News Briefs: King County Spends Millions Repairing Brand-New Pipeline

Also in this week's sewer and water news, the household of an Austin, Texas, lawmaker is found to have used more water than any other single-family home in the city during 2017

Crews in King County, Washington, finished work this spring on a pipe-bursting project to repair an $11 million pipeline and holding tank that reportedly failed after only months of operation, according to KIRO News.

The half-mile pipeline project in Seattle’s South Magnolia neighborhood is meant to redirect wastewater overflow to a 1.5 million gallon holding tank for treatment that would have otherwise been released into Puget Sound.

The original project was completed in December 2015, but the system failed during a rainstorm the following fall. Now, rates are rising for Seattle taxpayers as the county has spent another $7.7 million fixing the pipe.

The cause of the break isn’t known, but officials speculate it was overstressed. There’s a $26.4 million insurance policy covering the project, but it’s unclear how much ratepayer money it covers.

The household Rep. Michael McCaul out of Austin, Texas, used more city water than any single-family home in the city last year, according to utility data published by Austin American Statesman.

The congressman’s family reportedly used more than 1.4 million gallons of water in 2017, although McCaul’s office told the Statesman that his family has been experiencing issues with its water pipes. His $7.3 million residence also ranked sixth overall in Austin water use in 2016.

With recent rainstorms in New York, more than 16 million gallons of wastewater overflows were reported.

This story is nothing new, but it highlights a need for updated infrastructure nationwide, as those discharges went straight into local creeks, rivers and lakes throughout western New York.

An investigative report by the 2 On Your Side news team showed last year that the city of Buffalo experiences about 800 discharges each year. The Niagara Falls Water Board also talked about the recent overflows in a recent conference announcing improvements to its wastewater treatment facility.


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