June 9, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Forsyth County (Ga.) to Appeal Decision on State Discharge Permit

Posted in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia at 4:38 pm by bengann

Top Story
Forsyth County (Ga.) is appealing a decision last week by and administrative law judge, who ruled that the permit issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division — allowing the county to discharge as much as 6 million gallons of treated waste water into the Chattahoochee every day — violates state and federal law because the level of contaminates it allows would degrade the river.

Other Headlines
Work crews in Sussex Borough, New Jersey will be digging up streets all over the borough for the next two weeks as part of a $1.63 million sewer repair project. The project is being funded through $382,000 in grants and $1.25 million in low-interest loans from the USDA.

Crews worked through the night Wednesday to repair a water main break that filled several areas of a major road in Manassas, Virginia with water and blocked traffic for nearly two hours.

West Hanover Township, Pennsylvania is moving forward with a planned expansion of its wastewater treatment plant. The first phase will be done in two phases, the first of which is estimated to cost around $8.8 million.

Torrential downpours in Chicago has led to excessive stormwater runoff from the heavy rains causing flooding of creeks and streams and roads and viaducts.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Centerville, Utah
Florence, Colorado
Minden, Louisiana
Warwick, Rhode Island


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 22, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Study Suggests Greater Sewer Overflows for Great Lakes Communities

Posted in Alaska, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, National, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin at 7:23 am by bengann

Top Story
A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee says climate change may bring heavier spring rains to communities across the Great Lakes which could cause some sewers to overflow more heavily. According to the study in the worst case scenario there could be an average 20 percent increase in the volume of overflows, and a ten percent increase in the number of such events.

Other Headlines
Four water main breaks occurred yesterday in Rockford, Illinois, with two of them on the same street. Included in the water main breaks, a sinkhole developed after one of the water mains broke and covered the residential road in water. A city salt and plow truck was called to spread salt but fell into a sinkhole after the ground under the vehicle was weakened by the water main break.

In Houston, Texas, a sewage leak last November will cost almost $7 million to permanently repair. The city’s already in the midst of a $900 million sewer system improvement program and this new repair would be on top of that.

The City Council in Columbia, Missouri voted unanimously yesterday to extend the Hinkson Creek sewer outfall by constructing 29,000 feet of extra sewage line. The project is estimated to cost $8.1 million.

It could be another month before repairs are completed to a sewer line which broke earlier this month in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Guadalupe, California
Henderson, Kentucky
Kenai, Alaska
Lynchburg, Virginia

February 15, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Some Montgomery County (Penn.) Offices Relocated After Water Main Break

Posted in Florida, Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas at 10:47 pm by bengann

Top Story
Many Montgomery County, Pennsylvania employees returned to work at the Human Services Center in Norristown yesterday, three days after a water main break flooded first floor hallways and offices forcing the building to close. Dozens of county employees who occupied offices on the ground floor will likely have to continue working at satellite offices for weeks until the clean-up is completed.

Other Headlines
In Iowa City, Iowa, the City Council has voted 7-0 to adopt a facility plan for its south wastewater treatment plant, moving the flood-mitigation project into the design phase. The $91 million project will be done in two phases, with the first part operational by April 2014, and the second phase occurring about 15 years later. About $32.5 million in federal and state funding will help cover the $46.7 million first phase.

The Board of Trustees in Lake George, New York have unanimously approved bonding $1.8 million to upgrade its aging local sewage lines and pump station. The 30-year bond from the state Environmental Facilities Corp. features a zero percent interest rate. In July 2009, the village’s largely clay sewage pipes burst, sending around 10,000 gallons of untreated refuse pouring into Lake George. Local beaches were closed for weeks following the spill.

A recent study has alerted elected officials in Maple Shade Township, New Jersey that they cannot wait much longer to make some much-needed repairs to its sewer system. The price of the repairs is estimated to be $1.24 million.

A follow-up to a story from last week, it may take up to two weeks to repair a broken sewer main at a pumping station in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Colleyville, Texas
Fort Dodge, Iowa
Springfield, Missouri
Vernon, Florida

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

December 29, 2010

Top Sewer Overflow Stories of 2010

Posted in California, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin at 9:20 pm by bengann

Here are the top sewer overflow stories for 2010.

1.  Milwaukee had several major sewer overflows in 2010 including in July when a massive amount of sewage poured into lakes and streams after heavy rains hit the area. An estimated 2 billion gallons of sewage spilled during that time. 

2. Kansas City is starting the first phase of a massive 25-year sewer project to cut the overflow of raw sewage from nearly 6.5 billion gallons a year to less than a half billion.  The total cost of the 25-year plan is estimated to be $2.5 billion. It is the biggest public works project in the city’s history.

3. Agencies argued over responsibility for a sewage spill near the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California. Over 2.1 million gallons of Mexican sewage leaked into the Tijuana River Valley following a breakdown at several U.S. waste treatment facilities. Agencies responded by dodging responsibility because of jurisdictional questions.

4. During the storms that rained on the San Francisco Bay Area in January, a total of 630,000 gallons of raw sewage spewed into the bay at 47 spots. Even worse, 170 million gallons of partially treated sewage was discharged from three East Bay Municipal Utility District “wet weather” overflow plants.

5. Twenty million gallons of sewage spilled into the Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida in June after a 72-inch sewer pipe burst and deposited raw sewage into the bay.

6. The rapidly rising waters of the Pawtuxet River in Rhode Island caused unprecedented flooding at the West Warwick and Warwick sewage treatment plants in March, shutting down both plants and spreading untreated sewage. Such extensive flood damage of two major sewer plants had never happened before.

7. Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) became so concerned about the City of Charlottesville’s repeated sewage overflow problems that it is demanding the city take immediate action. The DEQ says since July 2008 Charlottesville’s waste system has back-up and dumped sewage into creeks and streams at least 40 times. 

8. The Metropolitan Sewer District in Louisville, Kentucky estimated 4.1 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Ohio River in October because of a gate failure at a pump station. Sewage discharged for about 11 hours from an overflow point in the Ohio River until the spill ceased.

9. 3 million gallons of untreated sewage spilled into Champion Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana in October. The city says the leak was the result of aging sewer pipes. It is estimated that $200 million is needed to update the city’s sewer system.

10. A collapsed sewer line in Sioux City, Iowa wasn’t fixed for a week in March and spilled about one million gallons of untreated wastewater into the Missouri River.  The line break happened when saturated soil slid into a ravine, carrying a section of the pipeline with it.

November 30, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Bridge Closed in Massachusetts After Water Main Break

Posted in California, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington at 8:43 pm by bengann

A break in a 30-inch water main on the Waters River Bridge in Danvers, Massachusetts diverted traffic for many motorists this morning. The main occurred in Danvers but belongs to the city of Salem. The bridge has been shut down to all motorists while repairs are made.

A water main break in the village of Cedarville, Ohio has left almost everyone in the small community without water. Village officials are doing everything it can to get the water line fixed and the water back on for residents.

The Parish Police Jury in Ouachita County, Louisiana is preparing to begin a $225,000 wastewater improvement project at its correctional center that will save future maintenance costs for the small town of Richwood.

The Town Council of Middletown, Rhode Island has approved a emergency contract order for immediate repairs to a collapsed sewer line. The collapsed sewer line is believed to be due to age.

Stimulus Spotlight
The city of St. Petersburg, Florida plans to sell $44.7 million in taxable Build America bonds to finance improvements to its water and wastewater systems.

Sewer Rate News
Jackson, Mississippi
New Philadelphia, Ohio
Patterson, California
Sequim, Washington

July 30, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Ohio EPA Investigates Milford’s Duck Creek

Posted in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont at 11:48 am by joepaul1

Ohio’s State Environmental Protection Agency is taking a close look at the town of Milford’s Duck Creek. The creek is a tributary to many others, so the problem is not an isolated one. Residents are reporting untreated or undertreated waste in the river, largely due to an aging wastewater infrastructure that leads to repeated overflows.

The Town of Lee’s Summit, Missouri is being charged $60,000 dollars in penalties for sewage overflows in 2008 and 2009. One of these spills amounted to 100,000 gallons of sewage pouring into nearby Prairie Lee Lake.

A $101,000 dollar fine has been issued to the town of North Providence, Rhode Island because the federal Environmental Protection Agency has deemed the local drinking water unsafe.

Stimulus Spotlight
Thanks to the stimulus package, the town of Cambridge, Massachusetts is receiving $2 million dollar in low interest loans to repair its aging wastewater infrastructure system.

Sewer Rate News
Castleton, Vermont
Granville, Ohio
Macomb Township, Michigan
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Princeton Borough, New Jersey

May 24, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Forces Cornell University to Close Art Buildings

Posted in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia at 4:45 pm by bengann

Cornell University’s Foundry–which house art studios on campus–are closed until further notice after water from a main break eroded the ground around the building. Civil engineers are developing a plan to stabilize the bank so the building may be reopened.

Early Sunday morning, an eight-inch water main broke outside a hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado spilling thousands of gallons of water onto a road and into the basement of the hospital. It took crews approximately two hours to shut off the flow of water.

The Associated Press has a story on the problem small Oregon communities are having in addressing repairs to their sewage systems. “Ten or 15 years from now, people will be paying routinely $200, $300 a month bills for sanitary sewer service,” said  Hermiston City Manager Ed  Brookshier. “And people will realize, Wow, what happened here.”

Stimulus Spotlight
A project in Antioch, California that reuses water for landscaping at parks and green spaces throughout the city is receiving $787,000 in economic stimulus funds from the Bureau of Reclamation. Without the stimulus money, it would take 44 years for the recycled water costs to break even with current water costs.

The city of Virginia, Illinois is receiving a loan from the EPA via the economic stimulus to construct a lime-softening plant, five wells and a 300,000-gallon water tower that should be online by March 2011.

Sewer Rate News
Block Island, Rhode Island
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Lewisboro, New York
Louisville, Kentucky

April 28, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Massachusetts Sells $283M in Bonds for Water and Sewer Systems

Posted in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Rhode Island at 1:02 pm by bengann

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) has sold $283 million in tax exempt bonds, $30 million more than planned, to help finance construction and operations of water and sewer systems. $100 million in bonds will help fund construction while approximately $183 million will refinance existing debt, all backed by the agency’s revenue. MWRA provides water and sewer services to 43 percent of the state’s residents.

In an effort to jump-start a major renovation of its Lake Michigan water supply system, the village of Oak Lawn will receive $40 million in low-interest loans from the state EPA. The estimated $193 million renovation project would update and greatly expand an antiquated water system that now snakes through 257 miles of pipe, affecting about 100,000 hookups.

An 80-year-old water main ruptured yesterday in San Diego causing a large sinkhole and forcing the closure of a busy thoroughfare and connector road for hours.

In Rhode Island, the cost of replacing the water treatment plant that supplies most of Portsmouth and other parts of Aquidneck Island with its water and making other improvements to the island supply system could be as high as $87 million.

Stimulus Spotlight
More than $5 million in federal money is coming to Baraga, Michigan so the village can upgrade the water system. This includes a loan of more than $2.5 million through stimulus money and the remainder in the form of a grant.

Sewer Rate News
Cumberland, Maryland
Geneva, Illinois
Silverton, Oregon
Springfield, Illinois

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