April 6, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Archaelogical Dig to Delay Sewer Construction in Des Moines

Posted in Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia at 6:43 pm by bengann

Top Story
Human remains that could be 7,000 years old have been found by sewer construction workers in Des Moines, Iowa and will delay construction of a sewer project. The find will delay the original $37.8 million sewer project for at least six months and cost the Des Moines area’s Wastewater Reclamation Authority an estimated $1.5 million or more because of delays caused by the archaeological dig.

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Voters in St. Joseph, Missouri approved a $105 million sewer bond yesterday. The funds will be used for projects related to a federal mandate that it address its combined sewer overflow issues and to meet new regulations concerning the amount of ammonia and other chemicals it may discharge into the Missouri River.

The City of Tonawanda, New York Common Council last night approved bonding more than $2.2 million for a variety of expenses, including a multi-year sewer reconstruction that may cost the city up to $1.9 million the first year.

Nebraska state lawmakers disagree on a bill that would return some state sales tax money to Omaha to help pay for $1.7 billion in federally mandated sewer renovations.

A broken 36-inch sewer main that flooded a major road on Miami Beach could be causing traffic delays in the area for days to come. To make matters worse, businesses and residents near the broken sewer main are not only dealing with flooding problems, they are also dealing with a horrible stench from the dirty water.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Evansdale, Iowa
Newton Falls, Ohio
Williamstown, West Virginia
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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

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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.

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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

March 23, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Omaha Mayor Makes Case for Federal Investment in Sewers

Posted in California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, National, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 11:47 am by bengann

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Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle traveled to the Washington, D.C. yesterday to ask for federal help with the metro area’s $1.7 billion bill for federally mandated sewer improvements. The work must be done by 2024. Mayor Suttle provided a number of ideas for ways the federal government could help finance sewer projects, including a tax on toilet paper.

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A water main break this morning in Cleveland, Ohio flooded a local road and forced the closure of an exit ramp from Interstate-90. A portion of the road caved in, making the underpass impassable in both directions.

In Tampa, Florida, sewage discharged into Trout Creek during a rupture last week is expected to reach the upper Hillsborough River today.

A follow-up to a story from yesterday, beaches in the area around Long Beach, California will remain closed through Monday as bacteria levels in the water remain high following a 250,000 gallon sewage spill.

The natural gas industry is promoting the use of recycled wastewater in hydraulic fracturing to address concerns that wastewater from mining for natural gas has polluted waterways in Pennsylvania.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Findlay, Ohio
Fort Wright, Kentucky
Lynchburg, Virginia
Taunton, Massachusetts

March 22, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Sewer Overflow from Heavy Rains Leads to Beach Closures in Long Beach

Posted in California, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington at 9:43 pm by bengann

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All beaches in Long Beach, California are closed after storms caused a 250,000 gallons of untreated wastewater near Studio City to overflow into the Los Angeles River. The beaches will be closed until water test results show that contamination levels are within state standards.

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The City Council in Akron, Ohio has delayed action on three sewer projects amid questions about the improvements and the status of the city’s overall sewer-system improvements. Council members questioned whether the city should be moving forward with the improvements after a federal judge last week threw out an agreement between Akron and the EPA on how to solve the city’s sewer overflow problems.

Officials in Cumberland, Maryland have an agreement that would enable the western Maryland city to sell treated wastewater for hydraulic fracturing in recovering natural gas.

A $14.5 million construction project to increase Panama City Beach, Florida’s treated wastewater capacity is nearing completion. The project, 10 years in the planning, is meant to halt the release of treated wastewater into West Bay and expand the capacity of the city’s treatment plant from 10 million gallons to 14 million gallons a day.

Public Works crew in Duluth, Minnesota are working to repair water service after a water main break has caused residents in West Duluth to be without water until at least Wednesday afternoon.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Clive, Iowa
Rainier, Washington
Shelton, Washington
Yuba City, California

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.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Detroit, Michigan
Newton Falls, Ohio
Omaha, Nebraska
Soldotna, Alaska

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

Top Story
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

February 24, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Indianapolis Airport Without Water After Main Break

Posted in Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 9:49 pm by bengann

Top Story
A water main break turned off all water at the Indianapolis International Airport Wednesday night after its main water line broke. During the outage, there was no water in the main terminal including the restrooms. Portable restrooms were brought in as stopgap measure.

Other Headlines
Hollywood, Florida is beginning the second year of a five-year, $200 million-plus water and sewer capital improvement program. 70 percent of the system is over 50 years old and needs refurbished or replaced. Funding for the program has come from the bond issuance, grants and to a lesser degree, money from federal government stimulus funds.

A water main break in Chanhassen, Minnesota led to a sewer back up for 18 area residents after water from the broken pipe couldn’t make its way to the surface due to the frozen ground. The back up led to a mixture of water and sewage spewing into the affected homes, filling the basements with a foul, smelly mess.  

A new $695,000 sewer line project in Harrison Township, Pennsylvania is expected to eliminate sewer backups into homes caused by an overloaded combined sewer system. The problem has plagued the area for 30 years, according to longtime residents.

A $2.6 million federal grant and loan from USDA will help pay for construction of a wastewater treatment plant for the village of Waldo, Ohio.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Corona, California
North Lauderdale, Florida
St. Helena, California
Tuscon, Arizona

February 15, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Some Montgomery County (Penn.) Offices Relocated After Water Main Break

Posted in Florida, Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas at 10:47 pm by bengann

Top Story
Many Montgomery County, Pennsylvania employees returned to work at the Human Services Center in Norristown yesterday, three days after a water main break flooded first floor hallways and offices forcing the building to close. Dozens of county employees who occupied offices on the ground floor will likely have to continue working at satellite offices for weeks until the clean-up is completed.

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In Iowa City, Iowa, the City Council has voted 7-0 to adopt a facility plan for its south wastewater treatment plant, moving the flood-mitigation project into the design phase. The $91 million project will be done in two phases, with the first part operational by April 2014, and the second phase occurring about 15 years later. About $32.5 million in federal and state funding will help cover the $46.7 million first phase.

The Board of Trustees in Lake George, New York have unanimously approved bonding $1.8 million to upgrade its aging local sewage lines and pump station. The 30-year bond from the state Environmental Facilities Corp. features a zero percent interest rate. In July 2009, the village’s largely clay sewage pipes burst, sending around 10,000 gallons of untreated refuse pouring into Lake George. Local beaches were closed for weeks following the spill.

A recent study has alerted elected officials in Maple Shade Township, New Jersey that they cannot wait much longer to make some much-needed repairs to its sewer system. The price of the repairs is estimated to be $1.24 million.

A follow-up to a story from last week, it may take up to two weeks to repair a broken sewer main at a pumping station in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Colleyville, Texas
Fort Dodge, Iowa
Springfield, Missouri
Vernon, Florida

January 31, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Closes Tulsa (Okla.) Casino

Posted in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee at 10:41 pm by bengann

Top Story
A casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma was closed yesterday after a water main which delivers water to the facility broke leading to a disruption in service. Efforts to resolve the problem were hampered by the rupturing of a gas line which was caused by the water main break.

Other Headlines
The Director of Water Resources for Chattanooga, Tennessee was given a suspended misdemeanor jail sentence, probation and a fine this week in connection with a sewage spill last year that killed fish and fouled water at the Browns Ferry Marina.

EPA has assessed a $390,000 civil penalty against Orval Kent Food Co. for overloading the Baxter Springs (Kansas)wastewater treatment system and polluting Spring River in 2008.

A study on options for expanding reclaimed water use in Central Maui (Hawaii) estimates it would cost at least $29 million to eliminate most of the use of injection wells at the Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility.

DHL Express has agreed to pay an $80,000 fine to the Ohio EPA for violating its wastewater permit in 2007 and 2008 at its former hub in Wilmington.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Columbia County, Georgia
North Chicago, Illinois
Okaloosa County, Florida
Wooster, Ohio

January 26, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: 400,000 Maryland Residents Remain Under a Boil Water Advisory

Posted in Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma at 10:36 pm by bengann

Top Story
A follow-up to our top story on Monday,  a boil water advisory remains in effect for about 400,000 people in Prince George’s County, Maryland as public works officials continue to test the water quality after a massive pipe burst. Water service has been restored but the boil advisory will remain in effect until two sets of water samples test negative for contamination.

Other Headlines
In Portsmouth, New Hampshire work will resume in the spring on a $5.5 million sewer separation project. The 15-month project, which began last summer is part of the city’s ongoing Combined Sewer Overflow-Long Term Control Plan and required by EPA administrative order.

Linton, Indiana Mayor Tom Jones has called his city’s water infrastructure antiquated and crumbling and says now is the time to formulate a plan to address the problem.

Several rural communities in Southern Oklahoma will now be able to make much-needed upgrades to wastewater treatment plants thanks to some new state grants.

The New Hampshire towns of Pembroke and Allenstown are under a 72-hour boil order after a water main break was discovered early this morning.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chandler, Arizona
Orange, California
Waite Park, Minnesota
Winter Park, Florida

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