News for Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Stories

While most Americans worry about gas and heating oil prices, water rates have surged in the past dozen years, according to a USA TODAY study of 100 municipalities. Prices at least doubled in more than a quarter of the locations and even tripled in a few. The report blames the increases on many factors unrelated to infrastructure improvements  but noted that consumers can expect rates to continue to rise because of the $1 trillion needs in water infrastructure improvements expected by year 2035.

Water infrastructure funding programs should be better coordinated to provide rural communities more efficient application processes, reports the US General Accountability Office.   The three programs include the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs and the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service Water and Waste Disposal program. GAO found that they have “an overlapping purpose to fund projects in rural communities with populations of 10,000 or less.”

The Milford Water Company, Milford, Mass., has filed a petition with the Department of Public Utilities to increase it’s rates 82.7  percent to raise approximately $3.8 million to build a new water treatment plant.  The office of Attorney General  is investigating whether the proposed 82-percent increase in water rates is warranted. A hearing is scheduled for December 12.

Failing Systems

Baltimore, Md.:  Baltimore Mayor: “It’s big and it’s bad, and we need more money for water infrastructure.”  Faced with about 3,800 miles of aging water lines and plagued by daily water main breaks, the city’s Department of Public Works is taking an active approach with plans to  increase underground pipe replacement from 5 miles per year to 40 miles per year. Estimated cost: $300 million over 5 years.

Everette, Wash.: A major waterline break the day before Thanksgiving resulted in 4 ft. of standing water in a local grocery store’s refrigerator. All of the store’s meat, shrimp, produce and other store products (much of which were ordered for Thanksgiving) were ruined.

Largo, Md.: A Thanksgiving Day water main break put the damper on festivities in 600 area homes. in the area. Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission officials were unclear when the 16-in. pipe would be repaired.

DesMoines, Iowa: Water main break causes popular pizza restaurant to close for two months.  A water main burst  left 6-ft. of standing water in the pizza parlor’s basement, wiping out the restaurant’s major equipment, including its walk-in cooler, freezers, dough mixer and computer systems.

Sacramento, Calif.:  Local Assemblyman fights for state drinking water program. Assemblyman Luis Alejo convened an investigative hearing to determine whether the state agencies tasked with assuring safe and accessible drinking water are meeting their legal obligations to improve the quality of California’s drinking water.

Wainae, Hawaii: Water main break closes schools, leaves 400 customers dry.  A 16-inch water main break on Farrington Highway  left 400 businesses and homes without water and closed two area schools.

Redwood City, Calif.:  Two near simultaneous water main breaks cause sinkhole. Public works officials said the breaks were part of the same water pressure system. 400 homes lost service and several homes experienced flooding.

Detroit, Mich.: Walled Lake residents urged to boil water after water main break.  Officials recommended boiling water for at least one minute before using water for consumption.

Omaha, Nebr.:  A water main break in Ceresco required residents to boil water before drinking it. Because the entire system was depressurized, the village must test water for 48 hours after the water is running again before the boil warning can be lifted.

Siesta Key, Fla.:  About 125 homes lost water service on Siesta Key following a water main break.  Residents were asked to boil water for 48 hours after water service returned.

Nutley, N.J.:  The disruption caused by a major water aqueduct break to a 51-inch transmission line caused “minimal disruption compared to five water breaks around town,” Public Works Commissioner Joseph Scarpelli said.

North Platte, Nebr.: Fire leads to water main break  when fire crews hooked hose up to hydrant.

Largo, Md.: A Thanksgiving Day water main break put the damper on festivities in 600 area homes. in the area. Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission officials were unclear when the 16-in. pipe would be repaired.

Water Rates

Hampton, Maine

Mount Prospect, Ill.

Denver, Colo.

Memphis, Tenn.

Athens, W.Va.

Wichita, Kans.


About Clean Water Council

The Clean Water Council (CWC) is a group of national organizations representing underground construction contractors design professionals, manufacturers and suppliers, labor unions and other committed to ensuring a high quality of life through sound environmental infrastructure. Working in concert, CWC's 39 national organizations, advocate federal legislation and policies that will promote clean water and improve the nation's failing infrastructure.​
This entry was posted in California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, Uncategorized, Washington, West Virginia. Bookmark the permalink.

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