July 8, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Dearborn, Michigan to Start $325 Million Sewer Separation Project in January

Posted in Alabama, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 6:58 pm by bengann

Top Story
Starting in January, the city of Dearborn, Michigan will begin a new $325 million sewer separation project. The work represents the third distinct plan of attack for the massive combined sewage overflow project that has been in the works now for more than three decades.

Other Headlines
The state of Alabama may offer help to debt-laden Jefferson County to prevent the municipality from filing for what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in history. The county, home to the state’s largest city, Birmingham, has struggled for about three years under the weight of $3.2 billion in sewer debt after a failed bond financing.

Hundreds of fish are dead in Peters Creek after a water main broke beneath the South Park Township, Pennsylvania salt storage, carrying salty water into the creek. The break is most likely due to deterioration in the line.

In Corbin, Kentucky, two businesses out of the four that were damaged in mid-April after heavy rains caused by a sewer overflow have now reopened.

Part of a major road in Fairfax, Virginia has been blocked off due to a water main break that caused a sinkhole.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Crescent City, California
West Bloomfield, Michigan
Williamsburg, Colorado
Wilsonville, Oregon

June 9, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Forsyth County (Ga.) to Appeal Decision on State Discharge Permit

Posted in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia at 4:38 pm by bengann

Top Story
Forsyth County (Ga.) is appealing a decision last week by and administrative law judge, who ruled that the permit issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division — allowing the county to discharge as much as 6 million gallons of treated waste water into the Chattahoochee every day — violates state and federal law because the level of contaminates it allows would degrade the river.

Other Headlines
Work crews in Sussex Borough, New Jersey will be digging up streets all over the borough for the next two weeks as part of a $1.63 million sewer repair project. The project is being funded through $382,000 in grants and $1.25 million in low-interest loans from the USDA.

Crews worked through the night Wednesday to repair a water main break that filled several areas of a major road in Manassas, Virginia with water and blocked traffic for nearly two hours.

West Hanover Township, Pennsylvania is moving forward with a planned expansion of its wastewater treatment plant. The first phase will be done in two phases, the first of which is estimated to cost around $8.8 million.

Torrential downpours in Chicago has led to excessive stormwater runoff from the heavy rains causing flooding of creeks and streams and roads and viaducts.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Centerville, Utah
Florence, Colorado
Minden, Louisiana
Warwick, Rhode Island

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

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

Top Story
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.

Other Headlines
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 14, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Congress Passes Final FY 2011 Budget Cutting $1 Billion from SRF Programs

Posted in California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, National, Pennsylvania, Utah at 7:58 pm by bengann

Top Story
Congress passed a final spending bill today for the current fiscal year ending September 30, 2011. The legislation is bad news for water and wastewater infrastructure which cuts the EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs by nearly $1 billion. In the budget agreement, the Clean Water SRF will receive $1.525 billion (down from $2.1B in FY10) and the Drinking Water SRF will receive $965 million (down from $1.387 billlion). The cuts to the SRF programs come at a time when EPA estimates America’s water and wastewater infrastructure needs exceed $630 billion over the next 20 years.

Other Headlines
In Pennsylvania, the Abington Regional Wastewater Authority will miss the May 5 deadline to submit a plan mapping out the future needs of their sewer systems after two of the three municipalities served have refused to approve it.

Officials hope a $639,000 upgrade to the city of Attleboro, Massachusetts’ almost-new $30 million wastewater treatment plant will put the city in compliance with some tough mandates from the EPA.

Work should start in June on the next phases of two sewer projects in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The projects will cost $1 million and be paid with general obligation bonds.

A water main break in front of a home in Murray, Utah flooded the garage and basement causing $60,000 in damages.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Baltimore, Maryland
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Santa Clara County, California
Windsor, Colorado

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

Top Story
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

January 6, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: FEMA to Pay $350 Million to Fix Biloxi, Mississippi’s Water and Sewer ines

Posted in California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania at 4:40 pm by bengann

Top Story
In the next couple of months, more than a million feet of sewer and water lines will get a major overhaul in Biloxi, Mississippi. FEMA is footing the nearly $350 million bill to repair existing lines, including storm drains damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

Other Headlines
In Georgia, DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis says 1,300 jobs will be created by the county’s water and sewer upgrades.

A water main first installed in 1924 broke in front of a Santa Cruz, California condominium complex causing flooding today. A couple of vehicles near the water main were damaged by rocks that were shot from the geyser of water when the pipe burst.

EPA is investigating two wastewater spills that occurred in Marin County, California last month which released an estimated at 2.6 million gallons. The spills were a mixture of sewage and rainwater. EPA is investigating the cause of the spills, the district’s response, and construction practices.

The city of Bonners Ferry, Idaho has agreed to pay a $12,300 penalty to EPA for alleged violations of clean water rules caused by discharges from its water treatment plant. To remedy the problems, plant officials have reduced inflow and infiltration into the collection system and removed sludge buildup collected in sewage lagoons.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Cedaredge, Colorado
New Baltimore, New York
Sorrento, Louisiana
West Pottsgrove Township, Pennsylvania

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.

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

November 11, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Pennsylvania Community Awarded $8.3 Million Loan for Sewer Project

Posted in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina at 6:49 pm by bengann

Pocono Township, Pennsylvania will receive a low-interest loan of $8.3 million from the state to help complete its $70 million sewer extension project. The township had applied for a loan of more than $38 million, the approximate cost to complete the project. Township officials say they’ll look into different financing options to cover the remainder of the cost. That could include grants or other loans.

In Nebraska, the Omaha Public Schools canceled classes today at an elementary school after a water-main break in the neighborhood left the school — and its 1,200 students — temporarily without running water.

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is moving forward on a project to install a new storm sewer at a cost of $1.1 million. The new storm sewer will replace an existing one that has become deteriorated.

In South Carolina, the Charleston City Council has approved the Charleston Water System’s plan to borrow up to $155 million — an amount greater than the city’s annual budget — for construction projects that already have prompted a rate increase. Some of the borrowing is actually a refinancing of existing debt that will save Charleston Water System about $4 million in interest charges, while around two-thirds of the debt will finance new projects.

Construction is expected to be completed soon on a sanitary sewer project in Redwood Falls, Minnesota.

Sewer Rate News
Cedaredge, Colorado
Columbus, Ohio
Elgin, Illinois
Pickens, South Carolina

November 1, 2010

Monday’s Water News: 4.1 Million Gallon Sewage Spill in Louisville, Kentucky

Posted in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington at 5:41 pm by bengann

The Metropolitan Sewer District in Louisville, Kentucky estimates 4.1 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Ohio River because of a gate failure at a pump station. Sewage discharged for about 11 hours from an overflow point in the Ohio River until the spill ceased.

A water main break closed a major road in Monongahela, Pennsylvania this morning. The break brought down part of a hillside in the area, as well as flooding the road.

The town of Plaistow, New Hampshire has finished construction of new water and sewer lines that they hope will attract new businesses  and jobs to the community. 

Stimulus Spotlight
Paulsboro, New Jersey is receiving more than $6 million — with $3.3 milion coming from the economic stimulus —  for a new water-treatment plant. The facility will serve almost 2,400 local households and more than 100 businesses. It also will provide infrastructure support to the planned Port of Paulsboro.

The City Council in Telluride, Colorado has agreed to issue $8 million in Build America Bonds to fund the construction of a new water treatment plant. The town should see more than $800,000 in interest savings as a result of the bond program.

Sewer Rate News
Blaine, Washington
Decatur, Illinois
Summit County, Ohio
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

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