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

Top Story
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.

Other Headlines
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

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July 5, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Stormwater Contamination Increasing Shut Down of Connecticut Beaches

Posted in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington at 5:00 pm by bengann

Top Story
Connecticut’s coastal beaches in 2010 had to be shut down twice as often as in recent years between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Stormwater contamination was the cause 66 percent of the time a beach had to be closed.

Other Headlines
A state circuit court judge has set a Wednesday hearing on a request to transfer about $60 million from the Jefferson County sewer system to a corporation set up by the court-appointed receiver in charge of the system. The matter is separate from a demand made last month by the court-appointed for $75 million that the county has in reserves.

Ascension Parish, Louisiana has received more than $5 million in federal hurricane recovery money to consolidate and upgrade rural sewer services. The funding will be used to buy 14 acres of rights of way and allow parish government to build lift stations to consolidate sewer services in unincorporated areas of the parish.

The state of Ohio is set to make $1 million this year from treating wastewater from natural gas drilling sites in Pennsylvania. The amount of wastewater Ohio accepted from out-of-state drillers has jumped, in part because Pennsylvania officials this year increased pressure on drillers to keep fracking waste out of surface water.

A broken water main caused a mess in a Los Angeles neighborhood Sunday afternoon. About a half-dozen homes in Sherman Oaks were affected, including one that had its swimming pool filled with mud.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
Hobart, Wisconsin
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Polk City, Iowa

June 10, 2011

Friday’s Water News: 50 Homes in Iowa Community Damaged by Sewer Overflows

Posted in Arkansas, California, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina at 7:35 pm by bengann

Top Story
About 50-homes in Indianola, Iowa saw their homes damaged by runoff from sewer overflows.  With about eight inches of rain in just 24 hours, it was too much for the 100-year old sewer system to handle. Even the wastewater treatment plant was flooded with 18-feet of raw sewage. On most days, it handles about 2-million gallons of wastewater and sewage. Over the past two days, it’s handled about 14-million gallons.

Other Headlines
The California’s Water Resources Control Board has received information it requested from San Luis Obispo County regarding a massive sewage spill last December and will now determine whether it will levy fines against the county.

In North Carolina, a damaged wastewater pump station spewed an estimated 50,000 gallons of raw sewage into a tributary of Upper Barton Creek, killing dozens of fish in the stream that flows into Falls Lake

The new pump station in Windsor, California will help resolve the town’s dilemma of storing and disposing its excess treated wastewater, sending millions of gallons of treated wastewater northward, connecting to Santa Rosa’s pipeline and The Geysers geothermal field.

Some residents in Hartford, Arkansas not only had to contend with 90 degree temperatures today, but also were without water after a water main break. It was the third break for the main, and rather than refurbishing the pipe, crews installed 300 feet of new piping.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Covington, Louisiana
Rochester Hills, Michigan
Salisbury, North Carolina
Waukee, Iowa

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

Top Story
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

April 21, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Shale Operators Told to Stop Sending Wastewater to Treatment Plants

Posted in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania at 8:52 pm by bengann

Top Story
Because of high levels of dissolved solids and bromide in rivers and streams used for public drinking water sources, the state Department of Environmental Protection has asked all Marcellus Shale operations to voluntarily stop disposal of drilling wastewater at 15 municipal sewage treatment plants.

Other Headlines
In California,  water customers packed a meeting of the Ross Valley Sanitation District last night to protest a rate increase that could make their bills spike by hundreds of dollars. Ross Valley has a history of spills. This past December, more than a million gallons of raw sewage ran into Corte Madera Creek and local roads.

Plans are in the works for the second phase of the southwest sewer area project in Agawam, Massachusetts, a project currently estimated at $7.3 million.

The sewage system in Vidalia, Louisiana is getting another much-needed overhaul through a grant from the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant program.

Bingham, Maine, a town of approximately 1,000 people, has learned its wastewater infrastructure will be upgraded with the help of $1.57 million in federal loan and grant funds from USDA.

Water and Sewer Rate News
El Dorado, Arkansas
Loves Park, Illinois
North Reading, Massachusetts
Ramsey, New Jersey

I am taking tomorrow off but will be back on Monday. Enjoy your weekend.

February 28, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Cleveland Wastewater Treatment Plant Floods, Causes Sewer Overflow

Posted in California, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee at 8:39 pm by bengann

Top Story
Regional sewer district officials in Cleveland, Ohio asked area residents to limit their water use after flooding forced a wastewater treatment plant to release untreated or partially treated wastewater into the Cuyahoga River. About 4.5 billion gallons of raw sewage are discharged annually into the environment by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

Other Headlines
In California, the Antelope Area Sewer Project which will serve as a solution to the contaminated groundwater in parts of the City of Red Bluff as well as the County of Tehama is estimated to cost $44 million.

Public works officials in Salisbury, Maryland are hoping needed upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment plant will help put them back on track after getting embroiled in legal problems over the plant’s nitrogen output levels.

Hours after the Kodak Theater played host to the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, a water main break created a sinkhole just down the street.

Even though no houses in the Slidell, Louisiana were flooded, and their water supplies were not affected, a busted water main causing headaches for motorists over the weekend.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hudson, Ohio
Moorpark, California
Uhrichsville, Ohio

February 2, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Water Main Break in Albuquerque Turns Intersection into Skating Rink

Posted in Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon at 10:32 pm by bengann

Top Story
An overnight water main break in Albuquerque, New Mexico turned a busy intersection into a virtual skating rink this morning after the break dumped hundreds of gallons of water onto the road which quickly froze and covered roads with a thick sheet of ice.

Other Headlines
Work could start as early as June to help DeKalb County, Georgia meet a federal mandate to improve its sewers. The $1.35 billion project is necessary because the EPA has mandated the county improve its sewer system after reporting more than 800 raw sewage spills over five years.

The city of Mount Angel, Oregon has slated a $40,000 sanitary sewer line project to work on this spring with the goal of lengthening the life of the sewer system.

A broken water main that leaked an estimated 500,000 gallons of water along a major road in Augusta, Georgia also snarled traffic and closed some businesses.

The water in Oil City, Louisiana is back on after a major water main break, but the city of 1,300 is likely to be under a boil water advisory until at least Friday. The city’s Mayor reports the water main break caused a sinkhole four feet deep.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Ames, Iowa
Flint, Michigan
Indianapolis, Indiana
Westwood, Massachusetts

January 6, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: FEMA to Pay $350 Million to Fix Biloxi, Mississippi’s Water and Sewer ines

Posted in California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania at 4:40 pm by bengann

Top Story
In the next couple of months, more than a million feet of sewer and water lines will get a major overhaul in Biloxi, Mississippi. FEMA is footing the nearly $350 million bill to repair existing lines, including storm drains damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

Other Headlines
In Georgia, DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis says 1,300 jobs will be created by the county’s water and sewer upgrades.

A water main first installed in 1924 broke in front of a Santa Cruz, California condominium complex causing flooding today. A couple of vehicles near the water main were damaged by rocks that were shot from the geyser of water when the pipe burst.

EPA is investigating two wastewater spills that occurred in Marin County, California last month which released an estimated at 2.6 million gallons. The spills were a mixture of sewage and rainwater. EPA is investigating the cause of the spills, the district’s response, and construction practices.

The city of Bonners Ferry, Idaho has agreed to pay a $12,300 penalty to EPA for alleged violations of clean water rules caused by discharges from its water treatment plant. To remedy the problems, plant officials have reduced inflow and infiltration into the collection system and removed sludge buildup collected in sewage lagoons.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Cedaredge, Colorado
New Baltimore, New York
Sorrento, Louisiana
West Pottsgrove Township, Pennsylvania

December 29, 2010

Top Sewer Overflow Stories of 2010

Posted in California, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin at 9:20 pm by bengann

Here are the top sewer overflow stories for 2010.

1.  Milwaukee had several major sewer overflows in 2010 including in July when a massive amount of sewage poured into lakes and streams after heavy rains hit the area. An estimated 2 billion gallons of sewage spilled during that time. 

2. Kansas City is starting the first phase of a massive 25-year sewer project to cut the overflow of raw sewage from nearly 6.5 billion gallons a year to less than a half billion.  The total cost of the 25-year plan is estimated to be $2.5 billion. It is the biggest public works project in the city’s history.

3. Agencies argued over responsibility for a sewage spill near the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California. Over 2.1 million gallons of Mexican sewage leaked into the Tijuana River Valley following a breakdown at several U.S. waste treatment facilities. Agencies responded by dodging responsibility because of jurisdictional questions.

4. During the storms that rained on the San Francisco Bay Area in January, a total of 630,000 gallons of raw sewage spewed into the bay at 47 spots. Even worse, 170 million gallons of partially treated sewage was discharged from three East Bay Municipal Utility District “wet weather” overflow plants.

5. Twenty million gallons of sewage spilled into the Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida in June after a 72-inch sewer pipe burst and deposited raw sewage into the bay.

6. The rapidly rising waters of the Pawtuxet River in Rhode Island caused unprecedented flooding at the West Warwick and Warwick sewage treatment plants in March, shutting down both plants and spreading untreated sewage. Such extensive flood damage of two major sewer plants had never happened before.

7. Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) became so concerned about the City of Charlottesville’s repeated sewage overflow problems that it is demanding the city take immediate action. The DEQ says since July 2008 Charlottesville’s waste system has back-up and dumped sewage into creeks and streams at least 40 times. 

8. The Metropolitan Sewer District in Louisville, Kentucky estimated 4.1 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Ohio River in October because of a gate failure at a pump station. Sewage discharged for about 11 hours from an overflow point in the Ohio River until the spill ceased.

9. 3 million gallons of untreated sewage spilled into Champion Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana in October. The city says the leak was the result of aging sewer pipes. It is estimated that $200 million is needed to update the city’s sewer system.

10. A collapsed sewer line in Sioux City, Iowa wasn’t fixed for a week in March and spilled about one million gallons of untreated wastewater into the Missouri River.  The line break happened when saturated soil slid into a ravine, carrying a section of the pipeline with it.

November 30, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Bridge Closed in Massachusetts After Water Main Break

Posted in California, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington at 8:43 pm by bengann

A break in a 30-inch water main on the Waters River Bridge in Danvers, Massachusetts diverted traffic for many motorists this morning. The main occurred in Danvers but belongs to the city of Salem. The bridge has been shut down to all motorists while repairs are made.

Headlines
A water main break in the village of Cedarville, Ohio has left almost everyone in the small community without water. Village officials are doing everything it can to get the water line fixed and the water back on for residents.

The Parish Police Jury in Ouachita County, Louisiana is preparing to begin a $225,000 wastewater improvement project at its correctional center that will save future maintenance costs for the small town of Richwood.

The Town Council of Middletown, Rhode Island has approved a emergency contract order for immediate repairs to a collapsed sewer line. The collapsed sewer line is believed to be due to age.

Stimulus Spotlight
The city of St. Petersburg, Florida plans to sell $44.7 million in taxable Build America bonds to finance improvements to its water and wastewater systems.

Sewer Rate News
Jackson, Mississippi
New Philadelphia, Ohio
Patterson, California
Sequim, Washington

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