July 25, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Jefferson County (Ala.) to Make Bankruptcy Decision Thursday

Posted in Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania at 11:49 pm by bengann

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Officials in Jefferson County, Alabama will decide Thursday whether or not to declare bankruptcy, in what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The county has struggled for the last three years under $3.2 billion in sewer bond debt.

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The northbound lanes of a road in the Chicago suburb of Palatine remained closed today because of a gaping, 20-foot sinkhole caused by a sewer line that collapsed following storms on Saturday bringing about flooding and a record amount of rain.

A large water main break in Tulsa, Oklahoma flooded a neighborhood and cut off water service to many in the area near the break.

Residents in Portland, Oregon have been asked to avoid the Fanno Creek Trail after a sewage pipe leak sent out contaminated water throughout the area.

Crews with the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District were making repairs today after an eight inch sewer main broke and leaked sewage in South St. Louis County. The broken main is currently leaking into a tributary of Mattese Creek. It’s unknown how much sewage has entered the creek and its tributary.

Water and Sewer Rates
Fredonia, New York
Lincoln, Nebraska
Malden, Massachusetts
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

July 22, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Kane County (Ill.) Receives Disaster Aid for Storm Sewer and Drainage Projects

Posted in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia at 5:30 pm by bengann

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Kane County, Illinois has been awarded more than $2.27 million in federal disaster aid for five infrastructure projects aimed at alleviating chronic flooding. The projects—which will cost an estimated $5.3 million—are expected to create approximately 165 jobs and benefitsome 2,000 residents.

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The Montgomery County (Penn.) courthouse closed early today after a water main break on cut off water pressure to the building.

Nearly 70 homes on small lots in South Mills, North Carolina — many of which have had failing septic systems for decades — are on target to hook up to a public sewer system. The $1.6 million project is mostly funded through grants from the state’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the N.C. Rural Center.

A large sinkhole in Council Bluffs, Iowa started as a dip in the road and has just kept growing. The sinkhole is believed to have been caused by a collapsed sewer line.

In Hawaii, Maui community groups have sent Maui County a formal notice of their intent to sue the county for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility (LWRF) into the nearshore waters of West Maui.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Kingwood, West Virginia
Nipomo, California
Park City, Utah

July 20, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Penn. Governor Announces $99M for Water and Sewer Projects

Posted in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas at 11:45 pm by bengann

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has announced the investment of $99 million in 27 non-point source, drinking water, and wastewater projects in 20 counties. Of the $99 million total, $73 million is for low-interest loans and $26 million is offered as grants. The funding comes from a combination of funds approved by voter referenda, federal grants to PENNVEST from the EPA and recycled loan repayments from previous PENNVEST funding awards.

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The southbound lanes of a major road in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Wheaton, Maryland will remain closed tomorrow morning because of a broken water main. 4 million gallons of water gushed from the main onto the street and the amount of water and the pressure of the flow was enough to crack pavement and flood several streets.

Twelve miles of aging water mains and more than a mile of old, frequently clogged sewer lines across Gwinett County, Georgia will be replaced. The water mains run through 15 subdivisions and along key sections of residential roads.

In Louisiana, Jefferson Parish officials are asking residents of Metairie to limit their sewer system usage as they work to fix a major main break. Lift stations in the community are being shut down for repair of the main.

Local health officials have closed the Inner Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, California beach following contamination from a sewer line break.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Carpentersville, Illinois
Honolulu, Hawaii
Lufkin, Texas
Waco, Georgia

July 18, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Jefferson County (Ala.) Asks Creditors for $1.3B Write Down of Sewer Debt

Posted in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee at 9:40 pm by bengann

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Jefferson County (Ala.) officials are asking Wall Street creditors to wipe out nearly $1.3 billion of the $3.14 billion sewer debt as part of a plan presented in secret last week to resolve the lingering financial problems tied to the county’s sewer system bonds.

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A dozen buildings within the State Capitol Complex in Oklahoma City were closed today due to water main breaks in water lines resulting in reduced water pressure. The break caused the air conditioning to malfunction and disrupted the flow of water to restroom. In addition, computer system capabilities of some state agencies are limited due to the extreme heat.

In Michigan, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s Saganing reservation has begun work on a water and wastewater treatment plant that is to serve the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino, the Saganing community center and residents of the reservation south of Standish in Arenac County.

For 11 straight days, Aberdeen, South Dakota’s wastewater treatment plant has released millions of gallons of untreated wastewater into Moccasin Creek. The city is doing what it can to remedy the situation and as wastewater continues to be discharges into the creek.

Officials in Cumming, Georgia  are moving closer to a decision that will lead to the construction of a new wastewater facility near Lake Lanier. The total project is estimated to cost about $700,000 and take about 120 days to complete.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Hazleton, Pennsylvania
La Vergne, Tennessee
Sugar Grove, Illinois
Waco, Georgia

June 28, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Overworked Treatment Plant in Bellevue, Neb. Leads to 12-Foot Geyser

Posted in Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, South Carolina at 8:35 pm by bengann

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A sewer treatment plant in Bellevue, Nebraska blew a manhole lid from a bolted platform, creating a 12-foot geyser of water. The Papio treatment plant, which handles municipal sewage from Douglas and Sarpy County, suffered the break when a box culvert, which discharges treated sewage from the plant to the Missouri River, could no longer handle the intense pressure caused by excessive waste.

Other Headlines
Parts of Interstate 70 in downtown St. Louis reopened this morning after repairs were made to a sewer line break which had shut down the highway since early Sunday morning.

In Alabama, the Jefferson County Commission and the court appointed receiver of its sewer system are on stand still for 30 days. Commissioners will use the time to try to negotiate a settlement with creditors and the state on the $3 billion sewer debt.

With nearly 25 percent of Bloomington, Illinois’ sewer lines dating back to the 19th century, the city will next month begin a study of its sewer infrastructure needs to determine how much of it needs replaced and what it will cost.

Residents in New Rochelle, New York are being advised to stay away from the Long Island Sound after a small amount of sewage leaked into the water following a sewer backup.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Cleveland, Ohio
Taylors, South Carolina
Waukee, Iowa

June 27, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Public Health Warning Issued in Pensacola After 2.2M Gallon Sewage Spill

Posted in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia at 11:28 pm by bengann

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A public health warning is in effect for the waters near the University of West Florida after 2.2 million gallons of raw sewage spilled from a nearby sewer main into the surrounding wetlands. “This illustrates the problems we are facing to address our crumbling infrastructure and we are doing that; obviously not fast enough,” said Emerald Coast Utilities Authority board member Lois Beson. “This is a regrettable occurrence, but we will be diligent in finding all of these problem areas and fixing them.”

Other Headlines
Pollution in Illinois waterways has improved dramatically but state and federal environmental officials say it’s still not good enough, and that too many cities still have antiquated sewer systems that route sewage and storm water through the same pipes, causing them to overflow during heavy rains. EPA has ordered cities to submit plans by the end of September for how they will limit overflows to no more than four per year or capture 85 percent of the volume when the systems do overflow.

The New Jersey State Environmental Commissioner expects the state legislature to approve $44 million in funding for stormwater projects aimed at restoring Barnegat Bay.

The City of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania  has moved one step closer to pursuing a $9.4 million loan to upgrade the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The city would be responsible for 50 percent of the loan’s cost, with the other municipalities that receive sewer service from the city picking up the other half.

On Saturday and again on Sunday, a water main break at Kansas City International Airport has shut down water supply to part of Terminal A and slowed traffic near the terminal.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Fall River, Massachusetts
Falls Church, Virginia
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Tega Cay, South Carolina

June 23, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Jefferson County (Ala.) Sewer Debt May Have Them on Verge of Bankruptcy

Posted in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma at 5:17 pm by bengann

Top Story
The Alabama court-appointed receiver in charge of managing Jefferson County’s sewer system — as well as its defaulted warrants and swaps — is demanding that the county turn over $75 million from its general fund. The demand for millions from the municipality could be the catalyst that forces Jefferson County to file for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Other Headlines
Owosso, Michigan had a sewer overflow of approximately 40,000 gallons on Tuesday and Wednesday after 2.71 inches of rain fell in the area over the last two days.

USDA has awarded $2.7 million to Rockland, Maine for upgrading its sewers.  Rockland City Manager Rosemary Kulow said, “In these challenging economic times, municipalities and their citizens can use all the financial assistance they can get, especially when it comes to the expensive replacement of old, worn out utility infrastructure.”

In more news concerning USDA awards, Stuttgart Arkansas will receive a $7 million loan from the agency for the purpose of replacing 26.5 miles of drinking water infrastructure which provides service to 2,000 customers.

15-year municipal bonds carrying a an interest rate of just over 3 percent will be issued to finance a $2.4 million in sanitary sewer improvements in Granite Falls, Minnesota, one of the largest utility projects every undertaken by the city.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Antioch, Illinois
Bay Village, Ohio
Clermont County, Ohio
Locust Grove, Oklahoma

I will not be posting tomorrow but look for the next post on Monday, June 27.

June 22, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Federal Judge Accepts Agreement by Evansville (Ind.) to Upgrade Sewers

Posted in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin at 7:59 pm by bengann

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A federal judge has accepted an agreement between Evansville, Indiana and federal and state regulators that gives the city nearly 20 years to upgrade its sewer system to prevent frequent discharges of raw sewage into the Ohio River and other waterways. The Water & Sewer Utility also must pay a civil penalty of $490,000 — $70,000 to the state and $420,000 to the federal government — as part of the settlement.

Other Headlines
Overflows of combined sanitary and storm sewers to local rivers and Lake Michigan ended this morning in Milwaukee. A state permit allows Milwaukee’s Metropolitan Sewer District to skip treatment of up to 60 million gallons of wastewater in 24 hours under extreme storm conditions when both the Jones Island and South Shore treatment plants are at capacity and combined sewer overflows have started.

Atlanta residents will see another increase in their water bill with the city raising rates 12 percent starting in July. It will be the eighth time in eight years the city has raised water rates. The revenue will go toward overhauling the city’s sewer system which has been badly neglected over the years.

More than two inches of rain in less than 48 hours pushed streams to their banks and caused two sewage overflows in Duluth, Minnesota. Approximately 350,000 gallons of rain and untreated sewage leaked from one of its wastewater treatment plants with a smaller amount spilling from another treatment plant.

Appleton, Wisconsin will use methane gas it extracts from sludge that flows into its wastewater treatment plant to heat the facility beginning next month. When the process starts, the city will be one of the last large cities in the state to adopt the green trend of producing heat from methane.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Aurora, Illinois
Cheswick, Pennsylvania
Louisa, Virginia
King George County, Virginia

June 21, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Small Illinois Community Needs $1.5 Million in Sewer Repairs

Posted in California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York at 6:45 pm by bengann

Top Story
Repairs to South Beloit, Illinois’s faulty sewer system will cost the city about $1.5 million, according to a study by city engineers. The community of over 8,000 must now determine how they will pay for these needed repairs, and are considering a low-interest loan from the Illinois EPA via the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program.

Other Headlines
The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority has awarded a $1 million to Raburn County to finance sewer system improvements along State Road 441 between Dillard and Mountain City.

In Michigan, the Ottawa County Health Department has issued a no body contact advisory for the Macatawa River and Lake Macatawa after a 50,000 gallon raw sewage spill.

And in more Michigan news, the city of Ann Arbor is planning to embark on a project to relocate 825 feet of sanitary sewer lines at the site of a proposed transit center. The project is estimated to cost $1.2 million.

Leaders in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York  are expected to approve a $6.6 million contract for a private company to operate the town’s largest wastewater treatment plant . Officials estimate the five-year agreement could save the town $2 million over the course of the five-year pact.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Annapolis, Maryland
Lexington, Kentucky
Newmarket, New Hampshire
Solana Beach, California

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

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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

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