Water News as of September 13

Top Stories

Maryland: All of the ports on the East Coast “have to get in the game,” Vice President Joe Biden said Monday, and get ready to accept larger cargo ships that will come through an expanded Panama Canal by 2015. Biden, accompanied by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and several members of Congress, presented a $10 million federal grant to the Port of Baltimore to widen its shipping channel and improve rail access.

Georgia: The Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced a proposed settlement with the city of Columbia, S.C. to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), including unauthorized overflows of untreated raw sewage, according to a press release. Columbia has agreed to undertake a thorough assessment of, and implement extensive improvements to, its sanitary sewer system at an estimated cost of $750 million, noted the release.

Aging Infrastructure

Indiana: Citizens Energy Group says Indy’s aging infrastructure is often to blame for water main breaks to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Mentick says some of the city’s infrastructure dates back to the 1800s and is badly under funded. Mentick says each year Citizens sees about 700 water main breaks that interrupt service, waste millions of gallons of water and cause affected streets to be shut down for repairs.

Utah: The Santaquin city manager said at least 30 homes have reported major flooding of a foot or more, and another 20 to 30 have reported a foot or less of basement flooding. The flooding wasn’t just rainwater; residents were digging their belongings out of raw sewage Sunday morning.

MarylandBy mid-morning on Wednesday, workers started digging to repair the 10-inch cast-iron service pipe that had burst – likely due to old age, according to the WSSC. It was installed back in 1956.

IllinoisPeoria Public Works closed most of the intersection of Main and University streets due to a water main break around 4:30 a.m. Friday. More than a dozen customers lost water, including local restaurants. Weather conditions could have attributed to the break.

MinnesotaMaintenance crews and business owners are tallying up the damage in the wake of a significant water pipe break in Minneapolis. It happened around 3:30 a.m. on the 100 block of southeast Main Street, flooding a building in the St. Anthony Main complex that is filled with small businesses like the Aster Café, Prachna on Main and Segway Magical History Tours, among others.

OhioTwo South Campus buildings were without water for about eight hours Friday due to a water main break outside of Pomerene Hall. The break happened at about 3:15 p.m. Friday, causing flooding on Neil Avenue and rendering some surrounding campus buildings, including Pomerene and Campbell halls, without water services, OSU spokeswoman for Administration and Planning Lindsay Komlanc said in an email.

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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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