News Briefs: Fargo Fights Against Zebra Mussels

In this week's news, Fargo Water Utility races to combat an invasive species, drop cloths cause major problems at a lift station, and LA pushes for big water rate increases
News Briefs: Fargo Fights Against Zebra Mussels

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The Fargo Water Utility (North Dakota) will now have to add zebra mussels to its list of concerns. After performing some precautionary monitoring, utility employees discovered the invasive species on the plant’s Red River intake screens.

“We knew it was going to show up eventually,” says Fargo Water Utility Director Troy Hall in a Valley News Live report. “If they start multiplying on our screen, they could cake the screen and restrict flow or in the piping going to the water plant.”

To tackle the zebra mussel problem, the utility will replace its intake screens with copper-coated screens and use a chemical near the piping.

Source: Valley News Live

Mystery Flusher Forces City to Replace Lift Station
The City of Shawano, Wisconsin, has decided to spend $11,000 on a new lift station, thanks to a mystery flusher who has been sending heavy-duty paper towels and rags into the sewer system. Officials say that even after sending letters to the 26 homes in the affected subdivision, the problem has continued.

“This appears to be our only alternative, to put in a different kind of system,” says Alderman Bob Kurkeiwicz in a Shawano Leader article.

Public Works Coordinator Eddie Sheppard said the city has had to unclog the system six or seven times per year to remove drop cloths or rags.

Crane Engineering of Kimberly will handle the replacement project.

Source: Shawano Leader

LA Pushing Big Water Rate Increases
In an effort to both encourage water conservation and also repair aging water mains and electricity infrastructure, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is looking to increase rates significantly over the next five years. 

According to the LA Times, the reason this rate increase is significant is because it targets the heaviest residential water users — the 10 percent of customers who consume about 20,000 gallons per month. Those users are facing a 34 percent increase in their monthly water bill by 2021.

Under the proposed plan, pending approval by DWP commissioners and the city council, residents would see combined water and power rate increases of 2.4 percent to 5.4 percent per year for five years. About 85 percent of the new water revenue would be used to replace aging water infrastructure, officials say.

“I will support a rate increase that does three things: makes the investments we need to our infrastructure, encourages water conservation and keeps the DWP more affordable than our neighboring utilities,” says Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The proposed rate increase does all three.”

DWP officials says the department needs to increase water revenue by $230 million over five years to repair infrastructure and comply with government water quality regulations, the LA Times reports.

Source: LA Times


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