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

Top Story
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

May 20, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Chicago Under Increased Pressure to Stop Sewer Overflows

Posted in California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey at 7:31 pm by bengann

Top Story
In recent days, the federal government and environmental groups have increased the pressure on Chicago’s wastewater treatment agency to stop discharging untreated sewage into the Chicago River during storms and to disinfect the treated sewage that makes up 70 percent of the river’s flow.

Other Headlines
Three families are displaced as cleaning crews are mopping up a stinky mess at their homes in Boonton, New Jersey after massive pumps draining raw sewage failed Wednesday night, filling the yards and basements with several feet of waste early Thursday.

EPA is requiring the town of Exeter, New Hampshire  —  as well as other communities along the Great Bay — to reduce nitrogen pollution coming from its plant. The stricter limits will force the town to build a new plant that will cost ratepayers millions. A number of communities along the Great Bay have asked the EPA to delay final permitting for Exeter until a further scientific study is done on the effect of nitrogen pollution specifically on the Squamscott River.

In Davenport, Iowa, the City Commission wants to continue to move forward with its plan to install a sewer collection system and an additional wastewater treatment plant. Its current system can handle 150,000 gallons of wastewater per day, but the projected flow after hooking up eastern Davenport would be 155,000 gallons per day. An additional plant would allow the city to process 375,000 gallons per day.

A water main break in downtown Bangor, Maine that forced the closure of the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building today has been repaired. The federal building, which houses U.S. District Court, the local offices of the Social Security Administration and other federal agencies, was closed all day Friday.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Canton, Georgia
Holly, Michigan
Newton, Massachusetts
Tulare County, California

I am on vacation next week. All new stories will be posted to Water News Update on Tuesday, May 31. Thank you for reading.

February 9, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: 52 Homes in San Diego Lose Water Service After Main Break

Posted in Alaska, California, Georgia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia at 1:53 pm by bengann

Top Story
A water main ruptured underneath a San Diego intersection Tuesday afternoon, leaving dozens of homes temporarily without functional plumbing and shutting down traffic lanes around the break.

Other Headlines
The company that operates the wastewater treatment plant for the city of Kyle, Texas will learn as early as this week how much it will be fined for violations that flow from a sewage spill this past fall. The spill dumped roughly one million gallons of untreated and undertreated wastewater into an unnamed tributary which killed 3,000 fish.

In Georgia, the Macon Water Authority says four sewage spills this past weekend released about 600,000 gallons of untreated wastewater.

Preliminary work on upgrades to Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s wastewater treatment technology is expected to begin in the coming weeks following the City Council’s approval of a $3 million bond request.

The small community of Unalaska, Alaska has petitioned the state for $4 million to help fund the construction of a wastewater treatment plant which could cost up to $24 million.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Henderson, Kentucky
Moundsville, West Virginia
St. Matthews, South Carolina
Vanceburg, Kentucky

February 8, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: EPA Grants Iowa Community $868,000 for Sewer Improvements

Posted in California, Hawaii, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin at 7:36 pm by bengann

Top Story
The EPA has awarded a $868,000 grant to help fund wastewater improvements in Clinton, Iowa. The grant will help fund a $3.9 million project that will include a lift station and 17,200 feet of sewer pipe to connect the City of Low Moor to the new wastewater treatment facility.

Other Headlines
Voters in Exeter, New Hampshire will have the opportunity next month to approve the town’s budget, which includes a heavily scrutinized $2.9 million sewer project to improve inflow and infiltration.

A major sewer renovation project in the city of Sheboygan will cost an additional $78,000 due to delays in getting a permit needed to cross Interstate-43 from the state of Wisconsin.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has fired 71 employees from the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners amid allegations of nepotism and corruption. The agency operates the largest wastewater treatment plant in New Jersey.

A water main break temporarily caused a disruption for some Charlottesville, Virginia residents today. Repairing the break created a lot of mud and was a problem as the water line the main artery for the city’s water supply.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Estherville, Iowa
Fullerton, California
Honolulu, Hawaii
Toledo, Ohio

January 26, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: 400,000 Maryland Residents Remain Under a Boil Water Advisory

Posted in Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma at 10:36 pm by bengann

Top Story
A follow-up to our top story on Monday,  a boil water advisory remains in effect for about 400,000 people in Prince George’s County, Maryland as public works officials continue to test the water quality after a massive pipe burst. Water service has been restored but the boil advisory will remain in effect until two sets of water samples test negative for contamination.

Other Headlines
In Portsmouth, New Hampshire work will resume in the spring on a $5.5 million sewer separation project. The 15-month project, which began last summer is part of the city’s ongoing Combined Sewer Overflow-Long Term Control Plan and required by EPA administrative order.

Linton, Indiana Mayor Tom Jones has called his city’s water infrastructure antiquated and crumbling and says now is the time to formulate a plan to address the problem.

Several rural communities in Southern Oklahoma will now be able to make much-needed upgrades to wastewater treatment plants thanks to some new state grants.

The New Hampshire towns of Pembroke and Allenstown are under a 72-hour boil order after a water main break was discovered early this morning.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chandler, Arizona
Orange, California
Waite Park, Minnesota
Winter Park, Florida

January 4, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: California Community Works to Bypass Damaged Sewer System

Posted in California, Georgia, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Wisconsin at 8:57 pm by bengann

Top Story
More than 15 contractors have been at work around the clock for days in Apple Valley, California to bypass a crucial section of the local sewer system that was damaged in recent storms, as wastewater continued seeping into the Mojave River sand bar and threatened to contaminate dozens of nearby private wells.  The repair effort is expected to cost up to $15 million.

Other Headlines
The city of Grand Island, Nebraska is again considering a $2 million-plus sewer line extension as a potential way to boost sewer revenues and extend city growth. Instead of investing in a private septic system that is only a short-term solution, it may make more sense to extend city sewer lines, which would also require boring underneath the Platte River and Interstate 80.

The village of Sabina and the Ohio EPA have reached an agreement that’s meant to help the town meet its obligations under the Clean Water Act and eliminate sanitary sewer overflows by the summer of 2013. As part of the agreement the village will complete a relief sewer, wastewater treatment plant improvements and infrastructure improvements involving a school pump station and force main.

Members of the Board of Selectmen in Hampton, New Hampshire are considering a ballot measure later this year asking voters to approve $1.385 million bonding  for upgrades to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Students at an elementary school in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico were sent home early today because of a water main break .

Water and Sewer Rate News
Carrollton, Georgia
San Diego, California
Suamico, Wisconsin
Trumbull County, Ohio

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 23, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Maryland County Reports 55,000 Gallon Storm Sewer Overflow

Posted in Arizona, California, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin at 10:57 pm by bengann

In, Maryland, the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission is reporting a sanitary sewer overflow of 55,000 gallons that occurred between Nov. 9 and Nov. 22 . The sanitary sewer leak occurred as a result of a broken sanitary sewer pipe.

A water-main break on a residential street in Newport Beach, California left five homes temporarily without water, the fourth water-main break in the area in the past four days.

One of Tempe, Arizona’s busiest streets is closed in one area because of a water main break.

Stimulus Spotlight
During its regular meeting, Noble County (Minn.) commissioners  approved a resolution and joint powers agreement authorizing the issuance of $8.5 million in Build America bonds for the Lincoln-Pipestone Rural Water expansion project.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power issued $760.2 million of  Build America Bonds today to finance water and sewer projects.

Sewer Rate News
Athens, Pennsylvania
Lancaster, Wisconsin
Marietta, Georgia
New Castle, New Hampshire

The blog is taking a little break for the Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll be back posting on Monday, November 29.

November 19, 2010

Friday’s Water News: EPA Cites New Hampshire City for Clean Water Act Violation

Posted in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina at 9:06 pm by bengann

The EPA has cited Exeter, New Hampshire for violating the Clean Water Act as data collected by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services found discharges from the town’s outfall into Clemson Pond exceeded the state water quality standard for E. coli bacteria.

A break in a Durango, Colorado water main gushed overnight, creating a layer of black ice for motorists this morning. About 12 residents were still without water service this afternoon as repairs continued to be made.

A water main break in Hartford, Connecticut is likely to disrupt service for residents for a few hours this evening after ruptured main forced a road to close.

Stimulus Spotlight
In Arkansas, the Baxter-Marion Rural Water System has been awarded $7.6 million from the economic stimulus to build a public water system that will serve 600 residents and 23 Bull Shoals Lake resorts in Oakland, Promise Land and Three Brothers. Another $1.7 million in state funds will be committed to the project from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.

Union City, Indiana received $200,000 from the economic stimulus and another $100,000 from the SRF to make needed repairs to its water plant.

Sewer Rate News
Amity Township, Pennsylvania
Greenville County, South Carolina
Oak Island, North Carolina
Toledo, Ohio

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

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