Sewer maintenance: Myth-busting, best-practice training

Sewer maintenance is an ongoing challenge for cities and municipalities. Moreover, gaps in best-practice training can cost public works departments unnecessary time and expense in labor, water and energy costs when cleaning sewer lines.

Editor’s Log: And the smiles never stopped

In late March, UI wrapped another successful Underground Infrastructure Conference. Per usual, a wealth of information and market intelligence was gathered from remarkable speakers and experts in a variety of fields including sewer installation and rehabilitation, fiber optics, power, horizontal directional drilling, and safety.

Ishpeming, Mich., commences construction on $16 million sewer infrastructure project

The City of Ishpeming has commenced construction on its over $16 million sewer infrastructure project. The comprehensive scope of this endeavor involves the replacement or rehabilitation of approximately 25,000 feet of sewer main.

East Bay cities, municipal utility for violating 2014 Clean Water Act settlement with sewer overflows

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board announced that the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and six East Bay cities will be assessed $372,876 in penalties for violating settlement terms designed to prevent untreated sewage from entering San Francisco Bay.

Trenchless Technology provider Vortex Companies appoints veteran employee as COO

As one of Vortex's first employees when the company opened its doors in 2015, Ryan Graham has steadily risen through the ranks, most recently serving as Senior Vice President for Vortex Services.

Charleston Water System settles huge lawsuit over sewer system damage caused by non-flushable wipes

CWS brought suit in January 2021 against major U.S. companies seeking injunctive relief to remedy costly and ongoing damage to sewer systems and treatment facilities due in significant part to the inability of allegedly “flushable” wipes to break down, often clogging wastewater infrastructure and causing sewer overflows that damage the environment.

Woolpert implements Rapid Ready asset management system for California utility provider

Rapid Ready will provide standardized maintenance and tracking for WCW’s lifecycle management assets, including manholes and sewer pipes, as well as service requests, maintenance activities, and costs in an organized fashion that supports reporting and process improvements.

EPA fines California's East Bay cities, utilities over sewage discharges

The EPA and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board have announced fines totaling $372,876 for sewage discharge violations in the East Bay. Penalties target EBMUD and six cities for failing to prevent untreated sewage from entering San Francisco Bay.

Senator Manchin secures federal funding for wastewater infrastructure upgrade in Romney, W.Va.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has announced a significant federal investment of $400,000 from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support essential upgrades to the wastewater systems in the Town of Romney.

EPA extends compliance deadline for sewer system improvement projects in Lexington, Ky.

The amended consent decree will extend the current compliance deadline for the city to complete sewer system improvements from Dec. 2026 to Dec. 2030.

Fire in Mexico City's storm drain highlights underground infrastructure strain amid water shortage

Amid a severe drought in central Mexico, water authorities grapple with mounting challenges, including a recent fire in one of Mexico City's storm drains, highlighting the strain on underground infrastructure. Struggling to address the water scarcity, authorities have decided to halt water extraction from the Valle de Bravo reservoir, home to an upscale lakeside community.

North Carolina allocates $25 million to mitigate flooding with upgraded stormwater infrastructure

The State of North Carolina allocated $25 million to the Golden LEAF Foundation to establish the Flood Mitigation Grant Program to provide up to $2,000,000 per project to various branches of local government.

Canada’s Central Saanich launches major sewer system overhaul as infrastructure reaches end of lifecycle

Handling roughly half of Central Saanich's wastewater, including flows from the W̱JOȽEȽP (Tsartlip) First Nation, the aging Brentwood Bay sewer system is due for an overhaul after reaching the end of its lifecycle.

Kelowna, BC, invests $7 million in CIPP technology for sewer pipe repair

The city of Kelowna, located in the south of Canada’s British Columbia province, is set to embark on a $7-million project next week to repair 1.6 miles of sanitary sewer pipe using cutting-edge trenchless technology known as Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP).

Vermont allocates $29.25 million to combat combined sewer pollution

Governor Phil Scott and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have announced $29.25 million in grants aimed at improving municipal combined sewer infrastructure and curbing pollution in Vermont’s water bodies.

Memphis to upgrade stormwater infrastructure with $10 million WIFIA loan

With this WIFIA loan, the City of Memphis will complete 13 projects, including planning, design, and construction for the rehabilitation of pipes, culverts, drains, drainage ditches, and detention basins.

County of Hawai’I to rehabilitate aging wastewater infrastructure following sewer overflows

The order requirements include designing a new pipeline that conveys wastewater under pressure at Kealakehe, replacing and repairing the Hale Hālāwai and the Pua pipelines that convey wastewater under pressure, and more.

Pressurized pipe break causes major sewage spill, prompts road closure in North Portland

The suspected cause of the spill was a break in a pressurized pipe from a nearby pump station responsible for carrying sewage to the city’s main wastewater treatment plant.

Illinois EPA issues updated permit to Chicago for combined sewer overflows

The Illinois EPA has issued a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit to the city of Chicago that will bring additional oversight and monitoring of combined sewer overflows to Chicago area waterways.

Georgia officials table proposed “rain tax” that would fund stormwater infrastructure upgrades in Cobb County

Stormwater infrastructure in Cobb County features 50 year-old piping that causes frequent leaks, flooding and sinkholes. Budget constraints and maintenance bottlenecks exacerbate the problem.

Oregon OSHA fines Portland company after workers rendered unconscious in stormwater sewer

(UI) — The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has fined a Portland environmental and emergency services company $118,800 for breaching job safety standards aimed at safeguarding workers in confined spaces.

Georgia’s Cobb County proposes new stormwater management fee to tackle aging infrastructure

Cobb County is grappling with the challenges posed by aging infrastructure, prompting officials to consider innovative solutions. In response, they are suggesting the introduction of a stormwater utility fee, projected to range from $2 to $4 monthly for the average homeowner.

Toronto considers separate stormwater charge for residents to fund infrastructure improvement projects

Currently, stormwater management costs are wrapped into residents’ water rate. The proposal would see that charge separated from the water rate. The stormwater service charge would be a flat rate based on property water meter size.

Olds municipality makes strides in sewer, water system overhaul, targeting I&I challenges

Following an assessment last fall, which included a vapor test to identify inflow and infiltration (I&I) issues in the sewer system, significant progress has been achieved. Out of the 38 repairs identified during the test, 36 have been completed, primarily involving the replacement of manhole lids, inserts, and cleanout plugs at various locations.

Senator Padilla secures $103 million to upgrade South Bay sewer plant

This funding is earmarked for the repair and enhancement of the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant, situated near the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, aimed at tackling transborder water pollution in the region.

Massachusetts awards grants for innovative stormwater management programs

The Healey-Driscoll Administration has allocated over $360,000 to support local cities and towns in meeting stormwater management requirements.

SA Water tests successful trenchless pipeline repair technique

SA Water undertook a trial of trenchless technology, a first in the metropolitan sewer network, to address issues with a sewer pipe running beneath the popular trade hub.

Sewage discharges raise concerns for Boston water safety

Local authorities have issued a public health advisory following recent sewage discharges, also known as combined sewer overflows (CSOs), posing potential risks to public health in Boston.

27 U.S. stormwater disasters in 2023 cost $88 billion, Advanced Drainage Solutions reports on World Water Day

According to an ADS survey conducted by The Harris Poll in late 2023, more than half of the respondents (51%) are concerned about the current infrastructure in place to manage stormwater within their communities.

Pennsylvania secures funding to upgrade aging stormwater infrastructure

The infrastructure beneath Susquehanna Avenue are in poor condition due to age and material deterioration. Thousands of ft of decayed clay sewer piping contribute to infiltration into the sewage collection system.