July 15, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Davenport (Iowa) Deals with Aftermath from Water Main Breaks

Posted in Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 7:17 pm by bengann

Top Story
Broken water mains in Davenport, Iowa caused streets to crumble, flooded houses with water and mud and forced one couple from their home. They’ve also left some people wondering if the breaks are a sign of a bigger infrastructure problem, since some are a century old.

Other Headlines
Thanks to the USDA 14 Alaska communities will receive $23.6 million through the Rural Alaska Village Grant program to fund water quality improvement projects in rural Alaska villages.

In Pennsylvania, the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority has received a $4 million state grant to help finance its projected $18 million regional sewer service project. The authority is also hoping for funding from PENNVEST to help finance the project. Without additional financing, user rates are projected to be $100 to $125 per month.

Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed Atlanta’s A1 rating on the city’s $3.2 billion water and wastewater revenue bonds. Atlanta is in the midst of the largest capital project in its history with a $4 billion upgrade to its sewer and drinking water systems. Most of the program is expected to be paid for by borrowing and repaid through a sales tax and rate increases on the system’s customer accounts.

A sanitary sewer problem in Council Bluffs, Iowa forced nearly 70 families to move out of their homes at an apartment complex.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Lindsey, Ohio
Loganville, Georgia
O’Fallon, Missouri

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June 7, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: IRS Investigating Jefferson County’s (Ala.) Tax-Exempt Sewer Bonds

Posted in Alaska, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia at 2:34 pm by bengann

Top Story
In Alabama, Jefferson County says the Internal Revenue Service is investigating the tax-free status of sewer bonds that have landed the state’s largest county on the brink of bankruptcy. The county is in default on its sewer bonds, after the spending on a $1 billion project more than tripled and complex Wall Street interest rate swaps backfired.

Other Headlines
An issue with the sewer system could mean big trouble for a popular Northern Kentucky nightspot,  because it has been discovered the restaurant is no longer tied into the sewer system, meaning that their waste was being discharged into the Ohio River.

A $4.7 million project to upgrade the town’ of Wilton, Maine’s sewer system was approved by voters at the town meeting last night. To pay for the project, the town’s 995 sewer customers will pay an added $240 per year over the next 29 years on their sewer bills.

The longtime settling of a concrete vault is being blamed for the collapse of a sewer line along Route 37 in Toms River, New Jersey yesterday, which caused a sinkhole that shut down the right eastbound lane of the roadway until after midnight.

A water main break in the area of Peabody, Massachusetts left about 15 houses and a strip mall without water for about five hours yesterday.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bay City, Michigan
Burlingame, California
Canon City, Colorado
Vienna, Virginia

March 11, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Connecticut Town Under Federal Investigation for Sewer Project

Posted in Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas at 7:46 pm by bengann

Top Story
Trumbull, Connecticut’s sewer authority is under a federal grand jury investigation over apparent irregularities connected with the ongoing construction of the town’s sanitary sewers. Concerns about the work were raised more than a year ago after an audit of the town’s most recent sewer expansion project revealed a variety of irregularities, including a $3.5 million contract extension that was awarded in violation of the town charter.

Other Headlines
Officials in the city of Sarasota and Manatee county are objecting to stricter federal standards for the amount of nutrients allowed in Florida’s waterways as prohibitively expensive and scientifically indefensible. EPA estimates Florida’s public and private sectors could incur additional costs from $135 million to $206 million a year to meet the higher standards. Yet local governments counter that the true costs statewide could be in the billions.

In Hendersonville, South Carolina, the city’s wastewater collection system experienced 10 spills totaling over 188,000 gallons due to excessive rainfall.

A small subdivision near Lufkin, Texas  has been without a wastewater treatment facility for almost 20 years, but the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality commissioners have voted to revoke the permit of the previous wastewater plant operator, paving the way for another utility company to step in and provide service to the community of about 30 homes.

A sinkhole caused by a broken water line forced the closure today of a major road in Knox County, Tennessee.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Detroit, Michigan
Newton Falls, Ohio
Omaha, Nebraska
Soldotna, Alaska

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

Top Story
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.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Guadalupe, California
Henderson, Kentucky
Kenai, Alaska
Lynchburg, Virginia

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

Top Story
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

December 6, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Pima County (Ariz.) Looks to Approve $240M Treatment Plant Construction

Posted in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, National, Texas at 4:30 pm by bengann

In Arizona, the Pima County Board of Supervisors is poised to approve a contract worth as much as $240 million for a new wastewater-treatment plant. New state and federal standards for treated wastewater require such an extensive overhaul of its current 60-year-old facility that it will cost less to build a new treatment facility at the current site. The construction, along with upgrades at another county treatment plant, are part of a $720 million plan to bring both sites into regulatory compliance for the amount of nitrogen in treated wastewater.

Headlines
An early morning water break on the west side of Indianapolis created a mess for commuters this morning. Crews shut down one lane of traffic but water quickly drifted over to the second lane. With temperatures below freezing, the water froze creating slick spots that drivers had to carefully navigate around.

The city of San Marcos, Texas capital improvements department has begun a storm sewer improvement project  to address drainage issues in the area. Approximately 500 feet of 48-inch reinforced concrete pipe will be installed to fortify the storm sewer system and provide better drainage. The cost of the project is $189,000.

Stimulus Spotlight
An Alaska state loan agency has agreed to a complex deal to sell up to $20 million in Build America Bonds to finance a troubled sewer project at the new Mat-Su prison in the Goose Bay area.

A one-year extension of the Build America Bond program, the fastest-growing segment of the $2.8 trillion municipal-debt market, has been included in a Senate bill to maintain expiring tax cuts for middle-income Americans. The program was included as part of the economic stimulus bill passed last year.

Sewer Rate News
Champaign, Illinois
Flint, Michigan
Hutchinson, Minnesota
Malvern, Arkansas

December 3, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Sinkhole Swallows Car After Water Main Break

Posted in Alaska, California, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, Virginia at 6:19 pm by bengann

A water main break this morning in Montgomery County, Maryland opened up a gaping 15-foot sinkhole that almost swallowed a car (pictured). The break follows other ruptures in nearby Northwest Washington, D.C. last week.

Headlines
Construction of a new $25 million sewer plant in Willits, California is on schedule to complete by the end of 2011 despite a late construction start this fall. The city has been under a cease and desist order from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board since 2001 requiring it to stop discharging a higher than authorized quantity of treated sewage into the area creeks.

The city of Gulfport, Mississippi will receive a $1 million federal grant to install sewer connections for 110 homes. The grant was awarded through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program and will be administered by the state.

Stimulus Spotlight
The city of Peru, Illinois is in the process of completing a big sewer project installing separate storm and sanitary sewers to alleviate flooding and pipe backups, and is being funded in part with $3 million in economic stimulus funds.

A $20 million stimulus project to expand Highway 58 in Abingdon, Virginia has included the relocation of existing water lines to accommodate the road widening. In addition, a separate, $26.2 million project is under way in Washington County, Virginia to expand a water plant. This project is funded with a stimulus loan, and will ultimately be paid for with money from water and sewer tap fees.

Sewer Rate News
Anchorage, Alaska
Lockport, Illinois

September 15, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Major Sewer Overflow Spills into North Carolina River

Posted in Alaska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas at 4:23 pm by bengann

Approximately 500,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Pasquotank River in Elizabeth City, North Carolina on Tuesday night after a pipe ruptured. At the wastewater treatment Plant, a 30-inch pipe that discharges from the aeration basin to the splitter box ruptured, causing a large sinkhole.

Headlines
Motorists are once again using a road in South Fayette Township, Pennsylvania after it was closed for two days when a 36-inch water main broke early sending torrents of water down the street.

A broken sewer pipe resulted in 66,500 gallons of sewage flowing into Dye Creek in Mooresville, North Carolina last Friday.

Stimulus Spotlight
The town of Central, South Carolina has reached an agreement to connect two Pickens County schools to its sewer system, pending county council approval. Central’s sewer system is being rebuilt with the help of federal stimulus money.

Workers in Fairbanks, Alaska are racing to complete a road project before winter. The project is part of phase two; phase one which cost $2 million replaced sewer and water systems under about a mile of road and was aided by $1 million in economic stimulus funding.

Sewer Rate News
Aurora, Ohio
Kaufman, Texas
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Pataskala, Ohio

June 7, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Massive Water Main Break, Sinkhole in Gainesville

Posted in Alaska, California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina at 5:41 pm by bengann

In Florida, a busted Gainesville Regional Utilities pipe three blocks from the University of Florida campus sent torrents of water rushing down a street, dropped water pressure to neighborhoods and restaurants, and caused a sizeable section of road to cave in Saturday night.

Headlines
Officials in Jackson, Mississippi may not see a requested $10 million in federal funding to help with the city’s crumbling water infrastructure until next year or 2012.

Agents from state and federal agencies have raided the Michigan City (Ind.) Sanitary District looking for evidence of environmental crimes. The investigation involves several years of unreported sewer overflows and the firing of the whistleblower who tipped off the government.

Stimulus Spotlight
In California, the Moulton Niguel Water District is receiving help from the economic stimulus to bring recycled water to local parks and golf courses. The city’s water pipeline system is also being extended as part of the project. The project will be financed through 30-year Build America stimulus bonds. which were included as part of the economic stimulus.

The National Park Service has provided $5.35 million in federal stimulus funding for a new wastewater treatment plant at Denali National Park and Preserve in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Sewer Rate News
China Grove, North Carolina
Las Galinas, California
Lee County, Florida
Springfield, Massachusetts

June 4, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Raleigh Gets its Second Sewage Spill in a Week

Posted in Alaska, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Washington at 2:14 pm by joepaul1

A sewer main collapse in Raleigh, North Carolina has caused a sewage spill which has led to an estimated 28,800 gallons of spillage into Walnut Creek. This event comes on the heels of another overflow earlier in the week due to rags and paper towels clogging the old system.

Headlines
There are serious problems with the sewage system in Hayti Heights, Missouri. Attorney General Chris Koster is worried that the system is not functioning properly, and filed an injunction to appoint a temporary, limited receivership to preserve and protect the water and sewer utilities and make sure they are operating as intended.

A collapsed sewer main in Seattle, Washington caused the formation of a 16-foot sinkhole yesterday. A pump was powered up to divert the sewage around the broken line through a six-inch hose.

The morning commute was worse than usual for some motorists in St. Louis after a water main break downtown forced the closure of a street. It is believed that the broken main was approximately 100 years old.

Stimulus Spotlight
Thanks to the stimulus package, Fairbanks, Alaska has received a 5.35 million dollar grant towards a new wastewater treatment plant, which will process an estimated 100,000 gallons of water a day

Sewer Rate News
Carson City, Nevada
Middletown, Maryland
Wapakoneta, Ohio
Sutherlin,Oregon

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