News Briefs: City Switches Water Source After Chemical Scare

In this week’s news briefs, an Alabama utility is routing customers over to a neighboring water supplier due to chemical contamination, and Port Huron seeks an extension to separate its last remaining combined sewer.
News Briefs: City Switches Water Source After Chemical Scare

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The West Morgan-East Lawrence (Alabama) Water and Sewer Authority issued a drinking-water advisory to its 10,000 customers this past week, warning the public not to drink or cook with tap water because of chemical contamination.

The utility has long been aware of the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate, which are used to make fabrics, packaging and cookware coatings, in its water system. However, new EPA limits have lowered the safety threshold of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water to combined levels of 70 parts per trillion. West Morgan-East Lawrence general manager, Don Sims, says recent tests found levels almost 60 percent higher than the new EPA limit.

West Lawrence Water Cooperative, which receives its water from West Morgan-East Lawrence, announced it is routing 300 customers over to Moulton (Alabama) due to the contamination.

The West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority is one of three providers the West Lawrence Water Cooperative uses to supply customers.

Source: The Associated Press, WAAY-TV

Port Huron Seeks Extension to Separate Combined Sewer
The City of Port Huron, Michigan, seeks a five-year extension to separate its last remaining combined sewer, The Times Herald reports. A previous four-year extension is less than seven months away from expiring, prompting the city to ask for another extension.

“They’ve been very cooperative, (and) we’ve had a good working relationship with the City of Port Huron,” says Dan Beauchamp, acting district supervisor of the MDEQ Water Resources Division. “They’ve done a lot of work. They’ve made a lot of progress over the years to eliminate CSOs.”

According to the report, the city started with 19 combined sewer overflow locations. Eighteen of those have been eliminated as part of a $176 million separation project. The final overflow location is on the Black River and comprises a total area of about 12 acres.

“This area was included in the proposed Blue Water Bridge Plaza project and includes seven properties,” says Eric Witter, the city’s utilities manager. “The city did not perform any sewer separation in this area as part of any other CSO projects as the properties were originally going to be demolished by MDOT.”

However, the newspaper reports that plans for the plaza expansion project are constantly changing and on hold due to a lack of funding from the federal government.

Beauchamp says details of the extension are still being sorted out, but officials are looking to give the city until Dec. 31, 2021, to complete the final piece of sewer separation.

Source: The Times Herald

Montgomery Awards $8 Million Sewer Project
The City of Montgomery, Alabama, awarded an $8 million sewer project to Aegion Corporation, the company announced in a press release. The contract is for the second and final phase of wastewater pipeline rehabilitation project.

Aegion will install Insituform CIPP and iPlus Composite to rehabilitate more than 20,000 feet of pipelines ranging from 8 to 48 inches in diameter. The contract also includes the rehabilitation of 34 manholes.

The second phase of the project will likely begin later this month and is expected to be completed in 15 months.

Source: press release


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