February 25, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Indiana Community Reaches Agreement to End EPA Oversight in 5 Years

Posted in California, Indiana, Maine, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia at 12:23 pm by bengann

Top Story
The EPA has approved a plan to combat sewer overflows in New Albany, Indiana that could lead to the end of federal oversight in five years. New Albany has been under an EPA consent decree since 1992 due to sanitary sewer overflows(SSO). The city spent about $50 million from 2003 to 2010 battling SSOs, yet there were still more than 100 overflows recorded from 2007 to 2009.

Other Headlines
In Stockton, California, for three weeks, sewage overflowed from an apartment complex and drained into Smith Canal before city officials were alerted and stopped the flow yesterday. An estimated 35,000 gallons of wastewater overflowed into the city’s stormwater system.

Elected officials in Logan Township, Pennsylvania have decided to issue $10 million in bonds to expand sewer lines into more rural neighborhoods. The overall expansion is expected to cost $12 million and construction should begin in 2013.

An engineering study for Jamestown, North Dakota, a city with over 15,000 residents, concludes that $18 million is needed to repair its water and sewer systems.

Officials from three American Indian tribes and 10 federal agencies met in South Dakota yesterday to discuss securing $84 million in additional federal funds to finish the nearly complete Mni Wiconi water project. The project is 95% complete and once it’s finished will supply Missouri River water to thousands of people on four rural water systems and three reservations.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Keyser, West Virginia
Portland, Maine
Sultan, Washington

February 17, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Number of Water Main Breaks in Kansas City Increases 73 Percent

Posted in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania at 7:18 pm by bengann

Top Story
Last winter, Kansas City had 270 main breaks from November through the month of February. So far this winter — with February not even over yet — the city has experienced 467 main breaks, for a 73 percent increase.

Other Headlines
In Fort Wayne, Indiana, a residential garage will be torn down to replace a sewer line that collapsed beneath it. The work needs to be done because a 12-inch sewer line, which carries both storm water and sewage, collapsed. The pipe was installed in 1916. 

A street in Mason City, Illinois collapsed after a hole developed in the sewer line supporting the road. The repairs will total between $5,000 and $10,000.

A water main break that closed down a major street in Portland, Maine this morning has been repaired and traffic has returned to normal. There have been five water main breaks in Portland since Sunday.

The City Council in Archbald, Pennsylvania will receive a $230,000 principal forgiveness loan from the federal government to cover the cost of a sewer project.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Ankeny, Iowa
Fremont, California
Newark, New York
South Pasadena, California

August 19, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Massive Water Main Break Disrupts Service to Half of Waco, Texas

Posted in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Texas, Virginia at 7:22 pm by bengann

A massive break in a 48-inch water main has left Waco, Texas scrambling to save its water supply. Officials are asking residents to stop watering lawns and stop washing cars in order to save precious water. The massive pipe is critical to providing water service to half of the city’s residents.

Work will be completed soon on a $6.5 million sewer project in Noblesville, Indiana. Prior to this project, the existing sewer was a combined sanitary and storm sewer that was constructed of brick over 100 years ago. Over the past year, crews installed large-diameter storm sewers and backup sewers.

A large water main break in Center Point, Alabama this morning damaged a busy road, and caused other property damage. Water also was spraying into the air, and damaged the road and blew out a window in a car.

Stimulus Spotlight
In Montana, though the entire project is years away from completion, the Rocky Boy’s/North Central Regional Water System’s first customers can drink the water pouring out of their faucets. Once a treatment plant is built at Lake Elwell and a waterline is installed, the project will deliver clean water to a territory the size of Delaware. Last summer, $20 million in federal stimulus money more than doubled the funding the project has received since it was authorized in 2002.

The drafting of an application seeking federal stimulus funds for Strasburg, Virginia’s planned $25 million upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant has come to a standstill as an environmental review document has become outdated during the process.

Sewer Rate News
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bradenton, Florida
Jackson, Mississippi

The blog is taking its summer vacation. We’ll return with all new material on Monday, August 30.

July 29, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: 2 Billion Gallons of Sewage pours into Milwaukee Lakes and Streams

Posted in Florida, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, West Virginia, Wisconsin at 1:00 pm by egold24

A massive amount of sewage poured into lakes and streams in Milwaukee, Wisconsin after heavy rains hit the area. It is estimated that 2 billion gallons of sewage spilled during this time. This has been the fourth sewage overflow that the city has seen this year alone.

A 14 feet deep, 25 feet long sinkhole has opened up along a St. Louis, Missouri neighborhood. Officials say the street collapsed over a brick sewer line dating back to the 1870’s. An investigation is now underway to see how to properly replace the system.

Heavy rains in Duluth, Minnesota cause sewage overflows in the city. Officials say that more than 5,000 gallons spewed out of the city’s overtaxed stormwater drains in several locations around the city.

A pump failure in Des Moines, Iowa led to sewage overflows amounting to 3,000 gallons. The wastewater flowed directly into the Des Moines River, officials say.

Stimulus Spotlight
Thanks to the stimulus package, the town of Patten, Maine is getting 120,000 dollars in federal grants to remove contaminated soil and old gasoline tanks from underneath the town. This will make the water much cleaner and safer to drink for Patten residents.

Sewer Rate News
Indianola, Iowa
Middleboro, Massachusetts
Wellsburg, West Virginia
Port Richey, Florida

July 7, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Water Restrictions for DC Suburbs Lifted

Posted in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, Washington at 5:29 pm by egold24

Water restrictions have been lifted in the Washington, DC suburbs of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Approximately 1.8 million residents of the two Maryland counties were restricted to minimal water use after an 8-foot wide water main nearly broke last week.

Water damage caused a sinkhole in the St. Louis suburb of Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri that swallowed an SUV. The woman driving the SUV was able to climb out and was not hurt.

A 16-inch water main broke in Atlanta, Georgia early Tuesday morning. Work crews were forced to close a major road, creating more traffic delays. Construction will not be completed until Thursday according to officials.

A water pump failure has left some residents in Shelton, Connecticut without water service. Increased water demand from the high temperatures overwhelmed the water pump and caused the failure.

Stimulus Spotlight
Stimulus funds have been disbursed to Bismark, North Dakota for water project aid. McKenzie county received $2.2 million to broaden water distribution to residential areas. Also, the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation received $1.62 million for water projects.

Sewer Rate News
Bossier City, Louisana
Jefferson City, Missouri
Livermore Falls, Maine
Palm Springs, California
Port Orchard, Washington

June 14, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Louisville Deals With Mounting Sewer Debt

Posted in Arkansas, California, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia at 4:57 pm by egold24

As the Metropolitan Sewer District debt in Louisville, Kentucky builds, residents are beginning to feel the pinch. The Metropolitan Sewer District maintains the highest level of debt it has ever sustained. There appears to be more trouble on the horizon due to a court-imposed rehabilitation program with an $850 million price tag.

Nearly all of the Eastwood community in Syracuse, New York has been restored with adequate water pressure. An official claimed workers were able to restore the neighborhood with decent water pressure after they freed a valve that failed to respond correctly to a broken water main.

Mandated upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are affecting Portsmouth, Maine. These upgrades are designed to reduce the amount of nitrogen in the water and concomitantly the amount of nitrogen in the Great Bay Estuary into which the water flows.

A water main break early this morning in Alexandria, Virginia caused a sinkhole to form near a busy intersection this morning.

Stimulus Spotlight
In Arkansas, construction is set to begin in November on a project 60 years in the making. U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln announced that $37 million in federal funds are available for two high-volume pump stations at the heart of the Bayou Meto Water Management Project. These funds, derived from the American Recovery and Restoration Act, are essential to beginning the project, but more funds will be needed to see it through.

Sewer Rate News
Boston, Massachusetts
Las Gallinas, California
Montpelier, Vermont
Morganton, North Carolina

April 15, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: 1.6 Miles of Water Mains to be Replaced in Penn. Townships

Posted in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas at 10:20 am by bradhannon

Nearly 1.6 miles of aging water mains in the Pennsylvania townships of Annville and Derry are being replaced to improve service reliability and improve fire protection for residents.  The cost of the pipeline upgrades is approximately $1 million.

A broken water main on Wednesday forced one Texas town to issue a boil water notice.  The City of Bartlett issued the notice as a precaution following a break in the main 6-inch line Wednesday afternoon causing residents east of Highway 95 to briefly lose service.

In Pennsylvania, planned improvements to the sewer system shared by Clarks Summit, Clarks Green and South Abington Township are moving forward, but sewer officials said they still aren’t sure what the price tag will be.  In 2008, the Joint Sewer Authority dumped more than 2 million gallons of untreated wastewater into the creek, drawing scrutiny from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Stimulus Spotlight
The city of Brewer, Maine is nearing the end of an 18-year project to separate stormwater and sewer lines. Brewer will receive $1.42 million — a $620,000 grant and a $800,000 low-interest loan — funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the wastewater projects.

Barry, Illinois city officials and representatives of USDA Rural Development broke ground Wednesday in the Business Park for a 200,000 gallon elevated water storage tank.  The ceremony followed the closing on a $747,000 Rural Development loan that will help the city finance the water tower and transmission main. The project is one of 21 around Illinois being funded with $36 million in federal stimulus money.

Sewer Rate News
Cape Vincent, New York
Ocala, Florida
Sedona, Arizona
Washburn, Missouri

March 8, 2010

Monday’s Water News: 100,000 in Baltimore County Without Water After Main Break

Posted in Arizona, California, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota at 1:17 pm by bengann

A water main break on Saturday morning which cut off service to 100,000 residents in Baltimore County can pick up water today at a local sports complex. The break in the 54-year-old main has closed 11 schools today as approximately 40,000 residents are still without water as of this morning.

An electrical malfunction at a Fulton, Missouri lift station resulted in the release of an estimated 1.2 million gallons of untreated sewage on Friday.

The troubled Ogden Interceptor in Wilmington, North Carolina had another sewer spill on Saturday when about 2,625 gallons of sewage spilled into the wetlands of Smith Creek.

Stimulus Spotlight
A $550 million water project for 15 cities and five rural water districts in South Dakota, Iowa and southwestern Minnesota that’s more than 20 years in the making is beginning to take shape. The project is being supplemented by $56.5 million in funding from the economic stimulus.

A generator for a water treatment plant in Berwick, Maine installed last summer, and funded in part from the economic stimulus, allowed the plant to filter water last week despite losing power from the main grid due to gusting winds and heavy rain that tore through the area.

Sewer Rate News
Bath, New York
Montague, California
Pima County, Arizona
Riverbank, California

January 21, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Mishawaka (Ind.) Motorists Detoured by Main Break

Posted in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Virginia, Wyoming at 6:46 pm by bradhannon

Drivers in Mishawaka, Indiana used parking lots as shortcuts to maneuver around an intersection closed by a water main break. Some residents salted the roadway yesterday to stop standing water in the intersection from freezing.

In Tampa, Florida a major road was closed in both directions yesterday while crews worked to repair a water main break that caused a hole to open in the road.

A water main break at the Manchester School in Middletown, Ohio forced Middletown City Schools to postpone a scheduled training class on a new computer system for parents.

Stimulus Spotlight
The town of Deaver, Wyoming  received a grant from the federal stimulus funds for around $1.1 million.  The project, replacing the town’s entire collection system, was badly needed because the old system was built with old clay pipe, which was deteriorating.

In Kennebunkport, Maine a 10,000-foot long water pipe replacement project is slated for this year.  The Maine Drinking Water Program received four times the amount of money from the EPA this year because of the stimulus funds released.  The $2 million-plus project will begin around March 1.

Sewer Rate News
Davenport, Iowa
Berryville, Virginia
Phoenix, Arizona
Newark, Ohio

January 8, 2010

Friday’s Water News: New York Village Needs Money for Upgrades

Posted in Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New York at 2:25 pm by bengann

The village of Clayton, New York will likely will be spending a lot more money on water and sewer services after a new analysis found at least one-fifth of those systems to be in “poor condition.” Mayor Norma Zimmer estimates the village–which has a population of 1,821–would need to raise $132,000 to upgrade aging facilities.

A water main has broken in Dearing, Georgia has left dozens of homes and businesses without water. “It’s a major catastrophe for Dearing. You know when you have to call and put it on the radio,” said Sean Kelley, Mayor of Dearing.

Workers in Tempe, Arizona are trying to repair a broken water main that has forced a road to be closed this morning.

In Poway, California, a water main break left nearly 30 homes with water service last night.

Stimulus Spotlight
The utility district in Mars Hill, Maine recently received more than $2.5 million in grant and loan funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for wastewater system upgrades.

Sewer Rate News
El Dorado, California
Exeter, New Hampshire
Kenner, Louisiana
Marshalltown, Iowa

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