News Briefs: Puppy Rescued From Sewer Drain Is Reunited With Family

Also in this week's sewer and water news, billionaire Elon Musk pledges money for filters in Flint, Michigan, homes with high lead levels; and sewer workers in Wisconsin must evacuate a neighborhood after hitting a natural gas line

A 5-week-old puppy was rescued from a sewer drain in Ballantyne, North Carolina, after it had fallen 6 feet into a service pipe.

In an operation funded by Charlotte Water, water service was shut off as crews excavated a portion of the road in order to get down to the animal and rescue it.

“Once we exposed the pipe we rechecked the dog, we continually watched it but we checked our distances, checked with the probe then we removed the 2-foot section of the pipe,” said a firefighter on the scene during an interview with WBTV News.

The puppy was reunited with its family uninjured.

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk recently rose up to a challenge on Twitter, pledging funds to fix filters in Flint, Michigan, for individual homeowners who can show lead ppm or ppb test results in excess of federal limits.

The announcement came mere days after Vernon Unsworth — a diver who helped rescue 12 boys from a flooded Thai cave — called Musk’s offer to build a rescue submarine a “PR stunt.”

Musk’s pledge via tweet came after a virtually unknown user called @DylanSheaMusic challenged him by writing: “I heard a bunch of people saying there’s NO WAY you could help get clean water to Flint, Michigan. Said you wouldn’t be capable idk.”

Musk replied within minutes, saying “Please consider this a commitment that I will fund fixing the water in any house in Flint that has water contamination above FDA levels. No kidding.” Musk says he hopes the effort will provide houses that need them with filters while helping repair the ongoing public misconception that Flint water is unsafe.

Crews doing sewer repair work in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, struck an underground natural gas line with a backhoe, causing a neighborhood to be briefly evacuated.

Police were alerted to the smell of natural gas, which was coming from a severed two-inch line at the site of sewer work and road construction.

Emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene, where they evacuated homes as a precaution. The pipe was fixed within the hour, according to Wisconsin Public Services.

More than 1,000 water customers in San Diego, California, are complaining about extraordinarily high water bills, but the total number of people affected by bill spikes could be much higher, according to the Voice of San Diego.

Bills for more than 2,500 had doubled since their last bill, according to data from January 2017 to February 2018. Some of those customers saw increases of more than 500 percent.

The city maintains that the charges are accurate, and that they’re due to a number of factors including rising water rates, increased water use after a drought, leaks, and visitors to the city.


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