News Briefs: Flint Seeks Loan Forgiveness to Replace Lead Pipes

In this week’s news, a congressman seeks forgiveness of nearly $21M in loans owed by the City of Flint, Michigan, and the Yavapai-Apache Nation breaks ground on new water pipeline
News Briefs: Flint Seeks Loan Forgiveness to Replace Lead Pipes

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U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee is pursuing forgiveness of nearly $21 million in past loans owed by the City of Flint, Michigan, for drinking water infrastructure improvements.

“(Flint) could use that money for new improvements that will help offset the damage that was done by this terrible mistake because it did have a permanent impact not just on people but the system itself,” Kildee told reporters.

Lead leached from Flint’s water pipes between April 2014 and October when the city was pumping its drinking water from the Flint River. The city switched back to Detroit’s treated Lake Huron water in October after doctor found children were exposed to lead poisoning.

Kildee, D-Flint, wants the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to forgive Flint’s debt to a federally funded clean drinking water loan fund so the city can invest in replacing aging, corrosive waterlines.

According to the Detroit News, Flint’s four past loans for drinking water infrastructure improvements come from a state-managed fund at the Department of Environmental Quality.

“We can do loan forgiveness at some level on new loans, and we are discussing this possibility with the City of Flint,” says DEQ spokesman Brad Wurfel.

Source: Detroit News

105 Million Gallons of Water Lost Due To Main Break
An Austin, Texas, TV station reports that a break in one of the city’s largest water pipes leaked 105 million gallons of potable water this year before being repaired. The leak occurred in East Austin on a 66-inch transmission main, according to KXAN.

“It was one of the mains where it took us some time to find (the leak),” says Austin Water Utility spokesman Jason Hill. “Once we were in there we found a couple different areas that needed some repair, and we took our time and did it methodically.

Officials say the break was located deep underground, which made it difficult to locate. Records show the 105 million gallon leak occurred from Jan. 29 through June 28. The cost to repair the transmission main was over $1 million.

“It is very time consuming, and it is very expensive to repair these transmission mains,” Austin Water Utility Director Greg Meszaros told KXAN. “Taking a transmission main out of service is a big deal.”

Source: KXAN

Yavapai-Apache Nation Breaks Ground on Water Pipeline
The Yavapai-Apache Nation (Arizona) recently broke ground on a new water pipeline that will bring clean water to the Nation’s Tunlii housing community after high levels of arsenic made the community’s well water undrinkable.

According to the Camp Verde Bugle,  the new pipeline is a joint project that includes the Nation’s EPA Tribal Drinking Water Program and the Phoenix Indian Health Service.

Fresh bottled water was delivered to the residents of Tunlii for almost a year, says Herbert Trujillo, the Nation’s utility supervisor. The Nation’s water department tapped into the city of Camp Verde water line to provide safe drinking water beginning in January 2015.

At the Middle Verde water filtration system, the well water is pumped into a three-way filtering system that filters out the arsenic. This purified water will be pumped through the new waterline.

Source: Camp Verde Bugle



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