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

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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

June 29, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Study Says 2010 One of Worst Years for Polluiton-Related Beach Closures

Posted in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Kentucky, National, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin at 5:36 pm by bengann

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The Natural Resources Defense Council’s has released  its annual beach water quality report which reveals that bacterial contamination at many beaches across the nation still poses risks to swimmers’ health. Last year was one of the worst in two decades for pollution-related beach closures and warnings, partly due to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and storm water runoff.

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A water main break in a Sacramento, California neighborhood yesterday flooded three city blocks and left business owners scrambling to keep the water from flooding their shops. The water was several inches deep across a road, leaving an intersection impassable to traffic during the height of the evening rush hour. At least six businesses have interior flooding, and employees at some businesses are using sandbags to try and keep the water out.

Oak Ridge North, Texas has decided to move forward on phase two of its sanitary sewer rehabilitation project at a cost of over $730,000. Phase two of the project involves replacing the 40-year-old existing pipeline. The project is being funded through the Clean Water SRF.

The town of Southington, Connecticut will spend $184,000 to repair sewers in a neighborhood that has been plagued with sewage backups into homes, which had been occurring because so much stormwater leaks into the pipes during rain storms that their capacity is overwhelmed, forcing sewage back into houses.

Construction is set to begin in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania to install new sanitary sewer lines as part of a $1 million project. Completion of the project is expected this fall.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Abbotsford, Wisconsin
Mulberry, Arkansas
Ripon, Wisconsin
Shepherdsville, Kentucky

June 14, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: St. Louis Sewer District Considers Settling with Federal, State Regulators

Posted in Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Vermont, Virginia at 7:53 pm by bengann

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Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District officials are seriously considering a settlement in a lawsuit brought in 2007 by both the Federal government and state agencies over its massive violations of the Clean Water Act. The settlement would cost the district $4.7 billion in system upgrades over 23 years, and another $2.8 million in penalties. Such a settlement would also lead to substantial increases for residents in the district.

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Vermont’s commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation says almost every town in the state needs to upgrade at least a portion of its water or sewer infrastructure, and communities should start planning now how to pay for it.

The Town of Vienna, Virginia is weighing whether it should retain ownership of its water and sewer system or if instead it should sell its water and sewer system. Retaining ownership would mean the town would have to invest at least $12 million in improvements over the next 10 years. However, the town would need to sell its water and sewer systems for at least $28 million to be compensated for its costs.

In Michigan, construction is expected to start next week on a new four-mile sewer pipeline that will link Bear Creek Township’s sewer system with the Harbor Springs Area Sewage Disposal Authority’s treatment plant.

Some residents in Oahu are being asked to conserve water due to a break in a 16-inch water main. The break cancelled classes and activities at Windward Community College and closed the Kaneohe District Court.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Bangor, Maine
Corpus Christi, Texas
Dexter, Michigan
Gross Pointe Woods, Michigan

May 2, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Massachusetts Prepares Lawsuit Over Massive Water Main Break

Posted in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas at 4:56 pm by bengann

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The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority is preparing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against several companies for the catastrophic water main break last year that cut off clean water to nearly 2 million Boston-area residents for more than two days. The state’s hope is that successful legal action could recover the millions of dollars it cost to fix the rupture and coordinate extensive emergency measures.

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After initial reports estimated a 20 million gallon sewer overflow in Bay City, Michigan last week,  a report from the Bay City Wastewater Treatment Plant now states over 90 million gallons of combined groundwater and sanitary sewage was discharged into the Saginaw River after two inches of rain fell.

EPA has awarded $485,000 to Fayetteville, Arkansas to replace undersized sanitary sewer pipe with larger diameter pipe and rehabilitate about 90 manholes.

Killeen, Texas may be fined for alleged violations concerning its 289,000-gallon sewer spill that surged into South Nolan Creek in February. According to a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigation, Killeen failed to prevent the sewage discharge which killed several hundred fish.

In California, Port San Luis and Avila Beach were closed Friday after 1,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into the ocean because of a  leaking pressure main under a roadway.

Water and Sewer Rate News
El Mirage, Arizona
Enfield, Connecticut
Naperville, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois

April 27, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: EPA Orders Columbia (S.C.) to Fix Sewer System or Risk Takeover

Posted in California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas at 7:04 pm by bengann

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EPA has ordered the city of Columbia, South Carolina to fix its sewer system or risk a federal takeover. The city’s plan, after negotiating with EPA officials, is to spend $49.2 million next budget year on sewage system improvements — part of the city’s long-term, $500 million campaign to upgrade both its water and sewage system. But to make the improvements, the city will have to borrow money this year – and raise water and sewage rates by 5 percent to pay the money back.

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Texas faces a significant cut in federal funding for some environmental projects as a result of the recent budget deal in Washington. Cuts to the EPA’s SRF programs for the current fiscal year mean that the Lone Start State anticipates receiving $25 million less for drinking-water projects and $30 million less for sewer projects the previous fiscal year.

Work crews worked to repair a sinkhole today in Kansas City that developed after a water main break. The sinkhole swallowed a car, shutdown traffic at the intersection and affected 20 nearby businesses.

Saturday’s rainfall in Bay City, Michigan caused more than 20 million gallons of partially treated sewage to overflow into the Saginaw River.

The northeastern Missouri city of Macon will get a $1.3 million loan thank to the EPA’s state revolving fund program to improve its wastewater disinfection facilities.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Fountain, Colorado
Grandville, Michigan
Jurupa, California
New Haven, Indiana

April 26, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Breached Levee Causes Evacuation in Poplar Bluff, Missouri

Posted in California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas at 8:00 pm by bengann

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The levee along the Black River near Poplar Bluff, Missouri was breached south of the city on Tuesday morning forcing an evacuation of 1,000 people. In 2008, flooding damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes in Poplar Bluff, raising doubts about whether the levee was capable of protecting the town during heavy rain. A federal inspection gave the levee a failing grade, and the private district that maintains it has been unable to make repairs.

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The City of Dubuque, Iowa will pay a $205,000 penalty and make several changes after acknowledging it has illegally allowed hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage to discharge into the Mississippi River and a tributary for years during major storms.

Columbus, Georgia has agreed to pay the state $150,000 for sewer spills that happened in one of the rainiest years on record. As part of the agreement, the city will speed up the process of assessing, repairing and replacing its sewer system.

Officials in Kerrville,  Texas have advised residents to avoid Quinlan Creek due to contamination from a sewage spill that was blamed for a fish kill in the tributary of the Guadalupe River.

The EPA has awarded Goliad, Texas $194,000 to upgrade and elevate the city’s primary sewer line so its wastewater is treated in compliance with federal and state laws.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Belmont, California
Easthampton, Massachusetts
La Vergne, Tennessee
Rochester, Illinois

April 25, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Pennsylvania Community Receives $3.6M for Sewer System Upgrades

Posted in Alabama, California, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas at 12:28 pm by bengann

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In Pennsylvania, Brackenridge’s sewer system is going to get a major upgrade this year, and the state is picking up the $3.6 million tab. Overall, the sewer liner project involves rehabilitation of 36,000 feet — about 6.2 miles — of sewer lines through about half the borough.

Other Headlines
A collapsed sewer line left several Jersey City residents with sewage backing up into their basements and without water for several hours on Saturday. One resident noted that her basement often floods during heavy rain and she did not realize initially that it was sewage.

The town of Berlin, Maryland will receive $3.5 million in grant and loan funding from the USDA for its wastewater treatment plant upgrade. Berlin’s wastewater treatment plant project, which began in 2009, consists of upgrading the decades-old plant to allow it to treat 750,000 gallons per day and building a new spray site for irrigation.

The court-appointed receiver who oversees Jefferson County, Alabama’s sewer system has asked the county for control over the system’s $257 million in cash and investments in case the financially troubled county files bankruptcy.

In Ohio, developers of a Hollywood casino in suburban Columbus will officially break ground today on the $400 million project despite an ongoing fight with neighboring Columbus that has left the property without water or sewer service.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Carson City, Nevada
Houston, Texas
Knoxville, Tennessee
Mira Loma, California

April 15, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Collapsed Sewer Pipe Leaves Smelly Mess on Albuquerque Street

Posted in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin at 7:26 pm by bengann

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Raw sewage is no longer bubbling up from underneath a street in Albuquerque, New Mexico after a 54 inch pipe collapsed early Thursday morning. In addition to the smelly mess created by flowing sewage crews were also attempting to repair a street that caved in, causing a huge sink hole, after the pipe collapsed.

Other Headlines
A water treatment system that can turn wastewater into clean water has been shown to reduce potential environmental impacts associated with producing natural gas from shale formations in the Appalachian basin.

The area near Piscataway Creek in Clinton, Maryland has now been cleared after a sanitary sewer overflow Thursday that released approximately 25,000 gallons of untreated wastewater.

A sewage spill in a Killeen, Texas neighborhood has people worried about the safety of their children and pets. 20,000 gallons of raw residential sewage leaked into the Long Branch tributary and is now off limits because of health concerns.

A large amount of food was destroyed at the Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in Wheeling, West Virginia after a 10-inch water line broke this morning.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Charleston, West Virginia
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Roseville, California
Worcester, Massachusetts

April 4, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break in El Paso Spills a Half Million Gallons

Posted in California, Maine, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia at 9:50 pm by bengann

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A water main leak near the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas disrupted traffic Saturday and spilled about a half million gallons.

Other Headlines
The City of Hattiesburg, Mississippi is about to undertake a three-phase, $5.5 million dollar sewer rehabilitation project. City officials say the Army Corps of Engineers is footing 75% of the bill.

Several hundred homes in Liberty Township, Ohio are slated to have access to the village of West Union’s public waste water system sometime this year. $2 million in funding from the Ohio Pollution Control Lon Fund is earmarked for the next phase of the sanitary sewer project.

For more than seven years, officials in Houlton, Maine have worked to find a way to expand water and sewer services on a section of Route 1, which has blossomed over the past decade into the town’s major economic corridor.

The city of Greenfield, Ohio has been awarded $500,000 to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant in order to handle increased sewage flows and meet state EPA requirements.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Paso Robles, California

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