April 29, 2011

Friday’s Water News: State Legislation to Help Fix Omaha’s Sewers Must Wait Until Next Year

Posted in California, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin at 1:53 pm by bengann

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A bill in the Nebraska state legislature to help Omaha pay for the federally mandated reconstruction of its sewer system will have to wait until next year. The bill was expected to pass but was shelved because of an expected veto by Gov. Dave Heineman. The measure would have redirected $65 million in state and local sales taxes on local sewer rates to Omaha to help pay for the $1.7 billion sewer project.

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In Bad Axe, Michigan, about 80,000 gallons of fully treated water and a mixture of raw sewage and storm water was discharged into the Bad Axe Drain yesterday because the infiltration flows exceeded the Bad Axe Wastewater Treatment Plant’s capacity.

Financing has been secured for the oft-delayed Puckety Creek sewer project in Washington Township, Pennsylvania. But threatened legal action could further delay the project, which will affect 750 authority customers. Washington Township Municipal Authority will get an $8 million loan from PNC Bank to finance the project. It is believed that project delays for the past 18 months have increased its cost by about $1.3 million.

The Borough Council in Hightstown, New Jersey has agreed to consider over $1.9 million for sewer improvements at its beleaguered sewage treatment plant and to bring a new well on-line.

The Village of Wilton has settled with the state of Wisconsin over alleged violations at its wastewater treatment plant in Monroe County. As part of the agreement the village has agreed to pay $7,000 and retain a second certified wastewater operator for six months.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Los Gatos, California
Port Angeles, Washington
Rock Hill, South Carolina
San Diego, California

April 28, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Greenwich Reaches Deal With State, EPA Over Massive Sewage Spills

Posted in Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington at 6:44 pm by bengann

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In a deal announced yesterday, the town of Greenwich, Connecticut has agreed to pay the federal government and the State of Connecticut each $100,000 to settle the complaints lodged against the town by the state and the federal EPA for a pair of sewer breaks that sent tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage into Cos Cob Harbor in 2005 and 2008. As part of the agreement,  the town also agreed to replace the section of sewer main where both breaks occurred and have most of the work done by the end of 2013.

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Working hard to avoid sewer backups as its wastewater system flooded with storm water, a pump station in Salina, New York used a backup pump to operate far beyond its normal capacity. On a normal day the station pumps 11 million gallons. Tuesday, it pumped about 53 million gallons, and about 43 million gallons on Wednesday.

The Town of Thomaston, Maine will receive a total of $1,887,000 from the USDA to make numerous improvements to its wastewater infrastructure. The Town will contribute $113,000 to make the $2 million project possible, which will upgrade the town’s primary sewer lines, which were constructed between 1891 and 1925.

The supervisor of Flint, Michigan’s water pollution control plant says an overflow of partially treated sewage into the Flint River is continuing and has already surpassed the volume of a 4.1 million gallon spill on April 23.

In Pennsylvania, after being forced from their offices at Montgomery County’s Human Services Center by a flood 11 weeks ago, the Coroner’s office is are moving back in Friday, and the office will be operational Saturday. On Feb. 11, an 8-inch water main burst underneath the floor of the Coroner’s Office on the first floor, and the operation relocated temporarily to buildings at the Emergency Services Center.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Falls Church, Virginia
Port Orchard, Washington
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Tulsa, Oklahoma

April 27, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: EPA Orders Columbia (S.C.) to Fix Sewer System or Risk Takeover

Posted in California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas at 7:04 pm by bengann

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EPA has ordered the city of Columbia, South Carolina to fix its sewer system or risk a federal takeover. The city’s plan, after negotiating with EPA officials, is to spend $49.2 million next budget year on sewage system improvements — part of the city’s long-term, $500 million campaign to upgrade both its water and sewage system. But to make the improvements, the city will have to borrow money this year – and raise water and sewage rates by 5 percent to pay the money back.

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Texas faces a significant cut in federal funding for some environmental projects as a result of the recent budget deal in Washington. Cuts to the EPA’s SRF programs for the current fiscal year mean that the Lone Start State anticipates receiving $25 million less for drinking-water projects and $30 million less for sewer projects the previous fiscal year.

Work crews worked to repair a sinkhole today in Kansas City that developed after a water main break. The sinkhole swallowed a car, shutdown traffic at the intersection and affected 20 nearby businesses.

Saturday’s rainfall in Bay City, Michigan caused more than 20 million gallons of partially treated sewage to overflow into the Saginaw River.

The northeastern Missouri city of Macon will get a $1.3 million loan thank to the EPA’s state revolving fund program to improve its wastewater disinfection facilities.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Fountain, Colorado
Grandville, Michigan
Jurupa, California
New Haven, Indiana

April 26, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Breached Levee Causes Evacuation in Poplar Bluff, Missouri

Posted in California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas at 8:00 pm by bengann

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The levee along the Black River near Poplar Bluff, Missouri was breached south of the city on Tuesday morning forcing an evacuation of 1,000 people. In 2008, flooding damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes in Poplar Bluff, raising doubts about whether the levee was capable of protecting the town during heavy rain. A federal inspection gave the levee a failing grade, and the private district that maintains it has been unable to make repairs.

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The City of Dubuque, Iowa will pay a $205,000 penalty and make several changes after acknowledging it has illegally allowed hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage to discharge into the Mississippi River and a tributary for years during major storms.

Columbus, Georgia has agreed to pay the state $150,000 for sewer spills that happened in one of the rainiest years on record. As part of the agreement, the city will speed up the process of assessing, repairing and replacing its sewer system.

Officials in Kerrville,  Texas have advised residents to avoid Quinlan Creek due to contamination from a sewage spill that was blamed for a fish kill in the tributary of the Guadalupe River.

The EPA has awarded Goliad, Texas $194,000 to upgrade and elevate the city’s primary sewer line so its wastewater is treated in compliance with federal and state laws.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Belmont, California
Easthampton, Massachusetts
La Vergne, Tennessee
Rochester, Illinois

April 25, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Pennsylvania Community Receives $3.6M for Sewer System Upgrades

Posted in Alabama, California, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas at 12:28 pm by bengann

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In Pennsylvania, Brackenridge’s sewer system is going to get a major upgrade this year, and the state is picking up the $3.6 million tab. Overall, the sewer liner project involves rehabilitation of 36,000 feet — about 6.2 miles — of sewer lines through about half the borough.

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A collapsed sewer line left several Jersey City residents with sewage backing up into their basements and without water for several hours on Saturday. One resident noted that her basement often floods during heavy rain and she did not realize initially that it was sewage.

The town of Berlin, Maryland will receive $3.5 million in grant and loan funding from the USDA for its wastewater treatment plant upgrade. Berlin’s wastewater treatment plant project, which began in 2009, consists of upgrading the decades-old plant to allow it to treat 750,000 gallons per day and building a new spray site for irrigation.

The court-appointed receiver who oversees Jefferson County, Alabama’s sewer system has asked the county for control over the system’s $257 million in cash and investments in case the financially troubled county files bankruptcy.

In Ohio, developers of a Hollywood casino in suburban Columbus will officially break ground today on the $400 million project despite an ongoing fight with neighboring Columbus that has left the property without water or sewer service.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Carson City, Nevada
Houston, Texas
Knoxville, Tennessee
Mira Loma, California

April 21, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Shale Operators Told to Stop Sending Wastewater to Treatment Plants

Posted in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania at 8:52 pm by bengann

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Because of high levels of dissolved solids and bromide in rivers and streams used for public drinking water sources, the state Department of Environmental Protection has asked all Marcellus Shale operations to voluntarily stop disposal of drilling wastewater at 15 municipal sewage treatment plants.

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In California,  water customers packed a meeting of the Ross Valley Sanitation District last night to protest a rate increase that could make their bills spike by hundreds of dollars. Ross Valley has a history of spills. This past December, more than a million gallons of raw sewage ran into Corte Madera Creek and local roads.

Plans are in the works for the second phase of the southwest sewer area project in Agawam, Massachusetts, a project currently estimated at $7.3 million.

The sewage system in Vidalia, Louisiana is getting another much-needed overhaul through a grant from the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant program.

Bingham, Maine, a town of approximately 1,000 people, has learned its wastewater infrastructure will be upgraded with the help of $1.57 million in federal loan and grant funds from USDA.

Water and Sewer Rate News
El Dorado, Arkansas
Loves Park, Illinois
North Reading, Massachusetts
Ramsey, New Jersey

I am taking tomorrow off but will be back on Monday. Enjoy your weekend.

April 20, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Climate Change Could Lead to More Sewer Overflows for Chicago

Posted in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina at 11:02 pm by bengann

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Researchers hired by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s office estimate that intense rainfall will happen more frequently in the not-so-distant future because of climate change, challenging the region’s aging sewers and the troubled Deep Tunnel project more than ever.

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Engineers trying to figure out the cause of sewer backups at homes in Southington, Connecticut say they expect to make recommendations for solving the problem by the end of May.

In a settlement with the Ohio EPA, the city of Crestline will make sewer system and wastewater treatment plant improvements to eliminate overflows of untreated sewage and comply with effluent contaminant limits set in its discharge permit.

PennVEST has awarded the small community of Franklin with a $2.8 million grant for a major rehabilitation of its sanitary sewer system.

Traffic will be closed for two streets in downtown Tucson, Arizona for at least a week after a break in a 36-inch line on Tuesday. Workers will have to dig by hand to get to the break. The city is hoping to fix the damage and re-open the road before next weekend’s Mariachi conference.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Aiken County, South Carolina
Hudson, Ohio
Laguna Niguel, California
Mill Valley, California

April 19, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: 8 Weeks Needed to Repair Albuquerque Sewer Main Collapse

Posted in Alabama, California, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington at 8:38 pm by bengann

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On a follow-up to a story from last week, officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico estimate it will take up to eight weeks to repair nearly 1,500 feet of sewer pipe which collapsed last week. With several roads shut down, nearby stores say they’ve already seen business drop due to lack of access.

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A sewer overflow after heavy rains last weekend in Corbin, Kentucky damaged four offices and will cause the city to pay for the damages incurred. This is the second time the sewer has overflowed and caused damage at the site.

A year after Mabton, Washington accidentally dumped 370,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Yakima River, the city is talking about becoming a model of environmental stewardship is considering an expansion of its wastewater system that would incorporate the latest green technology.

The sewer system in the town of Cherokee, Alabama may soon get a multi-million dollar overhaul after the town council voted to move forward with plans to revitalize the area’s old sewer system. Council members voted to accept more than $950,000 in grant money, and signed on for more than a million dollar loan to begin the project.

Water was flowing from a busted main in Philadelphia’s northeast section early Tuesday morning, causing a detour for several SEPTA bus routes and disrupting water service to a nearby community center.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Alexandria Bay, New York
Foster City, California
Planfield, Illinois
Warren County, Ohio

April 18, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Sends High School Students Home Early

Posted in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina at 11:10 pm by bengann

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A water main break at Hernando High School in Brooksville, Florida prompted school officials to send students home early today. The break caused the campus to lose water pressure causing the school Superintendent to make the decision to send students home early.

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In North Carolina, the Thomasville City Council has unanimously voted to accept a state emergency loan to replace the Baptist Children’s Home sewage collector line.

It has taken almost nine years but an advanced wastewater treatment plant to reuse and treat wastewater for irrigation in Lake Placid, Florida is almost complete.

Congressman Dave Loebsack has announced that Appanoose County, Iowa was awarded a $565,000 grant and a $280,000 loan from the USDA to improve its wastewater facilities.

Public Works crews in Woodland, California were fixing a 15-foot-wide sinkhole yesterday after a break in an eight inch water line cause the road to cave in.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Carroll County, Georgia
Davenport, Iowa
Madison County, Alabama
Northampton, Massachusetts

April 15, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Collapsed Sewer Pipe Leaves Smelly Mess on Albuquerque Street

Posted in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin at 7:26 pm by bengann

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Raw sewage is no longer bubbling up from underneath a street in Albuquerque, New Mexico after a 54 inch pipe collapsed early Thursday morning. In addition to the smelly mess created by flowing sewage crews were also attempting to repair a street that caved in, causing a huge sink hole, after the pipe collapsed.

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A water treatment system that can turn wastewater into clean water has been shown to reduce potential environmental impacts associated with producing natural gas from shale formations in the Appalachian basin.

The area near Piscataway Creek in Clinton, Maryland has now been cleared after a sanitary sewer overflow Thursday that released approximately 25,000 gallons of untreated wastewater.

A sewage spill in a Killeen, Texas neighborhood has people worried about the safety of their children and pets. 20,000 gallons of raw residential sewage leaked into the Long Branch tributary and is now off limits because of health concerns.

A large amount of food was destroyed at the Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in Wheeling, West Virginia after a 10-inch water line broke this morning.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Charleston, West Virginia
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Roseville, California
Worcester, Massachusetts

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