June 29, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Study Says 2010 One of Worst Years for Polluiton-Related Beach Closures

Posted in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Kentucky, National, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin at 5:36 pm by bengann

Top Story
The Natural Resources Defense Council’s has released  its annual beach water quality report which reveals that bacterial contamination at many beaches across the nation still poses risks to swimmers’ health. Last year was one of the worst in two decades for pollution-related beach closures and warnings, partly due to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and storm water runoff.

Other Headlines
A water main break in a Sacramento, California neighborhood yesterday flooded three city blocks and left business owners scrambling to keep the water from flooding their shops. The water was several inches deep across a road, leaving an intersection impassable to traffic during the height of the evening rush hour. At least six businesses have interior flooding, and employees at some businesses are using sandbags to try and keep the water out.

Oak Ridge North, Texas has decided to move forward on phase two of its sanitary sewer rehabilitation project at a cost of over $730,000. Phase two of the project involves replacing the 40-year-old existing pipeline. The project is being funded through the Clean Water SRF.

The town of Southington, Connecticut will spend $184,000 to repair sewers in a neighborhood that has been plagued with sewage backups into homes, which had been occurring because so much stormwater leaks into the pipes during rain storms that their capacity is overwhelmed, forcing sewage back into houses.

Construction is set to begin in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania to install new sanitary sewer lines as part of a $1 million project. Completion of the project is expected this fall.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Abbotsford, Wisconsin
Mulberry, Arkansas
Ripon, Wisconsin
Shepherdsville, Kentucky

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June 23, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Jefferson County (Ala.) Sewer Debt May Have Them on Verge of Bankruptcy

Posted in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma at 5:17 pm by bengann

Top Story
The Alabama court-appointed receiver in charge of managing Jefferson County’s sewer system — as well as its defaulted warrants and swaps — is demanding that the county turn over $75 million from its general fund. The demand for millions from the municipality could be the catalyst that forces Jefferson County to file for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Other Headlines
Owosso, Michigan had a sewer overflow of approximately 40,000 gallons on Tuesday and Wednesday after 2.71 inches of rain fell in the area over the last two days.

USDA has awarded $2.7 million to Rockland, Maine for upgrading its sewers.  Rockland City Manager Rosemary Kulow said, “In these challenging economic times, municipalities and their citizens can use all the financial assistance they can get, especially when it comes to the expensive replacement of old, worn out utility infrastructure.”

In more news concerning USDA awards, Stuttgart Arkansas will receive a $7 million loan from the agency for the purpose of replacing 26.5 miles of drinking water infrastructure which provides service to 2,000 customers.

15-year municipal bonds carrying a an interest rate of just over 3 percent will be issued to finance a $2.4 million in sanitary sewer improvements in Granite Falls, Minnesota, one of the largest utility projects every undertaken by the city.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Antioch, Illinois
Bay Village, Ohio
Clermont County, Ohio
Locust Grove, Oklahoma

I will not be posting tomorrow but look for the next post on Monday, June 27.

June 10, 2011

Friday’s Water News: 50 Homes in Iowa Community Damaged by Sewer Overflows

Posted in Arkansas, California, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina at 7:35 pm by bengann

Top Story
About 50-homes in Indianola, Iowa saw their homes damaged by runoff from sewer overflows.  With about eight inches of rain in just 24 hours, it was too much for the 100-year old sewer system to handle. Even the wastewater treatment plant was flooded with 18-feet of raw sewage. On most days, it handles about 2-million gallons of wastewater and sewage. Over the past two days, it’s handled about 14-million gallons.

Other Headlines
The California’s Water Resources Control Board has received information it requested from San Luis Obispo County regarding a massive sewage spill last December and will now determine whether it will levy fines against the county.

In North Carolina, a damaged wastewater pump station spewed an estimated 50,000 gallons of raw sewage into a tributary of Upper Barton Creek, killing dozens of fish in the stream that flows into Falls Lake

The new pump station in Windsor, California will help resolve the town’s dilemma of storing and disposing its excess treated wastewater, sending millions of gallons of treated wastewater northward, connecting to Santa Rosa’s pipeline and The Geysers geothermal field.

Some residents in Hartford, Arkansas not only had to contend with 90 degree temperatures today, but also were without water after a water main break. It was the third break for the main, and rather than refurbishing the pipe, crews installed 300 feet of new piping.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Covington, Louisiana
Rochester Hills, Michigan
Salisbury, North Carolina
Waukee, Iowa

May 2, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Massachusetts Prepares Lawsuit Over Massive Water Main Break

Posted in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas at 4:56 pm by bengann

Top Story
The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority is preparing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against several companies for the catastrophic water main break last year that cut off clean water to nearly 2 million Boston-area residents for more than two days. The state’s hope is that successful legal action could recover the millions of dollars it cost to fix the rupture and coordinate extensive emergency measures.

Other Headlines
After initial reports estimated a 20 million gallon sewer overflow in Bay City, Michigan last week,  a report from the Bay City Wastewater Treatment Plant now states over 90 million gallons of combined groundwater and sanitary sewage was discharged into the Saginaw River after two inches of rain fell.

EPA has awarded $485,000 to Fayetteville, Arkansas to replace undersized sanitary sewer pipe with larger diameter pipe and rehabilitate about 90 manholes.

Killeen, Texas may be fined for alleged violations concerning its 289,000-gallon sewer spill that surged into South Nolan Creek in February. According to a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigation, Killeen failed to prevent the sewage discharge which killed several hundred fish.

In California, Port San Luis and Avila Beach were closed Friday after 1,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into the ocean because of a  leaking pressure main under a roadway.

Water and Sewer Rate News
El Mirage, Arizona
Enfield, Connecticut
Naperville, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois

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

Top Story
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.

Other Headlines
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.

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

Top Story
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

January 12, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Indiana Community Receives $1.4 Million Grant for Sewer Upgrades

Posted in Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia at 8:20 pm by bengann

Top Story
Crothersville, Indiana has received a $1.4 million grant to make improvements to the city’s sewer system. The money will be used inconjunction with a loan from USDA to complete the $3.5 million sewer project.

Other Headlines
Bullard, Texas is about to begin a $1.6 million expansion of its sewer plant. The expansion will ensure that the sewer plant can sustain continued growth.

According to a recent study, the growing population in Amity Township, Pennsylvania will force the municipality to spend $9.7 million by 2020 to expand its wastewater treatment plant.

Two major water main breaks led to some wet driving conditions early Wednesday morning in the downtown area of Dallas, Texas.

Students at a magnet middle school in Little Rock, Arkansas were sent home early today following a water main break near the school that shut off water service.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Altoona, Iowa
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Middlebourne, West Virginia
West Point, Mississippi

December 20, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Study Finds Probable Carcinogen in Tap Water of 31 U.S. Cities

Posted in Arkansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, National, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin at 8:31 pm by bengann

Residents in at least 31 U.S. cities could be drinking tap water contaminated with the harmful chemical hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, according to a report released today by the non-profit Environmental Working Group. The EPA has classified hexavalent chromium as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” and the new study may eventually lead to a national drinking water standard for the chemical.

Headlines
Construction has begun on a hard-rock stormwater overflow and relief sewer tunnel 180 feet below the surface in Columbus, Ohio. The nearly 4.5-mile-long tunnel has a 20-foot diameter and will further limit combined sewer overflows into the Olentangy and Scioto rivers.

A major water main break this afternoon in Gloucester, Massachusetts cut off water supply to about 70 percent of the city. Schools in the city will be closed tomorrow because of the disruption in service and residents will likely remain under a boil-water order until Wednesday.

The city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire is taking the first step to secure funding for a massive overhaul of its wastewater systems.  The city wants to borrow $3 million for a preliminary sewer plant upgrade. The cost is at a tenth of the expected funding needed for the treatment plant upgrades mentioned in the city’s master plan.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has decided to delay a $280 million municipal bond sale until next year, due to volatile conditions in the municipal bond market. The district had planned to sell $280 million in Build America Bonds — an economic stimulus program — but the bond market has been in turmoil with the BAB  program ending on December 31.

Sewer Rate News
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Kalispell, Montana
Verona, Wisconsin

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

November 19, 2010

Friday’s Water News: EPA Cites New Hampshire City for Clean Water Act Violation

Posted in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina at 9:06 pm by bengann

The EPA has cited Exeter, New Hampshire for violating the Clean Water Act as data collected by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services found discharges from the town’s outfall into Clemson Pond exceeded the state water quality standard for E. coli bacteria.

Headlines
A break in a Durango, Colorado water main gushed overnight, creating a layer of black ice for motorists this morning. About 12 residents were still without water service this afternoon as repairs continued to be made.

A water main break in Hartford, Connecticut is likely to disrupt service for residents for a few hours this evening after ruptured main forced a road to close.

Stimulus Spotlight
In Arkansas, the Baxter-Marion Rural Water System has been awarded $7.6 million from the economic stimulus to build a public water system that will serve 600 residents and 23 Bull Shoals Lake resorts in Oakland, Promise Land and Three Brothers. Another $1.7 million in state funds will be committed to the project from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.

Union City, Indiana received $200,000 from the economic stimulus and another $100,000 from the SRF to make needed repairs to its water plant.

Sewer Rate News
Amity Township, Pennsylvania
Greenville County, South Carolina
Oak Island, North Carolina
Toledo, Ohio

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