News Briefs: Treatment Plant Floods After Water Main Breaks

In this week's water and wastewater news, a water main break makes a mess in Detroit, a water board considers the bottled-water business and Nebraska settles up with Kansas in a water-use complaint.
News Briefs: Treatment Plant Floods After Water Main Breaks

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Cleanup is underway at the West Jefferson Treatment Plant in Detroit, where a 16-inch water main break caused flooding inside the facility. According to a CBS Detroit report, the treated water came from a storage area in the building. The storage area was covered in a about 4 to 5 feet of water.

“We have a pump that actually had a water main break underneath, so what we have is water in the building right now,” says Water Department Spokeswomen Kristy Gardner in the CBS report. “It looks like we were able to stop it last night in terms of the water coming in, so what we are doing right now is pumping it out."

The water main break was just one of several recent breaks in the area.

“It’s nothing but water and ice out here,” says Eastpointe Public Works Director Tony Pry in The Detroit News.

Source: Detroit News, CBS

Water Utility Considers Entering Bottled-Water Business

Officials at the Birmingham (Alabama) Water Works Board are considering entering the billion-dollar bottled water industry. According to a report on AL.com, the water board could spend $200,000 to investigate the business strategy.

“According to our mandate from the board, we looked at other ways to increase our revenue stream so we could keep our rates affordable,” says Darryl Jones, assistant general manager of operations and technical services, in the AL article. “The timing may be right for us to venture down this road. It’s more viable now than it has ever been.”

According to a board presentation, revenue could start at $479,000 with the sale of 737,055 bottles. Those numbers would rise to $2.39 million in the third year with the potential sale of more than 2 million bottles.

“We’ve talked so much about revenue,” says board member Sherry Lewis. “Water is our product. That’s what we have.”

Source: AL.com

Wheatfield Seeks State Endorsement for Biosolids Ban

In Wheatfield, New York, town officials will seek state support of a local biosolids law that bans the storage or use of biosolids. Quasar Energy Group, which operates a plant in Wheatfield, is challenging the ban in court, stating the law exceeds the town’s authority.

“The Town of Wheatfield’s position is, we already have exercised our statutory authority to pass the biosolids law,” says town attorney Robert J. O’Toole in a Buffalo News article. “But we think the additional authority would be helpful.”

The town claims biosolids present a health and environmental danger. The town’s law includes a ban on those entities who already have state permits for the land application of Quasar’s biosolids.

Source: Buffalo News

Nebraska to Pay Kansas $5.5 Million

A long-standing water dispute between Nebraska and Kansas will end with a $5.5 million fine for Nebraska. The Supreme Court has ordered the state to pay for overusing water from the Republican River.

According to an AP report, a 1943 compact allocates 49 percent of the river to Nebraska, 40 percent to Kansas and 11 percent to Colorado. Since 1999, Kansas has complained Nebraska is overusing the river.

As part of the settlement, the justices also ordered changes to the formula for measuring water consumption.

“We hope the decision will move the basin states forward and provide continued incentives toward shared solutions to our common problems,” the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office said in a press release. “We are confident that payment of the court’s recommended award will finally allow us to leave the past where it belongs — in the past.”

Source: Associated Press 



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