July 25, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Jefferson County (Ala.) to Make Bankruptcy Decision Thursday

Posted in Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania at 11:49 pm by bengann

Top Story
Officials in Jefferson County, Alabama will decide Thursday whether or not to declare bankruptcy, in what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The county has struggled for the last three years under $3.2 billion in sewer bond debt.

Other Headlines
The northbound lanes of a road in the Chicago suburb of Palatine remained closed today because of a gaping, 20-foot sinkhole caused by a sewer line that collapsed following storms on Saturday bringing about flooding and a record amount of rain.

A large water main break in Tulsa, Oklahoma flooded a neighborhood and cut off water service to many in the area near the break.

Residents in Portland, Oregon have been asked to avoid the Fanno Creek Trail after a sewage pipe leak sent out contaminated water throughout the area.

Crews with the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District were making repairs today after an eight inch sewer main broke and leaked sewage in South St. Louis County. The broken main is currently leaking into a tributary of Mattese Creek. It’s unknown how much sewage has entered the creek and its tributary.

Water and Sewer Rates
Fredonia, New York
Lincoln, Nebraska
Malden, Massachusetts
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

July 18, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Jefferson County (Ala.) Asks Creditors for $1.3B Write Down of Sewer Debt

Posted in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee at 9:40 pm by bengann

Top Story
Jefferson County (Ala.) officials are asking Wall Street creditors to wipe out nearly $1.3 billion of the $3.14 billion sewer debt as part of a plan presented in secret last week to resolve the lingering financial problems tied to the county’s sewer system bonds.

Other Headlines
A dozen buildings within the State Capitol Complex in Oklahoma City were closed today due to water main breaks in water lines resulting in reduced water pressure. The break caused the air conditioning to malfunction and disrupted the flow of water to restroom. In addition, computer system capabilities of some state agencies are limited due to the extreme heat.

In Michigan, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s Saganing reservation has begun work on a water and wastewater treatment plant that is to serve the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino, the Saganing community center and residents of the reservation south of Standish in Arenac County.

For 11 straight days, Aberdeen, South Dakota’s wastewater treatment plant has released millions of gallons of untreated wastewater into Moccasin Creek. The city is doing what it can to remedy the situation and as wastewater continues to be discharges into the creek.

Officials in Cumming, Georgia  are moving closer to a decision that will lead to the construction of a new wastewater facility near Lake Lanier. The total project is estimated to cost about $700,000 and take about 120 days to complete.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Hazleton, Pennsylvania
La Vergne, Tennessee
Sugar Grove, Illinois
Waco, Georgia

June 23, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Jefferson County (Ala.) Sewer Debt May Have Them on Verge of Bankruptcy

Posted in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma at 5:17 pm by bengann

Top Story
The Alabama court-appointed receiver in charge of managing Jefferson County’s sewer system — as well as its defaulted warrants and swaps — is demanding that the county turn over $75 million from its general fund. The demand for millions from the municipality could be the catalyst that forces Jefferson County to file for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Other Headlines
Owosso, Michigan had a sewer overflow of approximately 40,000 gallons on Tuesday and Wednesday after 2.71 inches of rain fell in the area over the last two days.

USDA has awarded $2.7 million to Rockland, Maine for upgrading its sewers.  Rockland City Manager Rosemary Kulow said, “In these challenging economic times, municipalities and their citizens can use all the financial assistance they can get, especially when it comes to the expensive replacement of old, worn out utility infrastructure.”

In more news concerning USDA awards, Stuttgart Arkansas will receive a $7 million loan from the agency for the purpose of replacing 26.5 miles of drinking water infrastructure which provides service to 2,000 customers.

15-year municipal bonds carrying a an interest rate of just over 3 percent will be issued to finance a $2.4 million in sanitary sewer improvements in Granite Falls, Minnesota, one of the largest utility projects every undertaken by the city.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Antioch, Illinois
Bay Village, Ohio
Clermont County, Ohio
Locust Grove, Oklahoma

I will not be posting tomorrow but look for the next post on Monday, June 27.

April 28, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Greenwich Reaches Deal With State, EPA Over Massive Sewage Spills

Posted in Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington at 6:44 pm by bengann

Top Story
In a deal announced yesterday, the town of Greenwich, Connecticut has agreed to pay the federal government and the State of Connecticut each $100,000 to settle the complaints lodged against the town by the state and the federal EPA for a pair of sewer breaks that sent tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage into Cos Cob Harbor in 2005 and 2008. As part of the agreement,  the town also agreed to replace the section of sewer main where both breaks occurred and have most of the work done by the end of 2013.

Other Headlines
Working hard to avoid sewer backups as its wastewater system flooded with storm water, a pump station in Salina, New York used a backup pump to operate far beyond its normal capacity. On a normal day the station pumps 11 million gallons. Tuesday, it pumped about 53 million gallons, and about 43 million gallons on Wednesday.

The Town of Thomaston, Maine will receive a total of $1,887,000 from the USDA to make numerous improvements to its wastewater infrastructure. The Town will contribute $113,000 to make the $2 million project possible, which will upgrade the town’s primary sewer lines, which were constructed between 1891 and 1925.

The supervisor of Flint, Michigan’s water pollution control plant says an overflow of partially treated sewage into the Flint River is continuing and has already surpassed the volume of a 4.1 million gallon spill on April 23.

In Pennsylvania, after being forced from their offices at Montgomery County’s Human Services Center by a flood 11 weeks ago, the Coroner’s office is are moving back in Friday, and the office will be operational Saturday. On Feb. 11, an 8-inch water main burst underneath the floor of the Coroner’s Office on the first floor, and the operation relocated temporarily to buildings at the Emergency Services Center.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Falls Church, Virginia
Port Orchard, Washington
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Tulsa, Oklahoma

March 30, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Million Gallon Sewer Spill in Augusta, Georgia

Posted in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Washington at 9:05 pm by bengann

Top Story
In Augusta, Georgia, a combination of pumps failing and heavy rains caused almost a million gallons of diluted raw sewage to spill into the Phinizy Ditch, a stream that flows into the Savannah River.

Other Headlines
A water main which provides drinking water for an apartment complex broke yesterday in Loveland, Ohio leaving about 90 families without water.

The City of Toppenish, Washington has agreed to pay $134,500 for wastewater violations spanning a two-year period. Between 2008 and 2010, the facility exceeded levels of ammonia, zinc and copper allowed in its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit more than 1,800 times.

In a Letter to the Editor, the Executive Director of the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Water Board points out that the wastewater facility it operates may provide an economic boon to the area because the plant is capable of treating wastewater used in the hydraulic fracturing  process used to recover oil and natural gas.

A ruptured water line beneath a main thoroughfare in Pittsburg, California has created a large sinkhole, closing the road while city crews repair the damage.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chickasha, Oklahoma
Delaware, Ohio
Hartland Township, Michigan
Sharon, Massachusetts

March 7, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Escondido Announces $200M Water Recylcing and Reclamation Plan

Posted in DC, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Vermont at 10:08 pm by bengann

Top Story
The city of Escondido, California has launched an ambitious $200 million plan that would recycle sewage into drinking water and irrigate much of the city with reclaimed water. Facing increased scarcity of water and dwindling sewer capacity, transforming much of the city’s sewage into drinking water and irrigation water would eliminate the need to spend about $400 million widening the sewer pipes connecting Escondido to the Pacific Ocean. The city’s water and sewer customers would face higher rate for many years to pay for the upgrades.

Other Headlines
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown has announced that a $2.4 million loan has been awarded to the Ross County to improve water distribution. The USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant funds will help to construct transmission mains and distribution lines that will bolster rural development.

A water main break on in Northborough, Massachusetts has affected a pressurized water main that takes the flow to the treatment plant.

In Georgia, Oglethorpe County has won a $4 million federal grant to build a wastewater treatment plant and sewer lines. The funding will be used to for the construction of a $7.3 million sewer system which local officials hope will encourage business growth.

Thanks to a more than $100,000 grant and $300,000 loan from the USDA, Hanson, Kentucky will soon finish a much-needed sewer system improvement project. The city’s building a gravity sewer system replacing the current grinder system.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bolton, Vermont
Coralville, Iowa
Sallisaw, Oklahoma
Washington, D.C.

March 3, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Water Main Break Leads to Geyser in SW Philadelhpia

Posted in California, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island at 10:39 pm by bengann

Top Story
A water main break spewed water into the sky in Southwest Philadelphia this morning, turning a street corner into a geyser for about 90 minutes. Water shot more than 25 feet into the air with a lot of that water quickly turning to ice in the freezing temperatures.

Other Headlines
A water main break this afternoon on Cincinnati’s west side flooded a busy intersection, damaging vehicles and causing traffic delays. City road crews and police quickly stopped traffic to clean up the water, but traffic was bumper to bumper all around the area for hours.

The ongoing work to replace a broken sewer pipe at a pump station in Warwick, Rhode Island continues. After battling 3.5 inches of rain over the past four days, work crews have finally been able to begin digging to replace the pipe. Costs to complete the emergency repairs is likely to be $1 million.

Konawa, Oklahoma, a city of less than 1,500, is in the process of constructing a new sewer treatment system thanks to more than $4 million in a grants and loans through the USDA’s Water and Waste Direct Loan and Grant Program via the economic stimulus.

More news from Oklahoma,  the state’s Water Resources Board has awarded the City of Vian a Rural Economic Action Plan for $99,999 to correct a problem with its wastewater collection system.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Holmdel Township, New Jersey
Kearney, Missouri
Muskegon Township, Michigan
Rohnert Park, California

February 10, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: NYC Completes Wastewater Treatment Upgrades at Cost of $7.4M

Posted in California, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Wisconsin at 6:34 pm by bengann

Top Story
New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection has completed work on wastewater treatment plants in the Upstate communities of Grahamsville and Margaretville at a cost of $7.4 million. The improvements will help New York City continue to supply its water without having to filter it first.  All five of the city-owned wastewater treatment plants in the upstate area now use the ultraviolet disinfection process. New York City has invested $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs since 1997.

Other Headlines
A broken sewer line is the suspected cause of the failure of a main pump station that flooded a few basements in Warwick, Rhode Island and has crews working around the clock to fix the problem. With the sewer lines so deep in the ground, the repair work will probably take at least a couple of days.

Water and sewer bills in Swansea, Wisconsin — a town of 600 people — is on its way up, with possible 30- to 40-percent increases because the town had to borrow $3 million to make immediate repairs to the system.

A new UV disinfection system at Galt, California’s wastewater treatment plant is part of $16.6 million in improvements the city finished this month to meet state requirements. The equipment provides another step of cleaning for the water that travels from the city’s toilets to the plant and then into rivers or onto farmland.

Residents in a Oklahoma City neighborhood reported water shortages yesterday after a series of water main breaks in the area.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Branchville, South Carolina
Rockton, Illinois
St. Helena, California
Springboro, Ohio

January 31, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Closes Tulsa (Okla.) Casino

Posted in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee at 10:41 pm by bengann

Top Story
A casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma was closed yesterday after a water main which delivers water to the facility broke leading to a disruption in service. Efforts to resolve the problem were hampered by the rupturing of a gas line which was caused by the water main break.

Other Headlines
The Director of Water Resources for Chattanooga, Tennessee was given a suspended misdemeanor jail sentence, probation and a fine this week in connection with a sewage spill last year that killed fish and fouled water at the Browns Ferry Marina.

EPA has assessed a $390,000 civil penalty against Orval Kent Food Co. for overloading the Baxter Springs (Kansas)wastewater treatment system and polluting Spring River in 2008.

A study on options for expanding reclaimed water use in Central Maui (Hawaii) estimates it would cost at least $29 million to eliminate most of the use of injection wells at the Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility.

DHL Express has agreed to pay an $80,000 fine to the Ohio EPA for violating its wastewater permit in 2007 and 2008 at its former hub in Wilmington.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Columbia County, Georgia
North Chicago, Illinois
Okaloosa County, Florida
Wooster, 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

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