March 31, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Omaha Set to Begin $200 Million Sewer Project

Posted in California, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington at 9:12 pm by bengann

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Omaha is set to begin a new $200 million sewer project. From now through the next year, residents will see a lot of heavy equipment around town as the city moves ahead with separating old sewer lines and putting in new infrastructure. The work could mean as many as 2,000 jobs for the area, and is part of a 15-year, $1.7 billion federally effort  to separate the sewers in the eastern half of town.

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The planned upgrades to the Jamestown, North Dakota sewer system will concentrate on increasing capacity of the system while also reducing infiltration. The project time frame allows for engineering work until roughly the end of 2011 with construction occurring during both the 2012 and 2013 construction seasons.

In California, Orange County’s world-famous system for turning sewer water into highly purified drinking-water will receive a $156 million upgrade — boosting its capacity to 100 million gallons per day.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has announced a number of low-interest loans through the EPA’s SRF programs for projects aimed at improving water and wastewater infrastructure.

A water main break this morning in downtown Everett, Washington closed part of a busy street while also flooding nearby businesses.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Corpus Christi, Texas
Fresno, California
Goleta, California

March 21, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break in San Diego Leaves 40 Residents Without Water

Posted in California, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia at 8:18 pm by bengann

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A water main break in a San Diego neighborhood left 40 residents without service this morning. Excessive rain and fluctuations in temperatures likely caused the break in the 50-year-old 8-inch main. There have been a high volume of water main breaks in the same neighborhood over the past few years because many of them were installed more than 50 years ago.

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Students at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne are going to try to solve a sewer problem facing the city. The city’s Board of Public Works has agreed to pay the school about $9,400 to monitor hydrogen sulfide levels at a sewage lift station. Students and professors will monitor incoming sewage and determine how much hydrogen sulfide is present. The information will be used to recommend ways to treat the problem and determine cost estimates.

EPA has awarded a $485,000 grant to the City of Bryan, Texas, to replace its aging and deteriorating wastewater treatment plant. The existing plant currently has insufficient treatment capacity to serve the existing population and is located adjacent to residential housing.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is warning residents to avoid Long Branch Creek in Berea after a sewage overflow.

EPA is investigating chronic sewer overflows into Chicago’s lakes and streams. Despite the city’s past efforts to reduce sewer overflows, EPA is stressing the need to make its waterways even cleaner.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Elmer, New Jersey
Hannibal, Missouri
Hudson, Ohio
Lynchburg, Virginia

March 15, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: East Bay Cities Agree to Speed Sewer Improvements

Posted in California, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, Washington at 8:41 pm by bengann

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In California, East Bay cities will speed sewer system improvements under an agreement that is the latest in a decades-long drive to slow the flow of raw sewage into San Francisco Bay. This season alone, nearly 125 million gallons of diluted sewage poured into the bay from overflow structures in Richmond and Oakland. Under the order the municipalities will do more monitoring, maintenance and reporting to better target the worst problems.

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An overflowing sewer prompted the closure of a street in Tacoma, Washington today. The cause of the overflow is unknown but officials said the sewer lines in that area were installed in 1906.

Nearly 4.7 million gallons of untreated but diluted wastewater overflowed from Baltimore city sewer lines during last Thursday’s downpour, spilling down city streets and flooding the lower level of the Penn Station parking garage.

After 33 years of discussion and false starts, the Board of Supervisors in San Luis Obispo County, California have formally committed the county to building a $189 million sewer treatment plant and collection system in Los Osos.

A sewer line in Bayonne, New Jersey became clogged and then collapsed this morning, prompting municipal workers to pump out the stuck sewage and put it down another manhole.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chesterton, Indiana
Moorpark, California
New Hanover County, North Carolina
Travis County, Texas

March 14, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Two Cars in Milwaukee Swallowed by Sinkhole After Main Break

Posted in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin at 5:08 pm by bengann

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On Saturday, a break in a 42-inch water main in Milwaukee created a sinkhole which swallowed two cars. City work crews are now taking precautions to prevent the 25 foot by 25 foot hole from getting bigger. An owner of one of the said he could tell something was not right. He says he was standing on the concrete nearby, and that the vibration was like a train under his feet.

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Corpus Christi, Texas is facing a major overhaul of its sewer system and according to one estimate it cost as much as $1.5 billion. In the past 12 years, the city has been fined $165,665 for wastewater-related violations.

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District says it may have to cut as much as $165 million in the next several years off planned sewer construction projects, flood management efforts and sewage treatment plant upgrades if the state Legislature embraces deficit-elimination measures in Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed 2011-13 state budget.

A federal loan of about $1.1 million will help the village of Butte, Nebraska  improve its sewer system. Several Butte residents have endured sewer backups into their basements, because of the aging, overtaxed system.

The Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) of Louisville is reporting that three of its stations are pumping a mix of storm and sanitary wastewater, due to Ohio River levels. The total amount discharged is unknown but, MSD says it will be significant in the millions of gallons per day.

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Appleton, Wisconsin
Ashland, Oregon
East Jordan, Michigan
Pacifica, California

March 11, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Connecticut Town Under Federal Investigation for Sewer Project

Posted in Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas at 7:46 pm by bengann

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Trumbull, Connecticut’s sewer authority is under a federal grand jury investigation over apparent irregularities connected with the ongoing construction of the town’s sanitary sewers. Concerns about the work were raised more than a year ago after an audit of the town’s most recent sewer expansion project revealed a variety of irregularities, including a $3.5 million contract extension that was awarded in violation of the town charter.

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Officials in the city of Sarasota and Manatee county are objecting to stricter federal standards for the amount of nutrients allowed in Florida’s waterways as prohibitively expensive and scientifically indefensible. EPA estimates Florida’s public and private sectors could incur additional costs from $135 million to $206 million a year to meet the higher standards. Yet local governments counter that the true costs statewide could be in the billions.

In Hendersonville, South Carolina, the city’s wastewater collection system experienced 10 spills totaling over 188,000 gallons due to excessive rainfall.

A small subdivision near Lufkin, Texas  has been without a wastewater treatment facility for almost 20 years, but the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality commissioners have voted to revoke the permit of the previous wastewater plant operator, paving the way for another utility company to step in and provide service to the community of about 30 homes.

A sinkhole caused by a broken water line forced the closure today of a major road in Knox County, Tennessee.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Detroit, Michigan
Newton Falls, Ohio
Omaha, Nebraska
Soldotna, Alaska

March 9, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Rep. Rahall Criticizes Budget Cuts to Water and Wastewater

Posted in California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, National, New York, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming at 11:44 am by bengann

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Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is criticizing proposed Congressional budget cuts that would eliminate federal grants and loans providing water and wastewater services to communities in Southern West Virginia. “When we invest in America, we put Americans to work,” Rahall said. “Without basic services, like clean water, even the health of families can falter.”

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The LOTT Clean Water Alliance in Olympia, Washington is about to embark on a $3 million project to increase the public’s comfort level with reclaimed wastewater. Last year, about 12.4 percent of the nearly 4 billion gallons of wastewater treated at the two LOTT treatment plants received advanced treatment to qualify for reuse.

A new U.S. Geological Survey study shows that nutrient levels decreased in the upper Blue River following upgrades to the Johnson County’s Blue River Main Wastewater Treatment Facility in Overland Park, Kansas. Excessive nutrients can be harmful by degrading habitats and decreasing the amount of oxygen in the water.

A broken water main in Staten Island which  flooded the basement at Borough Hall caused the cancellation of a Red Cross Month proclamation ceremony.

DeKalb County, Georgia has experienced s even raw sewage spills in the last four days because of heavy rains. In December, the EPA mandated DeKalb upgrade its sewer system after the county reported more than 800 raw sewage spills in five years.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Barstow, California
Corpus Christi, Texas
Freeport, Illinois
Laramie, Wyoming

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

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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.

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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 18, 2011

Friday’s Water News: $7 Million in Sewer Improvements On Tap for Jacksonville, Arkansas

Posted in Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas at 6:57 pm by bengann

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Jacksonville, Arkansas is scheduled to spend $3 million on construction this year to update its wastewater treatment plant. Also this year, the city plans to spend $4.2 million to construct gravity flow sewer pipelines with manholes to replace city pump stations.

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Water service has been restored to residents of an Austin, Texas neighborhood that suffered a water main break. At least 30 homes were without water because of the break. It is the fifth time over the past two years, the same 6-inch pipe has broken.

The city of Richmond Hill, Georgia has been awarded a nearly $1.9 million Clean Water SRF loan for the upgrade and expansion of its wastewater treatment. As part of the loan, up to $687,500 will be forgiven and does not need to be repaid.

The City Council in Coon Rapids, Minnesota has approved plans for a project to replace its sewer lift station. The project will begin in May, cost an estimated $421,000 and is expected to be complete this fall.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Marin County, California
Middle Smithfield Township, Pennsylvania
Middlesboro, Kentucky
Northville Township, Michigan

February 16, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: New $8.1M Wastewater Treatment Plant Set for Indian Tribe

Posted in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Virginia at 8:30 pm by bengann

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In California, construction is set to begin on Friday on a new $8.1 million wastewater treatment plant for the Tule River Indian Tribe. There is currently no sewage treatment on the reservation, only septic systems, and the project includes connecting 268 homes to the sewer system. The funding for the project is the largest American ARRA award funded by the California Indian Health Service and EPA.

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According to officials in Frenchtown. New Jersey construction of the borough’s new sewage treatment plant is likely to cost $10.5 million. The estimate for the project includes construction of the new plant, demolition of the old plant, new facilities for the Department of Public Works and flood-proofing the buildings.

A section of the Colonial Parkway in Williamsburg, Virginia, which has been closed since Jan. 4 because of a water main break, will reopen next week. Repairs to the 42-inch water main have just been completed but now the road must be repaved before it can reopen to traffic,

Glendale, Arizona has identified various sanitary sewer lines, manholes and structures in its wastewater collection system in need of rehabilitation and replacement. The required work will take place at 22 locations throughout the city impacting approximately 5,000 linear feet of sanitary sewer lines and more than 50 associated manholes.

A water main break in Chicopee, Massachusetts shut down water service to Elms College and nearby homes this afternoon.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Geneva, Illinois
Palmer, Texas
Rohnert Park, California
Vandalia, Ohio

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

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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.

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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

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