March 31, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Flooding Causes Sewer Overflows in Rhode Island

Posted in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island at 2:46 pm by bengann

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

Approximately 25,000 people living in Harrison Township, Michigan were without water for almost 12 hours on Monday when the water main which serves as the connector to Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) broke. The township receives all its water from DWSD.

Work is now underway on the largest of four sewer projects in Evansville, Indiana. City officials say the project will improve service to 1,500 homes, should be a major step forward in fixing the city’s sewer and drainage system.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington has received $1.95 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund,  including $950,000 from the economic stimulus, for the purchase and installation of a manure bioenergy management facility.  

Congressman Baron Hill visited Columbus, Indiana yesterday to tour the new wastewater treatment facility currently under construction. Part of the $50 million cost of the projects is being offset by $4 million in economic stimulus funding.

Sewer Rate News
Mattoon, Illinois
Milltown, New Jersey
Tyrone Township, Michigan

March 5, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Aurora, Illinois Plans $151 Million in Sewer Improvements Over 20 Years

Posted in California, Colorado, Illinois, National, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island at 12:27 pm by bradhannon

Over the next 20 years, Aurora, Illinois plans to spend an estimated $151 million to continue dealing with its combined sewer systems. Aurora’s sewer system dates back to the late 1800s and The Illinois EPA has required the city to submit a long-term control plan for its sewer system by April 1. The plan will likely involves continuing to build larger sewer pipes, creating more wet weather storage, and building additional treatment facilities.

A fire truck that responded to troubles caused by a water main break in Warwick, Rhode Island was out of commission today after its front wheels sank into a sinkhole created by the break. The wheels sank about 12 to 18 inches into the hole before crews with stabilizing jacks from the truck were able to stop its downward decline.

After more than $1 billion in taxpayer money was spent inefficiently on water and sewer projects along the U.S.-Mexico border, Congressman Ciro Rodriguez has submitted a bill to the House Committee on Natural Resources which would foster coordination between the government agencies

Stimulus Spotlight
The economic stimulus continues to fund projects in the Dayton, Ohio region, most notably a $20 million expansion and upgrade of the Warren County wastewater treatment plant and replacement of aging and failing mechanical equipment that will double the plant’s average daily flow.

Two multi-million-dollar construction projects will get underway this year in York, Nebraska, resulting in much-needed infrastructure improvements that have been years in the making.  The city will be installing a new water main,  a new sanitary sewer line, and mammoth storm sewer pipe that will direct the city’s drainage to Beaver Creek.  Interest-free federal stimulus dollars will pay for the majority of the project.

Sewer Rate News
Dillon, Colorado
Fremont, Ohio
Hilliard, Ohio
South Lake Tahoe, California

January 14, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Jackson, Mississippi Hit with More Water Main Breaks

Posted in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia at 2:10 pm by bradhannon

Crews continue working around the clock to repair dozens of broken water mains across the city of Jackson, Mississippi.  Mayor Harvey Johnson said in a Wednesday morning news conference eight additional crews from other cities were backing up employees from Jackson’s Public Works Department.  Since last week, 123 water line breaks have been reported.

The cold weather has broken so many water lines in High Point, North Carolina that officials are asking residents to conserve water.  City public services director Chris Thompson says the city has worked on about 30 water main breaks in the past month.

Hundreds of people in two Rosebud County, Montana communities spent the past week without running water, and relief may be delayed for some residents.  Northern Cheyenne Tribe president Leroy Spang has declared a state of emergency, and officials and volunteers have been delivering bottled water to residents.

A major water main break knocked out water for hundreds of people living in Warner Robins, Georgia overnight.

Stimulus Spotlight
Upgrades at the Field’s Point Wastewater Treatment Facility will create approximately 75 local construction jobs, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s office said Wednesday.  Whitehouse, D-R.I., toured the plant Wednesday to learn about the planned upgrades, which are being funded by the economic stimulus law.

Virginia was second in the nation to fund all its water-quality projects, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said yesterday. All 35 projects are under contract or under construction, he said.   In April, the State Water Control Board approved $77.7 million in federal money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, through the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund.

Sewer Rate News
Prescott, Arizona
Fall River, Massachusetts
Lindenhurst, Illinois

October 7, 2009

Wednesday’s Water News: Tacoma Completes Treament Plant Expansion

Posted in California, Delaware, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington at 7:31 pm by bengann

Completion of a $95 million upgrade and expansion project at Tacoma, Washington’s Central Treatment Plant brings has brought it up to standards set by the state government and will help protect water quality in Puget Sound.

A 90-square-foot section of road collapsed in Newport Beach, California this morning following a break in a water main that caused a block-long area to be covered with as much as 6 inches of water.

In New York City, a break in a 12-inch water main installed around 1870 resulted in some traffic problems in midtown this morning.

Stimulus Spotlight
House Trnasportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) wants the state of Delaware to more quickly spend its stimulus funds dedicated for infrastructure projects.  Oberstar believes the state had not spent any of its $19.2 million in Clean Water State Revolving Fund via the economic stimulus by the end of August. The state has awarded  the Clean Water money to local governments, which had not bid any projects yet.

The state of Minnesota has announced that the town of Clear Lake is among five towns in the state that will get federal stimulus money for city water improvement projects. About $596,000 will go to the town for lift station improvements.

Rhode Island state officials has announced the awarding of $135 million in low-cost loans to 32 communities to increase drinking-water supplies or develop new pipelines and treatment facilities to reduce water pollution.

Sewer Rate News
Bonne Terre, Missouri
Graham, Texas

August 27, 2009

Thursday’s Water News: EPA Reaches Agreement with Seattle on Overflows

Posted in California, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Washington, West Virginia at 5:24 pm by bengann

The EPA has reached agreements with Seattle and King County to reduce how much sewage is dumped into lakes, rivers and Puget Sound during heavy rainstorms. Every year 1.94 billion gallons of untreated sewage and polluted runoff from Seattle and King County are discharged into the Sound and other bodies of water as a result of overflows.

City officials in Fort Wayne, Indiana have approved the emergency repair of an overflowing sewer pipe that was built in 1867.

The largest sewer spill in the history of Laguna Beach, California will cost the city $70,000 after the state regulatory agency which oversees water quality issued a fine for stemming from the record breaking sewage spill that released 590,000 gallons of sewage into the ocean last October. 

Stimulus Spotlight
Hart County, Georgia will receive $500,000 in stimulus money in the form of a Community Development Block Grant to expand the county’s water infrastructure.

The city of North Wildwood, New Jersey is getting $3.7 million in economic stimulus funds via the USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program to make improvements to its existing sanitary sewer system, including constructing and replacing an eight-inch sanitary main.

Sewer Rate News
Jamestown, Rhode Island
Laurel, Mississippi
Pratt, West Virginia

August 20, 2009

Thursday’s Water News: Indy Suburb Begins $6.6 Million Sewer Project

Posted in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, Rhode Island, West Virginia at 4:42 pm by bengann

Noblesville, Indiana has begun to replace an aging sewer line that carries an extimated price tag of $6.6 million. The project will replace a more-than-100-year-old combined sanitary and storm sewer running into the White River.

About 400 households in Cumberland, Rhode Island were without water this afternoon after a major water main break which also caused a large sinkhole in the middle of the road. (photo courtesy of WLNE-TV)

Officials in Cape May, New Jersey have closed a recreational area of the beach since Monday after a flood of raw sewage discharged in the surf area.

Stimulus Spotlight 
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has awarded $2.8 million in economic stimulus funding to the city of Bonifay for rehabilitation of  the its sewer collection system. Bonifay is one of 58 projects in 52 Florida communities scheduled to receive economic stimulus money to help build critical drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

Frazier Park, California  has been approved for a $1 million grant and a $2.1 million low-interest loan from the economic stimulus via the USDA Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Program to replace three failing tanks, pipe lines, valves, hydrants and the fraying patchwork of repaired lines.

Sewer Rate News
Frostproof, Florida
Hebron, Illinois
Oak Hill, West Virginia

April 21, 2009

Tuesday Headlines: Rhode Island Town May Suspend Sewer Expansion

Posted in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, West Virginia at 11:31 pm by bengann

The Town Administrator of North Smithfield, Rhode Island has asked the Town Council to suspend a controversial town sewer expansion project for up to 60 days in response to criticism over the project’s cost. Some homeowners have voiced concerns about the long-term cost of the project, which is being financed by a $21-million sewer bond approved by voters in 2007.

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has announced that a total of 108 drinking water and wastewater projects will be partially funded by money from the economic stimulus.

The city of Lorain, Ohio will spend $3 million on the final phase of an Ohio EPA-mandated project to deal with the delivery and storage of sewage.  

Works crews have finished cleaning up a 14,000- gallon sewage spill in Winterville, North Carolina after a small split in a sewer pipe sent raw sewage onto a pathway and into an adjacent canal.

The Bureau of Reclamation will spend $1 billion in federal stimulus money on water-infrastructure projects, including about $88 million in the state of Arizona.

Sewer Rate News
Jacksonville, Florida
Manteno, Illinois
Pontiac, Illinois
Star City, West Virginia

March 24, 2009

Tuesday Headlines: Part of San Diego Without Drinking Water After Break

Posted in California, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island at 1:00 pm by bengann

Homes and businesses in a large portion of northern San Diego are without drinking water after a 24-inch water transmission pipeline burst on Sunday possibly contaminating the water supply. The city has ordered about 140 restaurants to shut down, and residents are being asked to use bottled water or boil their tap water.

The state of Rhode Island has announced $150 million in federal grants and low-interest loans will be available for drinking water and sewer projects because of the federal stimulus legislation. The state estimates $149 million in proposed sewer projects and $20 million in proposed drinking water projects are considered “shovel ready.”

A sewage spill in Mission Viejo, California forced the closure of the Doheny State Beach on Monday. The closure comes two weeks after a 25,000 gallon sewage spill closed the beach.

Crews in the Niagara Falls, New York are working to repair a water main that broke and flooded a neighborhood, forcing some residents out of their homes.

A 125-year-old brick sewer pipe in Fort Wayne, Indiana caved in on Sunday creating a sinkhole and closing a portion of the road to all traffic. The road is expected to be closed two to four days as repairs are made.

Sewer Rate News
Gerber, California
Zanesville, Ohio

March 12, 2009

Thursday Headlines: House Passes Bill Authorizing $13.8 Billion for CWSRF

Posted in California, Michigan, National, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia at 3:34 pm by bengann

Today the House of Representatives passed the Water Quality Investment Act (H.R. 1262) by a vote of 317-101. The bill authorizes $13.8 billion over the next five years for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), includes $2.5 billion over five years for sewer overflow control grants and requires sewage treatment plants to set up alert systems to notify the public within 24 hours of sewer overflows. Despite the good news, The bill still must be considered by the Senate and Congress has not passed an  authorization for the CWSRF since 1994.

The state of Michigan will use the $236 million for water and sewer infrastructure improvements it receives from the recently passed economic stimulus bill to reduce the cost of projects for municipalities. The cost of sewer projects will be reduced by 23% and the cost of water projects will be reduced by almost 40%.

A $1 million low-interest loan from Ohio EPA’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund will help the city of Toledo finance construction to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows and basement backups.

Part of Narragansett Bay is now clean enough for swimming and shellfishing after Providence, Rhode Island fixed it’s combined sewer overflow problem by cutting a five-mile tunnel into the rock under the city capable of holding 60 million gallons of wastewater that otherwise would be released into the Providence River partially treated.

Among the earmarks in the federal spending bill President Barack Obama signed Wednesday were about $1.5 million for upgrades to Lynchburg’s sewer system. The money will go for upgrades to its combined sewer system.

Sewer Rate News
Caroline County, Virginia
San Francisco, California
Santa Maria, California
Toms River, New Jersey

November 3, 2008

Monday Headlines: Providence Nears Completion of CSO Separation

Posted in California, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island at 9:01 pm by bengann

The $359-million project to solve much of Rhode Island’s combined sewer overflow (CSO) problem is finally complete. Construction included drilling through solid rock 300 feet under downtown Providence. It has been the biggest, and longest-running, public works project in state history. The city’s CSO problems began more than 100 years ago, when city officials chose to combine the city’s storm water sewer lines with their new sanitary sewer lines.

A number of streets are closed in Troy, New York after an apparent water main break flooded the downtown area.

Several homes in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia were flooded and had to be evacuated after a 30-inch main broke causing thousands of gallons of water to pour into the street.

Sewer Rate News
Lathrop, California
Laurel, Mississippi

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