News Briefs: Gatineau, Quebec, Sees Series of Water Main Breaks

Also in this week's sewer and water news, Michigan sets aside $69 million for infrastructure repairs and environmental cleanup

The city of Gatineau, Quebec, is dealing with a spate of water main breaks that city officials say is due to an aging water system and recent temperature changes.

Since Dec. 17, the city has seen four water main breaks — one of which flooded a dozen homes and caused a boil-water advisory for 24,000 residents — and those breaks have prompted conversations about the importance of investments into infrastructure.

City council member Louise Boudrias tells CBC News that Gatineau needs to emulate what neighboring cities are doing to address water infrastructure issues. Although the city set aside $32 million for upgrades in 2018, she says she isn’t sure it’s enough.

“I think it’s a serious situation,” she tells CBC News. “We have to look into it. Are we investing enough money into our infrastructure? I'm not sure about that.”

The city’s mayor says the city needs $1.3 billion to catch up on infrastructure work.

Michigan Allocates $69 Million for Infrastructure, Environmental Cleanup

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation that allocates $69 million for upgrades to road and water infrastructure along with environmental cleanup efforts under the Renew Michigan Fund.

The legislation the governor signed is part of a proposal he announced earlier in 2018 that aims to increase financial investments into the state’s environment.

“As we continue to build a stronger foundation for Michigan’s future, it’s critical that we invest in improvements to our environment and infrastructure,” Snyder said in a statement. “This legislation allows for upgrades to our road and water infrastructure while investing in environmental cleanup, ensuring a better and brighter future for Michiganders today, tomorrow and for generations to come.”

The bill Snyder signed is House Bill 4991, which reallocates some income tax funds to pay for environmental cleanup and road repairs.

Spokane Residents Get Holiday Gift From Water Utility

Residents in Spokane, Washington, got a holiday gift from Modern Electric Water Company in the form of a $50 credit.

The company says it had a good year financially and is paying back thousands of customers in Spokane with $50 credits to their December water bills.

Modern Electric Water Company is a nonprofit, customer-owned corporation providing water services in the Spokane Valley. It is governed by a five-member board elected locally.


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