News Briefs: Heavy Rains Send Record Sewage Spill Into Harbor

News Briefs: Heavy Rains Send Record Sewage Spill Into Harbor

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About 25 million gallons of partially treated wastewater ended up in Stamford Harbor, Conn., after heavy rains inundated the wastewater treatment facility. City officials have warned the public that swimming, fishing and shellfishing are prohibited until further notice.

The Stamford Water Pollution Control Facility, operated by the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA), typically treats 18 mgd, with flow reaching 24 mgd on rainy days. During the height of last week’s storm, inflow temporarily topped a record 73 mgd. Those levels exceeded the plant’s maximum capacity of 58 mgd., which ultimately overwhelmed the system and sent untreated water into the harbor.

“This flow exceeded anything we’ve seen at the plant previously, says Mayor David Martin. “We’re going to do a review on why there’s so much extra water in the system.”

WPCA is still assessing the spill, but says the harbor likely contains high levels of suspended solids and fecal coliform bacteria. Natural tidal flushing will eventually clean out the harbor.

Source: Standford Advocate 

King County Celebrates Pump Station Completion

Officials and residents in King County, Wash., will celebrate the completion of a 3.5-year, $20 million pump station upgrade with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour on May 13. Upgrades to the 40-year-old pump station included increasing capacity to accommodate growth from 6 mgd to a peak capacity of 9.4 mgd. Improvements were also made to accommodate seismic, noise and odor control standards.

The pump station is part of a larger project, which included new sewer pipeline and a force main replacement. The project also included architectural upgrades, public art, new landscaping and sidewalks that support the city of Kirkland’s plans for flexible street design.

Water Reuse Becomes a Cheaper Alternative

For the first time, the cost of potable water has surpassed the cost of water reuse in Flower Mound, Texas. To combat rising potable water prices, the town is planning to use treated wastewater from the Trinity River Authority for irrigating recreational fields, open spaces, medians and rights-of-way. Water reuse could reduce demand by 2.16 mgd.

The town receives much of its water from the Upper Trinity Regional Water District, where a fixed demand charge is expected to increase by 5 percent each year for the next 10 years.

“We think that in lieu of buying water from Upper Trinity, we can do our own thing,” says Ken Parr, director of public works, in The Leader.

Infrastructure upgrades will include a pump station and storage and disinfection facilities at a cost of $7.5 million along with a transmission line, which is estimated to cost $16.5 million.

Source: The Leader 

‘$30 Million Isn’t Enough,’ Says Maine

Although state officials in Maine are grateful for $29.7 million in USDA grants and loans, they say it’s not enough to cover the cost of replacing aging water and wastewater infrastructure.

“In a way, this is like the tip of the iceberg in terms of impact in Maine, says Virginia Manuel, director of the state branch of the USDA Rural Development.

According to a 2012 assessment by the state Department of Environmental Protection, Maine towns will need an estimated $1 billion for wastewater projects in the next 20 years. Many of the state’s systems were built in the 1970s and 80s, but some contain brick and granite remnants of Civil War-era engineering.

Seven towns in Maine will benefit from the $29.7 million. The largest share — $23.7 million — will go to Oxford for a new wastewater treatment and collection facility. The state will also supply $40 million in loans for wastewater projects this year through its State Revolving Fund Projects.

Source: Daily Reporter

Plant Closures and Storage Basin Construction Planned

The Louisville (Ky.) Metropolitan Sewer District is constructing a wastewater storage basin and upgraded pump station to control sewer system overflows. The project, which will cost $11 million, is part of an $850 million federal consent decree issued by the U.S. EPA in 2005.

The project will also include closing the Jeffersontown Wastewater Treatment Plant. The district has gradually been closing 300 smaller treatment plants and sending wastewater to five regional plants. Only 13 small plants remain, which will be closed and demolished by 2015.

“Everything we’re doing here is to eliminate overflows in our sewer system,” says Steve Emly, chief engineer.

Once demolished, the Jeffersontown treatment plant property will be returned to the city.

Source: The Courier-Journal 


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