October 29, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Georgia Awards $18.2 Million to Eight Communities for Water and Sewer Projects

Posted in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington at 7:38 pm by bengann

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority has approved financing for eight water and wastewater infrastructure projects totaling $18.2 million. “Investment in our state’s water and sewer infrastructure stimulates the economy, promotes the stewardship of our natural resources, and helps to meet Georgia’s future water needs,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.

Repairs and clean-up took place yesterday in Bend, Oregon after a water main break downtown sent water shooting some 70 feet into the air for about an hour and flooding several homes. Streets around the break were closed as crews worked to stop the flow of water.

A wastewater treatment plant in Cullman, Alabama had to contend with sewage run-off in Mud Creek, one of the city’s main drainage channels yesterday. City officials hope to correct the problem in the next few months when a new treatment plant will come online.

Stimulus Spotlight
Stamford, Connecticut is considering using revenue from Build America Bonds so residents in the northern part of the city currently using wells can connect to the city’s water and sewer system. Connecting to the system would allow aforementioned residents concerned about levels of pesticides and other toxins found in drinking water from wells in the area.

Federal stimulus funding made possible the construction of a solar array to provide electricity for Hailey, Idaho’s wastewater treatment plant. The plant is the largest single user of energy in all city facilities and buildings.

Sewer Rate News
Edmond, Oklahoma
Franklin, Tennessee
Longview, Washington
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

October 28, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Michigan Community to Spend $2.1M Upgrading Treatment System

Posted in Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia at 1:30 pm by bengann

The city of Wixom, Michigan plans to pony up $2.1 million for a multi-year preliminary treatment system improvement project at its wastewater treatment plant. The 20-year-old existing system and equipment has exceeded its design life, is technologically obsolete, and is failing due to corrosion and age.

Heavy, persistent rain in Duluth, Minnesota on Tuesday caused a 30,000 gallon sewer overflow. The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District and city of Duluth are subject to a consent decree with the EPA and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows to Lake Superior by 2016.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has announced that a community block grant totaling $867,000 will help pay for the final phase of the city of Hanson’s sewer project to be completed. They are converting from a pumping mechanism to a gravity system which will allow the town’s sewage to flow to the treatment plant in a neighboring community without using electricity, which will save tax dollars.

Stimulus Spotlight
A new water tower set to come online early next year in Dothan, Alabama will provide better water service to residents in the northwest corner of town. The money for the $3 million is being provided through federal stimulus funds and a loan from the state revolving loan fund.

With the help of money from the economic stimulus the town of Dutton, Montana was able to perform a much-needed upgrade on its sewer system. The project provides a new above ground lift station, a rebuilt lagoon, a new way to discharge water.

Sewer Rate News
Altavista, Virginia
Midland, Texas
Palmyra, Pennsylvania
Riverdale, New Jersey

October 27, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: $17.7 Million in Grants to Fund Water and Sewer Projects in West Virginia

Posted in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, West Virginia at 12:50 pm by bengann

In West Virginia, $17.7 million in Small Cities Block Grants is being awarded to fund 31 water and sewer projects throughout the state. Over $50 million in other federal, state, and local funds will be leveraged to complete these projects. HUD provides Small Cities Block Grant funds to the state for such projects.

The city offices in North Ogden, Utah were closed yesterday because a sewer backed up into the upstairs offices and made a huge mess.

Residents in Camden Point, Missouri will decide Tuesday whether to build the city’s first sewer system. On the ballot is a question asking them to allow the city to issue $4.8 million in sewer system revenue bonds. The work is needed because the city doesn’t have a sewer system.

Stimulus Spotlight
The City Council in Pasadena, California has voted in favor of issuing up to $30 million in water revenue bonds to help fund capital water projects. All or a portion of the bonds may be offered as federal stimulus funds called Build America Bonds. Among the projects that could be funded through the bond proceeds are a recycled water program, the upgrading of current facilities and the design and construction of a treatment plant to help remove perchlorate from the groundwater.

The town of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts has broken ground on a new million-gallon water tank that is being partially funded by the economic stimulus. Financing from the project is being built with about $1 million in federal stimulus money, $1 million from a legal settlement and about $1 million in a low-interest federal loan.

Sewer Rate News
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Longview, Washington
Montgomery County, Maryland
Umpqua, Oregon

October 26, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Nogales Sewer Line Repair to Last Two More Weeks

Posted in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, National, New York at 8:17 pm by bengann

Repairs to the busted sewer line in Nogales, Arizona are expected to last at least two more weeks, and a section of wall is set to be removed to get at the leaking pipe. A patchwork of pipes and pumps is currently sucking up sewage in Mexico and diverting it through a temporary well on the U.S. side, bypassing the 18-inch hole discovered on October 11.

In today’s New York Times, columnist Bob Herbert highlights the need for robust federal investment in the nation’s water and sewer systems. Herbert not only points out that investment in America’s water and sewer systems creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, but also that there is a need for greater political leadership in making sure the federal government increases funding for this essential environmental infrastructure.

Pell City, Alabama has agreed to a $130,500 settlement with the Alabama Department of Environment Management found the city violated the Alabama Water Pollution Control Act. The agreement does not affect another civil case pertaining to sewer overflows the city has pending in the courts with a private land owner

Stimulus Spotlight
The village of Wappinger Falls, New York has received money for a new $5.7 million water treatment facility through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the state’s Environmental Facilities Corporation. The influx of federal stimulus money to the EFC was a “significant contributing factor” in starting the project.

Work is scheduled to begin next week on a Century, Florida drainage project funded with over a quarter million federal stimulus dollars. The project includes drainage ditches and storm water pipe installations

Sewer Rate News
Kenner City, Louisiana
North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Sedalia, Missouri

October 25, 2010

Monday’s Water News: 3 Million Gallons of Untreated Sewage Spills into Shreveport Lake

Posted in Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee at 8:29 pm by bengann

3 million gallons of untreated sewage has spilled into Champion Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana. Just a few months ago, in July, the city had to fix a leak only about 50 feet away from the leak this weekend. The city says both leaks are the result of aging sewer pipes. It is estimated that $200 million is needed to update the city’s sewer system.

Several major retail stores were without water in Jersey City, New Jersey today after a break in a 30-inch water main. The water service company said its customers may have discolored water or low water pressure.

The Town of Chapel Hill, Tennessee is receiving a $311,000 federal CDBG grant to replace a sewer line. The replacement pipe with better installation is needed to help prevent slow flow and back ups.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Mayor of Kandiyohi, Minnesota says he’s proud of the city’s new wastewater pipeline and pumping system and is pleased that most of the cost was covered by federal stimulus funds, which provided $2.9 million toward the $3.4 million cost of the project.

There is good news for residents in Coldwater, Michigan, the money last year from the economic stimulus that rebuilt sewer lines has significantly reduced ground water infiltration.

Sewer Rate News
Bay City, Michigan
Branson, Missouri
Hilliard, Florida
Tulsa, Oklahoma

October 22, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Toledo, Ohio Agrees to $315 Million Sewer Expansion

Posted in Arizona, National, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah at 4:26 pm by bengann

The City of Toledo, Ohio has agreed to expand its sewer system much further than originally planned, after prodding from the state and federal officials. The new plan, agreed to yesterday, is much more extensive than the original and comes at an estimated cost of $315 million. City officials hope the plan will reduce sewer overflows from an average of 35 times per year to an average of zero to four times per year.

Repairs to the main sewer line running from Nogales, Sonora, to Nogales, Arizona, will take longer than expected, and there’s still some question as to who will pay those repairs. Two weeks ago crews found a huge hole in the line on the Mexican side of the border and raw sewage was flowing into the Nogales Wash on the U.S. side of the border until a sewer bypass was constructed on October 16.

The town of White Bluff, Tennessee has secured a $500,000 community development grant that will help pay for a massive sewer system overhaul. The grant money was provided by HUD and was allocated under a procedure authorized by the Tennessee General Assembly.

Nine members of Congress say its time to change the funding criteria for sewer separation projects mandated by EPA so communities aren’t left overwhelmed by project costs. They are asking EPA to update its 13-year-old set of rules for scheduling projects to separate combined storm and sanitary sewer systems and assessing the financial capabilities of communities undertaking the projects.

Stimulus Spotlight
For the first time, Lewisburg Tennessee’s Water and Wastewater Department has never conducted a project with money borrowed from the SRF but that is about to change. The money is needed to finance a $13 million expansion of its sewage treatment plant — $2 million in funding for the project is being provided via the economic stimulus.

Sewer Rate News
Santaquin, Utah
Saranac Lake, New York

October 21, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: EPA Awards California $274 Million in Grants for Water and Sewer Systems

Posted in California, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Wisconsin at 7:18 pm by bengann

EPA has was awarded the state of California $274 million in federal grants to pay for upgrades to drinking water and sewer systems. Among the hundreds of projects that will likely receive funding are two $10 million grants to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for upgrades to Silverlake and Ivanhoe reservoirs, and $20 million to San Diego for significant upgrades to a water treatment plant.

A rash of water main breaks in Colorado Springs, Colorado has forced drivers to find detours around flooded streets and torn up concrete. To complicate matters even more, the breaks have been occurring below some of the city’s busiest intersections and/or during hour. Most of the breaks can be attributed to aging pipes.

Despite the Fitchburg, Massachusetts City Council approving $9.3 million in additional money for water pollution abatement projects, the funding will only get the city halfway through what it is ordered to do by the state.

In Minnesota, work has begun on  a $26 million project to renovate the City of Duluth’s sanitary sewer overflow system. The project includes a new sanitary sewage pump station, an 8 million gallon sewage overflow tank, and replacement of the old utilities operations building and public restroom. The city received $9.9 million in grants to help pay for this project.

Stimulus Spotlight
The rural town of Osgood, Indiana is receiving $3.1 million in economic stimulus funding to help finance a water improvement project. 

Construction of Rhinelander, Wisconsin’s new $32 million wastewater treatment plant is on schedule to be completed in July 2011. The city was awarded $16.5 million in economic stimulus funds toward the overall cost of the project.

Sewer Rate News
Bridgeton, New Jersey
Palm Springs, California
Vinton, Louisiana

October 20, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: $1.4M Grant from HHS to Improve Water, Sewer Systems in Rural Arkansas

Posted in Arkansas, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee at 10:25 pm by bengann

The federal government is awarding more than $1.4 million for water and sewer infrastructure upgrades in parts of rural Arkansas. The grant from the Department of Health and Human Services will help small towns and rural communities in the state improve water systems and handle waste-disposal problems and needs.

After a lift station in Sioux Falls, South Dakota failed three times this summer and was forced to discharge sewage into the Big Sioux River, the city’s Wastewater Superintendent is asking the City Council to move up a project that would make the pipe coming out of the lift station bigger thereby eliminating any discharge .

Workers finished repairing a water main break today in Concord, North Carolina but the incident forced the closure of an elementary school and delayed surgeries at a nearby hospital. A street damaged by the water main break will remain closed for at least a week as repairs are made.

Sewer Rate News
Residents of a 214-home neighborhood in Calverton, New York, who have lived for years with drinking water tinged brownish by its high iron content, got a scare last week when it seemed they might lose almost $2 million in federal stimulus to bring in public water. Fortunately for the hamlet, the situation has been resolved and will now receive stimulus funding for the project. The funding will bring jobs to the same region of the state for which the funds were designated, and improve public health for almost a thousand people.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s head of stimulus funding was full of praise yesterday after touring the City of Brockton’s sewer treatment plant, which has received $11 million in stimulus money for upgrades.

Sewer Rate News
Columbus, Ohio
Franklin, Tennessee
Greeneville, Tennessee
North Webster, Indiana

October 19, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Water Main Break Closes Downtown Office Building in Wausau, Wisc.

Posted in California, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Wisconsin at 1:20 pm by bengann

One of downtown Wausau, Wisconsin’s largest office buildings will be closed today because of a water main break. The building had not suffered from any flooding, but some water was pouring onto the corner of Second Street and McClellan Street, where the main is located.

In Pennsylvania, North Codorus Township is planning to borrow up to $2.65 million to bail out its sewer authority. The idea is to provide the authority with cash to pay down debt from the construction of its sewage treatment plant and lines. Without the township’s help, the authority would have to significantly raise sewer rates or default on its debt.

A massive public works project that could create hundreds of jobs in Omaha is about to get under way. The city is about to begin its $1.6 billion sewer project that is expected to last for the next 15 years. The city, NUCA of Nebraska and several other groups are teaming up to recruit and train local workers.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago wants to sell $500 million of mostly Build America Bonds — a program from the economic stimulus — before the end of the year to help finance a long-term capital program of more than $2.5 billion.

Los Angeles, owner of the largest wastewater collection system in the U.S., is issuing $187 million in Build America Bonds — as part of a larger bond offering — to pay for improvements to sewage facilities and refinance existing debt as user fees climb.

Sewer Rate News
Caledonia, Minnesota
Exeter Township, Pennsylvania
Sacramento County, California
Spearfish, South Dakota

October 18, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Closes National Museum of Natural History

Posted in California, DC, Georgia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania at 6:59 pm by bengann

In Washington, D.C., the break of a water main near the National Mall on Friday night shut down a sizable portion of Constitution Avenue on Saturday, and closed the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Behind the disruption was the rupture of a 24-inch water main, which ripped up the roadbed. The failed water main was installed in 1928.

Three water main breaks around San Diego on Sunday interrupted water service to residents and disrupted traffic.  All three breaks occurred between 7:45 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

When more than 16 inches of rain fell in Pitt County, North Carolina earlier this month, the Village of Simpson was forced to shut down its town offices for the week.  The problem wasn’t flooded streets; it was a backed-up toilet.  Now the village wants want to install a sewer system through the village to end the problem. The project would cost an estimated $4.64 million and serve the town’s 250 households.

Stimulus Spotlight
The expansion and upgrade of the water treatment plant in Zanesville, Ohio will provide the capacity to handle even more water customers in the coming years.  Even with $9 million of the funding for the $16.1 million project coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, water customers saw a 15.3 percent bi-monthly rate increase in January, and will see another 6.3 percent hike coming next month. The rate increases are needed to help make debt payments on a Ohio Water Development Authority loan that also helped finance the project.

The city of Wagoner, Oklahoma received $300,000 in federal stimulus money and a $900,000 loan from the Oklahoma Water Resource Board last year. The money has been used to replace the city’s main water transmission lines, as well as the fire hydrants along the way.

Sewer Rate News
Coatesville, Pennsylvania
Columbus, Ohio
Keene, New Hampshire
Newnan, Georgia

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