July 22, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Kane County (Ill.) Receives Disaster Aid for Storm Sewer and Drainage Projects

Posted in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia at 5:30 pm by bengann

Top Story
Kane County, Illinois has been awarded more than $2.27 million in federal disaster aid for five infrastructure projects aimed at alleviating chronic flooding. The projects—which will cost an estimated $5.3 million—are expected to create approximately 165 jobs and benefitsome 2,000 residents.

Other Headlines
The Montgomery County (Penn.) courthouse closed early today after a water main break on cut off water pressure to the building.

Nearly 70 homes on small lots in South Mills, North Carolina — many of which have had failing septic systems for decades — are on target to hook up to a public sewer system. The $1.6 million project is mostly funded through grants from the state’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the N.C. Rural Center.

A large sinkhole in Council Bluffs, Iowa started as a dip in the road and has just kept growing. The sinkhole is believed to have been caused by a collapsed sewer line.

In Hawaii, Maui community groups have sent Maui County a formal notice of their intent to sue the county for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility (LWRF) into the nearshore waters of West Maui.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Kingwood, West Virginia
Nipomo, California
Park City, Utah

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

April 14, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Congress Passes Final FY 2011 Budget Cutting $1 Billion from SRF Programs

Posted in California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, National, Pennsylvania, Utah at 7:58 pm by bengann

Top Story
Congress passed a final spending bill today for the current fiscal year ending September 30, 2011. The legislation is bad news for water and wastewater infrastructure which cuts the EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs by nearly $1 billion. In the budget agreement, the Clean Water SRF will receive $1.525 billion (down from $2.1B in FY10) and the Drinking Water SRF will receive $965 million (down from $1.387 billlion). The cuts to the SRF programs come at a time when EPA estimates America’s water and wastewater infrastructure needs exceed $630 billion over the next 20 years.

Other Headlines
In Pennsylvania, the Abington Regional Wastewater Authority will miss the May 5 deadline to submit a plan mapping out the future needs of their sewer systems after two of the three municipalities served have refused to approve it.

Officials hope a $639,000 upgrade to the city of Attleboro, Massachusetts’ almost-new $30 million wastewater treatment plant will put the city in compliance with some tough mandates from the EPA.

Work should start in June on the next phases of two sewer projects in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The projects will cost $1 million and be paid with general obligation bonds.

A water main break in front of a home in Murray, Utah flooded the garage and basement causing $60,000 in damages.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Baltimore, Maryland
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Santa Clara County, California
Windsor, Colorado

January 27, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Sen. Cardin Calls on President Obama to Invest in Water Infrastructure

Posted in California, Maryland, Michigan, National, New York, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin at 8:13 pm by bengann

Top Story
Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has called on President Obama to include water infrastructure in his six-year plan for investing in our nation’s infrastructure. In his letter to the President, Sen. Cardin pointed out that our nation’s water infrastructure has outlived its 50-year life span and that an investment in the nation’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure will ensure that American families have access to clean, safe water and create thousands of new, well-paying jobs.

Other Headlines
Elected officials in Lindon, Utah have approved $3 million in bonding to increase the capacity of the city’s sewer system.

In Dundalk, Maryland a 16-inch water main break near the front truck entrance to the Marine Terminal closed some lanes of Broening Highway today.

The Sand Creek Sanitary District, located in Dunn County, Wisconsin has requested approval from the state Department of Natural Resources to replace its 34 year-old wastewater treatment system. The district likely will apply for a Clean Water Fund loan and the project cost is $1,095,000.

A water main break forced an elementary school in Corning, New York to close today.  The break originated near the school’s playground and caused a couple of inches of water to pour into a foyer and two classrooms.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Brighton Township, Michigan
Escondido, California
Eureka, California
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

November 3, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: National Park in Utah Proposes Sewer Upgrade

Posted in Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Utah, Virginia at 7:56 pm by bengann

Southern Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park sewer system is failing is about to receive major improvements. The Park Service wants to replace pipes that were installed 52 years ago for the park’s lodge, staff housing and visitors’ center. The pipes are crumbling and clogged, backing up sewage that leaks out of manholes and spills onto the ground.

On Election Day,  voters in Jefferson City, Missouri passed a seven-year $35 million sewer bond issue. The money will fund the second phase of a master plan to improve the city’s sewer system. $28 million will go toward sewer collection system projects and the city will use the other $7 million for treatment system projects. The upgrades and repairs are needed for the city to comply with state environmental standards.

Residents in parts of Whitesboro, New York are being advised to boil their water following a water main break in the Village.

Contractors have finished construction of a $1.7 million sewer project in downtown Staunton, Virginia. The new sewer system will be easier to maintain, better able to handle future growth, and no longer runs through a downtown stream.

Stimulus Spotlight
The village board in Burlington, Illinois this week unanimously approved an agreement with Kane County to borrow money through the federal stimulus program to replace a water main.

Sewer Rate News
Hudson, Ohio
Marion, Kansas
Peachtree City, Georgia
Saratoga County, New York

October 27, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: $17.7 Million in Grants to Fund Water and Sewer Projects in West Virginia

Posted in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, West Virginia at 12:50 pm by bengann

In West Virginia, $17.7 million in Small Cities Block Grants is being awarded to fund 31 water and sewer projects throughout the state. Over $50 million in other federal, state, and local funds will be leveraged to complete these projects. HUD provides Small Cities Block Grant funds to the state for such projects.

The city offices in North Ogden, Utah were closed yesterday because a sewer backed up into the upstairs offices and made a huge mess.

Residents in Camden Point, Missouri will decide Tuesday whether to build the city’s first sewer system. On the ballot is a question asking them to allow the city to issue $4.8 million in sewer system revenue bonds. The work is needed because the city doesn’t have a sewer system.

Stimulus Spotlight
The City Council in Pasadena, California has voted in favor of issuing up to $30 million in water revenue bonds to help fund capital water projects. All or a portion of the bonds may be offered as federal stimulus funds called Build America Bonds. Among the projects that could be funded through the bond proceeds are a recycled water program, the upgrading of current facilities and the design and construction of a treatment plant to help remove perchlorate from the groundwater.

The town of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts has broken ground on a new million-gallon water tank that is being partially funded by the economic stimulus. Financing from the project is being built with about $1 million in federal stimulus money, $1 million from a legal settlement and about $1 million in a low-interest federal loan.

Sewer Rate News
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Longview, Washington
Montgomery County, Maryland
Umpqua, Oregon

October 22, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Toledo, Ohio Agrees to $315 Million Sewer Expansion

Posted in Arizona, National, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah at 4:26 pm by bengann

The City of Toledo, Ohio has agreed to expand its sewer system much further than originally planned, after prodding from the state and federal officials. The new plan, agreed to yesterday, is much more extensive than the original and comes at an estimated cost of $315 million. City officials hope the plan will reduce sewer overflows from an average of 35 times per year to an average of zero to four times per year.

Repairs to the main sewer line running from Nogales, Sonora, to Nogales, Arizona, will take longer than expected, and there’s still some question as to who will pay those repairs. Two weeks ago crews found a huge hole in the line on the Mexican side of the border and raw sewage was flowing into the Nogales Wash on the U.S. side of the border until a sewer bypass was constructed on October 16.

The town of White Bluff, Tennessee has secured a $500,000 community development grant that will help pay for a massive sewer system overhaul. The grant money was provided by HUD and was allocated under a procedure authorized by the Tennessee General Assembly.

Nine members of Congress say its time to change the funding criteria for sewer separation projects mandated by EPA so communities aren’t left overwhelmed by project costs. They are asking EPA to update its 13-year-old set of rules for scheduling projects to separate combined storm and sanitary sewer systems and assessing the financial capabilities of communities undertaking the projects.

Stimulus Spotlight
For the first time, Lewisburg Tennessee’s Water and Wastewater Department has never conducted a project with money borrowed from the SRF but that is about to change. The money is needed to finance a $13 million expansion of its sewage treatment plant — $2 million in funding for the project is being provided via the economic stimulus.

Sewer Rate News
Santaquin, Utah
Saranac Lake, New York

September 29, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Terre Haute (Ind.) Close to Plan to Reduce Sewer Overflows

Posted in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah at 12:13 am by bengann

City officials in Terre Haute, Indiana and engineers are in the final stages of hammering out a plan to drastically reduce raw sewage discharges into the Wabash River. The city’s proposed long-term control plans range in cost from about $56 million (which likely would not meet EPA requirements) to approximately $170 million, according to engineering estimates. This expense will come on top of at least $100 million the city already is planning to spend to expand and upgrade its wastewater treatment plant to meet federal clean-water mandates.

More than 420,000 gallons of water gushed from a broken pipe Monday in Provo, Utah flooding several homes and causing significant damage to an intersection.

City officials in Portland, Oregon are warning residents to avoid recreational activities in the Willamette River because of a recent sewer overflow. Residents are advised to avoid activities that could cause river water to be swallowed.

Stimulus Spotlight
In Georgia, DeKalb County commissioners have approved plans to use $36 million in low-interest federal stimulus bonds. Most of the money, $28.4 million, will be used for water and sewer improvements.  The low-interest federal bonds are expected to save the county $1 million over 20 years.

In Connecticut, Norwich Public Utilities has received approval from the City Council for $5.9 million to cover three water system improvements that jumped to the top of the list of capital projects when federal stimulus grants and low-interest loans became available.

Sewer Rate News
Charleston, South Carolina
Edmond, Oklahoma
Laurel, Mississippi
Redlands, California

August 17, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Small North Carolina Town to Receive $3.3M for New Sewer System

Posted in Alabama, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin at 2:59 pm by bengann

In North Carolina, the Currituck County Board of Commissioners has approved plans to build a new public sewer system in the small communinity of Moyock after three years of debate and negotiation. The new $3.3 million plant would treat 100,000 gallons per day but could be expanded to 600,000 gallons per day.

A water line break drowned a Tulsa, Oklahoma neighborhood in acres of water on Monday afternoon. The water flooded the street, dozens of yards, and swamped several homes. As the water receded, it left a gaping hole and a buckled road in its muddy wake.

Logan, Utah Mayor Randy Watts said the state Department of Environmental Quality has given the city seven years to cut by half the amount of phosphorous its sewage lagoons, located on the west side of town, discharge to Cutler Reservoir.

A $5.2 million upgrade to the village of Winneconne, Wisconsin’s wastewater treatment plant has started and is expected to take 18 months to complete. The project includes work to upgrade and increase the facility’s ability for wastewater treatment that should be good for at least 25 years.

Stimulus Spotlight
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded more than $1.46 million in grants for engineering studies to 50 public water supply systems throughout the state. These awards, which are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will fund engineering reports and facility plans that will include data collection, analysis and water system planning.

Sewer Rate News
East Moline, Illinois
Galesburg, Illinois
M0yock, North Carolina
Northport, Alabama

July 6, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Thompson’s Lake in Albany, New York Closed After Sewage Spill

Posted in California, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Utah, West Virginia at 10:06 am by joepaul1

Popular swimming spot Thompson’s Lake in Albany, New York has been closed until further notice due to a nearby sewage spill. The lake may be contaminated due to the nearby campground pump failure. This happened Sunday night, so tourists who came to the lake to vacation could not swim in the blistering heat on Monday and are expected to not be able to swim until the water is tested on Thursday.

A sewage spill closes Little Corona Beach in Orange County, California. It seems that a sewer main break at nearby Newport Coast Drive poured 18,000 gallons of wastewater into Buck Gulch, which flows directly in to Little Corona. Officials are still investigating the cause of the problem.

Heavy rains cause wastewater overflows in Eddyville, Iowa. After a storm, citizens in the town are now dealing with sewage in their houses. The wastewater system could not handle the rain and has caused Eddyville officials to ask for help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ease the pressure on the sewage system.

Raw sewage continues to flow into the Ohio River from about 1,000 homes and businesses in Weirton, West Virginia. This has been an ongoing problem for fifty years, and officials are struggling to fix it. he main problem has been with funding. The city has allocated 130,000 dollars in loans to fix the leaks, but the cost of fixing the spills has been estimated to be between 2-4 million dollars.

Stimulus Spotlight
Thanks to the stimulus package, and specifically Build America Bonds, the sewage system in Lansing, Michigan is getting a complete overhaul. The town issued these low interest bonds totaling 20 million dollars to fix problems in sewage as well as mending roadways.

A combination of federal grants and low interest loans is helping the town of Dana, Indiana complete a 6.7 million dollar project for a new wastwater treatment plant, as well as new sewers and lift stations. The lack of a good sewer system has caused a decline in the town’s economy in recent years, and officials are sure that this will strengthen the town’s businesses.

Sewer Rate News
San Mateo, California
Porterdale, Georgia
American Fork, Utah
Garner, North Carolina

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