June 1, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Demand in U.S. for Water and Wastewater Pipe to Increase

Posted in California, DC, Michigan, Missouri, National, North Carolina, Ohio at 9:22 pm by bengann

Top Story
U.S. demand for water and wastewater pipe is expected to increase six percent annually to $19 billion in 2014, equivalent to approximately five billion feet. Stimulants include a rebounding residential building construction sector, the growing obsolescence of sewer and drainage systems, and needs to upgrade municipal water systems.

Other Headlines
Two massive projects underway at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Washington, D.C. will not only protect water quality in the Potomac River and downstream in the Chesapeake Bay, but also be the first facility in North America to apply a process that treats sludge and generates electricity in the process.

The city of San Bruno, California has agreed to pay $621,000 in fines to settle a lawsuit filed over nearly 2 million gallons of sewage that spilled from its aging system into the San Francisco bay and Pacific Ocean.

North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan has announced that the town of Robbinsville is receiving more than $4.8 million in funding from USDA to build a new wastewater treatment plant with $3.15 million in grant funding and $1.66 million in loan financing.

Summerfield Schools in Petersburg, Michigan is trying not to extend the school year again after classes were canceled today due to a water main break.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Lebec, California
Nordonia Hills, Ohio
Springfield, Missouri
Willits, California

May 17, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Wall at Treatment Plant Collapses Causing a 600,000 Gallon Sewage Spill

Posted in Alabama, California, DC, Illinois, Missouri, New York at 6:52 pm by bengann

Top Story
Nearly 600,000 gallons of partially treated sewage was released after a 15-foot-high, 100-foot-long concrete wall collapsed at a wastewater treatment plant in Binghamton, New York. Much of the escaped sludge poured into Fuller Hollow Creek, a tributary to the Susquehanna River located just feet from the wall. The plant serves 10 municipalities and Binghamton University.

Other Headlines
In Washington, D.C., officials broke ground today on an expansion of the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant. The to $1.4 billion, three-year effort to reduce pollution is just the latest step for DC Water. In the fall, they plan to start work on a $2.6 billion effort to reduce sewage overflows by updating sewers built before the Civil War.

A new $404 million Combined Sewer Overflow Facility in Brooklyn, New York will prevent up to 50 million gallons of combined sewer overflows during heavy rain from being discharged into Paerdegat Basin, a 1.25 mile channel that is connected to Jamaica Bay.

The city of Morris, Illinois — as required by the Illinois EPA — will spend about $5.8 million in Tax Increment Financing funds and Water and Sewer funds on a long-term control plan to eliminate any overflow from sanitary sewers.

A $2 billion overhaul project to improve the Kansas City’s aging sewer system got under way on Monday. The project is anticipated to take more than a year to complete, and is the first project of its kind to be tested. City officials said the cost of the project will be shared with residents through increased sewer rates.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Auburn, Alabama
Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Lemon Grove, California
Port Angeles, California

March 7, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Escondido Announces $200M Water Recylcing and Reclamation Plan

Posted in DC, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Vermont at 10:08 pm by bengann

Top Story
The city of Escondido, California has launched an ambitious $200 million plan that would recycle sewage into drinking water and irrigate much of the city with reclaimed water. Facing increased scarcity of water and dwindling sewer capacity, transforming much of the city’s sewage into drinking water and irrigation water would eliminate the need to spend about $400 million widening the sewer pipes connecting Escondido to the Pacific Ocean. The city’s water and sewer customers would face higher rate for many years to pay for the upgrades.

Other Headlines
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown has announced that a $2.4 million loan has been awarded to the Ross County to improve water distribution. The USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant funds will help to construct transmission mains and distribution lines that will bolster rural development.

A water main break on in Northborough, Massachusetts has affected a pressurized water main that takes the flow to the treatment plant.

In Georgia, Oglethorpe County has won a $4 million federal grant to build a wastewater treatment plant and sewer lines. The funding will be used to for the construction of a $7.3 million sewer system which local officials hope will encourage business growth.

Thanks to a more than $100,000 grant and $300,000 loan from the USDA, Hanson, Kentucky will soon finish a much-needed sewer system improvement project. The city’s building a gravity sewer system replacing the current grinder system.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bolton, Vermont
Coralville, Iowa
Sallisaw, Oklahoma
Washington, D.C.

December 28, 2010

Top Water Main Break Stories of 2010

Posted in DC, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Texas at 10:27 pm by bengann

Here are the top 10 water main break stories of 2010.

1. 2 million residents of Boston and 29 of its most populous suburbs, were without drinking water for several days in May after a catastrophic rupture of a water main break.

2. A Kansas City, Missouri home looked more like an igloo after a water main break caused water to shoot high in the air where strong winds then blew the water into a resident’s front yard and all over his house.

3. In Washington, D.C., the break of a water main near the National Mall shut down a sizable portion of Constitution Avenue and closed the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

4. Residents in a Bozeman, Montana neighborhood watched in dismay from their muddied front lawns after a water main break left behind by 4 million gallons of water. 

5. A water main leak in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota caused a sidewalk to collapse sending a pedestrian about 15 feet down into a sinkhole.

6. Cornell University’s Foundry–which house art studios on campus–was closed until further notice after water from a main break eroded the ground around the building.

7. At least 105 water mains burst during a one week period in early January in Dallas, Texas. On average the city has four or five breaks per day.

8. A 16-inch water main break shot water 20 feet into the air near the Belmont University campus in Nashville, Tennessee.  Five dorms and the campus event center were without water for a period of time.

9. A broken water main shot water dozens of feet into the air in Rockville, Maryland in July. The break was so sever some residents were without drinking water for five days.

10. A water main break in Daytona Beach, Florida has caused a giant car-sized hole in the middle of one of the city’s busiest roads in May. Water was gushing out of the of the pipe and onto the road because the 50 year-old pipe was so old, the valves didn’t work anymore, and crews couldn’t turn the water off to fix the pipe.

November 2, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Idaho Community Benefits from State Grant for Water Infrastructure

Posted in California, DC, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 6:45 pm by bengann

The city of Burley, Idaho will install new water, sewer and stormwater systems for a new potato dehydration plant at the city’s industrial park, thanks to a $499,000 state grant. The infrastructure will allow the Oregon Potato Co. to open a new plant which will bring 50 new jobs to the area, providing opportunities for people to find a better job or just get back to work.

A burst sewer pipe today in Burbank, California  sent sewage down curbsides and caused public works employees from both Burbank and Los Angeles County to work to divert the spill away from the storm drains.

A water main break on Pennsylvania Avenue in the Foggy Bottom area of Washington, D.C. created a traffic headache for drivers this morning after the water damaged the road.

In Florida, the St. Johns County utility department issued a precautionary boil water notice for portions of the county after a water main break disrupted service to over 200 homes.

Stimulus Spotlight
The City Council in Austin, Minnesota has approved issuing $2.88 million in Build America Bonds to pay for a new sewer system.  

Sewer Rate News
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Crawfordsville, Indiana
Folkston, Georgia
Heath, Ohio

October 18, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Closes National Museum of Natural History

Posted in California, DC, Georgia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania at 6:59 pm by bengann

In Washington, D.C., the break of a water main near the National Mall on Friday night shut down a sizable portion of Constitution Avenue on Saturday, and closed the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Behind the disruption was the rupture of a 24-inch water main, which ripped up the roadbed. The failed water main was installed in 1928.

Three water main breaks around San Diego on Sunday interrupted water service to residents and disrupted traffic.  All three breaks occurred between 7:45 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

When more than 16 inches of rain fell in Pitt County, North Carolina earlier this month, the Village of Simpson was forced to shut down its town offices for the week.  The problem wasn’t flooded streets; it was a backed-up toilet.  Now the village wants want to install a sewer system through the village to end the problem. The project would cost an estimated $4.64 million and serve the town’s 250 households.

Stimulus Spotlight
The expansion and upgrade of the water treatment plant in Zanesville, Ohio will provide the capacity to handle even more water customers in the coming years.  Even with $9 million of the funding for the $16.1 million project coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, water customers saw a 15.3 percent bi-monthly rate increase in January, and will see another 6.3 percent hike coming next month. The rate increases are needed to help make debt payments on a Ohio Water Development Authority loan that also helped finance the project.

The city of Wagoner, Oklahoma received $300,000 in federal stimulus money and a $900,000 loan from the Oklahoma Water Resource Board last year. The money has been used to replace the city’s main water transmission lines, as well as the fire hydrants along the way.

Sewer Rate News
Coatesville, Pennsylvania
Columbus, Ohio
Keene, New Hampshire
Newnan, Georgia

June 3, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Congress Moves Ahead on Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Legislation

Posted in Arizona, Connecticut, DC, Illinois, Kansas, National, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia at 2:46 pm by bengann

There were a couple of legislative items from last week of importance to the water and wastewater infrastructure.

First, the House has passed H.R. 4213, a legislative package of tax extensions which contains a provision that would exempt bonds that finance water and sewer furnishing facilities from state private-activity bond volume caps. The next step for the legislation is the Senate which may take up the legislation went it returns on June 7.

Second, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has passed the Assistance, Quality, and Affordability Act (H.R. 5320) which would reauthorize and increase funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The next step for the bill is House consideration of the legislation.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has responded to a federal request to clean up the Chicago River by telling federal officials to “Go swim in the Potomac.” Daley said the federal government could help clean up the river by helping pay for the completion of the Deep Tunnel project designed to hold water during heavy rains so waste doesn’t pour into the body of water.

A pre-dawn break of a 79 year-old water main in Northeast Washington, D.C. on Wednesday created a hellish traffic mess throughout the day on a street that has heavy traffic even on the best of days.

A water main break yesterday in Tuscon, Arizona disrupted service to 500 area customers.

Stimulus Spotlight
With help from the stimulus package, residents in Elk Point, South Dakota have seen the construction of a new water main and sanitary sewer in their town. With some of the system being 100 years old, residents are grateful that this is being done.

Sewer Rate News
Huron, Ohio
Wichita, Kansas
Manchester, Connecticut
Charleston, West Virginia

May 7, 2010

Friday’s Water News: D.C. Planning Massive Tunnels to Reduce Combined Sewer Overflows

Posted in Arizona, California, DC, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon at 11:15 am by bengann

The District of Columbia is planning to build the first of three massive underground tunnels in 2011 to reduce combined sewer overflows during wet weather events. The first tunnel will run along the Anacostia River, which suffers the greatest amount of overflows. Each of the tunnels will be approximately 24 feet in diameter, but the Anacostia tunnel-at 13 miles in length-will be the longest.

Officials in Bossier Parish, Louisiana plan to spend about $50 million over the next few years building the its first sewer plant. Most of Bossier Parish, like other parishes in northwest Louisiana, has no public sewer system.

Despite $160 million in economic stimulus funding for state water projects, some in California have criticized the program for not doing enough to help communities with the most contaminated drinking water because their projects were not shovel-ready.

Stimulus Spotlight
In New York, a $10.35 million project to bring municipal water to about 600 properties in the towns of Louisville and Norfolk could break ground this summer. Funding for the project will include a $6.79 million grant from the economic stimulus and a $3.5 million loan from USDA.

A $550,000 grant from the economic stimulus has helped connect a mobile home community in Mecca, California to the Coachella Valley Water District’s Water system.

Sewer Rate News
Carson City, Nevada
Durham, North Carolina
Peoria, Arizona
Portland, Oregon

January 22, 2010

Friday’s Water News: In California, 140K Gallon Sewage Spill Near Wetlands

Posted in California, DC, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Oregon at 3:06 pm by bradhannon

In Sebastopol, California state water officials say an estimated 140,000 gallons of raw sewage has flooded into a field next to a wetlands area that drains into the Russian River.  The spill was caused by a rupture in a wastewater pipeline that carries raw sewage from the city to a treatment plant.

A pair of water main breaks in Washington, D.C. have created gridlock, of the traffic variety. The breaks occurred yesterday and were still being repaired this morning, closing some streets in Northeast D.C. during the morning rush hour.

The City Council in Fall River, Massachusetts was scheduled to meet this afternoon to resolve a $3.5 million sewer deficit. Mayor Will Flanagan has suggested eliminating the city’s stormwater tax while some residents and businesses strongly oppose the idea.

Stimulus Spotlight
The North Dakota community of Karlsruhe hopes to have a new water treatment plant under construction this summer.  The estimated $850,000 project will mostly be paid for with grant and federal stimulus money.

Work is under way on the largest sanitary sewer project in the history of Wheaton, Illinois: a $16 million, nearly 3-mile wastewater pipeline that is being funded entirely through federal stimulus grants and loans.

Sewer Rate News
Niagara Falls, New York
Fairview, Oregon
Bellingham, Massachusetts
Angels Camp, California

January 13, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Water Main Break in Cincinnati Floods Parking Garage

Posted in DC, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas at 12:40 pm by bradhannon

Fire crews in Cincinnati, Ohio were sent to a Ninth Street parking garage just before 1:30 a.m. after someone reported water running down the street from the garage entrance.  Crews arrived to find a geyser of water coming from a stairwell on the ground floor of the garage, flooding much of the floor.  The water was turned off and crews began repairing the line.

Traffic was disrupted in Washington, D.C. and at least one District restaurant had to close temporarily after a large water main ruptured, sending water gushing through a heavily traveled downtown intersection.

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Water and Sewer Authority crews worked on five breaks, each is a 6-inch main. January is usually a busy month for water repair crews. Last January the agency had 74 water main breaks.

Stimulus Spotlight
New economic stimulus money has become available to help the city of Nashua, New Hampshire finish an extensive sewer project, but officials have to scramble to apply for the money.  Principal payments on the $250,000 loan from the state Department of Environmental Services would be offset by up to $125,000 of economic stimulus funds.

Construction of a $3.6 million expanded water treatment plant in New Buffalo, Michigan will begin in April, city officials said. A state loan and now recent federal stimulus funds will help keep the project’s interest rate down, say city officials.  The stimulus funds will total about $1 million from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Sewer Rate News
Norwalk, Ohio
Keller Township, Michigan
Pecos, Texas
Spring Hope, North Carolina

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