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 30, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: St. Louis Agrees with EPA to $4.7 Billion, 23-Year Plan to Upgrade Sewers

Posted in California, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Dakota at 6:40 pm by bengann

Top Story
Sewer bills are in line for big increases in St. Louis (Mo.) to cover a $4.7 billion, 23-year plan to stop sewage from bubbling into the area’s rivers and stream. The plan is part a consent decree reached with EPA. St. Louis is one of many older urban areas that face the common problem of sewer overflows, mainly because of combined sewer systems dating to the 19th century.

Other Headlines
The city of Sioux Falls (S.D.) has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed after its storm and sanitary sewer systems failed in 2004 and hundreds of homes flooded. The settlement creates a fund of $1.95 million that, if approved by a court, will allow about 160 people to recoup some of their losses.

Today the city of San Diego launched an $11.8 million water purification demonstration project to test the feasibility of turning wastewater into drinking water. The city relies almost exclusively on water imported from the Colorado River and the Sacrament-San Joaquin River Delta — increasingly expensive sources over which San Diego has little control.

In Idaho, a regional wastewater plant to serve both Hansen and Kimberly came one step closer to fruition after the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality awarded the project a $25,000 grant.

The failure of one of two water mains in Humphrey, Nebraska left the town’s residents without water for about two hours while stopgap repairs were accomplished.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Midland, Michigan
Nortonville, Kentucky
Scituate, Massachusetts

I’m taking Friday off. Enjoy your 4th of July weekend. We’ll post again on Tuesday, July 5.

June 15, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: 25 Percent Rate Hike for Jefferson County (Ala.) Proposed

Posted in Alabama, California, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon, South Dakota, West Virginia at 8:29 pm by bengann

Top Story
A court-appointed receiver says Jefferson County, Alabama, should raise its sewer rates by 25% in order to help repay bondholders and avoid filing what would be the largest bankruptcy in municipal history. Jefferson County has $3.2 billion in sewer debt. BNY Mellon asked for a receiver for the sewer system when it sued the county in 2008, alleging that county officials had mismanaged the system’s finances while accumulating more than $515 million in payment defaults.

Other Headlines
Clarksville, Indiana residents could see their monthly sewage bills double and their drainage fees rise 15 percent to pay for a $20 million upgrade of the town’s sewage plant and storm drainage system.

Heavy rains today caused Portland, Oregon’s’s combined storm and sanitary sewers to overflow, sending untreated sewage into the Willamette River. The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services warns the public to avoid recreational activities in the river until 48 hours after the rain has stopped.

In California, work is beginning on replacing a mile of main sewer line near the Sonoma County Sanitation District plant, where a sinkhole developed last year when the aging pipe collapsed. The work includes a second pipe that will carry recycled wastewater that will be used for agricultural irrigation. The cost to replace the main is $2.3 million, with economic stimulus money covering the $500,000 cost for the recycled water line.

A precautionary boil water advisory in Beaver, West Virginia caused local restaurants to shutdown their soda machines for most of their lunch rush period.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Clinton, Iowa
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
St. Clair, Michigan
Warrenton, Oregon

I’m off the next few days. Blogging will resume on Monday, June 20

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

April 5, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Two Dead Following Basin Wall Collapse at Wastewater Treatment Plant

Posted in Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia at 7:11 pm by bengann

Top Story
The bodies of two missing wastewater plant employees in Gatlinburg, Tennessee were found this afternoon under the wall of a basin that collapsed, sending 850,000 gallons of wastewater into the Little Pigeon River. The cause of the collapse remains unclear and is part of an ongoing investigation. Four workers, including the missing men, were at the site this morning when a wall of one of the multi-cell sewage basins completely collapsed.

Other Headlines
The city of Biloxi, Mississippi is finally ready to repair damage to its water and sewer system caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. The $1.36 million federally funded contract will involve removing and replacing about 7,800 feet of damaged 6-inch and 8-inch water and sewer lines, repairing storm drains, rebuilding a wastewater pump station, and repairing any part of the roadway damaged during the work.

It could cost West Seneca, New York between $50 million and $70 million to fix its aging, leaking sewer system that causes raw sewage to seep into some residents’ showers and basements, according to an engineer hired by the town.

Aquatech has begun deployment of its mobile frac wastewater treatment solution at a field location in Western Pennsylvania. The company says it will also significantly reduce the volume of wastewater that must be disposed or treated off-site, alleviating the burden on local water resources and roadways.

The morning commute in parts of Omaha was slower today after a 12-inch water main break cut traffic down to one lane in the area around the break. The break cut water service to about two dozen customers, many of them commercial businesses.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Clarksburg, West Virginia
Ellsworth, South Dakota
Farmington, Michigan
Ilwaco, Washington

April 1, 2011

Friday’s Water News: DOJ Seeks Delay in Akron’s Sewer Overflow Trial

Posted in Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia at 11:36 am by bengann

Top Story
The Justice Department is seeking a delay in Akron, Ohio’s trial in U.S. District Court on the city’s overflowing sewers. In a related development, Akron on Monday appealed Adams’ March 17 decision to reject a proposed consent decree that had been worked out by the city.

Other Headlines
A nearly $1 million storm sewer project is set to begin construction in Waveland, Indiana that will put new sewers throughout nearly the entire town. The project will cost $995,000 and is being financed by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

Two water main breaks under the Kamehameha Highway in Honolulu forced a portion of the roadway to close yesterday.

The city of Topeka, Kansas has been ordered to fix a  sewer pipe and pay a woman thousands of dollars for damages caused by a backup into her home.

Classes were cancelled yesterday at Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota due to a water main break.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bluefield, West Virginia
Grand Blanc Township, Michigan
Nogales, Arizona

February 25, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Indiana Community Reaches Agreement to End EPA Oversight in 5 Years

Posted in California, Indiana, Maine, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia at 12:23 pm by bengann

Top Story
The EPA has approved a plan to combat sewer overflows in New Albany, Indiana that could lead to the end of federal oversight in five years. New Albany has been under an EPA consent decree since 1992 due to sanitary sewer overflows(SSO). The city spent about $50 million from 2003 to 2010 battling SSOs, yet there were still more than 100 overflows recorded from 2007 to 2009.

Other Headlines
In Stockton, California, for three weeks, sewage overflowed from an apartment complex and drained into Smith Canal before city officials were alerted and stopped the flow yesterday. An estimated 35,000 gallons of wastewater overflowed into the city’s stormwater system.

Elected officials in Logan Township, Pennsylvania have decided to issue $10 million in bonds to expand sewer lines into more rural neighborhoods. The overall expansion is expected to cost $12 million and construction should begin in 2013.

An engineering study for Jamestown, North Dakota, a city with over 15,000 residents, concludes that $18 million is needed to repair its water and sewer systems.

Officials from three American Indian tribes and 10 federal agencies met in South Dakota yesterday to discuss securing $84 million in additional federal funds to finish the nearly complete Mni Wiconi water project. The project is 95% complete and once it’s finished will supply Missouri River water to thousands of people on four rural water systems and three reservations.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Keyser, West Virginia
Portland, Maine
Sultan, Washington

January 19, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Major Sewage Spill Affecting San Diego County

Posted in California, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota at 7:00 pm by bengann

Top Story
An estimated 1.3 million gallons a day of sewage are flowing into the Pacific Ocean just south of the international border, in what will rank among the largest single incidents to affect San Diego County in the past decade. Estimates of the spill size vary greatly — from more than 30 million gallons by environmentalists to just a few million gallons by wastewater officials in Mexico.

Other Headlines
Sioux Falls, South Dakota has planned $25 million in projects this year to strengthen the sanitary sewer system, but it could mean higher rates for residents despite receiving $24.5 million low-interest state loans.

Dozens of local businesses and homes were left with no running water after a water main break along Highway 73 in Denver, North Carolina.

A water main break led to a gas leak Tuesday night in Crafton, Pennsylvania and forced dozens of people out of their homes in Crafton. Around 30 families were left without heat after the line was shut down.

The state of Indiana is cracking down on the city of Hobart for taking too long to stop its sewer overflows.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Addison, Michigan
Eureka, California
Silver Lake, Ohio
Thomasville, Georgia

January 10, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Sioux Falls Receives $28.6 Million for Water and Sewer Projects

Posted in Alabama, California, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Dakota at 8:19 pm by bengann

Top Story
The South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources has approved $34.4 million for environmental projects throughout the state, including $28.6 million in low-interest loans for the city of Sioux Falls to upgrade its water and sewer systems. The loans for Sioux Falls – $4 million for drinking water and $24.6 million for wastewater system improvements – will pay for six different projects.

Other Headlines
As much as 42 million gallons of raw sewage has spilled into the Mojave River near Apple Valley, California since storm-related debris dislodged a pipe Dec. 26, raising concerns over public health and the week-long delay in notifying potentially affected residents. The majority of the leak was halted Saturday, after teams of contractors that had been working around the clock for days were able to bypass the damaged pipeline

Officials in O’Hara, Township, Pennsylvania are pushing for a new $3.5 million sewer project. On the books for years, the project would bring sewer service to properties that still rely on septic systems — many of which are failing. The township would like to secure grants to help cover costs of the sewer project.

Construction is set to begin soon on a $3.1 million project in Topeka, Kansas to provide water and sewer service to a new business park. Local officials are providing utility service to the commerce park as part of efforts to make its publicly owned land viable to serve as a free incentive for companies interested in setting up new operations there.

In San Diego area, 26 sewage spills leaked more than 8 million gallons into local waterways from Dec. 21 through Dec. 28, according to numbers released Friday by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board. The spills were linked to storms that deluged the region, causing mudslides, traffic accidents and sewer overflows.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Coralville, Iowa
Houston, Missouri
Littleville, Alabama
Summerset, South Dakota

November 10, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Aging Infrastructure Causes Water Main Break in Hoboken, N.J.

Posted in Arkansas, California, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia at 8:59 pm by bengann

The latest water main break in Hoboken, New Jersey is the result of aging infrastructure.  In the wake of a water main break, work crews have drilled a 20 foot by 20 foot hole in the middle of a street to access the ruptured 12-inch water main. This is the third water main break in the city of 38,000 since October. 

The Town of Brookneal, Virginia is helping a family whose home was flooded with 18 inches of sewage and water from a storm sewer overflow on September 30. The sewer overflow occurred after five inches of rain.

In Avon Lake, Ohio, the next phase of the multi-million-dollar sewer separation and waterline projects will begin next year. Due to Ohio EPA regulations, the city has a series of projects that must be completed by 2020.

Stimulus Spotlight
In California, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant have broken ground on a new water treatment facility that will produce up to 10 million gallons of highly purified water per day. $8.25 million from the economic stimulus is being provided for the project with another $32 million coming from the water district.

Of the $3 million the city of Yankton, South Dakota invested in water infrastructure this year, it will see a  modest $57,400 in principal loan forgiveness from the economic stimulus for two water tower projects.

Sewer Rate News
Caledonia, Minnesota
Clarksburg, West Virginia
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Reynoldsburg, Ohio

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