March 31, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Omaha Set to Begin $200 Million Sewer Project

Posted in California, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington at 9:12 pm by bengann

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Omaha is set to begin a new $200 million sewer project. From now through the next year, residents will see a lot of heavy equipment around town as the city moves ahead with separating old sewer lines and putting in new infrastructure. The work could mean as many as 2,000 jobs for the area, and is part of a 15-year, $1.7 billion federally effort  to separate the sewers in the eastern half of town.

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The planned upgrades to the Jamestown, North Dakota sewer system will concentrate on increasing capacity of the system while also reducing infiltration. The project time frame allows for engineering work until roughly the end of 2011 with construction occurring during both the 2012 and 2013 construction seasons.

In California, Orange County’s world-famous system for turning sewer water into highly purified drinking-water will receive a $156 million upgrade — boosting its capacity to 100 million gallons per day.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has announced a number of low-interest loans through the EPA’s SRF programs for projects aimed at improving water and wastewater infrastructure.

A water main break this morning in downtown Everett, Washington closed part of a busy street while also flooding nearby businesses.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Corpus Christi, Texas
Fresno, California
Goleta, California

March 30, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Million Gallon Sewer Spill in Augusta, Georgia

Posted in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Washington at 9:05 pm by bengann

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In Augusta, Georgia, a combination of pumps failing and heavy rains caused almost a million gallons of diluted raw sewage to spill into the Phinizy Ditch, a stream that flows into the Savannah River.

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A water main which provides drinking water for an apartment complex broke yesterday in Loveland, Ohio leaving about 90 families without water.

The City of Toppenish, Washington has agreed to pay $134,500 for wastewater violations spanning a two-year period. Between 2008 and 2010, the facility exceeded levels of ammonia, zinc and copper allowed in its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit more than 1,800 times.

In a Letter to the Editor, the Executive Director of the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Water Board points out that the wastewater facility it operates may provide an economic boon to the area because the plant is capable of treating wastewater used in the hydraulic fracturing  process used to recover oil and natural gas.

A ruptured water line beneath a main thoroughfare in Pittsburg, California has created a large sinkhole, closing the road while city crews repair the damage.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chickasha, Oklahoma
Delaware, Ohio
Hartland Township, Michigan
Sharon, Massachusetts

March 29, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Jackson, Mississippi Needs $28.9M Over Sewer Upgrades in Next 2 Years

Posted in California, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Washington at 10:56 pm by bengann

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The city of Jackson, Mississippi has more than 400 sewer system overflows and must make $28.9 million in improvements over the next two years under federal mandate. The city already stands in violation of the Clean Water Act and is paying a $240,000 fine to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

Other Headlines
San Luis Obispo County (Calif.) public health officials have warned residents at Nacimiento Lake not to drink water from the reservoir without purifying it because of a break in a sewer line that is submerged in the lake. The public is also ordered to specifically avoid swimming and other water contact activities for the time being.

An estimated 25,000 gallons of sewage spilled from a pipe in the small community of Omak, Washington after a main sewer pipe collapsed Sunday afternoon. Approximately 1,200 feet of pipe must now be replaced at a cost of 250,000 to the city of under 5,000 people.

On April 5, voters Holts Summit, Missouri will vote on a proposed $7 million sewer bond issue to improve the city’s sewerage system. If the bond issue passes, the money will build a new wastewater treatment plant capable of handling 600,000 gallons of wastewater a day.

In Ohio, Miami County has been awarded $600,000 from the state to use toward installation of 4,230 linear feet of sanitary sewers and seven grinder pumps. The project is expected to cost $1 million and will benefit nearly 60 homes.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Falls Church, Virginia
Loudon County, Virginia
Redlands, California
Wellsville, New York

March 28, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Joplin (Mo.) Receives $26 Million Loan to Fix Treatment Plants

Posted in California, Connecticut, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia at 9:50 pm by bengann

Top Story
The city of Joplin, Missouri is receiving a $26 million low-interest loan to finance improvements at two wastewater treatment plants. The loan comes from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and will save city ratepayers an estimated $12.6 million in interest.

Other Headlines
As the Bay Area of California continued to dry out from storms that dumped up to 2 feet of rain in some places, the effects were still being felt Friday. About 160 homes were without water in Pleasanton, and residents with water were advised not to use it after a major water main was damaged by a landslide.

Aging and failing wastewater infrastructure in a number of Connecticut towns, combined with the slow-pace of repairs, has meant that in particularly rainy years, more raw or partially treated sewage is entering the Long Island Sound and other waterways.

A sewage overflow in Burlington, North Carolina caused by rags and debris sent an overflow of approximately 81,300 gallons of untreated wastewater from its sanitary sewer collection system into Burlington Creek.

Apollo, Pennsylvania’s lengthy stormwater/sanitary sewer separation project is entering its final stages. The $7 million project is part of a federal order mandating separation of stormwater lines from sewer lines.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bridgeport, West Virginia
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Plattsburgh, New York
Swansea, South Carolina

March 25, 2011

Back on Monday

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:04 pm by bengann

Water News Update is taking the day off but will be back with all new stories on Monday, March 28. Have a good weekend.

March 24, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Gloucester (Mass.) Asks EPA to Renew Secondary Treatment Waiver

Posted in Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, National, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 12:02 pm by bengann

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With potentially higher water and sewer bills looming for Gloucester, Massachusetts, city officials and business leaders are expecting a big turnout for tonight’s EPA public hearing. Mayor Carolyn Kirk will try to persuade EPA officials to rescind a tentative decision to deny Gloucester’s request to renew its secondary treatment waiver. Without it, Gloucester will be forced to spend $60 million on a secondary treatment plant, which will double residents’ already high water and sewer rates.

Other Headlines
Thanks to a $369,000 grant courtesy of the economic stimulus two suburban Pittsburgh communities will soon commence work on sewer reconstruction project.

A new GE white paper says one of the best ways to stretch Earth’s supply of available water is through increased reuse and recycling, yet progress in these areas has been limited due to a lack of effective incentives.

In Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance has received a $740,000 grant from the EPA for projects to better control stormwater runoff.

A precautionary boil water notice has been issued for 350 homes in St. Augustine, Florida following a water main break.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chester, Ohio
Detroit, Michigan
Otsego, Michigan
Salida, Colorado

March 23, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Omaha Mayor Makes Case for Federal Investment in Sewers

Posted in California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, National, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 11:47 am by bengann

Top Story
Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle traveled to the Washington, D.C. yesterday to ask for federal help with the metro area’s $1.7 billion bill for federally mandated sewer improvements. The work must be done by 2024. Mayor Suttle provided a number of ideas for ways the federal government could help finance sewer projects, including a tax on toilet paper.

Other Headlines
A water main break this morning in Cleveland, Ohio flooded a local road and forced the closure of an exit ramp from Interstate-90. A portion of the road caved in, making the underpass impassable in both directions.

In Tampa, Florida, sewage discharged into Trout Creek during a rupture last week is expected to reach the upper Hillsborough River today.

A follow-up to a story from yesterday, beaches in the area around Long Beach, California will remain closed through Monday as bacteria levels in the water remain high following a 250,000 gallon sewage spill.

The natural gas industry is promoting the use of recycled wastewater in hydraulic fracturing to address concerns that wastewater from mining for natural gas has polluted waterways in Pennsylvania.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Findlay, Ohio
Fort Wright, Kentucky
Lynchburg, Virginia
Taunton, Massachusetts

March 22, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Sewer Overflow from Heavy Rains Leads to Beach Closures in Long Beach

Posted in California, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington at 9:43 pm by bengann

Top Story
All beaches in Long Beach, California are closed after storms caused a 250,000 gallons of untreated wastewater near Studio City to overflow into the Los Angeles River. The beaches will be closed until water test results show that contamination levels are within state standards.

Other Headlines
The City Council in Akron, Ohio has delayed action on three sewer projects amid questions about the improvements and the status of the city’s overall sewer-system improvements. Council members questioned whether the city should be moving forward with the improvements after a federal judge last week threw out an agreement between Akron and the EPA on how to solve the city’s sewer overflow problems.

Officials in Cumberland, Maryland have an agreement that would enable the western Maryland city to sell treated wastewater for hydraulic fracturing in recovering natural gas.

A $14.5 million construction project to increase Panama City Beach, Florida’s treated wastewater capacity is nearing completion. The project, 10 years in the planning, is meant to halt the release of treated wastewater into West Bay and expand the capacity of the city’s treatment plant from 10 million gallons to 14 million gallons a day.

Public Works crew in Duluth, Minnesota are working to repair water service after a water main break has caused residents in West Duluth to be without water until at least Wednesday afternoon.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Clive, Iowa
Rainier, Washington
Shelton, Washington
Yuba City, California

March 21, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break in San Diego Leaves 40 Residents Without Water

Posted in California, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia at 8:18 pm by bengann

Top Story
A water main break in a San Diego neighborhood left 40 residents without service this morning. Excessive rain and fluctuations in temperatures likely caused the break in the 50-year-old 8-inch main. There have been a high volume of water main breaks in the same neighborhood over the past few years because many of them were installed more than 50 years ago.

Other Headlines
Students at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne are going to try to solve a sewer problem facing the city. The city’s Board of Public Works has agreed to pay the school about $9,400 to monitor hydrogen sulfide levels at a sewage lift station. Students and professors will monitor incoming sewage and determine how much hydrogen sulfide is present. The information will be used to recommend ways to treat the problem and determine cost estimates.

EPA has awarded a $485,000 grant to the City of Bryan, Texas, to replace its aging and deteriorating wastewater treatment plant. The existing plant currently has insufficient treatment capacity to serve the existing population and is located adjacent to residential housing.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is warning residents to avoid Long Branch Creek in Berea after a sewage overflow.

EPA is investigating chronic sewer overflows into Chicago’s lakes and streams. Despite the city’s past efforts to reduce sewer overflows, EPA is stressing the need to make its waterways even cleaner.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Elmer, New Jersey
Hannibal, Missouri
Hudson, Ohio
Lynchburg, Virginia

March 18, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Judge Rejects Akron’s Consent Decree to Address Sewer Overflows

Posted in Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, National, Ohio at 11:54 am by bengann

Top Story
A U.S. District Court Judge has rejected a consent decree between the city of Akron, Ohio, the Department of Justice and the Ohio Attorney General’s office to address the city’s sewer overflow issues. The decision will result in a three-part civil trial later this year.

Other Headlines
A water main break on the west side of Indianapolis tied up traffic for three hours yesterday.

Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) has reintroduced legislation which amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, updating the EPA’s clean water affordability policy to assist municipalities’ that cannot meet unfunded mandates to improve their wastewater infrastructure projects.

Officials in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa want the state to give them $10 million in a tight budget year to rescue their town from a failed multimillion dollar wastewater lagoon system.

In Ohio, plans have moved one step closer which would pave the way for Washington County to initiate $1.3 million in sewer system improvements, as well as allow plans to move forward on the city of Marietta’s $22 million wastewater treatment plant improvement project.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Clive, Iowa
Rio Rico, Arizona
Springboro, Ohio

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