With 2016 coming to a close, we’re taking another look at the headlines of the past year that grabbed readers’ attention. These are MSWMag.com’s most-read stories of 2016.
10. Sewer Upgrade Results in Hefty Bills for Unsuspecting Customers
Residents of Kittery, Maine, said they were blindsided after receiving bills, some totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, for a 2013 sewer project.
9. Old Swimming Pool Water Finds New Life
The city of Burbank, California, identified a new source of recycled water — the water drained out of McCambridge Pool at the end of each summer season — and used it for irrigation and cleaning sewer lines.
8. ‘Poo Diver’ in the Spotlight
An Aussie mechanic combined his love of diving with sewage to create a successful business endeavor.
7. Flash Flooding Cuts Off Wisconsin City
In July, a massive storm in northern Wisconsin washed out roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure. The city of Ashland was completely cut off because of extensive damage to parts of U.S. Highway 2, a major thoroughfare in the region.
6. London Opens First ‘Super Sewer’
In January, the first of two “super sewers” opened in London, designed to reduce CSOs into the River Thames and River Lee. Costing nearly $1 billion, it was the largest infrastructure project undertaken in the United Kingdom in nearly 30 years.
5. FBI Investigating Former Water District Employee
In May, a former purchasing analyst for the Las Vegas Valley Water District admitted spending $4.5 million of public money on ink jet cartridges that she then resold.
4. City Workers Pull Puppy From Sewer
In June, a team of water and sewer workers in the city of Lucedale, Mississippi, reunited an 8-week-old pit bull with his family after finding the lost pup in a 4-inch sewer pipe outside the home where the dog was playing.
3. DC Water Supervisor Faces Prison Sentence
In March, a supervisor with the DC Water and Sewer Authority pled guilty to a federal conflict-of-interest charge for approving permits for work applications prepared by his own private company.
2. Tap Water Turns Black in Texas Town Embroiled in Scandal
In early February, Crystal City, Texas, made headlines when the FBI arrested most of the town’s top officials on bribery charges. Later in the month, the town had another major problem: dark, smelly water flowing from citizens’ faucets.
1. Headfirst Plunge By Utility Worker Goes Viral
When Jimmie Cox went face first into a pool of water in August to fix a broken line, he didn’t think much of it. But then a photo was posted on Facebook.