A leading organization of engineering professionals issued another warning Tuesday about the condition of the nation’s infrastructure, saying that current investment trends threaten millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic activity. A report commissioned by the American Society of Civil Engineers said under-investment stretches across the spectrum of American infrastructure, including roads, bridges, power lines, water and sewer systems, ports and waterways and that continued national neglect will costing families $31,000 a year by 2020.
Texas: State Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederlandn the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, proposed a measure pull $2 billion from the state’s rainy day fund to finance water infrastructure projects. Late last year, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst advocated pulling $1 billion from the fund to create a water infrastructure development bank.
Wisconsin: More rooftops in the Milwaukee area will be enlisted to grow grasses, flowers and other plants now that the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District has been given the nation’s first wastewater discharge permit mandating “green infrastructure” to collect and absorb storm water. The state DNR issued MMSD a new five-year pollution discharge permit this week that requires the district to establish 1 million gallons of so-called green storm-water storage capacity each year, said Ted Bosch, a DNR wastewater engineer in Milwaukee. Sewer pipes, bedrock tunnels and concrete reservoirs cannot be used to meet the mandate.
Pennsylvania: The Patriot News of Pennsylvania says Harrisburg is collapsing on itself bit by bit. The city is plagued with at least 40 sinkholes, including the two large ones that swallowed much of the 2100 block of North Fourth Street earlier this month. Neglected, leaking water and sewer lines (some 100+ years old) have officials concerned about future sink holes.
Pennsylvania: Community and Economic Development Secretary Carolyn Newhouse joined state Rep. Jerry Stern on January 11 to announce that a $1 million grant will be used to upgrade sewer infrastructure for the Tipton and Tyrone areas of Blair County. The grant for the Northern Blair County Regional Sewer Authority will be used to install new pipelines and improve infrastructure for area industries.
Massachusetts: A 12-inch water main burst in East Boston Friday night, damaging homes and displacing 17 to 20 people, the Boston Fire Department said. The main burst around 7:49 p.m. January 10 in the area of 300 Summer Street, releasing water into the basements of six to eight three-decker buildings, said Steve MacDonald, a spokesman for the Fire Department.
Nebraska: A water main break first flooded, then iced over an Omaha street Sunday morning. MUD was called to 87th and Center after a 12-inch water main broke shortly after midnight January 13. In the process of shutting down the main, a valve broke. To replace the valve, crews again shut down the main. Approximately 60 customers were affected, including businesses in Canfield Plaza.
Michigan: Crews repaired a January 12 water main break at the Oakland County Jail in Pontiac. Oakland County Sheriff Sgt. S. Howden said inmates had access to drinking water in coolers that were taken from cell to cell. Water crews intermittently turned on water pipes in the jail, Howden said.
Missouri: A water main break at 5 a.m. on January 14 led to icy conditions and a traffic mess on busy Manchester Road in St. Louis County. The busy thoroughfare was shut down both ways while crews shut off the water and salted the ice that developed from the break. At least one business owner was without water. Very cold river water hitting aging underground pipes likely caused the break, utility officials said.
Arizona: A January 14 water main break closed Glenn Street west of Craycroft in Tucson. City officials said the water break has caused enough damage to the road and that it now needs to be shut down completely in order to be repaired. Repairs are expected to take about a week, officials said.
South Dakota: A water main break that occurred January 11 in Alcester was finally found by repair crews on January 14. People who live in the community did not have water since the break, coffee shops were closed because of the lack of water and students were at home. Crews began repairs once the break was found.
Oregon: Crews responded to a water main break on in Northeast Portland after residents reported dirty water coming from taps. The January 15 break of an 8-inch diameter pipe near the intersection of Northeast 22nd Avenue and Northeast Highland Street happened shortly after 8 a.m. Between 100 and 200 residents and businesses within a two-block radius of the break were temporarily without water or had low water pressure as repairs were made.
Michigan: About 20 homes were without water early Tuesday, Jan. 15, after a water main break at the 1100 block of W. Genesse Avenue. Portions of the road between Summit Street and Harvard Street were covered in large patches of ice throughout the morning. City officials blamed the break on the age of the pipes and cold overnight temperatures, noting that about 60 water main breaks are reported every year.
New Mexico: School was out all day January 16 for students at Queen of Heaven Catholic School in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights. That’s because the school suffered a water main break overnight, sending water spurting out of the blacktop. The water later froze into sheets of ice in the school’s parking lot.
California: Crews worked all day on January 14 at the corner of Milpas and Cota Streets where the newly paved street erupted with water and mud as if an earthquake occurred. Many businesses were without water including Prestige Hand Car Wash. “We had a busy weekend, and were hoping for a busy day today but no, it’s not happening,” the car wash manager said. Santa Barbara city water department suspects the 12-inch water line break was linked to cold temperatures which bottomed out in the high 20’s overnight.