December 29, 2010

Top Sewer Overflow Stories of 2010

Posted in California, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin at 9:20 pm by bengann

Here are the top sewer overflow stories for 2010.

1.  Milwaukee had several major sewer overflows in 2010 including in July when a massive amount of sewage poured into lakes and streams after heavy rains hit the area. An estimated 2 billion gallons of sewage spilled during that time. 

2. Kansas City is starting 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.

3. Agencies argued over responsibility for a sewage spill near the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California. Over 2.1 million gallons of Mexican sewage leaked into the Tijuana River Valley following a breakdown at several U.S. waste treatment facilities. Agencies responded by dodging responsibility because of jurisdictional questions.

4. During the storms that rained on the San Francisco Bay Area in January, a total of 630,000 gallons of raw sewage spewed into the bay at 47 spots. Even worse, 170 million gallons of partially treated sewage was discharged from three East Bay Municipal Utility District “wet weather” overflow plants.

5. Twenty million gallons of sewage spilled into the Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida in June after a 72-inch sewer pipe burst and deposited raw sewage into the bay.

6. The rapidly rising waters of the Pawtuxet River in Rhode Island caused unprecedented flooding at the West Warwick and Warwick sewage treatment plants in March, shutting down both plants and spreading untreated sewage. Such extensive flood damage of two major sewer plants had never happened before.

7. Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) became 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. 

8. The Metropolitan Sewer District in Louisville, Kentucky estimated 4.1 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Ohio River in October because of a gate failure at a pump station. Sewage discharged for about 11 hours from an overflow point in the Ohio River until the spill ceased.

9. 3 million gallons of untreated sewage spilled into Champion Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana in October. The city says the leak was the result of aging sewer pipes. It is estimated that $200 million is needed to update the city’s sewer system.

10. A collapsed sewer line in Sioux City, Iowa wasn’t fixed for a week in March and spilled about one million gallons of untreated wastewater into the Missouri River.  The line break happened when saturated soil slid into a ravine, carrying a section of the pipeline with it.

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