July 14, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Jefferson County (Ala.) Near Plan to Settle Its Sewer Debt

Posted in Alabama, California, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York at 6:54 pm by bengann

Top Story
After being near the brink of insolvency for nearly three years, Jefferson County, Alabama finally has a plan to settle its $3.2 billion sewer debt and hopefully avoid the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The plan includes a fixed-rate plan with a fixed term, modest sewer rate increases and backed by the state of Alabama’s credit rating.

Other Headlines
Citizens Energy Group will take control of Indianapolis’ water and sewer utilities in about six weeks, following state regulators’ approval of the deal.  Citizens will take over the utilities’ operations and capital projects, as well as $1.5 billion in debt. No immediate rate increases are associated with the deal, although water and sewer rates are expected to increase by triple-digit percentages over the next 15 years to pay for system upgrades.

A 19th-century water main broke this morning in the Manhattan, New York neighborhood of Chelsea flooded a street and left dozens of area residents and businesses without water. The broken 12-inch main was originally installed in the 1870s.

San Benito, California is in the process of undertaking a multi-million dollar project to address its sewer problems. In fact, in a recent study it was found that many manholes need to be repaired and that drainage needs to be improved.

Spencer, Iowa has received a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant for sanitary sewer collection improvements. Expenses for the project will be split nearly 50-50, with the city paying $650,000 of the total cost.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Hayward, California
Middleboro, Massachusetts
Reno, Nevada
Solvang, California

June 6, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Penn. Treatment Plants No Longer Treating Wastewater from Drilling

Posted in California, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina at 8:21 pm by bengann

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Pennsylvania’s environmental regulators believe that companies drilling in the huge Marcellus Shale natural gas formation have largely stopped taking salty, chemically tainted wastewater to riverside treatment plants that are ill-equipped to remove all the pollutants. Many of the largest drillers have said they have stopped the practice and now either reuse nearly all the wastewater that gushes from gas wells or truck it to Ohio for disposal in that state’s approximately 170 underground injection wells.

Other Headlines
In Hawaii, the public was advised to stay out of Kaneohe Bay and Windward Oahu and North Shore on waters on Saturday because of sewage spills and storm runoff from Saturday’s heavy rains.

St. Augustine Prep School in Richland, New Jersey has expanded its wastewater treatment system to handle the treatment needs of the school for the foreseeable future.

The Las Vegas-area clean water agency that won a crucial $62 million Nevada Supreme Court ruling that changed the way the governor and Legislature handled the state budget is liquidating its assets. The Clark County Water Reclamation District and the cities of Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas formed the coalition in 2002 to address the valley’s growing sewage problem, but the bad economy halted growth and dried up the connection charge revenue that was expected to fund most of the work.

Work continues filling sinkholes along Middletown, Ohio’s Great Miami River bike path. The sinkholes were caused by corroded sewer piped and flooding of the river. It’s estimated the price tag so far to make repairs is close to three-quarters of a million dollars.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Gastonia, North Carolina
Lake Wylie, South Carolina
Lee County, Florida
St. Louis, California

April 25, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Pennsylvania Community Receives $3.6M for Sewer System Upgrades

Posted in Alabama, California, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas at 12:28 pm by bengann

Top Story
In Pennsylvania, Brackenridge’s sewer system is going to get a major upgrade this year, and the state is picking up the $3.6 million tab. Overall, the sewer liner project involves rehabilitation of 36,000 feet — about 6.2 miles — of sewer lines through about half the borough.

Other Headlines
A collapsed sewer line left several Jersey City residents with sewage backing up into their basements and without water for several hours on Saturday. One resident noted that her basement often floods during heavy rain and she did not realize initially that it was sewage.

The town of Berlin, Maryland will receive $3.5 million in grant and loan funding from the USDA for its wastewater treatment plant upgrade. Berlin’s wastewater treatment plant project, which began in 2009, consists of upgrading the decades-old plant to allow it to treat 750,000 gallons per day and building a new spray site for irrigation.

The court-appointed receiver who oversees Jefferson County, Alabama’s sewer system has asked the county for control over the system’s $257 million in cash and investments in case the financially troubled county files bankruptcy.

In Ohio, developers of a Hollywood casino in suburban Columbus will officially break ground today on the $400 million project despite an ongoing fight with neighboring Columbus that has left the property without water or sewer service.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Carson City, Nevada
Houston, Texas
Knoxville, Tennessee
Mira Loma, California

January 21, 2011

Friday’s Water News: $2 Million Loan to Help Lycoming County (Penn.) Expand Water System

Posted in Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania at 12:56 pm by bengann

Top Story
A $2 million loan will allow the county Water and Sewer Authority in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania to continue efforts to expand its public water system into a regional system serving industrial and commercial development. Most of the money will be used to build a water storage tank and associated pipeline.  The loan money came from the now defunct Build America Bond program.

Other Headlines
A water break yesterday in Chelsea, Massachusetts forced the closure of several streets including, the Beacon Street off-ramp of the Tobin Bridge. The break reduced water pressure, made the road to buckle and caused traffic delays to Logan International Airport.

Four more raw sewage spills were reported in DeKalb County, Georgia on Thursday, including 22,680 gallons into Nancy Creek.

A water main break this morning in Timonium, Maryland left the county fairgrounds and a number of businesses without water.

A major street in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania was shut down for most of Thursday as emergency repairs were made to a ruptured sewer line.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Lansing, Michigan
Reno, Nevada
Sallisaw, Oklahoma
Scituate, Massachusetts

December 1, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Revision of EPA Consent Decree to Save Indianapolis $740 Million

Posted in Alabama, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington at 5:52 pm by bengann

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard today detailed plans to save residents $740 million and provide cleaner waterways by  modifying the city’s Consent Decree with the EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). In addition to the savings, the improvements will divert ahead of schedule 3.5 billion gallons of sewage from polluting local waterways.

Selectmen in Easton, Massachusetts have unanimously agreed on a route for the town’s first municipal sewer system. The hardest part of the process for the town was that so many residents wanted to be included in the sewer route.

A water main break early this morning in Des Moines, Washington flooded several houses and has left residents in the area near the break without water.

The Cleveland Division of Water is investigating a water main break last week in Sagamore Hills Township, Ohio that resulted in water gushing for hours. A township trustee estimated water was shooting nearly 80 feet into the air before the water was shut off.

Stimulus Spotlight
Scioto County, Ohio plans to begin construction next year on the installation of 30 miles of sewer mains and a new wastewater treatment plant thanks to $20 million in economic stimulus funds.

Sewer Rate News
Birmingham, Alabama
Carlsbad, California
Minden, Nevada
South Abington Township, Pennsylvania

November 17, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: St. Louis Daycare Center Reopens After Damage from Water Main Break

Posted in Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia at 10:52 pm by bengann

A daycare center serving 150 kids in St. Louis is back open again nearly a week after a water main break severely damaged the building. It was the second water main break that the center has had to deal with since July. The second break in the pipe was just feet from the first break.

Thanks to a $10 million pump station from the Virtua Hospital, some businesses will have improved sewer services and Voorhees Township, New Jersey will be able to do away with several tricky pump stations that have been malfunctioning for the past few years.

In Pennsylvania, the Perry Township Municipal Authority has received a $1.8 million low-interest loan to install a sewer line. The $2.5 million project will connect 69 properties to a sewage system and treatment plant.

The city of Newbern, Tennessee has been awarded a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to further rehabilitate the city’s sewer system.

Stimulus Spotlight
Drinking water that has reduced levels of arsenic is now flowing to 1,084 customers in Silver Springs, Nevada due to the completion of a new water treatment plant. Financing for the project included $2 million from the SRF to cover the cost of construction of the plant and also funds from the economic stimulus money, which include two separate awards in the amount of $751,000 to construct a water main to Five Star Mobile Home Park on Highway 95A and $3.3 million for the arsenic treatment facility.

Sewer Rate News
Caledonia, Minnesota
Milton, West Virginia
Sequim, Washington

September 13, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Truck Falls into Sinkhole Caused by Water Main Break

Posted in California, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Virginia at 8:56 am by bengann

A pickup truck fell into a sinkhole in downtown Reno, Nevada on Friday, resulting from a water-main break that sent a larger gusher of water into downtown streets. The two people in the pickup truck were not hurt.

In Virginia, construction crews will take the first step toward connecting sewer lines to Campbell County’s Seneca Commerce Park in three weeks. This is the first of three phases of work that will provide sewage lines to companies in the business park. All three phases of the project is expected to take three years.

A 36-inch water main break in Akron, Ohio has been fixed after residents were without water or experienced low water pressure Sunday afternoon.

Stimulus Spotlight
For decades the swath of land immediately to the east of Lincoln, Nebraska was 52 square miles of forbidden territory for real estate developers. Now Lincoln has breached that ridge with the beginnings of a new sanitary sewer system, financed in part with federal stimulus dollars.

Wiggins, Colorado may be able to receive money from the economic stimulus package for construction of a water project.

Sewer Rate News
Banning, California
Fort Meade, Florida
Webster, Texas

June 23, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Storms Lead to Water Main Breaks, Flooding on Indian Reservation

Posted in Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia at 8:35 pm by egold24

After nearly five inches of rainfall in the past few days, an Indian reservation in Great Falls, Montana is faced with severe flooding. Ten different water mains ruptured and broke from the massive quantity of rainwater, leaving widespread flooding and water damage and no drinking water for the tribe’s natives.

Kentucky state Rep. Larry Clark is among a bipartisan group of state lawmakers pushing for a Louisville-area pilot program on regionalization of wastewater treatment

Officials in Carroll County, Maryland are asking citizens to watch what they flush after an accumulation of plastics, towels, rubber gloves, and grease backed up sewer lines and resulted in 70,000 gallons of spilled raw sewage. The sewage managed to flow into two separate streams during the overflow.

In central Pennsylvania, the Williamsport Sewer Authority has agreed to make improvements that will reduce overflows into the Susquehanna River as part of a settlement agreement filed in federal court.
Stimulus Spotlight
Nearly $1 million of federal stimulus money has been granted to Bloomington, Iowa for construction projects on streets and sewer lines. About $298,000 will be committed to projects pertaining to sewer lines and storm sewer drains.

Sewer Rate News
Astoria, Oregon
Charleston, West Virginia
Fernley, Nevada
Issaquah, Washington

June 8, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Small Towns Vexed By Sewage Issues

Posted in Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia at 10:52 am by joepaul1

Small towns are having serious issues when it comes to sewage, particularly in Mabton, Washington. Officials claim that many systems are 5, 10, or even 15 years out of date, leading to accidents. Sewer rate hikes are on the horizon for many of these towns, but that alone will not cover the cost. Many towns are applying for grants to ease the problem as well.

An unknown amount of sewage spilled into the Cedar River in Seattle, Washington after two clogs in two days. After officials unclogged the pipe, buildup caused it to be clogged again the very next day. It is still unknown what the cause of the clogs were.

The citizens of Cheektowaga, New York are fed up with the crumbling wastewater infrastructure in their town. After heavy rains over the weekend, many of the citizen’s basements were flooded with sewage.

Stimulus Spotlight
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been put to good use in West Virginia, according to officials. $139 million, including 61 million from the ARRA, has been spent on 39 projects throughout the state to improve or build wastewater facilities.

Thanks to the economic stimulus Las Vegas is seeing construction on two large water infrastructure projects. Those projects are a $447 million dollar water intake system and a $257 million dollar wastewater treatment plant.

Sewer Rate News
Bay City, Michigan
Pilot Mountain, North Carlonia
Sioux City, Iowa
St. Albans, Vermont

June 7, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Massive Water Main Break, Sinkhole in Gainesville

Posted in Alaska, California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina at 5:41 pm by bengann

In Florida, a busted Gainesville Regional Utilities pipe three blocks from the University of Florida campus sent torrents of water rushing down a street, dropped water pressure to neighborhoods and restaurants, and caused a sizeable section of road to cave in Saturday night.

Officials in Jackson, Mississippi may not see a requested $10 million in federal funding to help with the city’s crumbling water infrastructure until next year or 2012.

Agents from state and federal agencies have raided the Michigan City (Ind.) Sanitary District looking for evidence of environmental crimes. The investigation involves several years of unreported sewer overflows and the firing of the whistleblower who tipped off the government.

Stimulus Spotlight
In California, the Moulton Niguel Water District is receiving help from the economic stimulus to bring recycled water to local parks and golf courses. The city’s water pipeline system is also being extended as part of the project. The project will be financed through 30-year Build America stimulus bonds. which were included as part of the economic stimulus.

The National Park Service has provided $5.35 million in federal stimulus funding for a new wastewater treatment plant at Denali National Park and Preserve in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Sewer Rate News
China Grove, North Carolina
Las Galinas, California
Lee County, Florida
Springfield, Massachusetts

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