July 13, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Boil Water Advisory for Six New Jersey Towns Following Water Main Break

Posted in Arizona, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Wisconsin at 5:46 pm by bengann

Top Story
A break in a 30-inch water main in Northern New Jersey has shut down part of U.S. Route 9W and is causing six communities to suffer from loss of water. The communities affected are Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Palisades Park, Englewood, Leonia and Tenafly. Affected residents may have low water pressure or no water, especially those living on upper floors of high-rise buildings.

Other Headlines
Staff at Richmond (Ind.) Sanitary District’s wastewater treatment plant have been working around the clock since Friday to resolve an issue that led suspended solids and E. coli to overload the treatment and filtration process and discharge into the East Fork Whitewater River.

In California, the city of Guadalupe is moving forward with a plan on a $4.75 million project to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant. The new system, which features new headworks, a dewatering system and biological treatment system will allow the city to meet state discharge standards.

Work started today on a new sewer line in Lexington, Kentucky which will help address sewer overflow problems in one part of the city. The new 24 inch sewer line will replace a 15 inch line, that was originally built in 1966.

The city of Whitefish, Montana has begun a five- to six-week project to replace and rehabilitate underground sewer mains throughout the city.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Easton, Massachusetts
Plymouth Township, Michigan
Ripon, Wisconsin
Surprise, Arizona

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July 12, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: 40 Million Gallons of Water Spills in Louisville (Ky.) Following Main Break

Posted in California, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri at 9:16 pm by bengann

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Water has finally stopped spilling out of a broken 48-inch water main in Louisville, Kentucky, but not before spewing more than 40 million gallons across the University of Louisville campus and curtailing drinking water to 75,000 residents. Flooding was severe enough to cancel classes at U of L. Meanwhile, hundreds of central Louisville homes and businesses were coping with the temporary loss of water pressure that put them under a boil-water advisory — even as the heat index climbed well past 100 for a second straight day.

Other Headlines
The city of Taunton, Massachusetts’ aging sewer infrastructure is getting a major upgrade, as workers are in the midst of a project to repair and replace failing pipes across the city. In fact yesterday, workers replaced a 111-year-old clay pipe. The work is part of a larger project to prevent the city’s sewer system from overflowing into the Taunton River.

Two broken water mains in Fort Lauderdale occurred miles apart today and caused a huge mess on the streets and in the water. City officials are stumped regarding the cause of the two pipe ruptures, but they speculate the high temperatures may have caused the pipes to burst.

Crews with the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District are cleaning up and making repairs after a sewer line broke and leaked sewage in north St. Louis County.

A break in a wastewater main in Milford, Iowa has sent untreated sewage spilling into West Lake Okoboji. Residents have been advised to keep their children and pets away from the shoreline and out of the water for the next 48 hours.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bay City, Michigan
Tulare County, California
Yuba City, California

July 8, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Dearborn, Michigan to Start $325 Million Sewer Separation Project in January

Posted in Alabama, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 6:58 pm by bengann

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Starting in January, the city of Dearborn, Michigan will begin a new $325 million sewer separation project. The work represents the third distinct plan of attack for the massive combined sewage overflow project that has been in the works now for more than three decades.

Other Headlines
The state of Alabama may offer help to debt-laden Jefferson County to prevent the municipality from filing for what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in history. The county, home to the state’s largest city, Birmingham, has struggled for about three years under the weight of $3.2 billion in sewer debt after a failed bond financing.

Hundreds of fish are dead in Peters Creek after a water main broke beneath the South Park Township, Pennsylvania salt storage, carrying salty water into the creek. The break is most likely due to deterioration in the line.

In Corbin, Kentucky, two businesses out of the four that were damaged in mid-April after heavy rains caused by a sewer overflow have now reopened.

Part of a major road in Fairfax, Virginia has been blocked off due to a water main break that caused a sinkhole.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Crescent City, California
West Bloomfield, Michigan
Williamsburg, Colorado
Wilsonville, Oregon

June 30, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: St. Louis Agrees with EPA to $4.7 Billion, 23-Year Plan to Upgrade Sewers

Posted in California, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Dakota at 6:40 pm by bengann

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Sewer bills are in line for big increases in St. Louis (Mo.) to cover a $4.7 billion, 23-year plan to stop sewage from bubbling into the area’s rivers and stream. The plan is part a consent decree reached with EPA. St. Louis is one of many older urban areas that face the common problem of sewer overflows, mainly because of combined sewer systems dating to the 19th century.

Other Headlines
The city of Sioux Falls (S.D.) has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed after its storm and sanitary sewer systems failed in 2004 and hundreds of homes flooded. The settlement creates a fund of $1.95 million that, if approved by a court, will allow about 160 people to recoup some of their losses.

Today the city of San Diego launched an $11.8 million water purification demonstration project to test the feasibility of turning wastewater into drinking water. The city relies almost exclusively on water imported from the Colorado River and the Sacrament-San Joaquin River Delta — increasingly expensive sources over which San Diego has little control.

In Idaho, a regional wastewater plant to serve both Hansen and Kimberly came one step closer to fruition after the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality awarded the project a $25,000 grant.

The failure of one of two water mains in Humphrey, Nebraska left the town’s residents without water for about two hours while stopgap repairs were accomplished.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Midland, Michigan
Nortonville, Kentucky
Scituate, Massachusetts

I’m taking Friday off. Enjoy your 4th of July weekend. We’ll post again on Tuesday, July 5.

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

Top Story
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.

Other Headlines
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.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Abbotsford, Wisconsin
Mulberry, Arkansas
Ripon, Wisconsin
Shepherdsville, Kentucky

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

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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 7, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: IRS Investigating Jefferson County’s (Ala.) Tax-Exempt Sewer Bonds

Posted in Alaska, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia at 2:34 pm by bengann

Top Story
In Alabama, Jefferson County says the Internal Revenue Service is investigating the tax-free status of sewer bonds that have landed the state’s largest county on the brink of bankruptcy. The county is in default on its sewer bonds, after the spending on a $1 billion project more than tripled and complex Wall Street interest rate swaps backfired.

Other Headlines
An issue with the sewer system could mean big trouble for a popular Northern Kentucky nightspot,  because it has been discovered the restaurant is no longer tied into the sewer system, meaning that their waste was being discharged into the Ohio River.

A $4.7 million project to upgrade the town’ of Wilton, Maine’s sewer system was approved by voters at the town meeting last night. To pay for the project, the town’s 995 sewer customers will pay an added $240 per year over the next 29 years on their sewer bills.

The longtime settling of a concrete vault is being blamed for the collapse of a sewer line along Route 37 in Toms River, New Jersey yesterday, which caused a sinkhole that shut down the right eastbound lane of the roadway until after midnight.

A water main break in the area of Peabody, Massachusetts left about 15 houses and a strip mall without water for about five hours yesterday.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bay City, Michigan
Burlingame, California
Canon City, Colorado
Vienna, Virginia

May 6, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Citrus County (Fla.) Beach Closed After High Bacterial Count in Water

Posted in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee at 7:35 pm by bengann

Top Story
In Florida, the Citrus County Parks and Recreation Division have put up the no swimming signs at the Ft. Island Gulf Beach Park after the county Environmental Health Department found high bacterial counts in the most recent water samples. The beach had been open to swimming for a month up until Thursday, after having been closed to swimming for a number of consecutive weeks prior to that.

Other Headlines
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s plan to ax a $750,000 grant appropriation aimed at helping the town of Brady replace its ailing water system has officials there grappling over what to do next.

When the Upper Hocking Wastewater Treatment Plant begins pumping sludge this summer, it will mark the end of a $50 million construction project on what officials in  Lancaster, Ohio have called the largest public works project in the city’s history.

An estimated 100,000 gallons of sewage spilled into Jump and Run Creek in Harnett County, North Carolina on Thursday after a force main break.

In Pennsylvania, several Bucks County municipalities and water authorities will receive state grants totaling $9.8 million to help pay for various water and sewer projects.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bend, Oregon
Columbia, Tennessee
Louisville, Kentucky
Newburgh, Indiana

This blog will not be updated next week as I will be at the 2011 NUCA Washington Summit. Regular posts will return Monday, May 16.

April 19, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: 8 Weeks Needed to Repair Albuquerque Sewer Main Collapse

Posted in Alabama, California, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington at 8:38 pm by bengann

Top Story
On a follow-up to a story from last week, officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico estimate it will take up to eight weeks to repair nearly 1,500 feet of sewer pipe which collapsed last week. With several roads shut down, nearby stores say they’ve already seen business drop due to lack of access.

Other Headlines
A sewer overflow after heavy rains last weekend in Corbin, Kentucky damaged four offices and will cause the city to pay for the damages incurred. This is the second time the sewer has overflowed and caused damage at the site.

A year after Mabton, Washington accidentally dumped 370,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Yakima River, the city is talking about becoming a model of environmental stewardship is considering an expansion of its wastewater system that would incorporate the latest green technology.

The sewer system in the town of Cherokee, Alabama may soon get a multi-million dollar overhaul after the town council voted to move forward with plans to revitalize the area’s old sewer system. Council members voted to accept more than $950,000 in grant money, and signed on for more than a million dollar loan to begin the project.

Water was flowing from a busted main in Philadelphia’s northeast section early Tuesday morning, causing a detour for several SEPTA bus routes and disrupting water service to a nearby community center.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Alexandria Bay, New York
Foster City, California
Planfield, Illinois
Warren County, Ohio

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

Top Story
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.

Other Headlines
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

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