Stormwater

Indy’s Water/Sewer Ownership Shift Proceeds Smoothly

It’s been more than six months since operation and ownership of water and sanitary sewer services in Indianapolis transferred from the city to a non-profit charitable trust, but most residential and commercial customers likely have experienced no difference in the day-to-day operation of these services.

Wichita gets grant for storm sewer project

EPA has awarded $123,000 to the city of Wichita, KS, for improvements to its storm sewer system. The project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2012.

U.S. Clean Water Act settlement in Chicago to reduce sewage overflows

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the state of Illinois announced a Clean Water Act (CWA) settlement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to resolve claims that untreated sewer discharges were released into Chicago area waterways during flood and wet weather events.

Fingers Crossed: 15th Annual Municipal Survey

After several years of the Great Recession, America’s underground infrastructure – already stretched thin before the economic crash – is rapidly approaching crisis levels, say city respondents to the 15th Annual Underground Construction Municipal Sewer & Water Survey. However, a majority of the survey participants believe that their city’s financial woes bottomed out in 2011 and anticipate the beginning of a slow turnaround late in 2012.

Surviving An Exceptional Funding Drought

As last summer’s drought conditions wore on, I learned that there is a condition even worse than “extreme.” There is an “exceptional” drought category, which essentially means “pending devastation if you don’t get rain fast.” The impact of this drought, when finally broken, will be felt for years.

Conference of Mayors touts local government efforts to spur broadband

The U.S. Conference of Mayors with other national associations has filed joint Reply Comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), stating that local wireless citing and right-of-way management and compensation practices are not delaying broadband deployment.

Design Approach, Inspection For Manhole Rehabilitation Technologies

The design of manhole coating and lining systems must take into consideration a number of conditions in the manhole, both as a whole and as individual components. When evaluating the nature of the coating or lining that will work best, a number of conditions should be defined.

Houston Approved For Wastewater Systems Upgrades

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has approved a $49.9 million loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to the city of Houston (Harris County) to finance wastewater system improvements.

St. Louis To Pay $4.7B For Sewer Upgrades

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) signed a consent decree on Aug. 5 with regulators and environmentalists to make extensive improvements to its sewer systems and treatment plants, at an estimated cost of $4.7 billion over 23 years.

Atlanta gets A1 rating on water/wastewater bonds

Moody's Investors Service, one of the world’s leading credit rating agencies, affirmed in July Atlanta, GA’s A1 rating on the city’s $3.2 billion water and wastewater revenue bonds.

Jersey City to upgrade sewer system

The Jersey City, NJ, Municipal Utilities Authority (JCMUA) will spend more than $52 million on sewer repairs and upgrades and pay a civil penalty of $375,000 after repeated violations of the Clean Water Act, according to a settlement with the federal government.

County approves wastewater tunnel

On July 14, the Johnson County, KS, Board of Commissioners authorized construction of an underground effluent pipe between the treatment plant to a discharge point on the river.

Jefferson County seeks better deal to settle debt

In an effort to avoid filing the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, officials in Alabama’s Jefferson County extended until mid-September talks with creditors holding $3.14 billion in debt incurred after officials borrowed money to fix their troubled sewer system and then entered into a number of complicated and corruption-laced refinancing deals that backfired in 2007 with the mortgage lending crisis. Those schemes also resulted in the conviction of a number of local officials and businessmen.

Fighting City Hall

Extreme economic hardships for many municipalities are pushing some cities to consider extreme actions – such as the rarely occurring municipal bankruptcy. Consider the case of Birmingham/Jefferson County, AL.

Northeast Ohio regional sewer plan approved

In an effort to clean up Lake Erie that began with the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, U.S. District Court Judge Donald C. Nugent has approved a 25-year regional sewer district plan to reduce the amount of untreated waste that is dumped into local waterways, usually during flooding.

Public-private solutions proposed to repair decaying water infrastructure

In the keynote address to the 2011 Pennsylvania Infrastructure Summit, Pennsylvania American Water President Kathy L. Pape said recently that expecting government bailouts is not a realistic, long-term solution to fix aging water and wastewater systems, which require tens of billions of dollars of capital investment.

Cities, counties getting funds for stormwater-control projects

The U.S. State Department of Ecology has announced the list of 43 cities and counties in the state of Washington that will get a share of $23.4 million to plan, design and build stormwater retrofit and low-impact development facility projects.

New guide helps municipalities monetize the value of green infrastructure

Quantifying the economic value of green infrastructure's benefits is the key to helping municipalities adopt this innovative and cost-effective stormwater management approach, according to a new report by the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) and American Rivers.

Rapid Response Minimizes Pipe Failure at Encina Wastewater Treatment Plant

A sewage spill is a disaster that no city wants to experience, but as America’s wastewater infrastructure ages, these types of accidents will be occurring more frequently. The city of Carlsbad, CA, recently had the opportunity to test their preparedness for such a situation.

Baby Steps: 14th Annual Municipal Survey

After more than two years of declining revenues, tightening budgets and helplessly watching from the sidelines as their sewer and water infrastructure continues to decay and they are increasingly struggling to maintain current service levels, U.S. municipal personnel are hoping to experience at least a minor measure of improvement in 2011.

BC Hydro to upgrade Vancouver system

BC Hydro began construction in November 2010 on a $200-million transmission system for Vancouver’s central neighborhood, making its first significant investment in the city’s power grid in 30 years. The project includes boring a tunnel under False Creek and building a new substation in Mount Pleasant.

DeKalb reports major sewage spill

In Georgia’s DeKalb County, officials say 12,600 gallons of raw sewage spilled near Emory University on Jan. 16. A sewer pipe under Hancock Drive burst, spilling the untreated sewage into Peachtree Creek behind the college campus, according to DeKalb watershed management records.

Indianapolis plans to provide cleaner water

The Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state of Indiana have reached an agreement with the city of Indianapolis on important modifications to a 2006 consent decree that will make Indianapolis’ sewer system more efficient, leading to major reductions in sewage contaminated water at a savings to the city of approximately $444 million.

Proposed HDD To Advance Water System On Hawaiian Islands

The Kauai Board of Water Supply has issued a Request for Proposals for a water development project that uses groundbreaking advances in the art of horizontal directional drilling (HDD), while building on existing water development technology in the Hawaiian Islands.

Dallas’ CIP Program Presented At UCTA

Charles Stringer, assistant director of Water Operations for the Dallas Water Utilities, Dallas, TX, did double duty when he delivered presentations at two chapter meetings for the Underground Construction Technology Association (UCTA). Attendees at the Gulf Coast Chapter meeting held in Houston on Oct. 12 and those who attended the new North Texas Chapter meeting in Euless, TX, on Oct. 14 had the opportunity to hear about the city of Dallas’ recommended 2010 Capital Improvement Plan.

EPA issues Clean Water, Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy with the goal of increasing the sustainability of water and wastewater infrastructure in the United States. Communities across the country are facing challenges in making costly upgrades and repairs to their aging water infrastructure, which include sewer systems and treatment facilities. The new policy is part of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's priority to protect America's waters.

VUEWorks 2010

VUEWorks 2010 offers a major upgrade of its map-centric, web-enabled, GIS-integrated work order and asset management software.

Fort Worth sewers get overhaul

Sewer lines will soon be getting a major overhaul in the city of Fort Worth, TX. The city council approved a $446,192 engineering contract with White Rock Consultants to begin work on the new improvement project. Fort Worth is paying for the project using money already budgeted in the Water and Sewer Fund.

Indianapolis Shifts Utility Ownership, Ops To Charitable Trust

Early in 2011, ownership and operation of the water and wastewater utilities of the city of Indianapolis will shift from the city to a charitable trust, the Citizens Energy Group, which was established more than 123 years ago by the municipal code as the department of utilities.

Survey focuses on US cities’ water/wastewater rates

Black & Veatch has released the results of its sixth 50 Largest Cities Water and Wastewater Rate Survey, a resource for water and wastewater utilities. The survey highlights customer charges for water and sewer service for residential, industrial and commercial customers.