News Briefs: Water Main Spews Debris Into Air

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A water main break in Janesville, Wis., blew a 20-foot-wide hole in a street and created a 30-foot-high water geyser. The 12-inch water main break knocked out service in a four-block area and spewed debris and water downhill. Police blocked off the street while water utility crews worked to control the break. Mike Fosmoen, Janesville water department crew, said the geyser was likely caused when a large piece of concrete fell against the broken main and partially plugged it, creating pressure.

“It’s lucky that happened, or this break could have collapsed almost the whole street,” he says.

The freezing/thawing cycle is likely to blame. Fosmoen says repeated ground heave caused the main to snap. He claims the geyser was a one-of-kind occurrence.

“You hardly ever see anything like this. Never in 35 years have I seen anything like it. Never,” he says.

Although the city did not issue a boil order, the water utility did notify residents that they might notice rusty discoloration in the water.

Source: Gazette Xtra

Officials Tour San Antonio Water System Facilities
Desalination, water reuse and underground water storage were topics of discussion during a recent tour of the San Antonio Water System facilities. Texas state lawmakers and their representatives viewed a presentation on a planned desalination plant and discussed water technology projects. Texas water needs are expected to increase by 22 percent by 2060 as the state’s population grows.

“There’s a lot to learn, a lot to study on it, but I think there are some options for us in the future,” says Jody Puckett of Dallas Water Utility.

Source: KSAT

Pennsylvania American Water Plans $10 Million Tank Rehab
Among its 2014 construction plans, Pennsylvania American Water will rehabilitate 13 water storage tanks across the state and build four new tanks. The combined cost is nearly $10 million.

“In addition to building new tanks to address customer demand, the rehab projects are crucial to extending the tanks’ lifespan, which is more cost-efficient than replacing the structures,” says Kathy Pape, president of Pennsylvania American Water.

In 2013, the company invested nearly $16.5 million to rehabilitate 15 tanks and build nine storage tanks. Rehabilitation includes stripping original paint and applying a new rust-preventative coating.

Source: Market Watch

NASDAQ Observes World Water Day
In honor of World Water Day, representatives from several publicly traded water services rang the closing bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square. CEOs from Connecticut Water Service, The York Water Company, Middlesex Water Company and Artesian Resources Corporation were joined by company employees to mark the occasion.

“We are honored to be part of this year’s World Water Day celebration and will continue to show our commitment to sustainable water solution and environmental stewardship through policies of land ownership, forest management and source protection,” says Eric Thornburg, Connecticut Water president and CEO.

Source: MarketWatch, NASDAQ

Water Utility Impersonators Spur Security Changes
The Green Bay Water Utility is making security changes after men impersonating water utility workers entered homes and stole personal property. Green Bay police have received at least seven reports of a man or group of men posing as utility workers.

“Once inside the house, they’ll usually divide up. One person will go with the homeowner down to the basement and play with valves. Meanwhile, the other subject might be casing the house for things to steal,” says Police Captain Jeremy Muraski.

The utility has updated all employee ID cards with current pictures, which employees will carry at all times. The city has warned homeowners to contact the utility to verify a person’s identity.

Source: WBAY


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