October 15, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Broken Water Main Floods Street, Business in Grand Junction, Colorado

Posted in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia at 5:35 pm by bengann

An aging water line the in the city of Grand Junction, Colorado planned to be replaced in three months ruptured early this morning, flooding several businesses. The break shot water, mud and rocks across the street, up onto the sidewalk and into the entrances of several businesses. One of the affected businesses was a persian rug gallery which had 300 or its 1,200 rugs damaged at an estimated cost of over $100,000.

Headlines
Part of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport lost water pressure today after a water main break near the Terminal 5 taxi way. Terminal 5 restrooms and concession areas lost water pressure as a result.

A Knoxville-based environmental group has sued the city of Chattanooga for violating state and federal water regulations by spilling more than 310 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Tennessee River over the past 4 1/2 years.

Weirton, West Virginia will have to spend $12 million to upgrade its ailing sewer system after two cheaper options didn’t meet the state’s approval.

A York, Pennsylvania neighborhood which last had its sewer system updated in 1915 is finally receiving long overdue repairs. The interceptor is now being replaced at a cost of $3.7 million.

Sewer Rate News
Grandview, Washington
Malakoff, Texas
Norfolk, New York
Savage, Minnesota

October 14, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: $14 Million Sewer Installation Project to Begin in Staten Island

Posted in Alabama, California, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Virginia at 2:52 pm by bengann

A $14 million project to provide sewer service to 150 homes in Staten Island, which will last two years, is set to begin within the next two weeks. Water mains are also expected to be replaced as part of the project. Over the years the lack of drainage from storm sewers wore away and broke up road surfaces which this project should fix.

Headlines
In Alabama, the Birmingham Water Works has commissioned a study on the possibility of buying the troubled Jefferson County sewer system if the county declares bankruptcy. The utility is trying to determine whether it could operate the county’s system safely without a substantial increase in rates. The county sewer system is $3.2 billion in debt and is being run by a court-appointed receiver.

Water from a broken 6-inch utility pipe flooded a street in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles early today and a shut-down for repairs left 20 homes or multi-dwelling structures without water.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System has received notification from the Bureau of Reclamation that it has been approved for an additional $4.5 million in funding.  $3 million is from unallocated economic stimulus funding and $1.5 million was “reprogrammed” from unused appropriations of other Reclamation projects.  The funds are designated for use on the main water treatment plant building currently being built near Vermillion, Iowa.  When completed, Lewis & Clark will provide water to over 300,000 people through its 20 member cities.

Construction is more than halfway completed on $54 million project to upgrade a wastewater treatment plant in Westboro, Massachusetts. About $8 million of the project cost is covered by federal stimulus money. The balance of the project is being financed through increased sewer rates.

Sewer Rate News
Altavista, Virginia
East Tawas, Michigan
New Haven, Indiana
Salem, Oregon

October 13, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: No Deal Yet for Jefferson County, Alabama’s $3.2 Billion Sewer Debt

Posted in Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Wisconsin at 6:14 pm by bengann

In Alabama, Jefferson County Commissioners say they do not expect any sort of deal in solving its $3.2. billion sewer debt problem at least until the new county commission takes office on November 10.

Headlines
Ground has been broken in Dubuque, Iowa on a $64 million wastewater pollution control plant. The effort to upgrade the 40-year-old plant should be finished by 2013. Funding will come from a 15 percent increase in the city’s sanitary sewer rate starting in fiscal year 2012.

When the Waseca County, Minnesota was hit with record rains in late September, Waseca’s sewer system was inundated with water from an already saturated soil.  In an attempt to keep water out of basements in town, the city redirected 3 million gallons of water from the sanitary sewer into Clear Lake and the city treatment marshes.

Stimulus Spotlight
The city of Westby, Wisconsin is in sound financial shape, but will need to address water and sewer rates in the near future in order to remain in a safe zone after borrowing $1.4 million to cover the costs of several capital improvement projects underway in the city this year. The city opted to use state trust fund loans to cover project costs thanks to Build America Bonds which were included in the economic stimulus.

Laurel, Montana has decided to replace its cast iron water lines which will be paid for with a low-interest State Revolving Fund loan. The City will apply for $188,000 in loan forgiveness under a state program that applies economic stimulus funds to forgive loans for “green” projects.

Sewer Rate News
Branson, Missouri
Rising Sun, Maryland
Tempe, Arizona
West Point, Mississippi

October 12, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Water Advisory Issued in North Miami Beach After Sewer Main Break

Posted in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey, Washington, Wisconsin at 6:26 pm by bengann

A water advisory has been issued in North Miami Beach, Florida after a sewer main break led to 408,000 thousands gallons of raw sewage spilling into the Intracoastal Waterway. A Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department spokesperson said the sewer broke because it was old and corroded.

Headlines
The City Council in Marshalltown, Iowa has approved work to begin on a $6.38 million improvement to its water pollution control plant. In order to comply with restrictions under the Clean Water Act and Iowa EPA, the treatment plant is undergoing mandated upgrades.

Police in Hackettstown, New Jersey are telling motorists to expect major delays downtown tomorrow during an emergency repair to a broken water main.

Stimulus Spotlight
Much of the external piping has been completed at Bremerton, Washington’s new $6.2 million water-treatment system, which will disinfect water coming from Casad Reservoir on the Union River. About 65 percent of Bremerton’s drinking water comes from the Union River watershed and economic stimulus funds paid for the project.

Residents in East Windsor, Connecticut will vote tomorrow on a resolution to approve a nearly $4 million sewer installation project . Thanks to the economic stimulus the town has received a $1.7 million grant and a $2.2 million  loan to pay for the project.

Sewer Rate News
Mexico, Missouri
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Peachtree City, Georgia
Snohomish, Washington

October 11, 2010

Monday’s Water News: California Beach Reopens After 250,000 Gallon Sewage Spill

Posted in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey at 9:25 pm by bengann

In California, Carlsbad State Beach has reopened after testing confirmed the waters were safe following a 252,000-gallon sewage spill.  The San Diego County beach was closed from Thursday to Sunday after a pipeline broke at a wastewater treatment plant and sent the sewage into a storm drain.

Headlines
A water main break at a busy Honolulu intersection provided a dramatic show Sunday afternoon. It was déjà vu for area residents, who already suffered a night without water after the same pipe ruptured less than 24 hours earlier.

About 100 homes in Baltimore County, Maryland are without water after a 12-inch water main broke in two places.

Efforts to get Vanceburg, Kentucky compliant with an EPA mandate regarding the city’s combined sewer overflow and sanitary sewer overflow issues are progressing. Currently, estimates to complete the work range between $5 million and $6 million.

Stimulus Spotlight
Provincetown, Massachusetts expected to hear a week ago whether it would be awarded $7 million in federal stimulus money that would pay to develop a new water supply that has been ordered by the state department of environmental protection. But no call has been received, leading town officials to begin to worry that the grant might not come through.

Sewer Rate News
Banning, California
Goodyear, Arizona
Holland Township, New Jersey
Holyoke, Massachusetts

October 8, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Illinois Community Needs $14.8 Million for Sewer Overflow Projects

Posted in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Washington at 7:32 pm by bengann

The city of Ottawa, Illinois is pursuing a $14.8 million plan to cut back the city’s combined sewer overflows. The city will have no choice but to create new fees or taxes to pay the mandated costs and is considering a $4 a month surcharge to city sewer fees. Ottawa’s prefered method of funding for the project would be the state revolving loan fund but it is not a viable option for the city at this time.

Headlines
About 150 people were without water this morning after a water main break in Springfield, Massachusetts. The break affects a 500 foot stretch of road and caused traffic there to be detoured.

Redwood City, California must pay $158,000 of the costs associated with a 48,000-gallon sewage spill in a local lagoon.

Stimulus Spotlight
Breckenridge, Illinois received economic stimulus funds for a variety of projects including $3.8 million for its water infrastructure, including a new water tower. About $1.2 million of that money was a grant and the remaining money was provided to the village in the form of low-interest loans.

The village of Farwell, Michigan has completed a project upgrading water services on a portion of the street, upgraded storm drains and installed curb and gutter with resurfacing. It was funded with a 75 percent economic stimulus grant and 25 percent local share.

Sewer Rate News
Ithaca, New York
Keene, New Hampshire
Sultan, Washington

October 7, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Water Service Restored to Albuquerque Neighborhood After Main Break

Posted in California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania at 2:42 pm by bengann

Water has been fully restored to a Northeast Albuquerque neighborhood after a water main break disrupted service to about 50 homes and businesses on Wednesday night.

Headlines
A 15-inch water main break in Hamilton Township, New Jersey yesterday morning collapsed a portion of the roadway and caused minor discoloration in residents’ drinking supply.

City commissioners in Lake Wales, Florida have moved closer toward improving the city’s wastewater plant by unanimously approving two resolutions to secure funding from the Florida revolving funds program to improve and expand the plant to handle the city’s growing capacity. The entire project is expected to cost $4 million, most of which the city hopes to obtain from state funds and not pull extra funding from an already tight city budget.

Beaches along a two-mile stretch near Ballona Creek in Los Angeles were reopened to swimming and surfing two days after an estimated half-million gallons of raw sewage spilled into a storm drain that leads to a tributary of the creek.

Stimulus Spotlight
For years Telluride, Colorado has been planning to build a new water treatment plant but thanks to the economic stimulus that plan may now become a reality. The Town Council has given preliminary approval to issue $10 million in Build America Bonds to pay for the project’s construction.

Sewer Rate News
Allegheny Township, Pennsylvania
Bridgeton, New Jersey
Kenner, Louisiana
St. James, Missouri

October 6, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Communities Seek Federal Aid for EPA Mandated Improvements

Posted in California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, National, Vermont at 5:45 pm by bengann

The cost of federally mandated sewer improvements is putting a squeeze on cities throughout the United States, but some local officials around the country hope a proposed federal law will bring some relief to their rising repair bills. The Clean Water Affordability Act, if it becomes law, would update the EPA’s clean water affordability policy to provide grants to cash-strapped communities nationwide to make necessary repairs to their combined sewer systems.

Headlines
About 25 homes and businesses were without water service this morning in a Los Angeles neighborhood as utility crews tried to make repairs to a break in a 12-inch water main.

Torrential rains last week caused 2.6 million gallons of untreated sewage to spill from a treatment plant in Harford County, Maryland. Much of the sewage from the plant’s primary settling tank flowed into King’s Creek and the Bush River.

Stimulus Spotlight
Water districts in eastern Kentucky are undergoing improvements thanks to funding from the economic stimulus.
The funding includes $9.5 million in loans and $4.4 million in grants.

In California, San Luis Obispo County supervisors have allocated another $750,000 to keep the Los Osos sewer project going.  Roughly half of the money for the project — $87 million — is coming from federal stimulus funds. The remainder will be provided by loans from state water officials.

Sewer Rate News
Evanston, Illinois
Godfrey, Illinois
Pinellas County, Florida
Rutland, Vermont

October 5, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: 637,000 Gallon Sewer Overflow in Carolina Beach

Posted in Arizona, California, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington at 4:09 pm by bengann

The Town of Carolina Beach, North Carolina had a discharge of approximately 637,000 gallons of untreated wastewater from manholes at various locations throughout the wastewater collection system that spilled into Myrtle Grove Sound and the Carolina Beach Lake. 

Headlines
The water main break that shut down a street in Dayton, Ohio for several hours Tuesday morning spilled about a million gallons of water into the street. The break in the 90 year-old high pressure main is likely due to age.

The water supply for Toledo, Washington’s 699 residents was shut off today because of a break in a water main. All three schools in Toledo were closed early as a result of the break.

Stimulus Spotlight
In California, after 10 years of trying, the Napa Sanitation District is on the verge of providing recycled water to irrigate Napa State Hospital’s sprawling landscaped grounds. The project is estimated to cost $3.8 million with $1.5 million of the funding coming from the economic stimulus.

The sewage treatment system in Genesee County, Michigan is getting an upgrade, thanks to help from the economic stimulus. $10 million dollars in economic stimulus money is being used to make facilities more energy-efficient and to increase capacity.

Sewer Rate News
Anthem, Arizona
Decatur, Tennessee
Kingman, Arizona

October 4, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Shuts Down Street in Greensboro, North Carolina

Posted in Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin at 4:09 pm by bengann

Police in Greensboro, North Carolina and city crews have partially closed a street downtown due to a broken water main. Water and sewer crews are working to get the main fixed as quickly as possible, however, they said that lanes may be closed for up to approximately 10 hours.

Headlines
Excessive rain Thursday night and early Friday caused more than 200,000 gallons of wastewater to overflow into Broad Creek in Fort Washington, Maryland on Friday

Water main breaks gave students in two local school districts near Buffalo, New York a break from the classroom today. Officials expect to have the schools’ running water back in time to open tomorrow.

Two neighborhoods in Bossier City, Louisiana could have new connections to the city sewer system if council members agree Tuesday to spend money from the 2002 Sewer Capital Bond Fund for new infrastructure for those areas.

Stimulus Spotlight
Canastota, New York tax rates are not anticipated to increase even with a $11 million project to replace its wastewater treatment plant. Stimulus money received from the Recovery Act will fund the majority of the project — more than $8 million in grants along with $3 million in loans with zero percent interest rates.

Sewer Rate News
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Frisco, Texas
Shenandoah, Iowa
Westfield, Massachusetts

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