July 5, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Stormwater Contamination Increasing Shut Down of Connecticut Beaches

Posted in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington at 5:00 pm by bengann

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Connecticut’s coastal beaches in 2010 had to be shut down twice as often as in recent years between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Stormwater contamination was the cause 66 percent of the time a beach had to be closed.

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A state circuit court judge has set a Wednesday hearing on a request to transfer about $60 million from the Jefferson County sewer system to a corporation set up by the court-appointed receiver in charge of the system. The matter is separate from a demand made last month by the court-appointed for $75 million that the county has in reserves.

Ascension Parish, Louisiana has received more than $5 million in federal hurricane recovery money to consolidate and upgrade rural sewer services. The funding will be used to buy 14 acres of rights of way and allow parish government to build lift stations to consolidate sewer services in unincorporated areas of the parish.

The state of Ohio is set to make $1 million this year from treating wastewater from natural gas drilling sites in Pennsylvania. The amount of wastewater Ohio accepted from out-of-state drillers has jumped, in part because Pennsylvania officials this year increased pressure on drillers to keep fracking waste out of surface water.

A broken water main caused a mess in a Los Angeles neighborhood Sunday afternoon. About a half-dozen homes in Sherman Oaks were affected, including one that had its swimming pool filled with mud.

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Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
Hobart, Wisconsin
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Polk City, Iowa

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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

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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.

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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.

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Abbotsford, Wisconsin
Mulberry, Arkansas
Ripon, Wisconsin
Shepherdsville, Kentucky

June 13, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Nearly 20,000 Residents in W.V. Community Without Water After Main Break

Posted in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia at 7:29 pm by bengann

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Most of the 20,000 residents in Weirton, West Virginia were without water this weekend after a break in a 50-year-old main line at the city’s water treatment plant. An emergency declaration was issued urging conservation by any residents who still have water.

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A second engineering study of a sewer project in Trumbull, Connecticut has revealed that pipes and manholes in the system are riddled with even more problems than initially reported and will cost $8.4 million to fix.

The Village of Pomeroy, Ohio will use $2 million in grants to remedy compliance violations handed down by Ohio EPA. Funding from the grants will be used to correct combined sewer overflows and upgrade its wastewater treatment plant.

In Georgia, the major spill reported as ongoing last week at the city of Richmond Hill’s wastewater treatment plant occurred longer than previously thought.  The spill which began May 17 continued through May 30, with more than 10.8 million gallons of treated wastewater flowing from the facility’s constructed wetlands into Elbow Swamp.

Three of Bay City, Michigan’s top officials head to Washington, D.C., this week in an effort to get financial relief for the city’s overwhelming sewer debt. Bay City has more than $40 million in sewer debt spanning the past two decades from a state-mandated order to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant.

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Arizona City, Arizona
Funkstown, Maryland
Monroe, Michigan
Palo Alto, California

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

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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.

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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.

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El Mirage, Arizona
Enfield, Connecticut
Naperville, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois

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.

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Falls Church, Virginia
Port Orchard, Washington
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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.

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Aiken County, South Carolina
Hudson, Ohio
Laguna Niguel, California
Mill Valley, California

March 28, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Joplin (Mo.) Receives $26 Million Loan to Fix Treatment Plants

Posted in California, Connecticut, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia at 9:50 pm by bengann

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The city of Joplin, Missouri is receiving a $26 million low-interest loan to finance improvements at two wastewater treatment plants. The loan comes from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and will save city ratepayers an estimated $12.6 million in interest.

Other Headlines
As the Bay Area of California continued to dry out from storms that dumped up to 2 feet of rain in some places, the effects were still being felt Friday. About 160 homes were without water in Pleasanton, and residents with water were advised not to use it after a major water main was damaged by a landslide.

Aging and failing wastewater infrastructure in a number of Connecticut towns, combined with the slow-pace of repairs, has meant that in particularly rainy years, more raw or partially treated sewage is entering the Long Island Sound and other waterways.

A sewage overflow in Burlington, North Carolina caused by rags and debris sent an overflow of approximately 81,300 gallons of untreated wastewater from its sanitary sewer collection system into Burlington Creek.

Apollo, Pennsylvania’s lengthy stormwater/sanitary sewer separation project is entering its final stages. The $7 million project is part of a federal order mandating separation of stormwater lines from sewer lines.

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Bridgeport, West Virginia
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Plattsburgh, New York
Swansea, South Carolina

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

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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.

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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.

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Detroit, Michigan
Newton Falls, Ohio
Omaha, Nebraska
Soldotna, Alaska

March 10, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Kansas City Receives $37.85 Million in SRF Funding

Posted in Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia at 6:42 pm by bengann

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The EPA and state of Missouri has provided a loan worth $37.85 million from the State Revolving Fund program to help with wastewater collection and treatment in the Kansas City area. The loan will be used for projects that include building a larger regional wastewater treatment plant, upgrading the existing wastewater treatment plant, improving a lift station and starting construction on two interceptors to link several key sewer lines.

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City officials in Stamford, Connecticut say 4 million gallons of raw sewage spilled onto residential streets and through one home near the gated Wallack’s Point neighborhood Monday night and throughout Tuesday after a blocked sewer line ruptured.

The eastern Missouri town of Farmington has agreed to pay $61,566 in civil penalties to the EPA for violating federal wastewater discharge standards. The EPA found that on 266 occasions from October 2006 through November 2008, sewage sludge from Farmington treatment plants that was applied to agricultural land contained excessive levels of nickel.

The Baltimore Department of Public Works said a sanitary sewer has overflowed in the city, spilling at least 10,000 gallons.

An 8-inch water main that broke and forced the closing of several roads in southeast Davidson County (Tenn.)  because of flooding has been repaired.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Cayuga, New York
Columbus Junction, Iowa
Newport News, Virginia
Trumbull County, Ohio

March 4, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Water Main Break Causes Sinkhole Which Almost Swallows a Car

Posted in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio at 7:53 pm by bengann

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Gushing water, combined with mud during a water main break in Glastonbury, Connecticut this morning caused a large sinkhole that almost swallowed a car. A car with its right front wheel went into the hole. It was pulled out by a chain before it fell in a major portion of hole.

Other Headlines
The planned construction of a combined stormwater overflow disinfection facility at a sewage treatment plant in Valparaiso, Indiana have been hit with another expensive surprise as the state has asked the city to pay an additional $900,000 to cover additional costs associated with the project.

In Sarasota County, Florida, officials have doubled the estimate of raw sewage that spilled in late February when a lift station failed to 100,000 gallons.

A portion of a busy road in Zanesville, Ohio was closed today because of a collapsed sewer line under the roadway.

The federal and state governments are recognizing Kauai County, Hawaii for its innovative expansion and upgrade of a sewage treatment plant.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bruce Township, Michigan
Florence, Alabama
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Wilmington, North Carolina

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