News Briefs: Funeral Home Keeps Stormwater Out

In this week's news, stormwater efforts reign supreme. Also, Milwaukee is tasked with speeding up water main replacement.
News Briefs: Funeral Home Keeps Stormwater Out

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The Burns Funeral Home in Hobart, Ill., is taking stormwater management seriously. Owner Jim Burns recently installed a waterfall and mini-stream near the entrance of the business, which will control stormwater and eliminate overflows from entering city sewers. In recognition of the project, the city has awarded the funeral home with a  “Going Green” sign, which will be placed on a city easement near the business.

During heavy rains, about 3,700 gallons of rainwater would come off the building’s flat roof and enter the city’s sanitary sewer system. The contractor for the job, Charlie Clark of CR Clark Construction Co., disconnected the sewer lines and installed the aquascape, which includes a 500-gallon underground holding tank.

Source: Post-Tribune

Wisconsin Winter Disaster Application Denied

Municipalities in Wisconsin will not be getting any federal aid to help pay for infrastructure damage — including unbillable water loss, frozen pipes, broken water mains and street repair from broken pipes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency rejected both an application and an appeal by the state.

Eight counties with $11.3 million in damages were included in the initial application, and the state had planned to add others if the declaration was approved. Of the state’s 72 counties, 69 had reported damages totaling $25 million. Damage reports were received from 337 local governments who reported expenses for things like broken water mains and service laterals. A disaster declaration would have provided 75 percent funding from FEMA and 12.5 percent from the state.

FEMA rejected the application on July 29, which was appealed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Aug. 27. The appeal was denied on Sept. 4 in a short ruling that stated federal assistance “was not necessary or appropriate under the circumstances,” according to FEMA’s ruling.

Submitted by Doug Day

San Diego Faces Fines for Stormwater Violations

The City of San Diego could be penalized up to $2.5 million in fines and upgrades for failing to enforce stormwater runoff regulations. According to a KPBS radio report, the City has until Nov. 1 to notify 142 private property owners that their stormwater management systems need to be brought into compliance. If the City misses the deadline, it could accrue up to $10,000 per day in fines.

The terms are part of a settlement between the City and the Regional Water Quality Control Board, which claims the City did not enforce MS4 permits. After a routine inspection, the board discovered several new construction sites did not have proper stormwater runoff treatment systems. In total, the water board found 306 private properties and 13 city-owned capital improvement projects with ineffective stormwater management.

Part of the settlement will include upgrades to six San Diego parks at a cost of $1.5 million.

Source: KPBS

Milwaukee Tasked With Speeding Up Water Main Replacement

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission hopes to avoid catastrophic water main failures by increasing the water main replacement rate in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Water Works replaced 1.3 miles of mains in 2012 and 7.2 miles in 2013. The Commission is pushing the utility to increase that rate to 15 miles in each of the next three years, 18 miles in 2018 and 2019 and 20 miles in 2020.

“You look around the country and you see major challenges [with aging infrastructure],” says Jeff Stone, administrator of water, compliance and consumer affairs at the PSC, in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

The commission is also requiring Milwaukee Water Works to hire an independent consultant to conduct a water main study, submit a report on the city’s water mains and submit reports on the progress of the replacement programs.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel



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