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

Top Story
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.”

Other Headlines
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

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December 21, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: Water Main Break Disrupts Water Service to 5,000 Customers in Michigan

Posted in Georgia, Michigan, Montana, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming at 7:56 pm by bengann

A water main break in Chelsea, Michigan left 5,000 homes and businesses without water early this morning. Around 700,000 gallons of water was lost, the same amount used on an average winter day.

Headlines
The state of West Virginia has announced a Water and Waste Disposal Loan of $525,600 for the Town of Poca. The funds will be used to rehabilitate the town’s wastewater collection system portions of which were constructed in the 1950s and are in need of repair.

The borough of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania has a little more than eight months to identify and reroute all illegal sewer discharge into Wabash Creek, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered last week.

In Georgia, DeKalb County has reported more than 15,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into local waterways over the past four days. Last week, the county commission approved $1.35 billion in water and sewer upgrades after the EPA issued a consent decree mandating improvements.

Detroit had $4.6 billion of water and sewers bonds lowered by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited the utilities’ risk from interest-rate swaps and lean financial flexibility. Moody’s said debt service coverage on the bonds has diminished amid the economic slump that has hit the Detroit area and because of large payments it may face to cancel interest- rate swaps.

Stimulus Spotlight
It’s the end of the line for the stimulus spotlight feature that we started on April 28, 2009. With economic stimulus funding for water and sewer projects coming to an end it’s time to retire stimulus spotlight. 

Sewer Rate News
Belgrade, Montana
Casper, Wyoming
Colleyville, Texas
Pooler, Georgia

This is the last regular post for the year. We will have best of posts on Tuesday, December 28 and Wednesday, December 29. Happy Holidays.

December 14, 2010

Tuesday’s Water News: San Diego County Strip Mall Flooded by Water Main Break

Posted in California, Illinois, Michigan, National, South Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming at 12:03 pm by bengann

Several businesses in a San Diego County strip mall were cleaning up their flooded stores yesterday following an early morning water main break. The break occurred in Solana Beach under a pet store set to open today, and due to the flooding is pushing back its grand opening at least several weeks.

Headlines
In Washington, heavy rains over last weekend caused sewage to overflow into the Port Angeles harbor. According to local officials, the four combined sewer overflow outfalls in Port Angeles discharged approximately 15 million gallons of a mixture of stormwater and raw sewage into the harbor.

The city of Naperville, Illinois expects construction for a sanitary sewer project to last two weeks but should be finished by Christmas.  The project is part of the city’s long-term capital improvement plan to maintain its sanitary sewer infrastructure.

Officials in Alpine Township, Michigan are moving closer to approving a $2.29 million sewer project which they hope will qualify for state funding.

Stimulus Spotlight
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D) is proposing what may be a last-ditch effort to extend the Build America Bonds program as part of legislation being considered by the Senate to continue the 2001 and 2003 income-tax cuts. The program has provided billions of dollars for infrastructure improvements, including water and sewer projects, but Republicans have made it clear that they oppose extending the Build America program.

Sewer Rate News
Casper, Wyoming
McHenry, Illinois
Pickens, South Carolina
Wausau, Wisconsin

January 21, 2010

Thursday’s Water News: Mishawaka (Ind.) Motorists Detoured by Main Break

Posted in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Virginia, Wyoming at 6:46 pm by bradhannon

Drivers in Mishawaka, Indiana used parking lots as shortcuts to maneuver around an intersection closed by a water main break. Some residents salted the roadway yesterday to stop standing water in the intersection from freezing.

Headlines
In Tampa, Florida a major road was closed in both directions yesterday while crews worked to repair a water main break that caused a hole to open in the road.

A water main break at the Manchester School in Middletown, Ohio forced Middletown City Schools to postpone a scheduled training class on a new computer system for parents.

Stimulus Spotlight
The town of Deaver, Wyoming  received a grant from the federal stimulus funds for around $1.1 million.  The project, replacing the town’s entire collection system, was badly needed because the old system was built with old clay pipe, which was deteriorating.

In Kennebunkport, Maine a 10,000-foot long water pipe replacement project is slated for this year.  The Maine Drinking Water Program received four times the amount of money from the EPA this year because of the stimulus funds released.  The $2 million-plus project will begin around March 1.

Sewer Rate News
Davenport, Iowa
Berryville, Virginia
Phoenix, Arizona
Newark, Ohio

January 20, 2010

Wednesday’s Water News: Massive Water Main Break In Oklahoma

Posted in Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wyoming at 9:04 pm by bradhannon

Water is back on for thousands of homes and businesses in Oklahoma City after a massive water main break.  The 72-inch line broke on Tuesday afternoon and forced the cancellation of classes at Oklahoma City Community College on Tuesday night.

Headlines
A 12-inch water main break that flooded three lanes of the Baltimore Beltway’s Outer Loop  affected traffic through the evening rush hour yesterday.

Eighteen communities in Kansas will share nearly seven million dollars, in water and sewer grants from the federal government’s Community Development Block Grant program.

Stimulus Spotlight
A $35.8 million loan from the economic stimulus will upgrade a sewage treatment plant in Austin, Texas and will add a methane-powered generator that could power 750 homes as well as double the facility’s capacity for turning Austin’s toilet waste into nutrient-rich soil known as Dillo Dirt.

It will be up to the owners of the 160 dwellings in Louisville, New York whether to accept a Rural Development financing package.  If the offer is approved by district residents and finalized by USDA, the town would receive $3.77 million in grant funding and a low-interest loan for $1.28 million.  The influx of federal stimulus money made the project much more affordable and attractive for residents.

Sewer Rate News
Aurora, Ohio
Casper, Wyoming
Chesterton, Indiana
Columbus, Ohio

November 17, 2009

Tuesday’s Water News: Water Main Break Floods Homes in Oregon Community

Posted in California, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, Wyoming at 11:05 pm by bradhannon

A broken water main in a Roseburg, Oregon neighborhood caused flooding and damaged some area homes. The force of the water was so strong, it caused the street to bubble up and crews had to take out that section of road and make repairs. 

Headlines
Two major intersections in Warner Robbins, Georgia were closed this evening as crews tried to repair a massive water main break that flooded businesses and stopped traffic throughout the afternoon.

The rash of water main breaks that have flooded streets, homes and business and snarled traffic across Los Angeles over the last few months might have been triggered by minor increases in pressure because of an unusually full reservoir and fluctuations after a trunk line ruptured.

After 10 years of work, a $10 million budget, 26 miles of meandering pipeline, and one year of construction, the 450 people living in the town of Bear River, Wyoming will have clean water coming out of their faucets by Christmas time.

Stimulus Spotlight
In record time, the California Water Resources Control Board has completed awarding its full allotment of $270.5 million in federal stimulus funds for clean water projects that protect public health and the environment, and create jobs for Californians.

Over 96 percent of stimulus funds allocated for water quality projects in Minnesota are invested in projects that have already broken ground. The rate is the best in the nation whereas the national average is 48 percent.

Sewer Rate News
Amesbury, Massachusetts
Fort Scott, Kansas
Kenner, Louisiana
Spotsylvania, Virginia

November 5, 2009

Thursday’s Headlines: California Passes Legislation Overhauling Water System

Posted in California, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Wyoming at 8:58 pm by bengann

California lawmakers passed legislation overhauling the state’s  water system on Wednesday. It is the most comprehensive legislation to emerge from the state legislature since the 1960s, when the state’s system served a much smaller population of users. The bills include an $11.1 billion bond issue, which voters will be asked to approve next November. The rest of the roughly $40 billion in projects will be paid for by localities, largely through new user fees.

Headlines
Residents in a Boston neighborhood say the city failed them after a water main break two weeks ago devastated their homes. City officials, meanwhile, say they have done their best for residents in an extremely difficult situation.

A large water main break closed part of a busy road in Greece, New York and hindered traffic during today’s morning commute.

Stimulus Spotlight
In Madison Junction, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park is using some federal stimulus money to replace a 50-year old, failing, wastewater treatment plant at Madison Junction. the estimated cost of the project is $4.5 million.

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire and the state Department of Ecology today announced five new clean-water construction projects that are ready to receive a total of $11.4 million in economic stimulus funding

Sewer Rate News
Lake Oswego, New York
Monterey, California
Port Hueneme, California

July 20, 2009

Monday’s Water News: 70 Year Old Water Main Fails, Causes Boil Advisory and Road Closures

Posted in Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming at 5:37 pm by pjtabit

A water main break in Kalamazoo, Michigan closed streets and required a water boil advisory that is still in effect.  City officials noted that the age of the pipe likely caused its failure.

Headlines
An effective sewage system in San Marcos, Texas allows residents to recycle water, solving the city’s drought problem.  According to city officials, the water “meets Type 1 designation which is approved for uses where public contact is likely.”

A water main break in Honesdale, Pennsylvania has resulted in a water boil advisory for residents while the Department of Environmental Protection tests water quality.

Stimulus Spotlight
Virginia is investing $1 billion in stimulus funds in highway and sewer projects.  An additional $4.8 billion in stimlus funds is expected.

Federal stimulus funds will jumpstart a flood control project and bridge construction in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In addition, the city will invest $1.15 in water mains and sewers surrounding the work site.

Sewer Rate News
Jackson, Wyoming
Corsicana, Texas
Joliet, Illinois

July 7, 2009

Tuesday’s Water News: Main Break Stops Essential Water Use in South Austin (Tx.)

Posted in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Wyoming at 5:49 pm by Colleen Wetherill

Residents of Austin, Texas were told to stop all essential water use, including outdoor watering, this morning as crews began repairing a 54-inch water main. The water line provides the city with 60% of the drinking water for residents and businesses south of the river and is one of the city’s main water arteries.

Headlines
A pipe burst in a building near Shepard Park Beach in New York caused 10,000 gallons of raw sewage to dump into the Adirondack Lake over the holiday weekend. The Lake George beach was forced to close on one of the busiest weekends for the area. Clean up of the beach is scheduled to begin Tuesday and the beach will be reopened as soon as possible.

The New Jersey Local Finance Board is considering a borough of Buena’s Municipal Utilities Authority project which is a federally financed project that will take 12-15 months to complete. The project has two impacts on the MUA. First, the new system will send treated wastewater into lagoons, where it will percolate into the ground. Wastewater presently is sent into a stream. Second, the authority’s capacity to treat wastewater will increase from 400,000 gallons to 600,000 gallons, enabling more service for residential and commercial uses. That also benefits neighboring Buena Vista Township, which has the right to use one-third of the increase in treatment capacity.  

Stimulus Spotlight
Delaware state lawmakers and public officials accepted $19.2 million in federal money to clean up water. Governor Jack Markell said the money will allow the state to employ citizens in “green jobs.”

Sewer Rate News
Laramie, Wyoming
Mount Airy, North Carolina
Middlesex, Massachusetts

May 13, 2009

Wednesday’s Water News: Akron Proposes Plan to Fix Combined Sewers

Posted in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Wyoming at 5:01 pm by bengann

Don Plusquellic, Mayor of Akron, Ohio, has proposed ”a phased approach” aimed at fixing the city’s combined sewer problem. Akron has 35 combined sewers that overflow and dump diluted raw sewage and storm water into the waterways. The city is one of 86 Ohio communities with combined sewer overflow problems and eliminating the problem will cost an estimated $6.3 billion.

Headlines
Officials in Ironton, Ohio have  unveiled the timetable and requirements needed for the reconstruction of its heavily-dated combined sewer overflow system on the city’s north side.

A water main break in Muncie, Indiana on Tuesday afternoon backed up traffic and caused temporary water shutoffs to about 50 customers. 

Stimulus Spotlight
North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has recommended that Clay County be approved for $1.07 million from the Appalachian Regional Council in the first round of distributions from federal stimulus money. These funds would come from the state’s drinking water fund with half of the money in the form of a grant and the other half is a zero-interest 30-year loan.

The state of Wyoming Loan and Investment Board has awarded nearly $40 million in federal economic stimulus money for water projects around the state.  The total includes $19 million for wastewater projects and $19.5 million for drinking water projects that will fund 43 projects around Wyoming.

Sewer Rate News
Payson, Illinois
Temple Terrace, Florida

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