March 30, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Million Gallon Sewer Spill in Augusta, Georgia

Posted in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Washington at 9:05 pm by bengann

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In Augusta, Georgia, a combination of pumps failing and heavy rains caused almost a million gallons of diluted raw sewage to spill into the Phinizy Ditch, a stream that flows into the Savannah River.

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A water main which provides drinking water for an apartment complex broke yesterday in Loveland, Ohio leaving about 90 families without water.

The City of Toppenish, Washington has agreed to pay $134,500 for wastewater violations spanning a two-year period. Between 2008 and 2010, the facility exceeded levels of ammonia, zinc and copper allowed in its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit more than 1,800 times.

In a Letter to the Editor, the Executive Director of the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Water Board points out that the wastewater facility it operates may provide an economic boon to the area because the plant is capable of treating wastewater used in the hydraulic fracturing  process used to recover oil and natural gas.

A ruptured water line beneath a main thoroughfare in Pittsburg, California has created a large sinkhole, closing the road while city crews repair the damage.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chickasha, Oklahoma
Delaware, Ohio
Hartland Township, Michigan
Sharon, Massachusetts

March 29, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Jackson, Mississippi Needs $28.9M Over Sewer Upgrades in Next 2 Years

Posted in California, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Washington at 10:56 pm by bengann

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The city of Jackson, Mississippi has more than 400 sewer system overflows and must make $28.9 million in improvements over the next two years under federal mandate. The city already stands in violation of the Clean Water Act and is paying a $240,000 fine to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

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San Luis Obispo County (Calif.) public health officials have warned residents at Nacimiento Lake not to drink water from the reservoir without purifying it because of a break in a sewer line that is submerged in the lake. The public is also ordered to specifically avoid swimming and other water contact activities for the time being.

An estimated 25,000 gallons of sewage spilled from a pipe in the small community of Omak, Washington after a main sewer pipe collapsed Sunday afternoon. Approximately 1,200 feet of pipe must now be replaced at a cost of 250,000 to the city of under 5,000 people.

On April 5, voters Holts Summit, Missouri will vote on a proposed $7 million sewer bond issue to improve the city’s sewerage system. If the bond issue passes, the money will build a new wastewater treatment plant capable of handling 600,000 gallons of wastewater a day.

In Ohio, Miami County has been awarded $600,000 from the state to use toward installation of 4,230 linear feet of sanitary sewers and seven grinder pumps. The project is expected to cost $1 million and will benefit nearly 60 homes.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Falls Church, Virginia
Loudon County, Virginia
Redlands, California
Wellsville, New York

March 22, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Sewer Overflow from Heavy Rains Leads to Beach Closures in Long Beach

Posted in California, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington at 9:43 pm by bengann

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All beaches in Long Beach, California are closed after storms caused a 250,000 gallons of untreated wastewater near Studio City to overflow into the Los Angeles River. The beaches will be closed until water test results show that contamination levels are within state standards.

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The City Council in Akron, Ohio has delayed action on three sewer projects amid questions about the improvements and the status of the city’s overall sewer-system improvements. Council members questioned whether the city should be moving forward with the improvements after a federal judge last week threw out an agreement between Akron and the EPA on how to solve the city’s sewer overflow problems.

Officials in Cumberland, Maryland have an agreement that would enable the western Maryland city to sell treated wastewater for hydraulic fracturing in recovering natural gas.

A $14.5 million construction project to increase Panama City Beach, Florida’s treated wastewater capacity is nearing completion. The project, 10 years in the planning, is meant to halt the release of treated wastewater into West Bay and expand the capacity of the city’s treatment plant from 10 million gallons to 14 million gallons a day.

Public Works crew in Duluth, Minnesota are working to repair water service after a water main break has caused residents in West Duluth to be without water until at least Wednesday afternoon.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Clive, Iowa
Rainier, Washington
Shelton, Washington
Yuba City, California

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 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

March 1, 2011

Tuesday’s Water News: Calls Grow for Greater Testing of Pennsylvania Water Supply

Posted in Illinois, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington at 10:28 pm by bengann

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In Pennsylvania, environmental and gas-industry advocates have called on state and federal regulators to step up testing of the state’s supplies of public water after a New York Times article reported that radioactive wastewater from drilling is sometimes sent to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water. The EPA is in the process of a national study on hydraulic fracturing that is scheduled to be completed in 2012, which is examining ways to improve the ability to measure, identify, and treat radioisotopes and other contaminants in drilling wastewater.

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The city of Columbia, Missouri wants to reimburse property owners for removing illegal connections that send rain water into the sewer system and contribute to overflows from manhole covers.

Numerous residents in Crawford County, Ohio had several inches of sewer water in their basements yesterday after heavy rains caused the sewer system to overflow. The antiquated sewer system is being blamed for the backup of sewer water into residents’ homes.

A water main break in Ferndale, Washington left about 25 homes and several businesses without water for about half the day on Tuesday.

Aging infrastructure was to blame for a water main break overnight in Niagara Falls, New York which flooded a street.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Charlotte, North Carolina
Elmhurst, Illinois
Geneva, Illinois
Morton, Pennsylvania

February 25, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Indiana Community Reaches Agreement to End EPA Oversight in 5 Years

Posted in California, Indiana, Maine, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia at 12:23 pm by bengann

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The EPA has approved a plan to combat sewer overflows in New Albany, Indiana that could lead to the end of federal oversight in five years. New Albany has been under an EPA consent decree since 1992 due to sanitary sewer overflows(SSO). The city spent about $50 million from 2003 to 2010 battling SSOs, yet there were still more than 100 overflows recorded from 2007 to 2009.

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In Stockton, California, for three weeks, sewage overflowed from an apartment complex and drained into Smith Canal before city officials were alerted and stopped the flow yesterday. An estimated 35,000 gallons of wastewater overflowed into the city’s stormwater system.

Elected officials in Logan Township, Pennsylvania have decided to issue $10 million in bonds to expand sewer lines into more rural neighborhoods. The overall expansion is expected to cost $12 million and construction should begin in 2013.

An engineering study for Jamestown, North Dakota, a city with over 15,000 residents, concludes that $18 million is needed to repair its water and sewer systems.

Officials from three American Indian tribes and 10 federal agencies met in South Dakota yesterday to discuss securing $84 million in additional federal funds to finish the nearly complete Mni Wiconi water project. The project is 95% complete and once it’s finished will supply Missouri River water to thousands of people on four rural water systems and three reservations.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Keyser, West Virginia
Portland, Maine
Sultan, Washington

February 11, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Study Shows Iowa Waterways are Dirtier Than Ever

Posted in California, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington at 1:20 pm by bengann

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Iowa’s waterways are dirtier than ever according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources which classified 572 waterways as polluted in 2010. That’s the highest number since the agency began keeping records 14 years ago. 

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A leaky sewer line in Bremerton, Washington is a bigger problem than originally believed, so utility crews now plan to install about 3,000 feet of new sewer pipeline in the affected area. of it in a neighborhood.

The City Council in Petaluma, California has approved a $51 million, 25-year package of bonds that it will use to pay off loans and other debts related to a wastewater treatment plant and other wastewater operations.

EPA has announced plans to conduct a comprehensive review of water pollution in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Calif.), a first step in containing a problem the agency admits is overdue for closer analysis.  The review will focus on a wide range of pollutants, from farm and household pesticides to urban wastewater and wetland disturbances.

This morning’s rush-hour commute was slowed in Houston, Texas after a water main broke on the Gulf Freeway overnight. The water main, which was located under the freeway, broke causing water to come up through the sidewalk and the cracks on the road.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Aberdeen, Ohio
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

February 4, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Big Sewer Rate Increases to Hit Kansas City

Posted in Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia at 1:42 pm by bengann

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In Kansas City, sewer rate increases of 15 percent a year are projected through 2014, and increases of 13 percent a year could follow after that to help pay for a 25-year, $2.5 billion project to fix the city’s aging sewer infrastructure.  

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The City Council in Weirton, West Virginia may soon ask the state Department of Environmental Protection to consider approving the cheaper of two proposed methods to overhaul the city’s ailing sewer system. A significant sewer rate increase – 35 to 45 percent – will be necessary to fund either project.

Officials in  Oconee County, South Carolina is looking at having a private company provide sewer service to the Interstate 85 areas where county officials hope to foster development. The project would cost $4 million to $6 million.

A 10-inch water main break yesterday turned a downtown Kansas City street into a slippery sheet of ice. Many vehicles parked on the side of the road were frozen to the street, and because crews had to shut off the water, eight buildings in the area were without water service.

The city of Gloucester, Massachusetts is asking the EPA to reverse its decision and issue a waiver exempting the city’s sewer treatment plant from an estimated $60 million investment in secondary treatment of wastewater.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Chelan County, Washington
Galena, Ohio
Lehman Township, Pennsylvania

January 3, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Keokuk, Iowa Reaches Consent Order with EPA

Posted in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin at 9:37 pm by bengann

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Keokuk, Iowa has reached an order of consent with the EPA to separate its combined sewer over the next 20 years.  As part of the agreement the city does not have to make any acknowledgement as to whether it was polluting the Mississippi River. The project is expected to cost the city $77 million.

Other Headlines
St. Augustine, Florida issued a boil-water notice for some residents and business today after a water-main break downtown.

The Village of Pomeroy, Ohio has been approved for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to assist with funding the first phase of an EPA approved Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan. The village also has a %599,000 loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority for the project.

A break yesterday in a 16-inch water main closed down the Kilbourn tunnel exit from I-43 into downtown Milwaukee. 

Yorkville, Illinois is trying to figure out a way to make payments on sewer bonds it issued several years ago to pay for an interceptor project. The lack of new development has led to a cash shortfall or the city impacting its ability to make interest payments on the bonds.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Basehor, Kansas
King County, Washington
Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
Warren, Ohio

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