2.3 million-dollar low-interest loan to construct a new water tower adjacent to Interstate 55. The city expects to receive approximately $400,000 in federal stimulus funds, which will cut the actual debt to about $1.7 million.

Sewer Rate News
Ashtabula, Ohio
Milton, Massachusetts
Prescott, Arizona
Winsted, Connecticut

August 17, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Small North Carolina Town to Receive $3.3M for New Sewer System

Posted in Alabama, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin at 2:59 pm by bengann

In North Carolina, the Currituck County Board of Commissioners has approved plans to build a new public sewer system in the small communinity of Moyock after three years of debate and negotiation. The new $3.3 million plant would treat 100,000 gallons per day but could be expanded to 600,000 gallons per day.

A water line break drowned a Tulsa, Oklahoma neighborhood in acres of water on Monday afternoon. The water flooded the street, dozens of yards, and swamped several homes. As the water receded, it left a gaping hole and a buckled road in its muddy wake.

Logan, Utah Mayor Randy Watts said the state Department of Environmental Quality has given the city seven years to cut by half the amount of phosphorous its sewage lagoons, located on the west side of town, discharge to Cutler Reservoir.

A $5.2 million upgrade to the village of Winneconne, Wisconsin’s wastewater treatment plant has started and is expected to take 18 months to complete. The project includes work to upgrade and increase the facility’s ability for wastewater treatment that should be good for at least 25 years.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded more than $1.46 million in grants for engineering studies to 50 public water supply systems throughout the state. These awards, which are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will fund engineering reports and facility plans that will include data collection, analysis and water system planning.

Sewer Rate News
East Moline, Illinois
Galesburg, Illinois
M0yock, North Carolina
Northport, Alabama

August 16, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Michigan Beach Pollution May Be Coming from Milwaukee’s Sewer System

Posted in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Wisconsin at 5:20 pm by bengann

Michigan officials are warning residents that syringes and other household trash washing onto beaches could be coming from sewer dumps from the flooding in Milwaukee three weeks ago. More than 2 billion gallons of untreated sewage and storm water poured from Milwaukee-area sewers into waterways after torrential rain storms on July 22.

In Oregon, the Lebanon City Council has approved issuing up to $6.5 million in Wastewater Revenue Bonds to finance a new wastewater treatment plant and to refinance an existing bond at a lower interest rate. The current treatment plant was constructed in the early 1970s and although it meets the city’s current needs, it is close to capacity and the community is growing.

Crews from Mobile (Ala.) Area Water & Sewer System have repaired a break in a 10-inch water main that caused water pressure and outage problems in west Mobile on Sunday. A lightning strike is thought to be the cause of a split in the line that was estimated to be between 6-and-10 feet long.

Stimulus Spotlight
In an effort to improve the Boonville, Missouri’s public water system, an engineer will examine its infrastructure and identify potential projects. The city received a $45,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as part of federal stimulus funding to hire the engineer.

In California, a $3.2 million pipeline was constructed by the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District with the help of a $600,000 federal stimulus grant. And upon its recent completion, it became the first recycled water project completed with stimulus funds in Southern California.

Sewer Rate News
Jamestown, California
Marco Island, Florida
McCook, Nebraska
Tybee Island, Georgia

August 12, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Drinking Water Service Shut Down for Residents in Ames, Iowa

Posted in California, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Washington at 10:45 am by bengann

Officials in Ames, Iowa have closed the city’s water supply after a water main broke beneath a flooded creek.  The shut down leaves most of the city’s 55,000 residents without drinking water. Iowa has been hit with widespread flooding after three nights of storms.

Opposition has emerged to a proposal to build a big commercial wastewater treatment plant in Sussex County, Delaware that’s envisioned to serve thousands of new homes spreading northwest from Rehoboth Bay.

The Y Bridge and a portion of Main Street in Zanesville, Ohio was expected to be open this morning after a water main break caused a closure on Wednesday. The bridge had to be closed because a large portion of the road had to be torn up to repair the break.

Stimulus Spotlight
The city of Tacoma, Washington’s Water System is issuing $73.65 million in Build America Bonds–a program created in the economic stimulus– for repairs of its water and sewer systems.

In addition, the city of Sarasota, Florida is issuing $33.7 million in Build America Bonds for a system that provides water supply, treatment and delivery to nearly 19,000 residents.

Sewer Rate News
Malvern, Ohio
New Hanover County, North Carolina
Sturgis, Michigan
Whittier, California

August 11, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Honolulu to Spend $3.5 Billion on Sewer System Improvements

Posted in Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia at 1:00 pm by bengann

Honolulu has reached a consent decree agreement with the EPA requiring it to make more than $3.5 billion in improvements to its sewage treatment system by 2020, and also pay a $1.6 million fine  to be split between the federal government and the state to resolve violations of the federal Clean Water Act and Hawaii’s water pollution law.

The city of Chattanooga, Tennessee’s sewer system has released 510 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Tennessee River over the past five years. Now a nonprofit group  is threatening to sue the city to enforce environmental compliance. 

In West Virginia, Wellsburg’s City Council is down to three members after five council members quit in a dispute over a proposed sewer rate hike. All five had opposed a plan to raise the city’s sewer rate by 30 percent. 

Downpours over the past two nights have overwhelmed Des Moines sewers and sent millions of gallons of untreated sewage into the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers. The city’s taxed sewer network has caused wastewater backups in basements throughout the city, with the heaviest concentrations on the south and east sides.

Stimulus spotlight
In Montana, improvements to Pondera County Canal and Reservoir’s infrastructure has boosted efficiency and improved the water quality of the lower Birch Creek watershed.  The project was financed with $527,000 in federal stimulus money and a $366,000 local match to upgrade irrigation infrastructure originally dug by hand and mule in the 1800s.

The city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri received $144,540 from the economic stimulus for engineering reports on the city water and wastewater systems. The funding will enable the city to hire an engineer to study their water system and advise them on how to achieve or maintain compliance with drinking water rules and regulations.

Sewer Rate News
Berryville, Virginia
Granville, Ohio
Warrenton, Virginia
Williamsport, Pennsylvania

August 10, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Water Service Restored to 10,000 Homes in Suburban Baltimore

Posted in Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, National, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee at 11:29 am by bengann

Water service was restored this morning for up to 10,0000 homes and businesses after a water main break in Essex, Maryland. The 12-inch main which broke is 80 years old and has had multiple breaks over the past year.

Chattanooga (Tenn.) and the Moccasin Bend Sewage Treatment Plant are facing state sanctions for the spill Thursday and Friday of more than 100,000 gallons of raw sewage that swamped a marina and killed 3,600 fish.

Monday environmental, business, and civic leaders urged Congress to fund solutions for the sewage crisis in the Great Lakes region. Every year billions of gallons of untreated sewage is dumped into the Great Lakes.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Ohio Water Development Authority plans to sell $423 million in Build America Bonds tomorrow in the agency’s largest offering of the taxable debt. Proceeds from this week’s sale will reimburse the authority for about $148 million already loaned for environmental infrastructure in the state and fund further lending. Build America Bonds were created as part of the economic stimulus.

Many government agencies are close to wrapping up their federal stimulus initiatives, but a large number of communities are still waiting in line for funding or struggling to pay for costly water and sewer projects, according to United States Department of Agriculture officials.

Sewer Rate News
DeSoto County, Mississippi
Hamilton, New Jersey
Oswego, New York
Polk City, Florida

August 9, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Iowa Community Needs Up to $60 Million for Sewer Separation Project

Posted in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Washington at 10:23 am by bengann

The West Hill sewer separation project in Muscatine, Iowa will take up to a dozen years to complete and will cost between $40 million and $60 million. Muscatine is one of 10 Iowa cities with combined sewer overflows and the EPA has given the city until the end of 2024 to complete the project.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments will receive a $308,000 state grant to help Detroit integrate green technologies into a combined sewer overflow system. The city is required by the state to capture and treat combined sewer overflow into waterways to meet water quality standards.

Water was restored to about 450 homes in Fort Worth, Texas early Monday after repairs were made to a water main line that broke early Sunday

Late last week, a ruptured water main turned into a a huge disruption when several downtown Los Angeles businesses were flooded and a street had to be shut down.

Stimulus Spotlight
Thanks to money from the economic stimulus, Olympic National Park in Washington is receiving $3 million dollars  for several projects including $810,529 to double the capacity of the sanitary sewer treatment system in the Hoh Rain Forest, which serves the campground, picnic area, visitors’ center and employee housing.

Sewer Rate News
Lewisville, Texas
Monette, Arkansas
New Riegel, Ohio
Somerton, Arizona

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