June 8, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Chicago-area Water District Decides to Clean Up Chicago River

Posted in California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee at 6:58 pm by bengann

Top Story
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which serves Chicago and Cook County, has decided to support efforts to clean up the Chicago River after spending $13 million in resisting efforts to clean up the river. Most of the water in the Chicago River and its connected waterways comes from sewage treatment plants operated by the district, which for years has skipped an important germ-killing step adopted by most other U.S. cities.

Other Headlines
Sanitary sewage overflows into homeowners’ basements and a local waterway in Elmhurst, Illinois and the city’s failure to prevent or report the issues has prompted the Illinois EPA to tell the city to comply with state and federal laws or face penalties.

A stretch of road in Fargo, North Dakota turned into a river this morning after a massive water main break. The break was so bad that it completely drained the water tower which served the affected neighborhood and left some residents without water while the break was being repaired.

There are concerns that Greenville, South Carolina’s aging sewer system is hindering the city’s economic growth, as sewer capacity has become a big concern when planning new development.

A raw sewage spill spewed a foul mess all over the street in a Gulf Park Estates, Mississippi neighborhood. One affected resident says that since moving to the area in 2002 she has seen 30 or so nasty leaks.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bell Buckle, Tennessee
Lake Elmo, Minnesota
San Clemente, California
Smithsburg, Maryland

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May 5, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Palm Beach, Broward Losing 33 Million Gallons of Water Per Day

Posted in California, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Minnesota, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia at 9:07 pm by bengann

Top Story
The utilities that supply water to South Florida residents are losing more than 33 million gallons every day — all while users are being asked to cut back lawn watering in the name of conservation. The lost water is costing area cities hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and fixing the problems will cost millions.

Other Headlines
A $15 million project to upgrade the wastewater collection system at the naval base in Guam is nearly one-third complete, bringing the island’s largest military base closer to its updated targets for capacity and reliability at the Apra Harbor Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The sewer system in Minnewaukan, North Dakota, was inundated Wednesday evening – for the second time in a week – by floodwaters from the growing Devils Lake.

In Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) has awarded $7.5 million in three grants for wastewater projects in Lycoming County. The grants are awarded through the CFA’s H2O PA Program, which provides grants to independent agencies, municipalities or municipal authorities for the construction of drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer projects or to help repair, rehabilitate or remove high-hazard unsafe dams.

The Valley Falls Public Service District in West Virginia has announced it is shutting water off due to some Morgan County residents after a water main break.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Clarkston, Washington
Coon Rapids, Minnesota
Cupertino, California
Kauai, Hawaii

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 31, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Omaha Set to Begin $200 Million Sewer Project

Posted in California, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington at 9:12 pm by bengann

Top Story
Omaha is set to begin a new $200 million sewer project. From now through the next year, residents will see a lot of heavy equipment around town as the city moves ahead with separating old sewer lines and putting in new infrastructure. The work could mean as many as 2,000 jobs for the area, and is part of a 15-year, $1.7 billion federally effort  to separate the sewers in the eastern half of town.

Other Headlines
The planned upgrades to the Jamestown, North Dakota sewer system will concentrate on increasing capacity of the system while also reducing infiltration. The project time frame allows for engineering work until roughly the end of 2011 with construction occurring during both the 2012 and 2013 construction seasons.

In California, Orange County’s world-famous system for turning sewer water into highly purified drinking-water will receive a $156 million upgrade — boosting its capacity to 100 million gallons per day.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has announced a number of low-interest loans through the EPA’s SRF programs for projects aimed at improving water and wastewater infrastructure.

A water main break this morning in downtown Everett, Washington closed part of a busy street while also flooding nearby businesses.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Corpus Christi, Texas
Fresno, California
Goleta, California

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

September 21, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Iowa Community Addresses Wastewater Infrastructure

Posted in Alabama, California, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 2:13 pm by bengann

Ending the sanitary sewer backups that have plagued residents in Fort Dodge, Iowa for years is a major goal of an updated community plan being developed by local leaders. Officials have already budgeted $6 million to be spent over the next two fiscal years fixing sanitary sewers. Another $3 million is to be invested in storm sewers.

Headlines
A water-main break this morning flooded a major intersection in Topeka, Kansas causing motorists to carefully navigate through the area during the early period of rush-hour.

Heavy rains over the weekend in Kansas City led to more than 13 million gallons in sanitary sewer overflows being dumped into four local creeks.

Stimulus Spotlight
The city of Coachella, California has secured a $5 million federal loan to improve its wastewater system infrastructure. The stimulus funded project will help improve water quality and public sanitation, and also stimulate the economy by creating jobs.

Pennsylvania Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey have announced that a $27 million loan to the Oxford Area Sewer Authority via the economic stimulus has been awarded for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.

Sewer Rate News
Madison, Alabama
Minot, North Dakota
Pataskala, Ohio
Petoskey, Michigan

August 30, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Massive Water Main Break Leads to Smaller Ones in New Jersey

Posted in California, Georgia, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin at 8:05 pm by bengann

In New Jersey, seven additional water mains ruptured in and around Clifton and Passaic in the hours after a massive water main break last Tuesday dumped 40 million gallons of water into a parking lot.

Headlines
The Washington state Department of Ecology has lowered the dollar amount of the penalty that King County was assessed for sewer overflow violations earlier this year. Originally, King County was fined $46,000, but that amount was lowered to $39,500 after the penalty was recalculated by the state at King County’s request.

Work has begun in Duluth, Minnesota to address its sewer overflow problems by constructing a 1 million gallon tank at one of the Sanitary District’s pumping station.

Stimulus Spotlight
Officials in North Dakota today broke ground for a water treatment facility in Linton for the South Central Regional Water District. The project has received more than $21 million in federal stimulus grants and more than $7 million in federally backed loans.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District (Calif.) has decided to begin the second phase of a federally funded flood protection and habitat enhancement project on Lower Silver Creek in San Jose. The project, in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, has been awarded $18.5 million in federal economic stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Sewer Rate News
Buellton, California
Holmdel, New Jersey
Rome, Georgia
Superior, Wisconsin

July 8, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Water Main Break Causes Geyser in Rockville, Maryland

Posted in Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin at 11:13 am by joepaul1

A broken water main shot water dozens of feet into the air on Wednesday in Rockville, Maryland. The 24-inch water main broke at about 3:30 p.m. but the water stopped flowing at about 10 p.m. Water restrictions are in effect for the area until Saturday.

Headlines
The city council of Rhinelander, Wisconsin met with lawyers to determine their next step if they are sued over recent sewage overflows. The spills occurred in about 60 homes after heavy rains and it is still unclear as to how many residents are considering legal action.

The overtaxed sewage system in Edgartown, Massachusetts overflowed into several locations recently. Heavy use caused the nearby wastewater treatment plant to shut down. The sewage leaked into nearby homes and even the local social club, the Boathouse.

Residents of Minot, North Dakota are considering suing the City of Minot over recent sewage overflows. Heavy rains caused the wastewater system to back up and pour raw sewage into people’s homes. The citizens blame the city for not updating an aging wastewater system.

Stimulus Spotlight
$21.3 million dollars of sewer upgrades are underway in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Funding for the project includes $14.8 million in low interest loans and a $3 million dollar grant, both of which have been provided by the stimulus package.

Thanks to the stimulus package many sewer lines in Oregon City, Oregon are being replaced. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA is providing $900,000 for the $2 million project.

Sewer Rate News
Irving, Texas
Jackson, Mississippi
Rainier, Washington
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

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.

Headlines
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

April 2, 2010

Friday’s Water News: New York Times Reports on Build America Bonds

Posted in Arizona, California, Missouri, National, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia at 10:42 am by bradhannon

The New York Times reports that the Build America Bonds will save money. State and local governments will eventually save $12.3 billion from bonds issued in the first year of the Build America Bonds program, a Treasury Department analysis has found.  The bonds will among other things help finance projects to repair aging sewer systems.

Headlines
Two leaks, about 50 to 80 feet apart in a forced sewer main in Jamestown, North Dakota, have prompted the implementation of a backup system.  The leaks are causing sewage under pressure to be pumped to the surface.  The amount is close to 10,000 to 25,000 gallons per day.  Pumps and pipes to move any sewage that accumulates if the leak worsens have been installed.

West Virginia American Water has issued a boil-water advisory for customers in South Charleston, West Virginia, following a water main break.

Kansas City, Missouri is receiving the extra decade it wanted to complete its massive sewer project.  The plan, estimated to cost $2.4 billion over 25 years, would be the largest public works project in the city’s history.  When negotiations began, the EPA had been requiring cities to complete their work within 15 years.  Once completed, the project is expected to reduce the amount of raw sewage overflows from 6.3 billion to 1.4 billion gallons annually.

Stimulus Spotlight
A $10-million project for Brookhaven, New York  will help create more than 500 new jobs.  Half of the project will be funded with a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant while the other half will be covered with an ARRA loan.

In Astoria, Oregon, a Combined Sewer Overflow Project is in Phase 3. The beginning of Phase 3 requires digging a huge hole and building a 1.2-million gallon underground concrete storage tank inside of it. The current CSO project is one of a continuing series that will eventually reduce the amount of sewage escaping into local waterways by as much as 96 percent. Federal stimulus funds will provide roughly $4 million for the $6 million project.

Sewer Rate News
Anthem, Arizona
Orange, Virginia
Richmond, California
Rocky Mount, Virginia

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