February 14, 2011

Monday’s Water News: President’s Budget Cuts Funding for Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

Posted in California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New York, North Carolina at 9:23 pm by bengann

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President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget includes $2.5 billion –a decrease of $947 million — combined for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs). The President’s budget includes $1.55 billion for the CWSRF and $990 million for the DWSRF. In 2010, the SRF programs — excluding  funding from ARRA — made available $8.8 billion in financing to local communities.

In other important news on federal spending for environmental infrastructure, the House Committee on Appropriations has introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for the last seven months of the fiscal year. The proposed CR has bad news for the SRF programs which would receive a cut of $1.967  billion from the current levels in the CR.

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Clean-up efforts are continuing in an area of northeast Minneapolis after a major water main break flooded basements of homes and businesses. A large sinkhole developed where the main broke and 28 homes and two businesses remain without water service.

A water main break has been fixed in Asheville, North Carolina. Earlier today a major 36-inch main broke disrupting water service to most of the city.

Some residents in Richmond, New York are being asked to boil water before drinking it, following a weekend water main break. The break caused a loss in water pressure, which can allow contaminants like E.coli to enter the system.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Charlotte, North Carolina
Southwick, Massachusetts
Torrance, California
Winnebago, Minnesota

February 11, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Study Shows Iowa Waterways are Dirtier Than Ever

Posted in California, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington at 1:20 pm by bengann

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Iowa’s waterways are dirtier than ever according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources which classified 572 waterways as polluted in 2010. That’s the highest number since the agency began keeping records 14 years ago. 

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A leaky sewer line in Bremerton, Washington is a bigger problem than originally believed, so utility crews now plan to install about 3,000 feet of new sewer pipeline in the affected area. of it in a neighborhood.

The City Council in Petaluma, California has approved a $51 million, 25-year package of bonds that it will use to pay off loans and other debts related to a wastewater treatment plant and other wastewater operations.

EPA has announced plans to conduct a comprehensive review of water pollution in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Calif.), a first step in containing a problem the agency admits is overdue for closer analysis.  The review will focus on a wide range of pollutants, from farm and household pesticides to urban wastewater and wetland disturbances.

This morning’s rush-hour commute was slowed in Houston, Texas after a water main broke on the Gulf Freeway overnight. The water main, which was located under the freeway, broke causing water to come up through the sidewalk and the cracks on the road.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Aberdeen, Ohio
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

February 10, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: NYC Completes Wastewater Treatment Upgrades at Cost of $7.4M

Posted in California, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Wisconsin at 6:34 pm by bengann

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New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection has completed work on wastewater treatment plants in the Upstate communities of Grahamsville and Margaretville at a cost of $7.4 million. The improvements will help New York City continue to supply its water without having to filter it first.  All five of the city-owned wastewater treatment plants in the upstate area now use the ultraviolet disinfection process. New York City has invested $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs since 1997.

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A broken sewer line is the suspected cause of the failure of a main pump station that flooded a few basements in Warwick, Rhode Island and has crews working around the clock to fix the problem. With the sewer lines so deep in the ground, the repair work will probably take at least a couple of days.

Water and sewer bills in Swansea, Wisconsin — a town of 600 people — is on its way up, with possible 30- to 40-percent increases because the town had to borrow $3 million to make immediate repairs to the system.

A new UV disinfection system at Galt, California’s wastewater treatment plant is part of $16.6 million in improvements the city finished this month to meet state requirements. The equipment provides another step of cleaning for the water that travels from the city’s toilets to the plant and then into rivers or onto farmland.

Residents in a Oklahoma City neighborhood reported water shortages yesterday after a series of water main breaks in the area.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Branchville, South Carolina
Rockton, Illinois
St. Helena, California
Springboro, Ohio

February 9, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: 52 Homes in San Diego Lose Water Service After Main Break

Posted in Alaska, California, Georgia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia at 1:53 pm by bengann

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A water main ruptured underneath a San Diego intersection Tuesday afternoon, leaving dozens of homes temporarily without functional plumbing and shutting down traffic lanes around the break.

Other Headlines
The company that operates the wastewater treatment plant for the city of Kyle, Texas will learn as early as this week how much it will be fined for violations that flow from a sewage spill this past fall. The spill dumped roughly one million gallons of untreated and undertreated wastewater into an unnamed tributary which killed 3,000 fish.

In Georgia, the Macon Water Authority says four sewage spills this past weekend released about 600,000 gallons of untreated wastewater.

Preliminary work on upgrades to Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s wastewater treatment technology is expected to begin in the coming weeks following the City Council’s approval of a $3 million bond request.

The small community of Unalaska, Alaska has petitioned the state for $4 million to help fund the construction of a wastewater treatment plant which could cost up to $24 million.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Henderson, Kentucky
Moundsville, West Virginia
St. Matthews, South Carolina
Vanceburg, Kentucky

February 8, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: EPA Grants Iowa Community $868,000 for Sewer Improvements

Posted in California, Hawaii, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin at 7:36 pm by bengann

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The EPA has awarded a $868,000 grant to help fund wastewater improvements in Clinton, Iowa. The grant will help fund a $3.9 million project that will include a lift station and 17,200 feet of sewer pipe to connect the City of Low Moor to the new wastewater treatment facility.

Other Headlines
Voters in Exeter, New Hampshire will have the opportunity next month to approve the town’s budget, which includes a heavily scrutinized $2.9 million sewer project to improve inflow and infiltration.

A major sewer renovation project in the city of Sheboygan will cost an additional $78,000 due to delays in getting a permit needed to cross Interstate-43 from the state of Wisconsin.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has fired 71 employees from the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners amid allegations of nepotism and corruption. The agency operates the largest wastewater treatment plant in New Jersey.

A water main break temporarily caused a disruption for some Charlottesville, Virginia residents today. Repairing the break created a lot of mud and was a problem as the water line the main artery for the city’s water supply.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Estherville, Iowa
Fullerton, California
Honolulu, Hawaii
Toledo, Ohio

February 7, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Missouri AG Files Lawsuit Over Clean Water Violations

Posted in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio at 9:21 pm by bengann

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Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit against the owner and operators of a wastewater treatment facility that serves a six-duplex residential facility for violations of  the state’s Clean Water Law.

Other Headlines
Taunton, Massachusetts must complete $46 million in wastewater system improvements by October 2013 to comply with an EPA mandate to eliminate all combined sewer overflows. The city has been issued a loan from the Clean Water SRF to pay for the project.

The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati issued a Wet Weather Sewer Overflow Warning on Saturday due to concern over heavy rain.

Officials in Cos Cob, Connecticut have reached an agreement with the EPA to pay a $200,00 fine for a sewer line break which spilled 28 million gallons of untreated wastewater into the Mianus River in 2008.

35 families in Jersey City, New Jersey were without water on Saturday after an early morning water main break.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Decatur, Illinois
Henderson, Kentucky
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Redlands, California

February 4, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Big Sewer Rate Increases to Hit Kansas City

Posted in Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia at 1:42 pm by bengann

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In Kansas City, sewer rate increases of 15 percent a year are projected through 2014, and increases of 13 percent a year could follow after that to help pay for a 25-year, $2.5 billion project to fix the city’s aging sewer infrastructure.  

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The City Council in Weirton, West Virginia may soon ask the state Department of Environmental Protection to consider approving the cheaper of two proposed methods to overhaul the city’s ailing sewer system. A significant sewer rate increase – 35 to 45 percent – will be necessary to fund either project.

Officials in  Oconee County, South Carolina is looking at having a private company provide sewer service to the Interstate 85 areas where county officials hope to foster development. The project would cost $4 million to $6 million.

A 10-inch water main break yesterday turned a downtown Kansas City street into a slippery sheet of ice. Many vehicles parked on the side of the road were frozen to the street, and because crews had to shut off the water, eight buildings in the area were without water service.

The city of Gloucester, Massachusetts is asking the EPA to reverse its decision and issue a waiver exempting the city’s sewer treatment plant from an estimated $60 million investment in secondary treatment of wastewater.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chelan County, Washington
Galena, Ohio
Lehman Township, Pennsylvania

February 3, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Study Shows Water Quality Concerns for Lackawanna River

Posted in California, Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia at 8:10 pm by bengann

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In Pennsylvania, a new assessment of water quality in the Lackawanna River details a dramatic increase of pollutants in the waterway during storm events, evidence of the persistent problem of waste flowing into streams from sewer overflows and stormwater runoff in heavy rains. The study by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission found that two pollutants – nitrogen and phosphorous – were above the level of concern for aquatic life at half of the 15 sites sampled during normal conditions.

Other Headlines
It will cost and estimated $200 million to upgrade 13 West Virginia wastewater treatment plants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The improvements are needed to meet new EPA standards for pollution control.

Visalia, California is upgrading its wastewater treatment plant, which will increase the amount of water that can be recycled and help reduce the need for pumping groundwater.

More than 15 water leaks, water main breaks and flooded homes were reported  this morning in and around Horizon City, Texas.

The ongoing wastewater treatment project Lincoln County, West Virginia has received over $924,000 in SRF money for the third phase of the project.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Burley, Idaho
Canton, Michigan
Great Falls, Montana
Henrietta, Missouri

February 2, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Water Main Break in Albuquerque Turns Intersection into Skating Rink

Posted in Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon at 10:32 pm by bengann

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An overnight water main break in Albuquerque, New Mexico turned a busy intersection into a virtual skating rink this morning after the break dumped hundreds of gallons of water onto the road which quickly froze and covered roads with a thick sheet of ice.

Other Headlines
Work could start as early as June to help DeKalb County, Georgia meet a federal mandate to improve its sewers. The $1.35 billion project is necessary because the EPA has mandated the county improve its sewer system after reporting more than 800 raw sewage spills over five years.

The city of Mount Angel, Oregon has slated a $40,000 sanitary sewer line project to work on this spring with the goal of lengthening the life of the sewer system.

A broken water main that leaked an estimated 500,000 gallons of water along a major road in Augusta, Georgia also snarled traffic and closed some businesses.

The water in Oil City, Louisiana is back on after a major water main break, but the city of 1,300 is likely to be under a boil water advisory until at least Friday. The city’s Mayor reports the water main break caused a sinkhole four feet deep.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Ames, Iowa
Flint, Michigan
Indianapolis, Indiana
Westwood, Massachusetts

February 1, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Work Continues to Remove 32-Ton Boulder Sitting on Sewer Pipeline

Posted in California, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Ohio, South Carolina at 11:25 pm by bengann

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With a massive sewage spill into the Mojave River under control in Victorville, California, a regional wastewater agency is focusing its attention on a separate problem just to the north: a 32-ton boulder that’s sitting on the Victor Valley’s main pipeline. Now efforts are being undertaken to demolish the boulder so as to prevent further damage to the sewer pipeline.

Other Headlines
A 20-inch water main burst in Los Angeles, sending a torrent of water nearly 2 feet deep through residential streets and into apartments and businesses. The break forced nearly 60 people from their homes and also caused a massive sinkhole.

U.S. Conference of Mayors has awarded the 2011 Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships Award to the city of Schenectady and Veolia Water North America for their partnership’s successful biosolids program and significant operational improvements at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The village of Waldo, Ohio is moving forward with its plan to build a wastewater treatment plant in response to a 2005 order by the Ohio EPA to eliminate unsanitary conditions in Tomahawk Ditch.

A sewer pipe failure in Des Moines, Iowa led to more than 100,000 gallons of untreated wastewater being discharged into a stream that runs into the Des Moines River.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Detroit, Michigan
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Palo Alto, California
Richmond Hill, Georgia

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