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

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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.

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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 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

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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.

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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

July 21, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Jefferson County (Ala.) Near Bankruptcy Over $3.2 Billion Sewer Debt

Posted in Alabama, California, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin at 4:21 pm by bengann

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In Alabama, Jefferson County appears closer to declaring bankruptcy if it cannot reach a settlement with creditors regarding its $3.2 billion in sewer bond debt. If Jefferson County does declare bankruptcy it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.  County commissioners and the state’s governor have said bankruptcy remains a real option if talks with creditors fail but have still held out hopes for the talks success.

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A new $32 million sewer project in Johnson County, Kansas has been given the go ahead which will construct an underground effluent pipe carrying millions of gallons of treated wastewater from a treatment plant and empty into the Kansas River.

The village of Salineville, Ohio will have water service to the sewage plant terminated next week unless it pays an over $9,000 bill to the Buckeye Water District.

Officials in Muskego, Wisconsin have approved a $227,000 storm sewer project to better handle overflow in heavy rains. Work could start as early as October 1 with target completion date in late fall.

A water main break in Scott Township, Pennsylvania left about a dozen people without service on this morning.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Lewisburg, West Virginia
Los Angeles, California
Whitney, Texas
Ypsilanti, Michigan

July 20, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Penn. Governor Announces $99M for Water and Sewer Projects

Posted in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas at 11:45 pm by bengann

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has announced the investment of $99 million in 27 non-point source, drinking water, and wastewater projects in 20 counties. Of the $99 million total, $73 million is for low-interest loans and $26 million is offered as grants. The funding comes from a combination of funds approved by voter referenda, federal grants to PENNVEST from the EPA and recycled loan repayments from previous PENNVEST funding awards.

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The southbound lanes of a major road in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Wheaton, Maryland will remain closed tomorrow morning because of a broken water main. 4 million gallons of water gushed from the main onto the street and the amount of water and the pressure of the flow was enough to crack pavement and flood several streets.

Twelve miles of aging water mains and more than a mile of old, frequently clogged sewer lines across Gwinett County, Georgia will be replaced. The water mains run through 15 subdivisions and along key sections of residential roads.

In Louisiana, Jefferson Parish officials are asking residents of Metairie to limit their sewer system usage as they work to fix a major main break. Lift stations in the community are being shut down for repair of the main.

Local health officials have closed the Inner Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, California beach following contamination from a sewer line break.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Carpentersville, Illinois
Honolulu, Hawaii
Lufkin, Texas
Waco, Georgia

July 19, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Jersey City to Make $52 Million in Sewer Repairs Under Consent Decree

Posted in Alabama, California, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 7:15 pm by bengann

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The Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority under a Consent Decree reached with the Department of Justice and EPA will spend more than $52 million on sewer repairs and upgrades and pay a civil penalty of $375,000 after repeated violations of the Clean Water Act.

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In the Cleveland, Ohio area, swimming advisories are in effect for Edgewater Beach, Villa Angela Beach and Euclid Beach after heavy rain and sewer outfalls caused raw sewage to spill into Lake Erie.

A water main break in Lawrence, Kansas has closed several blocks of 19th Street and disrupted water service for 25 customers.

Florence, Alabama is moving forward with plans on a $1 million project to replace a 60-inch sewer line which is collapsing from ground pressure. The work will require blasting, not only because of the depth of the line but because there is a large amount of rock around it.

Public works crews in South Bend, Indiana have closed a key downtown intersection to repair a collapsed sewer line.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Johnson City, New York
Napa, California
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Steelton, 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

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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.

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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

July 15, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Davenport (Iowa) Deals with Aftermath from Water Main Breaks

Posted in Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania at 7:17 pm by bengann

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Broken water mains in Davenport, Iowa caused streets to crumble, flooded houses with water and mud and forced one couple from their home. They’ve also left some people wondering if the breaks are a sign of a bigger infrastructure problem, since some are a century old.

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Thanks to the USDA 14 Alaska communities will receive $23.6 million through the Rural Alaska Village Grant program to fund water quality improvement projects in rural Alaska villages.

In Pennsylvania, the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority has received a $4 million state grant to help finance its projected $18 million regional sewer service project. The authority is also hoping for funding from PENNVEST to help finance the project. Without additional financing, user rates are projected to be $100 to $125 per month.

Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed Atlanta’s A1 rating on the city’s $3.2 billion water and wastewater revenue bonds. Atlanta is in the midst of the largest capital project in its history with a $4 billion upgrade to its sewer and drinking water systems. Most of the program is expected to be paid for by borrowing and repaid through a sales tax and rate increases on the system’s customer accounts.

A sanitary sewer problem in Council Bluffs, Iowa forced nearly 70 families to move out of their homes at an apartment complex.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Lindsey, Ohio
Loganville, Georgia
O’Fallon, Missouri

July 8, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Dearborn, Michigan to Start $325 Million Sewer Separation Project in January

Posted in Alabama, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 6:58 pm by bengann

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Starting in January, the city of Dearborn, Michigan will begin a new $325 million sewer separation project. The work represents the third distinct plan of attack for the massive combined sewage overflow project that has been in the works now for more than three decades.

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The state of Alabama may offer help to debt-laden Jefferson County to prevent the municipality from filing for what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in history. The county, home to the state’s largest city, Birmingham, has struggled for about three years under the weight of $3.2 billion in sewer debt after a failed bond financing.

Hundreds of fish are dead in Peters Creek after a water main broke beneath the South Park Township, Pennsylvania salt storage, carrying salty water into the creek. The break is most likely due to deterioration in the line.

In Corbin, Kentucky, two businesses out of the four that were damaged in mid-April after heavy rains caused by a sewer overflow have now reopened.

Part of a major road in Fairfax, Virginia has been blocked off due to a water main break that caused a sinkhole.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Crescent City, California
West Bloomfield, Michigan
Williamsburg, Colorado
Wilsonville, Oregon

July 7, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Northeast Ohio Reaches Consent Decree on $3 Billion, 25-year Fix for Sewers

Posted in Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania at 9:11 pm by bengann

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A federal judge has approved a $3 billion, 25-year deal for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, which includes Cleveland, to reduce the amount of untreated waste that is dumped into local waterways. The agreement reached with the EPA, Department of Justice and Ohio Attorney General’s office promises to reduce discharges of untreated waste from the current level of about 4.5 billion gallons a year to under 500,000 gallons annually by 2036.

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In Alabama, a judge has ruled on the side of Jefferson County in a hearing between the county and the receiver appointed to oversee its sewer system. The receiver John Young wanted to transfer $60 million of the county’s money into an account only he would have control over, but the judge ruled the transfer was illegal under state law.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has issued a warning after the city of Maquoketa discovered untreated wastewater going into the Maquoketa River. Based on flow records, the city estimates 400,000 gallons of untreated wastewater poured into the river before it was discovered.

EPA has released excerpts of responses from Pennsylvania’s six most active Marcellus Shale drillers describing how they plan to deal with their wastewater instead of discharging it through conventional treatment plants.

A water main break late Wednesday night in Lafayette, California was forceful enough to blow surrounding soil into the air and disrupt service for about 100 customers.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Flowery Branch, Georgia
Macomb Township, Michigan
Manchester, Ohio
Umatilla, Oregon

July 5, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Stormwater Contamination Increasing Shut Down of Connecticut Beaches

Posted in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington at 5:00 pm by bengann

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Connecticut’s coastal beaches in 2010 had to be shut down twice as often as in recent years between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Stormwater contamination was the cause 66 percent of the time a beach had to be closed.

Other Headlines
A state circuit court judge has set a Wednesday hearing on a request to transfer about $60 million from the Jefferson County sewer system to a corporation set up by the court-appointed receiver in charge of the system. The matter is separate from a demand made last month by the court-appointed for $75 million that the county has in reserves.

Ascension Parish, Louisiana has received more than $5 million in federal hurricane recovery money to consolidate and upgrade rural sewer services. The funding will be used to buy 14 acres of rights of way and allow parish government to build lift stations to consolidate sewer services in unincorporated areas of the parish.

The state of Ohio is set to make $1 million this year from treating wastewater from natural gas drilling sites in Pennsylvania. The amount of wastewater Ohio accepted from out-of-state drillers has jumped, in part because Pennsylvania officials this year increased pressure on drillers to keep fracking waste out of surface water.

A broken water main caused a mess in a Los Angeles neighborhood Sunday afternoon. About a half-dozen homes in Sherman Oaks were affected, including one that had its swimming pool filled with mud.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
Hobart, Wisconsin
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Polk City, Iowa

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