Water News as of June 21, 2013

Top Stories

EPA’s Fifth Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment, released June 4, reports that $384 billion in improvements are needed for the nation’s drinking water infrastructure through 2030 for systems to continue providing safe drinking water to 297 million Americans. EPA’s fifth Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment identifies investments needed over the next 20 years for thousands of miles of pipes and thousands of treatment plants, storage tanks and water distribution systems, which are all vital to public health and the economy. The national total of $384 billion includes the needs of 73,400 water systems across the country, as well as American Indian and Alaska Native Village water systems. Click here for a report fact sheet

Washington: A federal judge has ruled that Clark County’s stormwater plan violated the Clean Water Act because it failed to follow a district judge’s injunction that “newly developed land drain as slowly as it did prior to Euro-American settlement.”

California: The EPA says the state’s Department of Public Health has failed to spend nearly a half billion dollars in federal money to provide safe drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency says California is violating the Safe Drinking Water Act. It’s estimated the state will have to spend 40 billion dollars over the next two decades to fix the problem.  Some lawmakers are outraged by what they see as a bureaucratic nightmare within the Department of Public Health.

Failing Infrastructure

Illinois: A sump pump failure Monday morning in Princeton sent untreated sewage into the Mississippi River. The pump failed around 7:30 at the wastewater pumping station, flooding the station and damaging electrical systems.

Missouri: Cole County commissioners, Tuesday, called on Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to get involved in a case where raw sewage is leaking from a private residence, posing a major health and environmental hazard.

South Carolina: EPA has filed a federal lawsuit Florence asking the court to order the town of Timmonsville to address several violations of the Clean Water Act, including failing to properly clean sand filters causing partially treated wastewater to overflow into surrounding swamps and rivers, and a collapsed sewer line downtown, causing untreated sewage to back up into several buildings and erode some streets. The town has improperly disposed of more than 2 million gallons of wastewater into nearby bodies of water, according to the lawsuit.

New York: Many homeowners in North Tonawanda say, they live in fear of heavy rainfall because it comes with a horrifying problem – several feet of raw sewage will back up in their basements. A very old combined storm drain, sanitary sewer is to blame. Constructing a new system would cost millions of dollars.

Maryland: A broken sewer line has dumped more than 10,000 gallons of raw sewage into the stream that feeds Jones Falls. The overflow has been stopped, and repairs are underway.

California: An eight-inch water main break on Wilshire Boulevard created a traffic bottleneck and sent water flooding  between Lucas Avenue and Bixel Street, said a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power official.

Massachusetts: water main break on Route 1 north in Saugus near Essex Street has shut down the high-speed travel lane in that direction while Department of Public Works crews attempt repairs.

North Dakota: A water main break deposited several tons of debris and sand into the buildings that house Sandord’s Broadway Clinic in downtown Fargo. The tunnel between the clinic’s to buildings and lower level offices were flooded.

Michigan: Some homeowners may suit the City of Grand Rapids after they say a January water main break caused property damage. One homeowner incurred significant yard damage. including three sink holes–one 6-ft. deep. The city denied his request to fill the holes saying the city had “no indication of damage or compromise to the water main” before it broke.

Georgia: A broken water main in Sandy Springs has been repaired, but cleanup and repairs are still needed. Crews worked late into the night on Monday to fix the pipe on Peachtree Dunwoody Road just south of Windsor Parkway after it sent water gushing onto the road and nearly washed away the only entrance to the Starlight Hills subdivision.

Nebraska: Two water main breaks late Monday night and early Tuesday morning left about 80 customers without service, Metropolitan Utilities District officials said. A six-inch break occurred at 11:15 p.m. Monday and a second water main broke at 2:50 am Tuesday.


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.​
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