February 28, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Cleveland Wastewater Treatment Plant Floods, Causes Sewer Overflow

Posted in California, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee at 8:39 pm by bengann

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Regional sewer district officials in Cleveland, Ohio asked area residents to limit their water use after flooding forced a wastewater treatment plant to release untreated or partially treated wastewater into the Cuyahoga River. About 4.5 billion gallons of raw sewage are discharged annually into the environment by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

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In California, the Antelope Area Sewer Project which will serve as a solution to the contaminated groundwater in parts of the City of Red Bluff as well as the County of Tehama is estimated to cost $44 million.

Public works officials in Salisbury, Maryland are hoping needed upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment plant will help put them back on track after getting embroiled in legal problems over the plant’s nitrogen output levels.

Hours after the Kodak Theater played host to the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, a water main break created a sinkhole just down the street.

Even though no houses in the Slidell, Louisiana were flooded, and their water supplies were not affected, a busted water main causing headaches for motorists over the weekend.

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Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hudson, Ohio
Moorpark, California
Uhrichsville, Ohio

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February 25, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Indiana Community Reaches Agreement to End EPA Oversight in 5 Years

Posted in California, Indiana, Maine, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia at 12:23 pm by bengann

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The EPA has approved a plan to combat sewer overflows in New Albany, Indiana that could lead to the end of federal oversight in five years. New Albany has been under an EPA consent decree since 1992 due to sanitary sewer overflows(SSO). The city spent about $50 million from 2003 to 2010 battling SSOs, yet there were still more than 100 overflows recorded from 2007 to 2009.

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In Stockton, California, for three weeks, sewage overflowed from an apartment complex and drained into Smith Canal before city officials were alerted and stopped the flow yesterday. An estimated 35,000 gallons of wastewater overflowed into the city’s stormwater system.

Elected officials in Logan Township, Pennsylvania have decided to issue $10 million in bonds to expand sewer lines into more rural neighborhoods. The overall expansion is expected to cost $12 million and construction should begin in 2013.

An engineering study for Jamestown, North Dakota, a city with over 15,000 residents, concludes that $18 million is needed to repair its water and sewer systems.

Officials from three American Indian tribes and 10 federal agencies met in South Dakota yesterday to discuss securing $84 million in additional federal funds to finish the nearly complete Mni Wiconi water project. The project is 95% complete and once it’s finished will supply Missouri River water to thousands of people on four rural water systems and three reservations.

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Keyser, West Virginia
Portland, Maine
Sultan, Washington

February 24, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Indianapolis Airport Without Water After Main Break

Posted in Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 9:49 pm by bengann

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A water main break turned off all water at the Indianapolis International Airport Wednesday night after its main water line broke. During the outage, there was no water in the main terminal including the restrooms. Portable restrooms were brought in as stopgap measure.

Other Headlines
Hollywood, Florida is beginning the second year of a five-year, $200 million-plus water and sewer capital improvement program. 70 percent of the system is over 50 years old and needs refurbished or replaced. Funding for the program has come from the bond issuance, grants and to a lesser degree, money from federal government stimulus funds.

A water main break in Chanhassen, Minnesota led to a sewer back up for 18 area residents after water from the broken pipe couldn’t make its way to the surface due to the frozen ground. The back up led to a mixture of water and sewage spewing into the affected homes, filling the basements with a foul, smelly mess.  

A new $695,000 sewer line project in Harrison Township, Pennsylvania is expected to eliminate sewer backups into homes caused by an overloaded combined sewer system. The problem has plagued the area for 30 years, according to longtime residents.

A $2.6 million federal grant and loan from USDA will help pay for construction of a wastewater treatment plant for the village of Waldo, Ohio.

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Corona, California
North Lauderdale, Florida
St. Helena, California
Tuscon, Arizona

February 23, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Detroit Looks To Upgrade its Water and Sewer Systems

Posted in California, Connecticut, Idaho, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee at 7:43 pm by bengann

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Detroit looks to be getting more serious about addressing its decaying water and sewer infrastructure, and is asking the state to approve a 25-year, $814-million project to upgrade the system. The outdated system is frequently criticized for its environmental record, from dumping an average of 40 billion gallons of raw and partially treated sewage into waterways a year, to losing 100 million gallons of water daily to pipe ruptures.

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City officials in Twin Falls, Idaho are seeking approval for a series of improvements to keep the city’s wastewater facility up to date. These improvements would involve replacing crucial parts of the system in order to ensure that they remain in operation, as well as improve the plant’s ability to ensure that no sewage overflow occurs.

In North Carolina, the Brunswick County Public Utilities reported a discharge of untreated wastewater on the 16th tee of the Carolina Shores Golf Course this morning.  The call came in shortly before noon that about 2,000 gallons of wastewater had spilled out of a broken line.

A mid-morning water main break in South Chattanooga (Tenn.) caused minor flooding and loss of water to businesses and residents in a widespread area. Between 10,000 and 20,000 customers either lost all water or had low pressure.

A water main break Wednesday morning in Middletown, Connecticut left a four-block area of about 20 to 25 residential and commercial buildings without water for most of the day.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bailey, North Carolina
Barstow, California
Chico, California
Harbor Springs, Michigan

February 22, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Study Suggests Greater Sewer Overflows for Great Lakes Communities

Posted in Alaska, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, National, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin at 7:23 am by bengann

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A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee says climate change may bring heavier spring rains to communities across the Great Lakes which could cause some sewers to overflow more heavily. According to the study in the worst case scenario there could be an average 20 percent increase in the volume of overflows, and a ten percent increase in the number of such events.

Other Headlines
Four water main breaks occurred yesterday in Rockford, Illinois, with two of them on the same street. Included in the water main breaks, a sinkhole developed after one of the water mains broke and covered the residential road in water. A city salt and plow truck was called to spread salt but fell into a sinkhole after the ground under the vehicle was weakened by the water main break.

In Houston, Texas, a sewage leak last November will cost almost $7 million to permanently repair. The city’s already in the midst of a $900 million sewer system improvement program and this new repair would be on top of that.

The City Council in Columbia, Missouri voted unanimously yesterday to extend the Hinkson Creek sewer outfall by constructing 29,000 feet of extra sewage line. The project is estimated to cost $8.1 million.

It could be another month before repairs are completed to a sewer line which broke earlier this month in Warwick, Rhode Island.

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Guadalupe, California
Henderson, Kentucky
Kenai, Alaska
Lynchburg, Virginia

February 21, 2011

Monday’s Water News: House of Representatives Passes Bill Cutting Water Infrastructure Funding

Posted in Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, National, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 10:08 am by bengann

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On Friday, the House of Representatives passed legislation which would cut funding for the EPA’s SRF programs through the end of the fiscal year which ends on September 30. The SRF programs were cut by $1.967 billion from last year’s fiscal levels to $1.52 billion. The Senate will consider its own spending bill for the remainder of the fiscal year next week. The current continuing resolution for funding the government expires March 4.

Other Headlines
A water main break in Shaler, Pennsylvania late Sunday night spilled 2 million gallons of water onto a popular roadway and flooded nearby homes.

State environmental officials in Delaware have levied penalties totaling $514,000 on the town of Millsboro and city of Harrington for polluting local waterways with excessive and harmful discharges of sewage over the last two years from their wastewater treatment plants.

The city of Akron, Ohio wants a jury to hear a possible civil trial in U.S. District Court over its 34 remaining sewers that overflow The request for a jury trial has been filed with a judge, who first must rule on a proposed consent decree between Akron, the EPA and Ohio EPA.

A $10.5 million, 18-month project to improve the quality of water released from the Bowie, Maryland’s wastewater treatment plant is nearly complete. The upgrade reduces levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the treated water discharged into the Patuxent River which eventually empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

Water and Sewer Rate News
East Union Township, Pennsylvania
Holden, Massachusetts

February 18, 2011

Friday’s Water News: $7 Million in Sewer Improvements On Tap for Jacksonville, Arkansas

Posted in Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas at 6:57 pm by bengann

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Jacksonville, Arkansas is scheduled to spend $3 million on construction this year to update its wastewater treatment plant. Also this year, the city plans to spend $4.2 million to construct gravity flow sewer pipelines with manholes to replace city pump stations.

Other Headlines
Water service has been restored to residents of an Austin, Texas neighborhood that suffered a water main break. At least 30 homes were without water because of the break. It is the fifth time over the past two years, the same 6-inch pipe has broken.

The city of Richmond Hill, Georgia has been awarded a nearly $1.9 million Clean Water SRF loan for the upgrade and expansion of its wastewater treatment. As part of the loan, up to $687,500 will be forgiven and does not need to be repaid.

The City Council in Coon Rapids, Minnesota has approved plans for a project to replace its sewer lift station. The project will begin in May, cost an estimated $421,000 and is expected to be complete this fall.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Marin County, California
Middle Smithfield Township, Pennsylvania
Middlesboro, Kentucky
Northville Township, Michigan

February 17, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Number of Water Main Breaks in Kansas City Increases 73 Percent

Posted in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania at 7:18 pm by bengann

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Last winter, Kansas City had 270 main breaks from November through the month of February. So far this winter — with February not even over yet — the city has experienced 467 main breaks, for a 73 percent increase.

Other Headlines
In Fort Wayne, Indiana, a residential garage will be torn down to replace a sewer line that collapsed beneath it. The work needs to be done because a 12-inch sewer line, which carries both storm water and sewage, collapsed. The pipe was installed in 1916. 

A street in Mason City, Illinois collapsed after a hole developed in the sewer line supporting the road. The repairs will total between $5,000 and $10,000.

A water main break that closed down a major street in Portland, Maine this morning has been repaired and traffic has returned to normal. There have been five water main breaks in Portland since Sunday.

The City Council in Archbald, Pennsylvania will receive a $230,000 principal forgiveness loan from the federal government to cover the cost of a sewer project.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Ankeny, Iowa
Fremont, California
Newark, New York
South Pasadena, California

February 16, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: New $8.1M Wastewater Treatment Plant Set for Indian Tribe

Posted in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Virginia at 8:30 pm by bengann

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In California, construction is set to begin on Friday on a new $8.1 million wastewater treatment plant for the Tule River Indian Tribe. There is currently no sewage treatment on the reservation, only septic systems, and the project includes connecting 268 homes to the sewer system. The funding for the project is the largest American ARRA award funded by the California Indian Health Service and EPA.

Other Headlines
According to officials in Frenchtown. New Jersey construction of the borough’s new sewage treatment plant is likely to cost $10.5 million. The estimate for the project includes construction of the new plant, demolition of the old plant, new facilities for the Department of Public Works and flood-proofing the buildings.

A section of the Colonial Parkway in Williamsburg, Virginia, which has been closed since Jan. 4 because of a water main break, will reopen next week. Repairs to the 42-inch water main have just been completed but now the road must be repaved before it can reopen to traffic,

Glendale, Arizona has identified various sanitary sewer lines, manholes and structures in its wastewater collection system in need of rehabilitation and replacement. The required work will take place at 22 locations throughout the city impacting approximately 5,000 linear feet of sanitary sewer lines and more than 50 associated manholes.

A water main break in Chicopee, Massachusetts shut down water service to Elms College and nearby homes this afternoon.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Geneva, Illinois
Palmer, Texas
Rohnert Park, California
Vandalia, Ohio

February 15, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Some Montgomery County (Penn.) Offices Relocated After Water Main Break

Posted in Florida, Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas at 10:47 pm by bengann

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Many Montgomery County, Pennsylvania employees returned to work at the Human Services Center in Norristown yesterday, three days after a water main break flooded first floor hallways and offices forcing the building to close. Dozens of county employees who occupied offices on the ground floor will likely have to continue working at satellite offices for weeks until the clean-up is completed.

Other Headlines
In Iowa City, Iowa, the City Council has voted 7-0 to adopt a facility plan for its south wastewater treatment plant, moving the flood-mitigation project into the design phase. The $91 million project will be done in two phases, with the first part operational by April 2014, and the second phase occurring about 15 years later. About $32.5 million in federal and state funding will help cover the $46.7 million first phase.

The Board of Trustees in Lake George, New York have unanimously approved bonding $1.8 million to upgrade its aging local sewage lines and pump station. The 30-year bond from the state Environmental Facilities Corp. features a zero percent interest rate. In July 2009, the village’s largely clay sewage pipes burst, sending around 10,000 gallons of untreated refuse pouring into Lake George. Local beaches were closed for weeks following the spill.

A recent study has alerted elected officials in Maple Shade Township, New Jersey that they cannot wait much longer to make some much-needed repairs to its sewer system. The price of the repairs is estimated to be $1.24 million.

A follow-up to a story from last week, it may take up to two weeks to repair a broken sewer main at a pumping station in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Colleyville, Texas
Fort Dodge, Iowa
Springfield, Missouri
Vernon, Florida

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