July 22, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Kane County (Ill.) Receives Disaster Aid for Storm Sewer and Drainage Projects

Posted in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia at 5:30 pm by bengann

Top Story
Kane County, Illinois has been awarded more than $2.27 million in federal disaster aid for five infrastructure projects aimed at alleviating chronic flooding. The projects—which will cost an estimated $5.3 million—are expected to create approximately 165 jobs and benefitsome 2,000 residents.

Other Headlines
The Montgomery County (Penn.) courthouse closed early today after a water main break on cut off water pressure to the building.

Nearly 70 homes on small lots in South Mills, North Carolina — many of which have had failing septic systems for decades — are on target to hook up to a public sewer system. The $1.6 million project is mostly funded through grants from the state’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the N.C. Rural Center.

A large sinkhole in Council Bluffs, Iowa started as a dip in the road and has just kept growing. The sinkhole is believed to have been caused by a collapsed sewer line.

In Hawaii, Maui community groups have sent Maui County a formal notice of their intent to sue the county for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility (LWRF) into the nearshore waters of West Maui.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Kingwood, West Virginia
Nipomo, California
Park City, Utah

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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

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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 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

Top Story
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

June 1, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Demand in U.S. for Water and Wastewater Pipe to Increase

Posted in California, DC, Michigan, Missouri, National, North Carolina, Ohio at 9:22 pm by bengann

Top Story
U.S. demand for water and wastewater pipe is expected to increase six percent annually to $19 billion in 2014, equivalent to approximately five billion feet. Stimulants include a rebounding residential building construction sector, the growing obsolescence of sewer and drainage systems, and needs to upgrade municipal water systems.

Other Headlines
Two massive projects underway at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Washington, D.C. will not only protect water quality in the Potomac River and downstream in the Chesapeake Bay, but also be the first facility in North America to apply a process that treats sludge and generates electricity in the process.

The city of San Bruno, California has agreed to pay $621,000 in fines to settle a lawsuit filed over nearly 2 million gallons of sewage that spilled from its aging system into the San Francisco bay and Pacific Ocean.

North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan has announced that the town of Robbinsville is receiving more than $4.8 million in funding from USDA to build a new wastewater treatment plant with $3.15 million in grant funding and $1.66 million in loan financing.

Summerfield Schools in Petersburg, Michigan is trying not to extend the school year again after classes were canceled today due to a water main break.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Lebec, California
Nordonia Hills, Ohio
Springfield, Missouri
Willits, 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.

May 4, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Oceanside (Calif.) Could be Fined $10 Million for December Sewage Spill

Posted in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia at 7:58 pm by bengann

Top Story
Oceanside, California could face a fine of up to $10 million for a huge sewage spill which released nearly 5.4 million gallons of untreated sewage into Buena Vista Creek last December from a broken pipe. Initially city officials reported only 180,000 gallons were released into the environmentally sensitive creek. The city could be fined as much as $10 million for the incident.

Other Headlines
As part of a consent order negotiated with Georgia Environmental Protection Division, the city of Augusta will adopt a five-year program of preventive maintenance of underground sanitary sewer lines, instead of simply treating backups when they occur.

With no end in sight to Chicago’s chronic water pollution problems, environmental groups filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking to stop the routine dumping of human and industrial waste into the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. The complaint comes as the federal and state EPA and the Department of Justice inch closer to a legal deal intended to address the pollution problems.

Officials in Shepherdstown, West Virginia have started the process to increase capacity and decrease sewer overflows by renovating and upgrading its wastewater treatment facility at a cost of $9.6 million. The project will double the capacity of the treatment plant to 800,000 gallons and is being financed mostly from a low-interest loan through the SRF.

In Florida, a break yesterday in a 48-inch water main in Miami-Dade County caused flooding to local homes and business, stranded an empty school bus and has closed streets while repairs are being made.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Graham, North Carolina
Lathrop, California
Milpitas, California
Waynesboro, Virginia

April 18, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Sends High School Students Home Early

Posted in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina at 11:10 pm by bengann

Top Story
A water main break at Hernando High School in Brooksville, Florida prompted school officials to send students home early today. The break caused the campus to lose water pressure causing the school Superintendent to make the decision to send students home early.

Other Headlines
In North Carolina, the Thomasville City Council has unanimously voted to accept a state emergency loan to replace the Baptist Children’s Home sewage collector line.

It has taken almost nine years but an advanced wastewater treatment plant to reuse and treat wastewater for irrigation in Lake Placid, Florida is almost complete.

Congressman Dave Loebsack has announced that Appanoose County, Iowa was awarded a $565,000 grant and a $280,000 loan from the USDA to improve its wastewater facilities.

Public Works crews in Woodland, California were fixing a 15-foot-wide sinkhole yesterday after a break in an eight inch water line cause the road to cave in.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Carroll County, Georgia
Davenport, Iowa
Madison County, Alabama
Northampton, Massachusetts

April 11, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Proposal to Move Iowa’s Water and Sewer Loan Fund Criticized

Posted in Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee at 11:51 am by bengann

Top Story
Critics fear that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s proposal to shift a state program that helps fix sewer systems and drinking water plants to a new economic development authority could be a money grab. If enacted, the legislation would shift control of the water and wastewater loan programs from the Department of Natural Resources and the state Finance Authority to a new economic development authority.

Other Headlines
Several blocks of in downtown Durham, North Carolina were shut down Saturday, after a 12-inch water main burst.

Officials in Minneola, Florida hope the city’s dismal financial picture will brighten a bit after agreeing to refinance Minneola’s nearly $15 million debt on a new wastewater-treatment plant.

Grand Island, Michigan faces a series of challenges in repairing its aging wastewater system. Among the problems facing the city has critical deterioration in three of its main sewer collector lines and at the headworks of the wastewater treatment plant. Immediate repair needs total about $45 million.

People in Casselton, North Dakota had to conserve water this weekend when the city’s sanitary sewer system became overworked.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Asheville, North Carolina
Bartlett, Tennessee
Delran, New Jersey
Madison County, Alabama

March 28, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Joplin (Mo.) Receives $26 Million Loan to Fix Treatment Plants

Posted in California, Connecticut, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia at 9:50 pm by bengann

Top Story
The city of Joplin, Missouri is receiving a $26 million low-interest loan to finance improvements at two wastewater treatment plants. The loan comes from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and will save city ratepayers an estimated $12.6 million in interest.

Other Headlines
As the Bay Area of California continued to dry out from storms that dumped up to 2 feet of rain in some places, the effects were still being felt Friday. About 160 homes were without water in Pleasanton, and residents with water were advised not to use it after a major water main was damaged by a landslide.

Aging and failing wastewater infrastructure in a number of Connecticut towns, combined with the slow-pace of repairs, has meant that in particularly rainy years, more raw or partially treated sewage is entering the Long Island Sound and other waterways.

A sewage overflow in Burlington, North Carolina caused by rags and debris sent an overflow of approximately 81,300 gallons of untreated wastewater from its sanitary sewer collection system into Burlington Creek.

Apollo, Pennsylvania’s lengthy stormwater/sanitary sewer separation project is entering its final stages. The $7 million project is part of a federal order mandating separation of stormwater lines from sewer lines.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bridgeport, West Virginia
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Plattsburgh, New York
Swansea, South Carolina

March 15, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: East Bay Cities Agree to Speed Sewer Improvements

Posted in California, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, Washington at 8:41 pm by bengann

Top Story
In California, East Bay cities will speed sewer system improvements under an agreement that is the latest in a decades-long drive to slow the flow of raw sewage into San Francisco Bay. This season alone, nearly 125 million gallons of diluted sewage poured into the bay from overflow structures in Richmond and Oakland. Under the order the municipalities will do more monitoring, maintenance and reporting to better target the worst problems.

Other Headlines
An overflowing sewer prompted the closure of a street in Tacoma, Washington today. The cause of the overflow is unknown but officials said the sewer lines in that area were installed in 1906.

Nearly 4.7 million gallons of untreated but diluted wastewater overflowed from Baltimore city sewer lines during last Thursday’s downpour, spilling down city streets and flooding the lower level of the Penn Station parking garage.

After 33 years of discussion and false starts, the Board of Supervisors in San Luis Obispo County, California have formally committed the county to building a $189 million sewer treatment plant and collection system in Los Osos.

A sewer line in Bayonne, New Jersey became clogged and then collapsed this morning, prompting municipal workers to pump out the stuck sewage and put it down another manhole.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chesterton, Indiana
Moorpark, California
New Hanover County, North Carolina
Travis County, Texas

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