News Briefs: Flash Flooding Washes Away Sewer Pipes

In this week’s news briefs, a construction crew in Missouri scrambles to retrieve several pipes that were carried downstream from a job site, and Milwaukee renews the nation’s largest wastewater contract.
News Briefs: Flash Flooding Washes Away Sewer Pipes

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“In 40 years, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

That was the reaction of Sterling Excavation project superintendent Danny Piles after flooding in Columbia, Missouri, washed away several sewer pipes that were to replace aging lines along Flat Branch Creek.

The city received about 6 inches rain over a two-day period, which led to flash flood warnings throughout the region last week. As a result of heavy rainfall, the large PVC pipes that were laid out for the sewer line replacement project were swept away on July 3 and got stuck under a bridge about 800 feet downstream.

Sterling Excavation received a call that morning from an inspector who reported that the pipes had been carried away. Workers had to move a culvert to provide a temporary crossing point over the creek before crews could dislodge and relocate the nine pipes.

According to a report by the Columbia Missourian: “Each pipe took about 10 minutes to move. One person drove a crane, and another waded into the creek to tie up an individual pipe with a 2-inch strap attached to a chain. The chain was then attached to the crane, which pulled the pipe up the bank and onto the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail. The crane then dragged the pipe, while another person guided it down to a side trail where other pipes were being stored.”

Supervisor Ron Cain called it a minor setback. “This was the only place we got hurt,” he says. Work on the project resumed July 5.

Source: Columbia Missourian

Akron Engineer Wins Collection System Award
The Ohio Water Environment Association named Jim Hewitt, city engineer for the city of Akron, as recipient of its 2016 Collection System Award.

The award recognizes one individual each year for meritorious service in the sewer collection industry. Individuals are nominated by their peers, and the nominees are reviewed by the OWEA awards committee. The winner is recognized at the annual state conference.

Hewitt has worked for the city of Akron for 28 years, starting as an engineering co-op student before being hired on full time. He has received an Ohio EPA Wastewater Collection Class II license and an Ohio EPA Water Distribution Class II license, among other credentials.

“During this time, I have worked on several great projects for the city, including Firestone Stadium, Mud Run Golf Course, Canal Park Stadium and our CSO program,” Hewitt says. “Through hard work, dedication and passion, I have been fortunate to progress through the ranks from a co-op all the way to city engineer.

“Although some days are definitely better than others, I would not trade my experiences working for the city for any other job. The difficult days have made the great days even better.”

Hewitt was also the recipient the 2015 National Golden Manhole Award from the Water Environment Federation as well as the Northeast Section OWEA Collections Award in 2013.

Source: The Suburbanite

Milwaukee Signs 10-Year Extension with Veolia
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District extended its agreement with Veolia North America to continue managing its collection and wastewater treatment system under a 10-year, $500 million contract.

The public-private partnership represents the nation’s largest wastewater contract, according to a press release.

Since March 2008, Veolia has managed the MMSD facilities, cleaning billions of gallons of wastewater every year at two water reclamation facilities that serve 1.1 million people in 28 communities. The company also operates the Jones Island and South Shore wastewater treatment plants.

Source: press release

Midwest Water Provider Receives High Marks for Customer Service
Illinois American Water received the J.D. Power award for ranking highest in customer satisfaction among water utilities in the Midwest.

“We are honored to receive this award from J.D. Power because it’s a direct reflection of what Illinois American Water’s customers experience with us,” says Illinois American Water President Bruce Hauk. “We know how critical water service is and how personal a service we provide. We thank our customers for their vote of confidence in our employees, who strive every day to provide safe drinking water at a good value.”

The results were according to J.D. Power’s 2016 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study. The first-time national study was based on more than 20,000 responses, representing more than 83 million residential customers of the 84 largest water utilities across the United States. The study ranked water utilities serving a population of at least 400,000 residents.

According to J.D. Power, the study found that when critical water infrastructure is not maintained, it can cause interruptions in delivery or create water quality problems, the two issues that impacted satisfaction the most.

Source: The Telegraph

Jefferson Gets State Loans For Water Infrastructure Improvements
The city of Jefferson, Texas, will receive more than $5 million in state loans to replace water and sewer lines throughout downtown, according to a Longview News-Journal report.

The Texas Water Development Board gave the project the “go-ahead” last month. “We’re hoping to start the bidding process this fall,” says Jefferson Public Works Director Allan Whatley. “We’ll start construction next year.”

Loans that were approved include $2.6 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, $1.6 million form the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, and $1 million from the Texas Water Development Fund.

Per the report, much of the project will focus on the city’s oldest distribution and collection lines in Jefferson’s tourism and retail section. The city will replace 23,500 feet of 6- to 12-inch waterlines — more than 25 percent of the city’s potable water network — as well as 11,000 feet of 8- to 12-inch wastewater lines.

Source: Longview News-Journal


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