Top 10 Most Popular Articles of 2013

Top 10 Most Popular Articles of 2013

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In the past year, we’ve posted hundreds of stories to They include everything we know you love — municipal profiles, blogs, online exclusives and industry updates. 

Here, we highlight the top 10 most popular stories. If you missed any of these, now is your chance to catch up. And if you’ve already read them, well, just remember that many things are better the second time around. Enjoy this look back at 2013. 

10. Weathering the Storm 

With 45 inches of average annual rainfall, hoping for the calm after a storm is the focus of this No. 10 article.

A four-phase program helped a small Oregon town nestled in the 100-mile-wide Willamette Valley tackle a major I&I problem. This is a must-read if you’re dealing with significant wet-weather events. 

9. A System for Clean Sewers 

You clean sewers day in and day out so we know why this story about Dallas Water Utilities made it into the No. 9 spot. The utility fights the ongoing battle of FOG in its collections system with innovate software to monitor liquid waste haulers and a clever marketing scheme to “Cease the Grease.” 

8. A New Way to Target I&I 

This novel micromonitoring program offers a great solution for identifying I&I sources. The power of innovation puts this “Better Mousetraps” article from April MSW in the No. 8 position for most popular articles of 2013. If you’re facing similar I&I issues, this program could benefit your municipality. 

7. Britain Removes Bus-Sized Lump of Fat from Sewer 

This blog about the “fatberg,” a 15-ton lump of food fat and wet wipes pulled from a sewer in England made readers cringe. But it also slid this into the No. 7 spot. Find out how the utility dealt with this massive FOG blockage. 

6. Adapting to the Times 

Staying ahead of potential water and sewer problems is the focus of this No. 6 article on Metro Water Services in Nashville, Tenn.

Attrition shrunk the MWS workforce and gave the team a better appreciation for “doing more with less.” See how they made do and why preventive maintenance was a necessity.

5. $16,000 Water Bill Causes Uproar in California 

An astronomical water bill created a buzz, making this blog the No. 5 most popular article of 2013. Water rates will always be a source of contention between municipalities and customers, especially if there’s a major leak. Digital Editor Briana Jones touched on the importance of a comprehensive leak detection program to manage water usage concerns.  

4. Under Assessment 

A systemwide evaluation is no easy task. This Augusta (Ga.) Utilities Department’s assessment of 7,000 feet of pipe per day made its mark on readers, bumping this article up to the No. 4 position.

This feature story summarized how proper asset management and GIS mapping help utilities achieve success.   

3. How Much is Excavation Safety Worth? 

You owe $40,000 in fines. Yikes! Can you imagine getting that news? A Philadelphia plumbing company got hit with that amount for excavation violations. This article on safety costs hit home with Municipal Sewer & Water readers, pushing it to the No. 3 spot. 

2. “Flushable” Products: Silent Killer of Utility Budgets and Reputation 

The second-most popular article should come as no surprise to those of you who spend endless hours in collections systems cleaning out “flushable” products. They damage pump stations, block pipes and increase your workload. This article tackled the debate between wastewater professionals and the nonwoven industry. Where does the discussion go from here? 

1. Fostering Accountability in the Workplace 

And finally, in the No. 1 position for 2013 — our most popular article of the year — is this guide to keeping your employees on track. See why workplace accountability is a recurring concern for employers and what you can do to minimize the effects on productivity.  


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