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

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May 19, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Study Says 15 Billion Gallons of Sewer Overflows in Michigan in 2011

Posted in California, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania at 9:03 pm by bengann

Top Story
A new study by a Michigan trade association shows that almost 15 billion gallons of raw or partially treated sewage has been dumped into the state’s rivers, lakes and streams since the beginning of the year. By far the biggest polluter is Wayne County which has discharges 13.4 billion gallons of raw or partially treated water since the beginning of the year.

Other Headlines
Akron, Ohio and the federal government are getting closer on a $1.3 billion agreement to curtail the city’s overflowing sewers. Funding the first of the sewer projects could cost Akron as much as $120 million over the next two years. That could trigger sewer-rate increases of another 45 percent in 2012 and 40 percent in 2013.

Work to begin decommissioning a sewer plant in Ocala, Florida will not be going forward this year as planned. The city’s Water and Sewer Director asked the City Council to keep the plant on-line for roughly four more years to give him time to learn what, if anything, the city will be required to do to reduce the nutrients of nitrogen and phosphates coming from the city’s sewer plants.

In Pennsylvania, officials in the borough of Sewickley says a $5.5 million upgrade of the borough’s wastewater treatment plant is nearing completion. The project includes an upgrade of several specific areas of the plant and brings it into compliance with state environmental regulations.

The West Campus of Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida has been closed for classes and operations through the weekend because of a water main break.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bangor, Maine
Hinsdale, Illinois
Lemon Grove, California
Portland, Oregon

May 18, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: East Bay Municipal Utility District to Pay $210,000 for Violations

Posted in California, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Vermont at 4:07 pm by bengann

Top Story
In Oakland, California, the East Bay Municipal Utility District has agreed to pay nearly $210,000 to settle violations for sewage discharges in 2009. The district was cited by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board for three violations: two for high chemical levels and a third for an equipment malfunction that caused the system to overflow and spill sewage.

Other Headlines
Last weekend’s rainfall in Saginaw, Michigan caused close to 73 million gallons of partially treated sewage to spill into the Saginaw River.

New court records allege the water company which operated Gary, Indiana’s sanitary district for ten years continued breaking environmental law for years, though they had been advised as early as 2003 their process violated the Clean Water Act. Despite the warnings, chlorine tampering continued until October 2008, when federal agents raided the sanitary district, prosecutors allege.

Turning over operation the city of Batavia, Ohio’s water and sewer systems to Clermont County could save its residents millions of dollars and reduce pollution to a scenic river.  If the city doesn’t make such a switch it could cost more than $6 million for needed upgrades. That equates to $10,000 for each household and business.

More than 12 hours after a water main break was reported in Indianapolis, the break was repaired and traffic was flowing again, but not before the repair work snarled traffic during heavy morning and lunch traffic.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Baltimore, Maryland
Bennington, Vermont
Queens, New York
Waverly, Ohio

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.

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

April 20, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Climate Change Could Lead to More Sewer Overflows for Chicago

Posted in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina at 11:02 pm by bengann

Top Story
Researchers hired by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s office estimate that intense rainfall will happen more frequently in the not-so-distant future because of climate change, challenging the region’s aging sewers and the troubled Deep Tunnel project more than ever.

Other Headlines
Engineers trying to figure out the cause of sewer backups at homes in Southington, Connecticut say they expect to make recommendations for solving the problem by the end of May.

In a settlement with the Ohio EPA, the city of Crestline will make sewer system and wastewater treatment plant improvements to eliminate overflows of untreated sewage and comply with effluent contaminant limits set in its discharge permit.

PennVEST has awarded the small community of Franklin with a $2.8 million grant for a major rehabilitation of its sanitary sewer system.

Traffic will be closed for two streets in downtown Tucson, Arizona for at least a week after a break in a 36-inch line on Tuesday. Workers will have to dig by hand to get to the break. The city is hoping to fix the damage and re-open the road before next weekend’s Mariachi conference.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Aiken County, South Carolina
Hudson, Ohio
Laguna Niguel, California
Mill Valley, California

April 19, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: 8 Weeks Needed to Repair Albuquerque Sewer Main Collapse

Posted in Alabama, California, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington at 8:38 pm by bengann

Top Story
On a follow-up to a story from last week, officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico estimate it will take up to eight weeks to repair nearly 1,500 feet of sewer pipe which collapsed last week. With several roads shut down, nearby stores say they’ve already seen business drop due to lack of access.

Other Headlines
A sewer overflow after heavy rains last weekend in Corbin, Kentucky damaged four offices and will cause the city to pay for the damages incurred. This is the second time the sewer has overflowed and caused damage at the site.

A year after Mabton, Washington accidentally dumped 370,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Yakima River, the city is talking about becoming a model of environmental stewardship is considering an expansion of its wastewater system that would incorporate the latest green technology.

The sewer system in the town of Cherokee, Alabama may soon get a multi-million dollar overhaul after the town council voted to move forward with plans to revitalize the area’s old sewer system. Council members voted to accept more than $950,000 in grant money, and signed on for more than a million dollar loan to begin the project.

Water was flowing from a busted main in Philadelphia’s northeast section early Tuesday morning, causing a detour for several SEPTA bus routes and disrupting water service to a nearby community center.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Alexandria Bay, New York
Foster City, California
Planfield, Illinois
Warren County, Ohio

April 13, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Broken Water Main in Bethlehem (Penn.) Causes Major Disruption

Posted in California, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin at 10:55 pm by bengann

Top Story
A resident in Swissvale, Pennsylvania says she just wants the road back to normal after a water main break has left it torn apart for months. The street has been torn apart since the water main break initially occurred around Thanksgiving.

Other Headlines
The city of Welch, West Virginia’s wastewater treatment plant will soon be getting an upgrade in order to process more water and prevent dumping into local streams and creeks.

Gibbsboro, New Jersey has been awarded more than $2 million in funding to replace and renovate sewer lines. USDA has awarded the municipality a $175,000 grant and a $450,000 low-interest loan for the effort. An additional $1.39 million loan from the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund will fund the balance of the project.

The company that constructed the Gatlinburg (Tenn.) Wastewater Sewage Plant basin that failed last week apparently did not follow exact design specifications, a forensic engineer said Monday. When the basin failed the morning of April 5 after a night of heavy rain, two Veolia Water North America employees were killed and more than 2 million gallons of untreated sewage poured into the nearby West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.

In Hamilton, Ohio, the start of a 30-month upgrade to the LeSourdsville Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant is now underway in earnest. The plant will undergo a $41.7 million upgrade and expansion, the first since the $14 million expansion in 1994.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Brawley, California
Canton, Michigan
Columbia, South Carolina
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

April 7, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Officials Search for Answers in Wastewater Plant Tragedy

Posted in Arizona, California, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin at 2:09 pm by bengann

Top Story
Operators of a wastewater treatment plant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee where a wall collapse killed two employees are working to restart it and stop a flow of sewage into a rain-swollen river while regulatory agencies try to find out what happened.

Other Headlines
City of Akron Public Service officials have been authorized by the City Council to seek permits for two sewer separation projects and subsequently to move forward with construction.

The flow of untreated sewage that pours into the San Francisco Bay every rainy season could finally be curtailed by a new state law and a string of lawsuits. The EPA and local nonprofits have launched lawsuits against multiple sanitary and utilities districts and municipalities in a bid to end the spills, many of which could violate the Clean Water Act.

State lawmakers in Nebraska have given first-round approval to a bill that would help the city of Omaha pay for $1.7 billion in federally mandated sewer upgrades.

Residents in a section of Laurel, Mississippi will soon have some relief from issues involving sewer water flowing on their property thanks to a sewer construction project funded by a Community Development Block Grant.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Madison, Wisconsin
Marana, Arizona
Newtown, Pennsylvania
West Dundee, Illinois

April 6, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Archaelogical Dig to Delay Sewer Construction in Des Moines

Posted in Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia at 6:43 pm by bengann

Top Story
Human remains that could be 7,000 years old have been found by sewer construction workers in Des Moines, Iowa and will delay construction of a sewer project. The find will delay the original $37.8 million sewer project for at least six months and cost the Des Moines area’s Wastewater Reclamation Authority an estimated $1.5 million or more because of delays caused by the archaeological dig.

Other Headlines
Voters in St. Joseph, Missouri approved a $105 million sewer bond yesterday. The funds will be used for projects related to a federal mandate that it address its combined sewer overflow issues and to meet new regulations concerning the amount of ammonia and other chemicals it may discharge into the Missouri River.

The City of Tonawanda, New York Common Council last night approved bonding more than $2.2 million for a variety of expenses, including a multi-year sewer reconstruction that may cost the city up to $1.9 million the first year.

Nebraska state lawmakers disagree on a bill that would return some state sales tax money to Omaha to help pay for $1.7 billion in federally mandated sewer renovations.

A broken 36-inch sewer main that flooded a major road on Miami Beach could be causing traffic delays in the area for days to come. To make matters worse, businesses and residents near the broken sewer main are not only dealing with flooding problems, they are also dealing with a horrible stench from the dirty water.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Evansdale, Iowa
Newton Falls, Ohio
Williamstown, West Virginia
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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