News Briefs: Water Workers in San Francisco Achieve Safety Milestone

Crews on the Water System Improvement Program reach 7 million safe working hours and a Chicago suburb agrees to pay back nearly $18.5 million in past due water bills.
News Briefs: Water Workers in San Francisco Achieve Safety Milestone

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The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission announced that teams working on projects that are part of the Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) have performed a total of more than seven million safe working hours without a major injury or lost time incident dating back to April 2009.

“Construction on the WSIP really peaked over the last five years, and some of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects have been completed or brought into service,” says Vince Courtney, SFPUC commissioner. “This is very demanding work and this record is remarkable with all the major work accomplished over the last five years.”

The $4.8 billion program — a broad range of projects to repair, replace and seismically upgrade portions of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System — is nearly 85 percent complete.

Source: SFPUC press release

Texas Receives 48 Applications for SWIFT Loans

The application period for the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas is now closed. The Texas Water Development Board received 48 applications for more than $5.5 billion in loans. As expected, the demand for SWIFT exceeds the amount available in the first round of SWIFT funding.

The Texas Water Development Board will start the evaluation process immediately. Over the next few months, the agency will conduct a comprehensive scoring process of all applications based on prioritization criteria developed through public input in 2014.

The new voter-approved SWIFT fund will fund projects in the state water plan. Money was transferred from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

Source: TWDB press release

Badger Meter Teams With Aeris for Smart Water Meter Rollout in New Mexico

Flow meter manufacturer Badger Meter has announced a partnership with Aeris to provide cellular connectivity for a deployment of 34,000 smart water meters for the city of Sante Fe, New Mexico.

In December 2014, Badger Meter was awarded an $8.3 million, 10-year contract with the Sante Fe Public Utilities Commission to replace water meters and plans to use Aeris’ network as the means to communicate between meter and utility through Badger Meter’s BEACON Advanced Metering Analytics.

The solution provides the Sante Fe PUC with the ability to read meters remotely and detect leaks within its water system. Badger Meter will also offer the utility and its customers the EyeOnWater online consumer portal and smartphone and tablet app in order to encourage customer engagement with reducing water consumption and home leak detection.

“The utilities we partner with want to improve their customer service, just as much as their customers want to be better stewards of their water use,” says John Fillinger, director of marketing at Badger Meter. “Consumers are used to accessing a wide variety of information on demand via their smartphone.”

Source: Aeris press release

Chicago Suburb Reaches Settlement on Unpaid Water Bills

The city of Harvey, Illinois recently agreed in court to begin paying back about $18.5 million — the principal owed to the city of Chicago for past-due water bills — if Chicago waived the nearly $6 million in late fees. The payment plan calls for Harvey to pay $244,000 monthly over seven years, owing more if Harvey ends any years with extra money in its water fund.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Harvey has received millions of gallons of water a day from Chicago, which it resold it to residents and other suburbs since 2008.

Source: Chicago Tribune


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