News Briefs: Concrete Clogs Sewer; City Searches for Culprit

In this week's news, concrete makes a mess in Seattle, ministers in Maryland preach about stormwater and roads turn icy after a water main break.
News Briefs: Concrete Clogs Sewer; City Searches for Culprit

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An emergency sewer project in Seattle — caused when concrete from a nearby construction project entered the sewer system — will take an estimated four to five weeks to repair. A CCTV inspection revealed concrete had filled a 70-foot-long section of pipe under Fairview Street.

According to an report from King 5 television, a Seattle Public Utilities representative said that although it’s not uncommon to find sewer lines blocked by cement grout that was accidentally injected into sewer lines, it’s rare to find hardened concrete.

Once the concrete is removed, SPU investigators will compare its chemical composition to concrete being used in local projects. If they find a match, the contractor might have to pay the expected $300,000 price tag for the repair work.

Source: King 5

Ministers Deliver Sermons to Avoid Stormwater Fees

About 30 churches in Prince George County, Md., have applied for a rebate that will virtually eliminate their portion of a stormwater remediation fee. To qualify, houses of worship, which would otherwise pay hundreds to thousands of dollars toward the fee, have agreed to start green ministries and to work on improvements that solve stormwater problems. Also, the pastors have agreed to preach environmentally focused sermons to educate their congregations.

“In the past, conservation issues have fallen down the list of church priorities like poverty, joblessness and homelessness,” says Jodi Rose, executive director of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, in a Washington Post article. “But we explain that it’s all interrelated.”

According to the article, the stormwater remediation fee has faced criticism since it became law in 2013. The fee applies to public and private properties and is assessed according to the size of each property’s impervious surface. Churches often face high fees because of large parking lots.

Some churches have already planned to install rain barrels and rain gardens as well as replace blacktop with permeable surfaces.

Source: Washington Post

Water Main Break Freezes, Causes Icy Accident

Cold weather and a broken water main combined to create a traffic hazard in Mukilteco, Wash., early this week. One driver was taken to a local hospital after he hit the icy patch and rolled his pickup truck. Two other cars slid off the road.

“I was just driving and ‘oh look the road is wet,’” says Karol Manei in a KOMO news report. “And then the car right next to me, a black SUV, just started swerving and bounced right off me. I thought we were going to get pushed into oncoming traffic.”

Water crews repaired the broken main, and road crews sanded the street. Temperatures hovered in the low 30s at the time of the incident.

Source: KOMO 

Kansas City Holds Storm Drain Cover Contest

Artists in Kansas City, Mo., will determine the look of the city’s new storm drain covers. A design contest, open to anyone who lives, works or attends school within the city, will dictate the center design of the manholes, which will also include a water quality message.

The contest is open until Dec. 1. Entries will be reviewed by a panel made up of Kansas City employees and elected officials. The contest's goal is to educate residents and visitors about the importance of preventing stormwater pollution.

For more information, visit


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