October 21, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: EPA Awards California $274 Million in Grants for Water and Sewer Systems

Posted in California, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Wisconsin at 7:18 pm by bengann

EPA has was awarded the state of California $274 million in federal grants to pay for upgrades to drinking water and sewer systems. Among the hundreds of projects that will likely receive funding are two $10 million grants to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for upgrades to Silverlake and Ivanhoe reservoirs, and $20 million to San Diego for significant upgrades to a water treatment plant.

A rash of water main breaks in Colorado Springs, Colorado has forced drivers to find detours around flooded streets and torn up concrete. To complicate matters even more, the breaks have been occurring below some of the city’s busiest intersections and/or during hour. Most of the breaks can be attributed to aging pipes.

Despite the Fitchburg, Massachusetts City Council approving $9.3 million in additional money for water pollution abatement projects, the funding will only get the city halfway through what it is ordered to do by the state.

In Minnesota, work has begun on  a $26 million project to renovate the City of Duluth’s sanitary sewer overflow system. The project includes a new sanitary sewage pump station, an 8 million gallon sewage overflow tank, and replacement of the old utilities operations building and public restroom. The city received $9.9 million in grants to help pay for this project.

Stimulus Spotlight
The rural town of Osgood, Indiana is receiving $3.1 million in economic stimulus funding to help finance a water improvement project. 

Construction of Rhinelander, Wisconsin’s new $32 million wastewater treatment plant is on schedule to be completed in July 2011. The city was awarded $16.5 million in economic stimulus funds toward the overall cost of the project.

Sewer Rate News
Bridgeton, New Jersey
Palm Springs, California
Vinton, Louisiana

October 15, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Broken Water Main Floods Street, Business in Grand Junction, Colorado

Posted in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia at 5:35 pm by bengann

An aging water line the in the city of Grand Junction, Colorado planned to be replaced in three months ruptured early this morning, flooding several businesses. The break shot water, mud and rocks across the street, up onto the sidewalk and into the entrances of several businesses. One of the affected businesses was a persian rug gallery which had 300 or its 1,200 rugs damaged at an estimated cost of over $100,000.

Part of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport lost water pressure today after a water main break near the Terminal 5 taxi way. Terminal 5 restrooms and concession areas lost water pressure as a result.

A Knoxville-based environmental group has sued the city of Chattanooga for violating state and federal water regulations by spilling more than 310 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Tennessee River over the past 4 1/2 years.

Weirton, West Virginia will have to spend $12 million to upgrade its ailing sewer system after two cheaper options didn’t meet the state’s approval.

A York, Pennsylvania neighborhood which last had its sewer system updated in 1915 is finally receiving long overdue repairs. The interceptor is now being replaced at a cost of $3.7 million.

Sewer Rate News
Grandview, Washington
Malakoff, Texas
Norfolk, New York
Savage, Minnesota

October 7, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Water Service Restored to Albuquerque Neighborhood After Main Break

Posted in California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania at 2:42 pm by bengann

Water has been fully restored to a Northeast Albuquerque neighborhood after a water main break disrupted service to about 50 homes and businesses on Wednesday night.

A 15-inch water main break in Hamilton Township, New Jersey yesterday morning collapsed a portion of the roadway and caused minor discoloration in residents’ drinking supply.

City commissioners in Lake Wales, Florida have moved closer toward improving the city’s wastewater plant by unanimously approving two resolutions to secure funding from the Florida revolving funds program to improve and expand the plant to handle the city’s growing capacity. The entire project is expected to cost $4 million, most of which the city hopes to obtain from state funds and not pull extra funding from an already tight city budget.

Beaches along a two-mile stretch near Ballona Creek in Los Angeles were reopened to swimming and surfing two days after an estimated half-million gallons of raw sewage spilled into a storm drain that leads to a tributary of the creek.

Stimulus Spotlight
For years Telluride, Colorado has been planning to build a new water treatment plant but thanks to the economic stimulus that plan may now become a reality. The Town Council has given preliminary approval to issue $10 million in Build America Bonds to pay for the project’s construction.

Sewer Rate News
Allegheny Township, Pennsylvania
Bridgeton, New Jersey
Kenner, Louisiana
St. James, Missouri

September 30, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Sewage Spill Prompts Warning at Los Angeles Area Beach

Posted in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia at 7:57 pm by bengann

A 500,000 gallon sewage spill has prompted a warning to avoid ocean water along a two-mile stretch of beach known as “The Strand” near Los Angeles. The warning will be in effect until at least 3 p.m. on Saturday, pending test results that measure the bacteria level in the ocean water.

A water main rupture that sprayed a San Francisco intersection with water this morning occurred because the pipe is old and made of materials no longer used by the city.

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works is reporting that two sanitary sewer overflows occurred today after a long period of rain. Baltimore is undertaking a $1 billion rehabilitation of the its sanitary sewer system which will protect urban streams and the Chesapeake Bay while preventing future sewer overflows.

Stimulus Spotlight
Colorado Springs Utilities announced today it issued $180 million in “Build America Bonds,” a program created by the federal stimulus act, to pay for the first two years of construction on an $880 million water pipeline project called the Southern Delivery System.

In Virginia, Loudoun County’s reclaimed water is now the highest quality water available thanks to money from the economic stimulus. Loudoun Water received nearly $1.7 million in stimulus funding for the installation of pipes that will deliver reclaimed water for use in several commercial applications.

Sewer Rate News
Calistoga, California
Libertyville, Illinois
Gulf Breeze, Florida
Solvang, California

September 13, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Truck Falls into Sinkhole Caused by Water Main Break

Posted in California, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Virginia at 8:56 am by bengann

A pickup truck fell into a sinkhole in downtown Reno, Nevada on Friday, resulting from a water-main break that sent a larger gusher of water into downtown streets. The two people in the pickup truck were not hurt.

In Virginia, construction crews will take the first step toward connecting sewer lines to Campbell County’s Seneca Commerce Park in three weeks. This is the first of three phases of work that will provide sewage lines to companies in the business park. All three phases of the project is expected to take three years.

A 36-inch water main break in Akron, Ohio has been fixed after residents were without water or experienced low water pressure Sunday afternoon.

Stimulus Spotlight
For decades the swath of land immediately to the east of Lincoln, Nebraska was 52 square miles of forbidden territory for real estate developers. Now Lincoln has breached that ridge with the beginnings of a new sanitary sewer system, financed in part with federal stimulus dollars.

Wiggins, Colorado may be able to receive money from the economic stimulus package for construction of a water project.

Sewer Rate News
Banning, California
Fort Meade, Florida
Webster, Texas

September 7, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Sidewalk Collapse Drops Pedestrian 15-Feet into Sinkhole

Posted in Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin at 5:42 pm by bengann

A water main leak in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota caused a sidewalk to collapse this morning, sending a pedestrian about 15 feet down into the sinkhole. The man climbed out of the hole on a ladder provided by firefighters. He suffered some scrapes and cuts to his head from the sidewalks bricks but apparently suffered no serious injury.

Recent rainfall in Portland, Oregon has prompted local health officials to issue a sewer overflow warning for recreational use on the Willamette River. The public should avoid the Willamette River for 48 hours after the rain has stopped. It is especially important to avoid recreational activities-such as water skiing, jet skiing or swimming-during which water could be swallowed

A restaurant in downtown Kansas City will have to close for a couple of weeks after a water main break flooded his business just four months after it opened.

Stimulus Spotlight
New Mexico Congressman Harry Teague took a tour on Friday of a few local projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including Cloudcroft’s new solar array that powers the village’s reverse osmosis water treatment plant.

In Colorado, a number of Morgan County farmers have an opportunity to tap $2.5 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus money to improve water quality, increase the water supply, decrease soil erosion and improve fish and wildlife habitat.

Sewer Rate News
Germantown, Wisconsin
Graham, Texas
Orange, Virginia
Steamboat Springs, Colorado

August 6, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Sewage Spills Into Whitewater River in Richmond, Indiana

Posted in Alabama, California, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio at 12:35 pm by joepaul1

Heavy rains in Richmond, Indiana have led to sewage spills along Whitewater River, contaminating the water. The spill occurred because the rainwater and sewage system became overloaded. Officials have warned residents to avoid contact with the water for 72 hours.

80,000 gallons of sewage spills in Blaine, Minnesota. Officials say the old The chlorination system was malfunctioning at the local sewage plant and caused the wastewater to leak.

Residents in Baltimore, Maryland are concerned that sewage leaks are killing local fish at Deep Creek Lake. Approximately 1,000 dead fish have been found floating on the lake and residents are blaming recent wastewater spills.

Stimulus Spotlight
Thanks to the stimulus package, the residents of Crawford, Nebraska are receiving $4 million dollars in stimulus grants to get a new wastewater treatment plant.

The town of Palisade, Colorado is receiving a total of $7.8 million dollars to build a new sewer plant. The funds are being provided in a $4 million dollar low interest loan and a $3.8 million dollar grant, both provided by the stimulus package.

Sewer Rate News
Toro, California
Northport, Alabama
Northridgeville, Ohio
St. Louis, Missouri

July 15, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Service Finally Restored to Parts of Fairfield County (Conn.)

Posted in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, New York, South Carolina at 6:53 am by bengann

Water service has been restored for customers in several towns in Fairfield County after a major water main break Monday in Westport.  The 2-foot line broke Monday morning, leaving more than 1,000 without water.  The situation became so dire, that town officials in Ridgefield declared a water emergency and said residents should use water only to drink or cook with. The 2-foot line broke Monday morning, leaving more than 1,000 without water.

A water main break on the West Side of Evansville, Indiana has prompted local officials to issue a precautionary boil advisory for a neighborhood there.

A one-mile stretch of road was closed in Edgefield County, South Carolina after a water main break damaged the road.

New York City has begun to look at the way Philadelphia is addressing its sewer overflow problems in order to get a better handle on its own sewer overflow challenges.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Town of Hotchkiss, Colorado received a $775,000 loan with 100 percent principal forgiveness–thanks to the economic stimulus–to complete a water main project to benefit the local high school.

Sewer Rate News
Honolulu, Hawaii
Marco Island, Florida
Santa Rosa, Florida

June 1, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Gary, Indiana Struggle with Sewer Separation Costs

Posted in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon at 4:31 pm by bengann

Older cities like Gary, Indiana are struggling with the costs to separate sewers for stormwater runoff and sewage. According to a nationwide survey of wastewater utilities reported by the GAO  in 2002, 41 percent of wastewater utilities were not generating enough revenue from user rates and other local sources to cover their full cost of service. The city is working on a long-term control plan, but does not know at this point what it would take to stop the overflows, how much it would cost or what impact that would have on a household sewer bill.

City officials in Clinton, Iowa may forward a long-term combined sewer overflow plan to the state Department of Natural Resources that could total almost $235 million. Through recent upgrades Clinton has reduced its sewer overflows from 14 to 8.

In Michigan, the Ottawa County Health Department is testing water from three locations after a sanitary sewer overflow of 90,000 gallons into Lake Macatawa on Monday.

Stimulus Spotlight
Thanks to the economic stimulus the Town of Ophir, Colorado will be able to borrow up to $500,000 at a zero percent rate for improvements to its water system.

The rural community of Cass County, Michigan is receiving a $10.5 federal loan from the economic stimulus for improvements to water service for residents and firefighting.

Sewer Rate News
Attleboro, Massachusetts
Portland,  Oregon
Saint Charles, Illinois
Springfield, Massachusetts

May 24, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Forces Cornell University to Close Art Buildings

Posted in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia at 4:45 pm by bengann

Cornell University’s Foundry–which house art studios on campus–are closed until further notice after water from a main break eroded the ground around the building. Civil engineers are developing a plan to stabilize the bank so the building may be reopened.

Early Sunday morning, an eight-inch water main broke outside a hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado spilling thousands of gallons of water onto a road and into the basement of the hospital. It took crews approximately two hours to shut off the flow of water.

The Associated Press has a story on the problem small Oregon communities are having in addressing repairs to their sewage systems. “Ten or 15 years from now, people will be paying routinely $200, $300 a month bills for sanitary sewer service,” said  Hermiston City Manager Ed  Brookshier. “And people will realize, Wow, what happened here.”

Stimulus Spotlight
A project in Antioch, California that reuses water for landscaping at parks and green spaces throughout the city is receiving $787,000 in economic stimulus funds from the Bureau of Reclamation. Without the stimulus money, it would take 44 years for the recycled water costs to break even with current water costs.

The city of Virginia, Illinois is receiving a loan from the EPA via the economic stimulus to construct a lime-softening plant, five wells and a 300,000-gallon water tower that should be online by March 2011.

Sewer Rate News
Block Island, Rhode Island
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Lewisboro, New York
Louisville, Kentucky

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