News Briefs: Water Will Be Unaffordable in Five Years for Some, Says Study

In this week's water and wastewater news, a study from Michigan State University shows water could become too expensive for 35 percent of households; and residents in an Oklahoma town lost water service after someone tampered with a water tower.
News Briefs: Water Will Be Unaffordable in Five Years for Some, Says Study

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A new study from Michigan State University has concluded that more than 35 percent of the nation’s households may be unable to afford water bills in as few as five years.

The study’s lead author, Elizabeth Mack, said the public might not see it coming, but most utilities are aware of the issue.

“If you talk to utility providers, they want to provide people with water, and they want people to have clean water,” she told Michigan Radio. “But their ability to do this at affordable rates is obviously being taxed by all these pressures on their systems.”

Source: Michigan Radio

Open Valve Leads to Loss of Water Service

Residents in Boynton, Oklahoma, lost water service after someone allegedly opened the main valve on the town’s water tower.

Water operator Travis Wilson told Tulsa World he thought it was a major leak after the utility noticed that the water tank was empty.

While the valve was open, the town was losing 140,000 gallon of water per day.

Authorities said someone may have tampered with the town’s water service intentionally.

Source: Tulsa World

Laymen to Help Manage Wastewater Project in Idaho

The city of Nampa, Idaho, is taking a unique approach to evaluating upgrades to its city wastewater system — it’s asking for local residents to serve on an advisory group.

The group plans to meet six times this year, and will receive information from the city’s public works department regarding the wastewater and sewer system.

“This is an important process as we weigh the needs and mandates along with the costs to implement these wastewater upgrades, and I hope we have a good mix of volunteers who want to participate,” said Mayor Bob Henry said in a news release.

Source: Idaho Press-Tribune

Virginia Utility Could Help Fight the Rising Sea

A new approach to fighting the rising sea level soon could be tested in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, as the Hampton Roads Sanitation District is looking at pumping treated wastewater into an aquifer deep underground.

The primary reason for the project is to adhere better to water quality standards, but experts think it could have the added benefit of slowing the effects of sinking land and rising seas that are problematic for Hampton Roads.

Geologists have long known that pumping millions of gallons of water out of the ground can cause the earth to sink, but they also have seen that pumping water back into aquifers can slow or even reverse the process.

Source: The Orange County Register


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