News Briefs: Utility Ships Potable Water to Fort Gordon

In this week's news, a Georgia water utility lends the military a helping hand, a Massachusetts town sues its wastewater collection system operator, and the U.S. House easily passes a new drinking water safety bill.
News Briefs: Utility Ships Potable Water to Fort Gordon

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Columbia County (Georgia) Water Utility sent over 4,000 gallons of potable water to neighboring communities, including United States Army base Fort Gordon outside Augusta, after a boil water advisory was issued for Richmond County.

“Whatever they need,” Columbia County Water Utility Director Billy Clayton told The Augusta Chronicle. “It was our pleasure to help those guys out, those folks, those men and women who serve us every day.”

According to the report, water utilities were called in to modify some equipment to transfer water to 11 tanker trucks, each carrying about 400 gallons of drinking water, that arrived just before midnight on Feb. 9.

Source: The Augusta Chronicle

Town Sues Wastewater Collection System Operator
The Town of Plymouth (Massachusetts) has filed a lawsuit against Veolia North America citing damages to the town’s wastewater collection system.

“In light of three recent breaks in the town’s 4.5-mile, 30-inch force main … the town began an investigation into the condition of the force main,” Town Manger Melissa Arrighi said in a statement obtained by The Patriot Ledger. “To date, that investigation has revealed serious internal corrosion in the force main, resulting in the recent breaks.”

Arrighi’s statement said the town believes Veolia breached its contractual obligations to maintain the system resulting in damage to the system, although specific details were not revealed. Significant costs to repair the damage have been incurred by the town.

“The breaks in the force main have resulted in, among other things, the expenditure of millions of dollars for temporary repairs and investigations, and have raised environmental concerns and caused disruption to town residents,” Arrighi said.

The newspaper reports the initial break cost the town more than $2 million for 12,000 feet of bypass pipe and six days of around-the-clock work by the contractor, among other damages.

Source: The Patriot Ledger

House Passes Drinking Water Safety Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Safe Drinking Water Act Improved Compliance Awareness Act by a vote of 416 to two on Feb. 10. The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.

The bill, in response to the Flint Water Crises, amends the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, requires public water utilities to notify customers of excessive lead in their drinking water. It also requires the EPA to create a strategic plan to improve information sharing between utilities, the states, the EPA, and drinking water consumers when there is too much lead in drinking water, CBS News reports.


Flint Begins Lead Pipe Replacement Plan
The Lansing (Michigan) Board of Water & Lights has estimated it will take 32 full-time crews about a year to replace Flint’s 15,000 lead water service lines. Lansing, which has already replaced 13,500 of its own lead services lines, is working in an advisory role to assist Flint with the replacements.

“BWL is stepping up and helping the mayor of Flint and the people of Flint with their expertise in removing lead pipes,” said Lansing spokesman Randy Hannan in The Detroit News.

The advisory role could include Lansing technicians training Flint workers on how to properly remove lead services lines.

Source: The Detroit News


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