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

May 16, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Snarls Traffic for Beach-Bound Motorists

Posted in California, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina at 5:20 pm by bengann

Top Story
Some people expecting to go to the beach yesterday were instead treated to a day stuck in traffic, after a ruptured water main shut down U.S. 98 eastbound in Gulf Breeze, Florida on Sunday morning, causing a day-long traffic snarl that stretched as far as downtown Pensacola.

Other Headlines
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says about 1 million gallons of untreated sewage has flowed into Steele Creek because of a sewage line break. Steele Creek merges into Sugar Creek, which eventually feeds into the Catawba River.

The City Council in Winnebago, Minnesota has decided to move forward with a sanitary sewer project.  The total cost of the project will be nearly half a million dollars, with 28 connections being impacted by the new project, 24 of them businesses.

The borough of Freeport, Pennsylvania wants the state to declare its multimillion-dollar storm sewer solutions too costly for customers. The state could grant extensions to the project until government funding is found to reduce the burden, which could take from six to 12 years.

EPA has presented a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund award to Missoula County, Montana for water system improvements to the Lewis and Clark Subdivision. In 2009, Missoula County was awarded $572,400 in economic stimulus funding to provide reliable water to residents in the subdivision, a low-income neighborhood.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Brooktrails, California
Massena, New York
Northville, Michigan
Novato, California

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.

March 16, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Senators Introduce Bipartisan Proposal to Create Infrastructure Bank

Posted in Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Montana, National, Virginia at 11:47 am by bengann

Top Story
A bipartisan Senate proposal introduced yesterday would create a national infrastructure bank to help finance the construction and repair of infrastructure, including water and wastewater systems. The idea is to attract more infrastructure investment from the private sector for projects of regional or national significance.

Other Headlines
It will take days to repair about 60 feet of roadway that was washed away when a water main broke earlier today in Decatur, Georgia. An aging pipe has been blamed for the mess. Two homes were evacuated after reports of flooded basements.

Engineers estimate that $5 million is needed for repairs to the sewer system in South Beloit, Illinois. Excess groundwater has caused sewage problems for several years.

A water main break this morning in Springfield, Virginia closed down an intersection forcing traffic to be detoured and disrupted service to 20 homes in the area.

Officials in Cedar Falls, Iowa have accepted bids for construction of two major wastewater projects. The bids include $17.85 million to add an ultraviolet disinfection system to the wastewater plant and $7.1 million to replace a lift station.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Ames, Iowa
Bangor, Maine
Great Falls, Montana
Vinton, Virginia

March 2, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: W.V. State Senate Passes Legislation to Upgrade Treatment Plants

Posted in Alabama, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia at 7:51 pm by bengann

Top Story
The West Virginia state Senate has passed legislation which would pay for costs to upgrade wastewater treatment plants in the Eastern Panhandle to meet new pollution limits imposed by the EPA for the Chesapeake Bay Restoration program. The legislation would dedicate $6 million annually for 30 years from surplus video lottery revenues to finance bonds to help cover the costs to improve or build new sewer plants.

Other Headlines
Here is a follow-up to a story from yesterday, two large Pennsylvania water providers said today they plan to immediately test public water supplies in response to outcry over a news report that radioactive gas-drilling wastewater may have been discharged into the state’s streams.

A water main break today in Hampton, Virginia forced officials to close a portion of a road after the water caused a large sinkhole.

The town of Manhattan, Montana will receive a loan of at least $1 million loan at 3 percent interest to refinance debt it incurred for its mechanical wastewater treatment facility.

Salem, Massachusetts will replace an aging 40-year old sewer line thanks in part to funding from the state. The current line is at the end of its life expectancy.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Annapolis, Maryland
Leoni Township, Michigan
Prattville, Alabama
Saratoga Springs, New York

February 3, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Study Shows Water Quality Concerns for Lackawanna River

Posted in California, Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia at 8:10 pm by bengann

Top Story
In Pennsylvania, a new assessment of water quality in the Lackawanna River details a dramatic increase of pollutants in the waterway during storm events, evidence of the persistent problem of waste flowing into streams from sewer overflows and stormwater runoff in heavy rains. The study by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission found that two pollutants – nitrogen and phosphorous – were above the level of concern for aquatic life at half of the 15 sites sampled during normal conditions.

Other Headlines
It will cost and estimated $200 million to upgrade 13 West Virginia wastewater treatment plants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The improvements are needed to meet new EPA standards for pollution control.

Visalia, California is upgrading its wastewater treatment plant, which will increase the amount of water that can be recycled and help reduce the need for pumping groundwater.

More than 15 water leaks, water main breaks and flooded homes were reported  this morning in and around Horizon City, Texas.

The ongoing wastewater treatment project Lincoln County, West Virginia has received over $924,000 in SRF money for the third phase of the project.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Burley, Idaho
Canton, Michigan
Great Falls, Montana
Henrietta, Missouri

December 21, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Water Main Break Disrupts Water Service to 5,000 Customers in Michigan

Posted in Georgia, Michigan, Montana, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming at 7:56 pm by bengann

A water main break in Chelsea, Michigan left 5,000 homes and businesses without water early this morning. Around 700,000 gallons of water was lost, the same amount used on an average winter day.

The state of West Virginia has announced a Water and Waste Disposal Loan of $525,600 for the Town of Poca. The funds will be used to rehabilitate the town’s wastewater collection system portions of which were constructed in the 1950s and are in need of repair.

The borough of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania has a little more than eight months to identify and reroute all illegal sewer discharge into Wabash Creek, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered last week.

In Georgia, DeKalb County has reported more than 15,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into local waterways over the past four days. Last week, the county commission approved $1.35 billion in water and sewer upgrades after the EPA issued a consent decree mandating improvements.

Detroit had $4.6 billion of water and sewers bonds lowered by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited the utilities’ risk from interest-rate swaps and lean financial flexibility. Moody’s said debt service coverage on the bonds has diminished amid the economic slump that has hit the Detroit area and because of large payments it may face to cancel interest- rate swaps.

Stimulus Spotlight
It’s the end of the line for the stimulus spotlight feature that we started on April 28, 2009. With economic stimulus funding for water and sewer projects coming to an end it’s time to retire stimulus spotlight. 

Sewer Rate News
Belgrade, Montana
Casper, Wyoming
Colleyville, Texas
Pooler, Georgia

This is the last regular post for the year. We will have best of posts on Tuesday, December 28 and Wednesday, December 29. Happy Holidays.

December 20, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Study Finds Probable Carcinogen in Tap Water of 31 U.S. Cities

Posted in Arkansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, National, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin at 8:31 pm by bengann

Residents in at least 31 U.S. cities could be drinking tap water contaminated with the harmful chemical hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, according to a report released today by the non-profit Environmental Working Group. The EPA has classified hexavalent chromium as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” and the new study may eventually lead to a national drinking water standard for the chemical.

Construction has begun on a hard-rock stormwater overflow and relief sewer tunnel 180 feet below the surface in Columbus, Ohio. The nearly 4.5-mile-long tunnel has a 20-foot diameter and will further limit combined sewer overflows into the Olentangy and Scioto rivers.

A major water main break this afternoon in Gloucester, Massachusetts cut off water supply to about 70 percent of the city. Schools in the city will be closed tomorrow because of the disruption in service and residents will likely remain under a boil-water order until Wednesday.

The city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire is taking the first step to secure funding for a massive overhaul of its wastewater systems.  The city wants to borrow $3 million for a preliminary sewer plant upgrade. The cost is at a tenth of the expected funding needed for the treatment plant upgrades mentioned in the city’s master plan.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has decided to delay a $280 million municipal bond sale until next year, due to volatile conditions in the municipal bond market. The district had planned to sell $280 million in Build America Bonds — an economic stimulus program — but the bond market has been in turmoil with the BAB  program ending on December 31.

Sewer Rate News
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Kalispell, Montana
Verona, Wisconsin

November 12, 2010

Friday’s Water News: EPA Agreement Means Sewer Bills Will Rise in Northeast Ohio

Posted in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma at 7:02 pm by bengann

Sewer bills are likely to spike due to the new tentative agreement the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has reached with the EPA.  The district which provides service to Cleveland and 60 surrounding communities is in violation of the Clean Water Act, and the agreement would clear the way for work to begin on a 25 year, $3 billion dollar project to reduce the amount of sewage being dumped into Lake Erie.

The state of New York has awarded $5.1 million from its Water Quality Improvement Program to the city of Utica sewer overflow control projects. The money will with the roughly $164 million the city plans to spend to upgrade its sewage system to prevent groundwater infiltration and to separate sewage lines from those carrying storm water.   

A 117 year-old pipe burst late Thursday night in Middletown, Connecticut near the Wesleyan University Campus. The break forced work crews to close part of a road and replace eight to ten feet of pipe.  “Well it isn’t just Middletown, it’s nationwide,” said Tom Tretault of the Middletown Water & Sewer Department. “The infrastructure is old. You’ve got a lot of pipe in the ground that’s 130, 140 years old. It’s gotta get replaced.”

Stimulus Spotlight
Wolf Creek, Montana is moving forward with a plan to create a water treatment system. The unincorporated community has received $1.38 million in stimulus funds for the project, along with hundreds of thousands from other state and federal sources.

Trustees in the village of Cambridge, Illinois are considering issuing $1.5 million in Build America Bonds with proceeds from the sale being used to finance projects such as  storm sewer relining and water line replacement.

Sewer Rate News
Evansville, Indiana
Exeter, New Hampshire
Lincoln, Missouri
Tulsa, Oklahoma

October 28, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Michigan Community to Spend $2.1M Upgrading Treatment System

Posted in Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia at 1:30 pm by bengann

The city of Wixom, Michigan plans to pony up $2.1 million for a multi-year preliminary treatment system improvement project at its wastewater treatment plant. The 20-year-old existing system and equipment has exceeded its design life, is technologically obsolete, and is failing due to corrosion and age.

Heavy, persistent rain in Duluth, Minnesota on Tuesday caused a 30,000 gallon sewer overflow. The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District and city of Duluth are subject to a consent decree with the EPA and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows to Lake Superior by 2016.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has announced that a community block grant totaling $867,000 will help pay for the final phase of the city of Hanson’s sewer project to be completed. They are converting from a pumping mechanism to a gravity system which will allow the town’s sewage to flow to the treatment plant in a neighboring community without using electricity, which will save tax dollars.

Stimulus Spotlight
A new water tower set to come online early next year in Dothan, Alabama will provide better water service to residents in the northwest corner of town. The money for the $3 million is being provided through federal stimulus funds and a loan from the state revolving loan fund.

With the help of money from the economic stimulus the town of Dutton, Montana was able to perform a much-needed upgrade on its sewer system. The project provides a new above ground lift station, a rebuilt lagoon, a new way to discharge water.

Sewer Rate News
Altavista, Virginia
Midland, Texas
Palmyra, Pennsylvania
Riverdale, New Jersey

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