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

July 21, 2011

Thursday’s Water News: Jefferson County (Ala.) Near Bankruptcy Over $3.2 Billion Sewer Debt

Posted in Alabama, California, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin at 4:21 pm by bengann

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In Alabama, Jefferson County appears closer to declaring bankruptcy if it cannot reach a settlement with creditors regarding its $3.2 billion in sewer bond debt. If Jefferson County does declare bankruptcy it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.  County commissioners and the state’s governor have said bankruptcy remains a real option if talks with creditors fail but have still held out hopes for the talks success.

Other Headlines
A new $32 million sewer project in Johnson County, Kansas has been given the go ahead which will construct an underground effluent pipe carrying millions of gallons of treated wastewater from a treatment plant and empty into the Kansas River.

The village of Salineville, Ohio will have water service to the sewage plant terminated next week unless it pays an over $9,000 bill to the Buckeye Water District.

Officials in Muskego, Wisconsin have approved a $227,000 storm sewer project to better handle overflow in heavy rains. Work could start as early as October 1 with target completion date in late fall.

A water main break in Scott Township, Pennsylvania left about a dozen people without service on this morning.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Lewisburg, West Virginia
Los Angeles, California
Whitney, Texas
Ypsilanti, Michigan

June 15, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: 25 Percent Rate Hike for Jefferson County (Ala.) Proposed

Posted in Alabama, California, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon, South Dakota, West Virginia at 8:29 pm by bengann

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A court-appointed receiver says Jefferson County, Alabama, should raise its sewer rates by 25% in order to help repay bondholders and avoid filing what would be the largest bankruptcy in municipal history. Jefferson County has $3.2 billion in sewer debt. BNY Mellon asked for a receiver for the sewer system when it sued the county in 2008, alleging that county officials had mismanaged the system’s finances while accumulating more than $515 million in payment defaults.

Other Headlines
Clarksville, Indiana residents could see their monthly sewage bills double and their drainage fees rise 15 percent to pay for a $20 million upgrade of the town’s sewage plant and storm drainage system.

Heavy rains today caused Portland, Oregon’s’s combined storm and sanitary sewers to overflow, sending untreated sewage into the Willamette River. The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services warns the public to avoid recreational activities in the river until 48 hours after the rain has stopped.

In California, work is beginning on replacing a mile of main sewer line near the Sonoma County Sanitation District plant, where a sinkhole developed last year when the aging pipe collapsed. The work includes a second pipe that will carry recycled wastewater that will be used for agricultural irrigation. The cost to replace the main is $2.3 million, with economic stimulus money covering the $500,000 cost for the recycled water line.

A precautionary boil water advisory in Beaver, West Virginia caused local restaurants to shutdown their soda machines for most of their lunch rush period.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Clinton, Iowa
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
St. Clair, Michigan
Warrenton, Oregon

I’m off the next few days. Blogging will resume on Monday, June 20

June 13, 2011

Monday’s Water News: Nearly 20,000 Residents in W.V. Community Without Water After Main Break

Posted in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia at 7:29 pm by bengann

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Most of the 20,000 residents in Weirton, West Virginia were without water this weekend after a break in a 50-year-old main line at the city’s water treatment plant. An emergency declaration was issued urging conservation by any residents who still have water.

Other Headlines
A second engineering study of a sewer project in Trumbull, Connecticut has revealed that pipes and manholes in the system are riddled with even more problems than initially reported and will cost $8.4 million to fix.

The Village of Pomeroy, Ohio will use $2 million in grants to remedy compliance violations handed down by Ohio EPA. Funding from the grants will be used to correct combined sewer overflows and upgrade its wastewater treatment plant.

In Georgia, the major spill reported as ongoing last week at the city of Richmond Hill’s wastewater treatment plant occurred longer than previously thought.  The spill which began May 17 continued through May 30, with more than 10.8 million gallons of treated wastewater flowing from the facility’s constructed wetlands into Elbow Swamp.

Three of Bay City, Michigan’s top officials head to Washington, D.C., this week in an effort to get financial relief for the city’s overwhelming sewer debt. Bay City has more than $40 million in sewer debt spanning the past two decades from a state-mandated order to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Arizona City, Arizona
Funkstown, Maryland
Monroe, Michigan
Palo Alto, California

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

Top Story
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.

Other Headlines
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

May 4, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Oceanside (Calif.) Could be Fined $10 Million for December Sewage Spill

Posted in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia at 7:58 pm by bengann

Top Story
Oceanside, California could face a fine of up to $10 million for a huge sewage spill which released nearly 5.4 million gallons of untreated sewage into Buena Vista Creek last December from a broken pipe. Initially city officials reported only 180,000 gallons were released into the environmentally sensitive creek. The city could be fined as much as $10 million for the incident.

Other Headlines
As part of a consent order negotiated with Georgia Environmental Protection Division, the city of Augusta will adopt a five-year program of preventive maintenance of underground sanitary sewer lines, instead of simply treating backups when they occur.

With no end in sight to Chicago’s chronic water pollution problems, environmental groups filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking to stop the routine dumping of human and industrial waste into the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. The complaint comes as the federal and state EPA and the Department of Justice inch closer to a legal deal intended to address the pollution problems.

Officials in Shepherdstown, West Virginia have started the process to increase capacity and decrease sewer overflows by renovating and upgrading its wastewater treatment facility at a cost of $9.6 million. The project will double the capacity of the treatment plant to 800,000 gallons and is being financed mostly from a low-interest loan through the SRF.

In Florida, a break yesterday in a 48-inch water main in Miami-Dade County caused flooding to local homes and business, stranded an empty school bus and has closed streets while repairs are being made.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Graham, North Carolina
Lathrop, California
Milpitas, California
Waynesboro, Virginia

April 15, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Collapsed Sewer Pipe Leaves Smelly Mess on Albuquerque Street

Posted in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin at 7:26 pm by bengann

Top Story
Raw sewage is no longer bubbling up from underneath a street in Albuquerque, New Mexico after a 54 inch pipe collapsed early Thursday morning. In addition to the smelly mess created by flowing sewage crews were also attempting to repair a street that caved in, causing a huge sink hole, after the pipe collapsed.

Other Headlines
A water treatment system that can turn wastewater into clean water has been shown to reduce potential environmental impacts associated with producing natural gas from shale formations in the Appalachian basin.

The area near Piscataway Creek in Clinton, Maryland has now been cleared after a sanitary sewer overflow Thursday that released approximately 25,000 gallons of untreated wastewater.

A sewage spill in a Killeen, Texas neighborhood has people worried about the safety of their children and pets. 20,000 gallons of raw residential sewage leaked into the Long Branch tributary and is now off limits because of health concerns.

A large amount of food was destroyed at the Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in Wheeling, West Virginia after a 10-inch water line broke this morning.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Charleston, West Virginia
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Roseville, California
Worcester, Massachusetts

April 13, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Broken Water Main in Bethlehem (Penn.) Causes Major Disruption

Posted in California, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin at 10:55 pm by bengann

Top Story
A resident in Swissvale, Pennsylvania says she just wants the road back to normal after a water main break has left it torn apart for months. The street has been torn apart since the water main break initially occurred around Thanksgiving.

Other Headlines
The city of Welch, West Virginia’s wastewater treatment plant will soon be getting an upgrade in order to process more water and prevent dumping into local streams and creeks.

Gibbsboro, New Jersey has been awarded more than $2 million in funding to replace and renovate sewer lines. USDA has awarded the municipality a $175,000 grant and a $450,000 low-interest loan for the effort. An additional $1.39 million loan from the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund will fund the balance of the project.

The company that constructed the Gatlinburg (Tenn.) Wastewater Sewage Plant basin that failed last week apparently did not follow exact design specifications, a forensic engineer said Monday. When the basin failed the morning of April 5 after a night of heavy rain, two Veolia Water North America employees were killed and more than 2 million gallons of untreated sewage poured into the nearby West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.

In Hamilton, Ohio, the start of a 30-month upgrade to the LeSourdsville Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant is now underway in earnest. The plant will undergo a $41.7 million upgrade and expansion, the first since the $14 million expansion in 1994.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Brawley, California
Canton, Michigan
Columbia, South Carolina
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

April 8, 2011

Friday’s Water News: Water Main Break in Oceanside (Calif.) Cancels Classes College

Posted in California, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia at 6:17 pm by bengann

Top Story
A water main break in a Oceanside, California parking lot spewed more than 1 million gallons of water and left businesses and homes in the MiraCosta College area without service. A car sank into a hole created by the large leak and had to be towed out. A section of road was closed to traffic until crews could clear away the mud, dirt and debris in the road and the college closed it main campus.

Other Headlines
A plan to harness green technology to help reduce the amount of raw sewage that spills into Buffalo New York’s waterways was unveiled today by an environmental group. The study advocates for both traditional methods of improvements such as expanding sewer system capacity and newer methods such as green design schemes.

A broken pump station in Huntington, West Virginia is releasing millions of gallons of raw sewage into the Ohio River. The time frame for stopping the flow depends is somewhat unknown. The raw sewage will continue to go into the Ohio River for at least four to 24 hours and, under a worst case circumstance, up to a week.

Pennsylvania environmental regulators said Wednesday that they were calling for waste treatment plants and drinking water facilities to increase testing for radioactive pollutants and other contaminants, to see whether they are ending up in rivers because of the growth of natural gas drilling in the state.

Portions of a street in Moundsville, West Virginia are closed because of a leak in a main sewer line on Annadale Avenue. The leak had been going on for quite a while causing the road to slowly sink.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Clive, Iowa
Holly, Michigan
New York, New York
Portland, Oregon

April 6, 2011

Wednesday’s Water News: Archaelogical Dig to Delay Sewer Construction in Des Moines

Posted in Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia at 6:43 pm by bengann

Top Story
Human remains that could be 7,000 years old have been found by sewer construction workers in Des Moines, Iowa and will delay construction of a sewer project. The find will delay the original $37.8 million sewer project for at least six months and cost the Des Moines area’s Wastewater Reclamation Authority an estimated $1.5 million or more because of delays caused by the archaeological dig.

Other Headlines
Voters in St. Joseph, Missouri approved a $105 million sewer bond yesterday. The funds will be used for projects related to a federal mandate that it address its combined sewer overflow issues and to meet new regulations concerning the amount of ammonia and other chemicals it may discharge into the Missouri River.

The City of Tonawanda, New York Common Council last night approved bonding more than $2.2 million for a variety of expenses, including a multi-year sewer reconstruction that may cost the city up to $1.9 million the first year.

Nebraska state lawmakers disagree on a bill that would return some state sales tax money to Omaha to help pay for $1.7 billion in federally mandated sewer renovations.

A broken 36-inch sewer main that flooded a major road on Miami Beach could be causing traffic delays in the area for days to come. To make matters worse, businesses and residents near the broken sewer main are not only dealing with flooding problems, they are also dealing with a horrible stench from the dirty water.

Water and Sewer Rate News
Evansdale, Iowa
Newton Falls, Ohio
Williamstown, West Virginia
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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