July 11, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Advisory Issued for Beach in Bellingham, Washington

Posted in California, Idaho, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin at 5:14 pm by bengann

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In Washington, a beach advisory has been posted for Wildcat Cove in Larrabee State Park because tests have consistently shown increased levels of fecal bacteria that exceed federal standards for clean water. Sewage spills or leaks were the biggest culprits in Washington state in 2010, causing 67 percent of beach closing and advisory days.

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The city of Jerome, Idaho needs a plan that will convince the EPA it’s doing everything necessary to get its wastewater treatment plant up to snuff following sewer overflow problems tied to the dairy industry. Without a plan in place, the city stands a stronger chance of a lawsuit and steep EPA fines. The city’s initial estimates put the necessary work on the plant at $3.25 million.

The public disclosure that Rialto, California’s water system needs $42 million in upgrades and renovations is symptomatic of a national trend that civil engineers have long called alarming. Needed upgrades to its water and sewer system will have to be paid for through rate increases. Rialto has not raised its wastewater rates in 10 years and water rates in seven years.

For the Milwaukee (Wisc.) Metropolitan Sewer District is planning to install new, smaller screens to remove debris, trash and plastic containers from wastewater flowing into the Jones Island sewage treatment plant, as well as other upgrades at the 25-year-old preliminary treatment facility, the project is estimated to cost $14.9 million.

Water was restored to the 30 homes in Winchester, Massachusetts last night which were impacted by a water main break. Although the water is back on the Department of Public Works needed to come out today to clean the streets of mud and make needed repairs to the road.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Fredonia, New York
Hayward, California
McLean, Virginia

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July 5, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Stormwater Contamination Increasing Shut Down of Connecticut Beaches

Posted in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington at 5:00 pm by bengann

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Connecticut’s coastal beaches in 2010 had to be shut down twice as often as in recent years between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Stormwater contamination was the cause 66 percent of the time a beach had to be closed.

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A state circuit court judge has set a Wednesday hearing on a request to transfer about $60 million from the Jefferson County sewer system to a corporation set up by the court-appointed receiver in charge of the system. The matter is separate from a demand made last month by the court-appointed for $75 million that the county has in reserves.

Ascension Parish, Louisiana has received more than $5 million in federal hurricane recovery money to consolidate and upgrade rural sewer services. The funding will be used to buy 14 acres of rights of way and allow parish government to build lift stations to consolidate sewer services in unincorporated areas of the parish.

The state of Ohio is set to make $1 million this year from treating wastewater from natural gas drilling sites in Pennsylvania. The amount of wastewater Ohio accepted from out-of-state drillers has jumped, in part because Pennsylvania officials this year increased pressure on drillers to keep fracking waste out of surface water.

A broken water main caused a mess in a Los Angeles neighborhood Sunday afternoon. About a half-dozen homes in Sherman Oaks were affected, including one that had its swimming pool filled with mud.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
Hobart, Wisconsin
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Polk City, Iowa

May 31, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Report Finds Wrong Studs Led to Massive Water Main Break in Massachusetts

Posted in California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington at 9:54 pm by bengann

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A clamp joining two giant water pipes failed last May largely because it was held together by wrong-sized studs, investigators said yesterday in a report on the cause of the massive water main break that cut off clean drinking water to nearly 2 million residents of the Boston area for more than two days.

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In California, a federal judge has found a San Francisco Bay area sanitary district is responsible for 21 illegal sewage spills into a number of creeks and sloughs that drain into the bay. For the spills, the district could be fined up to $975,000 in federal Clean Water Act violations.

Raw sewage spilling into streets and waterways. Rodent droppings in chemical tanks that feed a public water supply. Severe disrepair at water and sewage plants. The complaints and violations at the West Milford (N.J.) Municipal Utilities Authority facilities are numerous and residents want the utility to take action.

Pierce County, Washington is planning a $305 million expansion for its wastewater treatment plant in University Place. Design work is underway with construction planned to take place between 2013 to 2016. Once completed, almost everything at the plant will get an upgrade.

The small community of South Beloit, Illinois faces steep costs in upgrading its sewer system. In addition to a series of Illinois EPA deadlines to replace miles of leaky sewer pipes, which could cost up to $5 million and take several years to complete, pending federal and state regulations on wastewater treatment standards would require the city’s plant, which is already past its design life, to be upgraded or redesigned.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Cumberland, Maryland
Elk Grove, California
New Haven, Indiana
Porterdale, Georgia

May 5, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Palm Beach, Broward Losing 33 Million Gallons of Water Per Day

Posted in California, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Minnesota, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia at 9:07 pm by bengann

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The utilities that supply water to South Florida residents are losing more than 33 million gallons every day — all while users are being asked to cut back lawn watering in the name of conservation. The lost water is costing area cities hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and fixing the problems will cost millions.

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A $15 million project to upgrade the wastewater collection system at the naval base in Guam is nearly one-third complete, bringing the island’s largest military base closer to its updated targets for capacity and reliability at the Apra Harbor Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The sewer system in Minnewaukan, North Dakota, was inundated Wednesday evening – for the second time in a week – by floodwaters from the growing Devils Lake.

In Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) has awarded $7.5 million in three grants for wastewater projects in Lycoming County. The grants are awarded through the CFA’s H2O PA Program, which provides grants to independent agencies, municipalities or municipal authorities for the construction of drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer projects or to help repair, rehabilitate or remove high-hazard unsafe dams.

The Valley Falls Public Service District in West Virginia has announced it is shutting water off due to some Morgan County residents after a water main break.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Clarkston, Washington
Coon Rapids, Minnesota
Cupertino, California
Kauai, Hawaii

April 29, 2011

Friday’s Water News: State Legislation to Help Fix Omaha’s Sewers Must Wait Until Next Year

Posted in California, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin at 1:53 pm by bengann

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A bill in the Nebraska state legislature to help Omaha pay for the federally mandated reconstruction of its sewer system will have to wait until next year. The bill was expected to pass but was shelved because of an expected veto by Gov. Dave Heineman. The measure would have redirected $65 million in state and local sales taxes on local sewer rates to Omaha to help pay for the $1.7 billion sewer project.

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In Bad Axe, Michigan, about 80,000 gallons of fully treated water and a mixture of raw sewage and storm water was discharged into the Bad Axe Drain yesterday because the infiltration flows exceeded the Bad Axe Wastewater Treatment Plant’s capacity.

Financing has been secured for the oft-delayed Puckety Creek sewer project in Washington Township, Pennsylvania. But threatened legal action could further delay the project, which will affect 750 authority customers. Washington Township Municipal Authority will get an $8 million loan from PNC Bank to finance the project. It is believed that project delays for the past 18 months have increased its cost by about $1.3 million.

The Borough Council in Hightstown, New Jersey has agreed to consider over $1.9 million for sewer improvements at its beleaguered sewage treatment plant and to bring a new well on-line.

The Village of Wilton has settled with the state of Wisconsin over alleged violations at its wastewater treatment plant in Monroe County. As part of the agreement the village has agreed to pay $7,000 and retain a second certified wastewater operator for six months.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Los Gatos, California
Port Angeles, Washington
Rock Hill, South Carolina
San Diego, California

April 28, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Greenwich Reaches Deal With State, EPA Over Massive Sewage Spills

Posted in Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington at 6:44 pm by bengann

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In a deal announced yesterday, the town of Greenwich, Connecticut has agreed to pay the federal government and the State of Connecticut each $100,000 to settle the complaints lodged against the town by the state and the federal EPA for a pair of sewer breaks that sent tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage into Cos Cob Harbor in 2005 and 2008. As part of the agreement,  the town also agreed to replace the section of sewer main where both breaks occurred and have most of the work done by the end of 2013.

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Working hard to avoid sewer backups as its wastewater system flooded with storm water, a pump station in Salina, New York used a backup pump to operate far beyond its normal capacity. On a normal day the station pumps 11 million gallons. Tuesday, it pumped about 53 million gallons, and about 43 million gallons on Wednesday.

The Town of Thomaston, Maine will receive a total of $1,887,000 from the USDA to make numerous improvements to its wastewater infrastructure. The Town will contribute $113,000 to make the $2 million project possible, which will upgrade the town’s primary sewer lines, which were constructed between 1891 and 1925.

The supervisor of Flint, Michigan’s water pollution control plant says an overflow of partially treated sewage into the Flint River is continuing and has already surpassed the volume of a 4.1 million gallon spill on April 23.

In Pennsylvania, after being forced from their offices at Montgomery County’s Human Services Center by a flood 11 weeks ago, the Coroner’s office is are moving back in Friday, and the office will be operational Saturday. On Feb. 11, an 8-inch water main burst underneath the floor of the Coroner’s Office on the first floor, and the operation relocated temporarily to buildings at the Emergency Services Center.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Falls Church, Virginia
Port Orchard, Washington
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Tulsa, Oklahoma

April 19, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: 8 Weeks Needed to Repair Albuquerque Sewer Main Collapse

Posted in Alabama, California, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington at 8:38 pm by bengann

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On a follow-up to a story from last week, officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico estimate it will take up to eight weeks to repair nearly 1,500 feet of sewer pipe which collapsed last week. With several roads shut down, nearby stores say they’ve already seen business drop due to lack of access.

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A sewer overflow after heavy rains last weekend in Corbin, Kentucky damaged four offices and will cause the city to pay for the damages incurred. This is the second time the sewer has overflowed and caused damage at the site.

A year after Mabton, Washington accidentally dumped 370,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Yakima River, the city is talking about becoming a model of environmental stewardship is considering an expansion of its wastewater system that would incorporate the latest green technology.

The sewer system in the town of Cherokee, Alabama may soon get a multi-million dollar overhaul after the town council voted to move forward with plans to revitalize the area’s old sewer system. Council members voted to accept more than $950,000 in grant money, and signed on for more than a million dollar loan to begin the project.

Water was flowing from a busted main in Philadelphia’s northeast section early Tuesday morning, causing a detour for several SEPTA bus routes and disrupting water service to a nearby community center.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Alexandria Bay, New York
Foster City, California
Planfield, Illinois
Warren County, Ohio

April 12, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: SRF Cut by Nearly $1 Billion in Budget Deal

Posted in Arizona, California, Illinois, National, New Mexico, New York, Virginia, Washington at 10:56 pm by bengann

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The continuing budget resolution passed last week contained major cuts to the SRF programs. Specifically, the one-week CR cuts the Clean Water SRF to $1.535 billion (from $2.1B in FY10) and Drinking Water SRF to $965 million (from $1.387B in FY10). These represent major cuts to programs vital to public health which also creating well-paying jobs.

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In Staten Island, New York, FDNY, NYPD and Department of Environmental Protection officials were on the scene after a water-main break causeda flood of water to cascade onto the street.

The city of Lynchburg, Virginia hopes to be able to break ground by late summer on phase two of improvements to its water and sewer system. The project is expected to take 18 to 20 months and is part of the city’s 10-year master plan.

Laguna Pueblo in central New Mexico will receive two grants totaling $2 million to improve its water and waste water systems. The current sewage collection system was built more than 20 years ago and the water distribution systems were constructed more than 50 years ago.

In Washington, a much-hoped-for funding source for a proposed sewer system in Carlsborg is one step closer to reality, after the state House of Representatives included a $10 million loan in its proposed state construction budget.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Los Altos, California
Mesa, Arizona
Montgomery, Illinois
West Dundee, Illinois

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

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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.

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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

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

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