News Briefs: Water Main Break Blamed for Disruption at Preakness

In this week's news, was a water main break responsible for plumbing issues at this year's running of the Preakness Stakes? And two states announce funding for major water projects.

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Prior to racehorse American Pharoah securing the second jewel of the Triple Crown in the Preakness Stakes this past Saturday a number of restrooms had to be shut down on multiple floors of the grandstand, causing long waits at restrooms still in operation. It was suspected that a water main break in Baltimore about 2 miles from the Pimlico Race Course was the cause of the plumbing issues.

According to the Associated Press, “it was unclear how much of the track was affected by the water-main break Saturday,” but officials reported that the clubhouse and a few other sections of the track had running water, as well as the horses.

Around 100,000 attended the Preakness Stakes in 80-degree weather. Track staff announced around 5:30 p.m. ET that some water pressure had been restored to the grandstand but not all bathrooms were back in working order. A work crew had begun excavating under an asphalt area behind the grandstand.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Kurt Kocher, a spokesperson for the city’s department of public works, said the plumbing problem was on Pimlico property. However, track officials believed the cause of the water issue was the main break.

Source: Associated Press, The Baltimore Sun

Michigan Designates $172 Million in Loans for Water Projects

More than $172 million in loans will fund Michigan wastewater or drinking water projects necessary for improving water quality and public health, the Associated Press reports.

The loans include more than $3 million in principal loan forgiveness, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality. 

Loans from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund include $114 million with $1.5 million in loan forgiveness for Detroit; $12 million for Dearborn; $9.8 million with $1 million in loan forgiveness for Pontiac; $5 million for Clinton Township; and $2.2 million with $150,000 in loan forgiveness for the Malletts Creek Drain Drainage District, reports AP.

Loans from the Drinking Water Revolving Fund include $10 million for Grand Rapids; $7 million for Bay County; and $800,000 for Northport.

Source: Associated Press

Texas Announces Prioritization of Projects for State Water Fund

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved the first-ever project prioritization list for the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT). There are 39 qualified applications requesting $1.07 billion in financial assistance the first year, with a total of more than $4 billion in financial assistance over the next decade.

Of the 39 applications, five are for rural projects, five for conservation and reuse, and two for agricultural projects, according to a TWDB press release. Projects include transmission pipelines, canal linings, capacity expansions, seawater desalination, leak detection systems, water meter replacements and reservoirs.

“The scope of projects indicates that Texas is poised to begin a new era in addressing the water needs of its growing population and ensuring the state’s economic vitality,” says TWDB Chairman Carlos Rubinstein. “The TWDB stands ready to provide financial assistance to Texas communities ready to get started on their state water plan projects.”

According to the release, SWIFT was established by the Texas Legislature and voters to fund projects in the state water plan. A one-time, $2 billion appropriation was transferred from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to create SWIFT. Over the next 50 years, the $2 billion will be leveraged with revenue bonds to finance approximately $27 billion in water supply projects. The TWDB anticipates funding approximately $8 million in projects during the first decade.

Source: Texas Water Development Board


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