News Briefs: State Stops Payments on Water, Sewer Bills

In this weeks news, a state budget impasse in Illinois means some utility bills have gone unpaid, and the winner of Tennessee's best tasting water is unveiled.
News Briefs: State Stops Payments on Water, Sewer Bills

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The Illinois budget impasse approaches the six-month mark, and has started to impact some state agencies’ ability to cover water utility bills. Some bills top out at hundreds of thousands of dollars, mostly for utility providers who cover state prisons.

“(State agencies) have sent us a letter indicating that they wouldn’t be able to pay until they resolve their budget issues. That’s a little bit different than what’s been done in the past, because the state is always behind on its bills,” says Keith Thomason, who runs Rend Lake Intercity Water in Whittington and is owed money.

Though the state is behind on payments, several water providers in southern Illinois say they do not plan to shut off water to state customers.

Source: WSIL

Water Agency Moves Ahead With Massive Land Buy
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted to authorize a purchase option of four islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta — just over 20,000 acres — that will secure crucial property rights for the state’s water distribution system.

MWD General Manager Jeff Kightlinger said part of the property might play a role in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan tunnel project, also known as the California Water Fix. Two of the islands lie on the proposed tunnel route and could be used as sites for engineering work, tunnel construction entry points, and holding the “debris and muck” that will be produced during excavation.

“The islands would make good spots for that, because some areas are 20 feet below sea level,” Kightlinger says. “So you could both be rebuilding the islands, helping prevent flooding in the area and getting rid of the spoils. It’s sort of a win-win.”

Currently about 60 percent of the MWD’s water comes through the Delta, and the district serves a 5,200-square-mile area.

Source: KQED

The Winner of Tennessee’s Best Tasting Water Is …
The Northwest Dyersburg Utility District received the State’s Best Tasting Water award from the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts and prepares to compete in Washington, D.C., at the national level.

“We take pride in our work, and hard work pays off,” says Tommy Reed, Northwest Utility District plant manager.

The district has 65 miles of waterlines that supplies water to about 1,600 residents.

The National Best Tasting Water in America contest will be held February 2016 during the National Rural Water Association’s Rural Water Rally Conference.

Source: State Gazette


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