News Briefs: Workers Uncover Wooden Water Main Dating Back to 1700s

Also in this week's sewer and water news, an infestation of zebra mussels in a raw water pipe is causing foul-smelling water in Austin, Texas

Utility workers in Albany, New York, recently uncovered a wooden water main that likely dates back to the 1700s underneath the pavement on Broadway.

Before they pulled out the 6-foot segment of log, the workers weren’t sure what they were looking at. “As soon as we saw it, I thought, ‘Well, that can't be an old telephone pole,’” the water department’s commissioner tells the Times Union. “Wood water mains go way back. It reminds us that Albany was an older urban settlement.”

Albany Water shared images of the colonial-era water main on Twitter:

Work was being done in that area of the road due to a recent investigation that revealed an old building had never been hooked up to the city sewer and was discharging untreated wastewater into the Hudson River.

Zebra Mussel Infestation Causes Stinky Water in Austin

Residents in Austin, Texas, have been dealing with stinky water this month, and city officials say an infestation of zebra mussels in a raw water pipeline is causing it.

The pipe first became infested with the mussels a year ago and city workers shut off the pipe to remove them. But after turning the pipe back on recently, customers reported a foul smell.

“I turned on the water and it's just this over powering odor of what I would consider raw meat,” one resident tells Fox 7 News.

Meanwhile, Austin Water is working on flushing the lines  and has reported big improvements in the taste and odor of its drinking water.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers Calls for Financing to Replace Lead Pipes, Address Water Quality Issues

As part of his first state budget, newly elected Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is calling for $70 million in financing over the next two years to address water pollution issues and replace lead pipes.

Under Evers’ plant, the state’s Department of Natural Resources would be allowed to borrow $65 million to pay for pollution reduction efforts at the municipal level; cleaning up contaminated soil on the Milwaukee and St. Louis rivers; and municipal loans to pay for half the cost of replacing lead pipes.

The state legislature is in Republican control, and it’s unclear whether they’ll support the Democratic governor’s proposal. Republicans have created a task force and are drafting their own legislation to address similar issues.


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