Damage Prevention & Safety

Mountain Valley urges US Supreme Court to lift stays and resume pipeline construction

(UI) — Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC has submitted a request to the U.S. Supreme Court to lift stays issued by a federal court that had stopped work on a section of its West Virginia-to-Virginia natural gas pipeline.

Recent underground power line explosions in San Francisco raise concerns, safety assurances remain

(UI) — A San Francisco neighborhood has experienced significant problems as a result of an underground explosion and subsequent fire for at least the second time in less than three months.

Residents in Burlington, Vt., urged to conserve water after sewer pipe ruptures

(UI) — As crews get ready to mend a damaged pipe in the Winooski River, the city of Burlington is advising homeowners in a significant portion of the New North End to decrease the amount of water and garbage they discharge into the sewage system.

United Rentals outlines how hybrid power solutions create efficient, sustainable worksites

United Rentals released a white paper, “Hybrid Power Solutions: The Future of Portable Power,” that explores strategies for pairing a BESS with a power generator.

Cities prioritize water main replacement, neglecting buried lead pipes

Around the country, utilities have been leaving lead pipe in the ground even when it is easiest to remove during water main work. Worse, they have been removing sections, disturbing the pipe and leaving the rest, which can spike lead levels, causing harm that will last a lifetime, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.

Flint contractor agrees to settlement of lead contamination lawsuits

Flint families sued LAN and another contractor, Veolia North America, accusing them of not doing enough to get Flint to treat highly corrosive water or to urge a return to a regional water supplier.

OSHA cites Chicago company for 2022 trench collapse that killed one worker

Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors determined the employer, Rooter Solutions Inc. of Burr Ridge, failed to install cave-in protection in the trench and did not require head protection, the agency announced Friday.

Sewer main failure causes water contamination in Georgia’s One-Mile Branch Creek

(UI) — The Utilities Department was able to detect a failure in an eight-inch sanitary sewage main after a thorough investigation and video inspections.

The water in Mississippi’s capital is safe to drink, city officials say

Jackson has struggled with water problems for decades. Most of the city lost running water for several days in August and September after heavy rainfall exacerbated problems at the city’s main water treatment plant.

Missouri's Dogtown sinkhole traced to collapsed sewer pipe, not water main break

(UI) — The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has determined that the large sinkhole in Dogtown was not caused by a water main break, as previously believed, but rather by a collapsed sewer pipe.

Firefighting foam contaminates public water system for about 9,000 in Maine

Firefighting foam used in battling a fatal fire in an apartment building entered the public water system, prompting the water district to order thousands of residents not to drink the water.

Consultants: Design issues, operations lapses led to big Keystone pipeline oil spill

Pipeline design issues, lapses by its operators and problems caused during its construction led to a massive oil spill on the Keystone pipeline system in northeastern Kansas, according to a report for U.S. government regulators.

Authorities assess damage after sidewalk sinkhole on New Mexico bridge; 2 pedestrians rescued

Authorities on Sunday were assessing the damage after a sidewalk sinkhole developed on a New Mexico bridge, resulting in the rescue of two pedestrians. Los Lunas police said the city’s Main Street bridge over the Rio Grande remained closed due to the sinkhole under a sidewalk on the east side of the bridge.

California officials begin construction to restore water infrastructure damaged by fire

(UI) — As a first step in repairing its Peavine Raw Water Pipeline, which was destroyed by the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex fire almost three years ago, the district has hired a contractor to start evaluating, cataloging, and eventually removing problematic trees.

Researchers develop safety monitoring system for construction sites

(UI) — University of Houston computer scientists have developed a new system to keep construction workers safe at job sites. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 4,764 workers died on the job in 2020. Employees in construction and extraction occupations accounted for 20% of those deaths.

Teledyne FLIR debuts new optical gas imaging cameras for leak detection and repair professionals

The G-Series is designed to empower everyday users in the oil and gas and utility industries to spend more time prioritizing leak repairs, and less time documenting them while gaining better insight into the severity of the emission.

Common Ground Alliance: 55% of underground utility damage caused by professional contractors

The most common root cause of these damages was “no notification made to the 811 center,” meaning the damage could have been avoided if excavators contacted 811 to have utility lines marked prior to breaking ground.

Broken water pipe in Jackson, Miss., leaks 5 million gallons per day

(UI) — The leak at the old Colonial Country Club in Jackson, Miss., wasted an estimated 5 million gallons of drinking water daily in a community that had none to spare, forcing citizens to boil their tap water and businesses to close because their faucets were dry.

ULC Technologies launches robotic system for underground utility damage prevention

The semi-autonomous robotic platform utilizes a sensor suite comprised of ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic sensors to detect and mark out below ground infrastructure.

Army Corps further delays decision on Great Lakes oil tunnel

The Army Corps' Detroit district office said it revised the schedule after receiving more than 17,000 public comments during an initial “scoping” period. The agency in December ordered Enbridge to redo measurement of wetlands that could be damaged from roads and structures for tunnel construction.

Officials: No sign of contamination in Philadelphia water

Philadelphia water officials say they have seen no sign of contamination following a chemical spill into the Delaware River in a neighboring county upriver and are confident water in the city system will be unaffected at least well into Tuesday afternoon.

First Look: Discover Advanced Mobile Leak Detection detects pipeline gas leak immediately

(UI) — The key to discovering and repairing natural gas leaks before they become catastrophic is more vigilance, and that’s what Heath Consultants is striving to achieve with its new Discover Advanced Mobile Leak Detection (AMLD) system.

EPA to limit toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed the first federal limits on harmful “forever chemicals” in drinking water, a long-awaited protection the agency said will save thousands of lives and prevent serious illnesses, including cancer.

Mississippi lawmakers stop effort to take over Jackson water

Mississippi lawmakers are giving up on an effort to create a state-dominated board to oversee the troubled water system in the state’s capital city.

Much of Florida Keys loses water pressure after main break

Much of the Florida Keys lost water pressure after a water main broke, blocking traffic along the main roadway on the chain of islands and forcing businesses to close early. It was the third time a water main broke in the past week in the Florida Keys.

Construction entities call for punishment for pipeline attacks, improved mapping in pipeline safety

(UI) — The Distribution Contractors Association (DCA) and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) have published a letter urging Congress to take action to address the enduring problem of physical attacks on critical energy infrastructure.

1 person trapped when utility poles topple outside Boston

Seven utility poles along a suburban Boston street toppled into the road on Wednesday morning, trapping one driver, police said. Police received more than two dozen 911 calls when the poles came down along Montvale Avenue in Stoneham just north of Boston at about 9:30 a.m., police said in a statement.

Communities await first US limits on ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose restrictions on harmful “forever chemicals” in drinking water after finding they are dangerous in amounts so small as to be undetectable. But experts say removing them will cost billions, a burden that will fall hardest on small communities with few resources.

Mayor: Water pressure should return to NJ city after break

Officials say water pressure should gradually return to a small New Jersey city across the Hudson River from Manhattan stricken by a water main break that left most residents with no water service or low water pressure.

Judge sets Aug. 1 as deadline for Flint’s lead pipe project

A judge has ordered Flint, Michigan, to replace any remaining lead or steel water lines by Aug. 1, the latest intervention after a series of missed deadlines. More than 10,000 pipes have been replaced, though at least 1,000 addresses still haven’t been inspected, according to the NRDC.