January 28, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Lake George (N.Y.) to Borrow $1.7 Million for Sewer Line Upgrades

Posted in California, Georgia, National, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia at 7:06 pm by bengann

Top Story
Lake George, New York is moving forward with a $1.7 million bond issuance to upgrade the village’s sewer lines. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has given Lake George until September to complete repairs, or further sanctions and fines will be imposed.

Other Headlines
Mexican officials have notified the U.S. portion of the International Boundary and Water Commission that final repairs have complete to a broken collector pipe just south of the border. Beaches on the U.S. side of the border were closed on and off due in part to heavy flow of sewage contaminated water from the Tijuana River watershed.

The city of Marble Falls, Texas is planning a $4.52 million construction project which will increase the capacity of one its wastewater treatment plants to 1.5 million gallons per day.

In California, the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority may be eligible for federal disaster funds to repair a sewer line that separated in December, spilling an estimated 42 million gallons of waste into the Mojave River.

Residents in McMechen, West Virginia are being asked to conserve water through the weekend after a main break caused a drop in water storage in a nearby towers.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chillicothe, Ohio
Front Royal, Virginia
Madison, New Jersey
Richmond Hill, Georgia

January 25, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Urbandale, Iowa Will Enlarge Its Sewer System

Posted in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 1:04 pm by bengann

Top Story
Urbandale, Iowa plans to enlarge its storm sewer system in phases beginning in 2014. The construction is expected to be completed in 2015 and will cost $3 million.

Other Headlines
Some residents in Benton, Illinois are upset over the city’s plan to borrow $750,000 to replace the main line running into its water treatment plant. The city will issue $750,000 dollars in bonds and is also getting a $300,000 federal grant for the sewer project. Benton is also waiting on a $740,000 capital grant from the state which would be used to pay off the bond.

After more than 12 years of planning, Terre Haute, Indiana may soon have a resolution to its wastewater problem. The plan would take 20 years and cost the city $140 million.

About 250 homes in Bloomfield, Connecticut were without water yesterday after a break in a 12-inch water main.

Part of a road in Toledo, Ohio caved in this morning due to a water main break and the road is expected to remain closed through tomorrow as repairs are made.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Brookfield, Illinois
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Front Royal, Virginia
Norfolk, Massachusetts

January 17, 2011

Monday’s Water News: 50,000 Customers Have Service Disrupted After Water Main Break

Posted in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia at 11:46 pm by bengann

Top Story
Water is flowing freely again in Fayetteville, North Carolina after a 48 inch water main rupture led to a three-day long boil water advisory. The Public Works Commission says 50,000 customers had little or no water when the break happened.

Other Headlines
In California, some Fresno County families are finally seeing floodwaters recede as crews turn on the pumps to get the water out. Two houses were flooded, and several families were unable to get in and out of their homes due to flooding caused by the water main break.  

Lynchburg, Virginia estimates that it will cost the city $120 million in the next 15 years to reduce stormwater runoff that pollutes the Chesapeake Bay.

Despite spending more than $50 million on sewer and water projects in Berkshire County, Massachusetts over the past five years, tens of millions more will be needed in the years ahead to maintain the area’s water and sewer systems.

The wait for a sewer system to be installed at a popular resort in Jackson County, Iowa continues, but local officials remain optimistic the project will be done by the end of the year. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has tagged it as the number two area statewide in need of a sewer upgrade.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Allen, Texas
Cary, North Carolina
Eureka, California
Stookey Township, Illinois

January 11, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Water Main Break Floods Philadelphia Neighborhood

Posted in California, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin at 7:51 pm by bengann

Top Story
A broken water main poured about 8 million gallons of water into the streets of a north Philadelphia neighborhood today. Residents in the area near the break are now dealing with flooded cars and basements. A crater now sits where the break occurred and several square blocks are waterlogged and covered in mud.

Other Headlines
Residents in Bend, Oregon could soon see hikes in their water and sewer rates to pay for a plan over the next five years to allocate more than $200 million to upgrade city’s water and sewage system. The city says the improvements are necessary because water quality will fall out of compliance with state law without those improvements.

Construction for a sewer project in Pamplin City, Virginia is expected to be completed by April. The sewer system is being installed to replace poor performing septic tanks. To finance the project, the town received a $225,000 block grant from Rural Development along with another $1.2 million grant and $581,000 in loan money.

A follow-up to a story from yesterday, although contractors have plugged a leak that spewed an estimated 42 million gallons of raw sewage into a river in the Apple Valley (Calif.) area after December’s heavy storms damaged the sewage line. But it may be several months to a year before the main sewage line serving the high desert is back online. It has cost $3 million so far to bypass the sewage lines, but a more permanent solution could end up costing between $6 million and $20 million.

A boil alert is in effect for the city of Campbell, Ohio after a water main break leaked 750,000 gallons of water. Much of the city was without water while crews fixed the lines which were repaired this afternoon.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Front Royal, Virginia
Howard, Wisconsin
Plymouth, Illinois
Sierra Madre, California

January 5, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: St. Joseph, Missouri Looking at $105 Million Sewer Bond Issuance

Posted in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia at 10:55 pm by bengann

Top Story
The City Council in St. Joseph, Missouri is hoping to convince residents over the next for months of the need to approve a $105 million sewer bond issuance on the April 5 ballot. The city would use the funds for projects related to its combined sewer overflow issues and  the amount of ammonia and other chemicals the system discharges  into the Missouri River.

Other Headlines
The town of Manchester, Connecticut is facing a proposed $57- to $60 million upgrade to the wastewater treatment system. The project is being driven by federal regulations mandating reductions of nitrogen and phosphorous in treated water.

Some residents in Mount Vernon, Illinois will soon be seeing some flooding reduction on roadways and on property as the city finalizes plans for a storm sewer project.

An apparent leak in a 42-inch water main in York County, Virginia where it crosses the Colonial Parkway could take more than a month to repair, leaving a marked detour in place for the time being.

A section of Highway 60 westbound in Faribault, Minnesota was closed today due to a water main break in the area.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Avon Lake, Ohio
Phoenix, Arizona
Rocky Mount, Virginia
Webster County, Kentucky

December 29, 2010

Top Sewer Overflow Stories of 2010

Posted in California, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin at 9:20 pm by bengann

Here are the top sewer overflow stories for 2010.

1.  Milwaukee had several major sewer overflows in 2010 including in July when a massive amount of sewage poured into lakes and streams after heavy rains hit the area. An estimated 2 billion gallons of sewage spilled during that time. 

2. Kansas City is starting the first phase of a massive 25-year sewer project to cut the overflow of raw sewage from nearly 6.5 billion gallons a year to less than a half billion.  The total cost of the 25-year plan is estimated to be $2.5 billion. It is the biggest public works project in the city’s history.

3. Agencies argued over responsibility for a sewage spill near the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California. Over 2.1 million gallons of Mexican sewage leaked into the Tijuana River Valley following a breakdown at several U.S. waste treatment facilities. Agencies responded by dodging responsibility because of jurisdictional questions.

4. During the storms that rained on the San Francisco Bay Area in January, a total of 630,000 gallons of raw sewage spewed into the bay at 47 spots. Even worse, 170 million gallons of partially treated sewage was discharged from three East Bay Municipal Utility District “wet weather” overflow plants.

5. Twenty million gallons of sewage spilled into the Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida in June after a 72-inch sewer pipe burst and deposited raw sewage into the bay.

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

7. Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) became so concerned about the City of Charlottesville’s repeated sewage overflow problems that it is demanding the city take immediate action. The DEQ says since July 2008 Charlottesville’s waste system has back-up and dumped sewage into creeks and streams at least 40 times. 

8. The Metropolitan Sewer District in Louisville, Kentucky estimated 4.1 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Ohio River in October because of a gate failure at a pump station. Sewage discharged for about 11 hours from an overflow point in the Ohio River until the spill ceased.

9. 3 million gallons of untreated sewage spilled into Champion Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana in October. The city says the leak was the result of aging sewer pipes. It is estimated that $200 million is needed to update the city’s sewer system.

10. A collapsed sewer line in Sioux City, Iowa wasn’t fixed for a week in March and spilled about one million gallons of untreated wastewater into the Missouri River.  The line break happened when saturated soil slid into a ravine, carrying a section of the pipeline with it.

December 3, 2010

Friday’s Water News: Sinkhole Swallows Car After Water Main Break

Posted in Alaska, California, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, Virginia at 6:19 pm by bengann

A water main break this morning in Montgomery County, Maryland opened up a gaping 15-foot sinkhole that almost swallowed a car (pictured). The break follows other ruptures in nearby Northwest Washington, D.C. last week.

Construction of a new $25 million sewer plant in Willits, California is on schedule to complete by the end of 2011 despite a late construction start this fall. The city has been under a cease and desist order from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board since 2001 requiring it to stop discharging a higher than authorized quantity of treated sewage into the area creeks.

The city of Gulfport, Mississippi will receive a $1 million federal grant to install sewer connections for 110 homes. The grant was awarded through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program and will be administered by the state.

Stimulus Spotlight
The city of Peru, Illinois is in the process of completing a big sewer project installing separate storm and sanitary sewers to alleviate flooding and pipe backups, and is being funded in part with $3 million in economic stimulus funds.

A $20 million stimulus project to expand Highway 58 in Abingdon, Virginia has included the relocation of existing water lines to accommodate the road widening. In addition, a separate, $26.2 million project is under way in Washington County, Virginia to expand a water plant. This project is funded with a stimulus loan, and will ultimately be paid for with money from water and sewer tap fees.

Sewer Rate News
Anchorage, Alaska
Lockport, Illinois

November 22, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Perry, California Plans to Build $5.5M Wastewater Treatment Plant

Posted in California, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia at 11:29 pm by bengann

City officials in Perry, California are pursuing grants and loans for construction of a new $5.5 million wastewater treatment plant that will increase its daily capacity by 250,000 gallons. The city hopes to finance the project through 50 percent  in grant money and 50 percent in a low-interest loan. Either way, City Officials are confident that the new project will not cause rates to go up for people living in the area.

Norwood, Massachusetts is looking at an $85,000 price tag for the cost of repairing two water main breaks about 10-feet apart on Route 1 in less than a week.

In West Virginia, a 12-inch water main along Route 20 broke Sunday evening, leaving customers in Hinton, Brooks, and Barksdale temporarily without water.

Five homeowners in Keokuk, Iowa will have access to a new sewer line as part of an $80,000 project.

Stimulus Spotlight
Thayer, Missouri is in the process of replacing its wastewater treatment plant thanks in part to a grant from the economic stimulus.

Sewer Rate News
Columbus, Ohio
Halifax County, Virginia
Norfolk, New York
Park City, Illinois

November 15, 2010

Monday’s Water News: Water Main Break Floods Road in Norwood, Massachusetts

Posted in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia at 11:45 pm by bengann

A water main break early Sunday in Norwood, Massachusetts forced officials to shut down a lane along Route 1 and left many businesses in the area without water. The roadway collapsed in the process, and as of early evening, crews had yet to reach the pipes, which are buried nearly 10 feet deep.

The village of Clayton, New York is taking another small step toward bringing its aging sewer system up to date with upgrades to a pump station. The project, which will begin today and is estimated to cost less than $150,000, is part of the village’s long-term plan to decrease sewer system overflow running into the St. Lawrence River and accommodate further development in the village.

Voters in Stonington, Connecticut will decide tomorrow whether to approve $18.3 million in funding to renovate the town’s three aging and outmoded sewer plants. The town would bond the project over 20 years and borrow most of the money in two approximately equal amounts.

An underground water main split today in front of a family restaurant in Danville, Virginia closing businesses and prompted a water-boiling advisory. The water-boiling advisory will remain in effect at least until Wednesday so city officials can test the water for bacteria and get the results.

Stimulus Spotlight
Three projects in Genesee County, Michigan including the reconstruction and replacement of a twice-flooded pumping station resting on a floodplain in Flint Township, are under way with help from $10 million in stimulus funds.

Sewer Rate News
Elgin, Illinois
Grand Island, Nebraska
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida
North Londonderry Township, Pennsylvania

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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