News Briefs: City Steps Up FOG Policy to Prevent Sewer Overflows

In this week's news, an enhanced FOG program controls sewer overflows, water meter standards are revised, a city discusses video inspection requirements and a tunnel project brings employment opportunity.
News Briefs: City Steps Up FOG Policy to Prevent Sewer Overflows

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The City of Dubuque, Iowa, approved a stepped-up FOG program in hopes of controlling sewer overflows and backups. The program, which was passed unanimously by the city council, requires restaurants to create grease plans by the end of the year. Under the new stipulations, first-time violations will result in a warning, followed by fines for additional offenses. Food establishments in the city will also be charged $100 per year to pay for FOG program expenses, which include educational efforts and the expansion of a permitting and inspection process.

City officials say that in recent years, one in four sanitary sewer overflows has occurred because of FOG from food establishments. The city is home to about 1,000 food establishments, not all of which have grease traps.

Source: KWWL 

Water Meter ISO Standards Revised

The ISO technical committee ISO/TC 30 has revised ISO 4064, the standards for water meters that monitor hot water and cold drinking water. The new standards, which consist of five installations, apply to mechanical water meters and more modern electrical meters and cover everything from test methods to installation requirements.

The ISO revisions are intended to better cover the requirements of water meters, which have become increasingly important as water values increase.

Source: ISO

StormCon Coming to Seattle This Summer

Stormwater experts will gather in Portland., Ore., on Aug. 3 to 7 for StormCon, a water-quality conference designed to address stormwater issues. The program includes more than 160 educational sessions that cover issues ranging from green infrastructure to water-quality monitoring to stormwater program management.

This year’s event includes a special session with the EPA to discuss upcoming changes and developments in national stormwater programs. Attendees will also have the opportunity to tour the ports of Portland, which feature out-of-the-box stormwater management solutions at several of the facilities.

For more information and to download registration forms, visit

City Could Require Video Inspections for Sewer Lines

In Laguna Beach, Calif., where 42 percent of sewer spills are related to root intrusion, city officials are considering a more heavy-handed approach to pipe inspections. At a recent council meeting, officials discussed implementing a video-inspection requirement that would require homeowners to pay for a sewer pipe inspection every five years. According to city officials, voluntary efforts to control roots have resulted in fewer sewer spills in the past 10 years. However, problems still exist despite infrastructure improvements. The city has spent more than $30 million in sewer repairs in the past decade, including lining more than 16 miles of the city’s worst mains.

“When [a cleaning company] pushes a big root ball into the main line, that flows down and eventually balls up,” says City Manager John Pietig in a Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot article.

The council also discussed incentive programs that would reward plumbers $50 for reporting roots that enter city mains.

Source: Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot

Water Tunnel Employment Numbers Create Controversy

A $25 million proposed water tunnel project in Southern California is generating some controversy over new job predictions. The tunnels, which would carry water under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to Central Valley farmers, Los Angles and other cities, could create 15,500 jobs a year over a decade of construction and habitat restoration, according to a study by UC Berkeley agricultural and resource economist Dave Sunding. The report concludes the project would spur an additional 19,600 jobs once completed, thanks to reliable water supplies. Although the construction employment figures are considered reasonable, the secondary employment numbers have been termed “ridiculous” by others.

“It’s based on a fictional scenario,” says Jeffrey A. Michael, director of the Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific at Stockon, in an L.A. Times article.

This isn’t the only controversial topic surrounding the tunnels. The San Joaquin County Board recently passed a resolution opposing the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, claiming the tunnels will take 140,000 acres of farmland out of production to create wildlife habitat.

Dozens of water districts have backed the plan, stating it would provide needed stability to the region’s water supply.

Source: L.A. Times, Fox 40


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