July 21, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Jefferson County (Ala.) Near Bankruptcy Over $3.2 Billion Sewer Debt

Posted in Alabama, California, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin at 4:21 pm by bengann

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In Alabama, Jefferson County appears closer to declaring bankruptcy if it cannot reach a settlement with creditors regarding its $3.2 billion in sewer bond debt. If Jefferson County does declare bankruptcy it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.  County commissioners and the state’s governor have said bankruptcy remains a real option if talks with creditors fail but have still held out hopes for the talks success.

Other Headlines
A new $32 million sewer project in Johnson County, Kansas has been given the go ahead which will construct an underground effluent pipe carrying millions of gallons of treated wastewater from a treatment plant and empty into the Kansas River.

The village of Salineville, Ohio will have water service to the sewage plant terminated next week unless it pays an over $9,000 bill to the Buckeye Water District.

Officials in Muskego, Wisconsin have approved a $227,000 storm sewer project to better handle overflow in heavy rains. Work could start as early as October 1 with target completion date in late fall.

A water main break in Scott Township, Pennsylvania left about a dozen people without service on this morning.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Lewisburg, West Virginia
Los Angeles, California
Whitney, Texas
Ypsilanti, Michigan

July 19, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Jersey City to Make $52 Million in Sewer Repairs Under Consent Decree

Posted in Alabama, California, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 7:15 pm by bengann

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The Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority under a Consent Decree reached with the Department of Justice and EPA will spend more than $52 million on sewer repairs and upgrades and pay a civil penalty of $375,000 after repeated violations of the Clean Water Act.

Other Headlines
In the Cleveland, Ohio area, swimming advisories are in effect for Edgewater Beach, Villa Angela Beach and Euclid Beach after heavy rain and sewer outfalls caused raw sewage to spill into Lake Erie.

A water main break in Lawrence, Kansas has closed several blocks of 19th Street and disrupted water service for 25 customers.

Florence, Alabama is moving forward with plans on a $1 million project to replace a 60-inch sewer line which is collapsing from ground pressure. The work will require blasting, not only because of the depth of the line but because there is a large amount of rock around it.

Public works crews in South Bend, Indiana have closed a key downtown intersection to repair a collapsed sewer line.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Johnson City, New York
Napa, California
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Steelton, Pennsylvania

April 1, 2011

Friday’s Water News: DOJ Seeks Delay in Akron’s Sewer Overflow Trial

Posted in Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia at 11:36 am by bengann

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The Justice Department is seeking a delay in Akron, Ohio’s trial in U.S. District Court on the city’s overflowing sewers. In a related development, Akron on Monday appealed Adams’ March 17 decision to reject a proposed consent decree that had been worked out by the city.

Other Headlines
A nearly $1 million storm sewer project is set to begin construction in Waveland, Indiana that will put new sewers throughout nearly the entire town. The project will cost $995,000 and is being financed by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

Two water main breaks under the Kamehameha Highway in Honolulu forced a portion of the roadway to close yesterday.

The city of Topeka, Kansas has been ordered to fix a  sewer pipe and pay a woman thousands of dollars for damages caused by a backup into her home.

Classes were cancelled yesterday at Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota due to a water main break.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bluefield, West Virginia
Grand Blanc Township, Michigan
Nogales, Arizona

March 9, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Rep. Rahall Criticizes Budget Cuts to Water and Wastewater

Posted in California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, National, New York, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming at 11:44 am by bengann

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Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is criticizing proposed Congressional budget cuts that would eliminate federal grants and loans providing water and wastewater services to communities in Southern West Virginia. “When we invest in America, we put Americans to work,” Rahall said. “Without basic services, like clean water, even the health of families can falter.”

Other Headlines
The LOTT Clean Water Alliance in Olympia, Washington is about to embark on a $3 million project to increase the public’s comfort level with reclaimed wastewater. Last year, about 12.4 percent of the nearly 4 billion gallons of wastewater treated at the two LOTT treatment plants received advanced treatment to qualify for reuse.

A new U.S. Geological Survey study shows that nutrient levels decreased in the upper Blue River following upgrades to the Johnson County’s Blue River Main Wastewater Treatment Facility in Overland Park, Kansas. Excessive nutrients can be harmful by degrading habitats and decreasing the amount of oxygen in the water.

A broken water main in Staten Island which  flooded the basement at Borough Hall caused the cancellation of a Red Cross Month proclamation ceremony.

DeKalb County, Georgia has experienced s even raw sewage spills in the last four days because of heavy rains. In December, the EPA mandated DeKalb upgrade its sewer system after the county reported more than 800 raw sewage spills in five years.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Barstow, California
Corpus Christi, Texas
Freeport, Illinois
Laramie, Wyoming

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

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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 24, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Snarls Traffic on Capital Beltway

Posted in Arizona, California, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 5:05 pm by bengann

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A water main break iced over part of the Capital Beltway in Prince George’s County, Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C., snarling Monday morning traffic and swamping parked cars. A rupture in a 54-inch main caused 50 million gallons of water to spill and has led to a boil water advisory for 400,000 residents. At the center of the water main break, vehicles were thrown into the air and came down on their roofs, and asphalt crashed through the windows of a nearby business. 

Other Headlines
The number of sewer overflows at the Michigan City Sanitary District (Indiana) appears to have tripled since a EPA raid last summer. According to reports filed after the raid, overflows may have contributed to high bacteria levels in Lake Michigan during last year’s beach season. And several times, overflows flooded residents’ basements even though it hadn’t rained — an indication of improper maintenance at the district.

This summer Scottsdale, Arizona will upgrade its existing water and sewer systems to address growth in the city’s downtown.

The village of Woodville, Ohio will soon begin the first phase of a long-awaited sewer separation project. The project includes three phases and should be completed sometime in 2012.

A leaky pipe beneath a New York City street encased a parked car in ice and caused the pavement to sink in over the weekend.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Morton, Pennsylvania
Nipomo, California
San Diego, California
Wichita, Kansas

January 10, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Sioux Falls Receives $28.6 Million for Water and Sewer Projects

Posted in Alabama, California, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Dakota at 8:19 pm by bengann

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The South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources has approved $34.4 million for environmental projects throughout the state, including $28.6 million in low-interest loans for the city of Sioux Falls to upgrade its water and sewer systems. The loans for Sioux Falls – $4 million for drinking water and $24.6 million for wastewater system improvements – will pay for six different projects.

Other Headlines
As much as 42 million gallons of raw sewage has spilled into the Mojave River near Apple Valley, California since storm-related debris dislodged a pipe Dec. 26, raising concerns over public health and the week-long delay in notifying potentially affected residents. The majority of the leak was halted Saturday, after teams of contractors that had been working around the clock for days were able to bypass the damaged pipeline

Officials in O’Hara, Township, Pennsylvania are pushing for a new $3.5 million sewer project. On the books for years, the project would bring sewer service to properties that still rely on septic systems — many of which are failing. The township would like to secure grants to help cover costs of the sewer project.

Construction is set to begin soon on a $3.1 million project in Topeka, Kansas to provide water and sewer service to a new business park. Local officials are providing utility service to the commerce park as part of efforts to make its publicly owned land viable to serve as a free incentive for companies interested in setting up new operations there.

In San Diego area, 26 sewage spills leaked more than 8 million gallons into local waterways from Dec. 21 through Dec. 28, according to numbers released Friday by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board. The spills were linked to storms that deluged the region, causing mudslides, traffic accidents and sewer overflows.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Coralville, Iowa
Houston, Missouri
Littleville, Alabama
Summerset, South Dakota

January 3, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Keokuk, Iowa Reaches Consent Order with EPA

Posted in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin at 9:37 pm by bengann

Top Story
Keokuk, Iowa has reached an order of consent with the EPA to separate its combined sewer over the next 20 years.  As part of the agreement the city does not have to make any acknowledgement as to whether it was polluting the Mississippi River. The project is expected to cost the city $77 million.

Other Headlines
St. Augustine, Florida issued a boil-water notice for some residents and business today after a water-main break downtown.

The Village of Pomeroy, Ohio has been approved for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to assist with funding the first phase of an EPA approved Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan. The village also has a %599,000 loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority for the project.

A break yesterday in a 16-inch water main closed down the Kilbourn tunnel exit from I-43 into downtown Milwaukee. 

Yorkville, Illinois is trying to figure out a way to make payments on sewer bonds it issued several years ago to pay for an interceptor project. The lack of new development has led to a cash shortfall or the city impacting its ability to make interest payments on the bonds.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Basehor, Kansas
King County, Washington
Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
Warren, Ohio

December 16, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Water Main Break Causes Sinkhole, Detours in Wichita

Posted in California, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio at 9:48 pm by bengann

A water main break early this morning on a major commercial street in Wichita, Kansas caused a big sinkhole and a major headache for drivers, businesses and residents. Water and mud gushed into the streets before the water service to the area was shut off. Officials said they expect to have all service restored sometime Friday.

In Salisbury, Maryland, the Wicomico River has been completely closed to fishing and sports due to a sewer main break which cracked at the Fitzwater Pump Station sending about 10,000 gallons of sewage into the river.

Harrison County, Indiana is seeking federal assistance for a new $2.1 million sewer project.  The project calls for enlarging a wastewater treatment plant, installing three pumping stations and more than 24,000 feet of sewer lines.

The Southwest Licking Community Water and Sewer District is expected to sign an agreement  that will bring water and sewer services to the Ohio 161/37 corridor in Newark, Ohio.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the supplier of drinking water for about half of the state’s population, plans to sell $250 million in Build America Bonds today to fund its capital plan.

Sewer Rate News
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Hamilton County, Ohio
Richmond, Kentucky
Sacramento, California

December 8, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Water Main Break in Bellingham (Wash.) Floods Streets

Posted in Georgia, Kansas, National, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin at 11:26 pm by bengann

A break in a large water main in Bellingham, Washington flooded streets and cut water service to three square blocks of city’s southside early this morning. City officials said the break spilled about 728,000 gallons of water in less than an hour.

Copperhill, Tennessee has been ordered to pay a local business owner $100,000 for damage from a sewage spill in January 2009.

Some residents in DeKalb County, Georgia are complaining about the cost of a proposed $1.4 billion plan to upgrade its water and sewer system. Officials have said it will cost even more if they wait to complete the project.

More than a dozen properties in Dunmore, Pennsylvania were without water today after a water main break.

Stimulus Spotlight
Democratic senators are urging the chamber’s leaders to continue the Build America Bond program as part of legislation enacting the agreement that President Barack Obama struck to extend the 2001 and 2003 income-tax cuts. The federally subsidized initiative, which pays 35 percent of the interest on state and local government bonds sold for public-works projects–including water and sewer projects, wasn’t included in the deal that the White House brokered with Republicans.

Sewer Rate News
DeKalb County, Georgia
Gardner, Kansas
Hamilton County, Ohio
Wausau, Wisconsin

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