News Briefs: Bay Area Blackouts Cause Water Shortage in Vallejo

Also in this week's sewer and water news, 10 breweries in Scottsdale, Arizona, will offer reuse beer at a celebration event

In the midst of historic blackouts across the Bay Area of California, one water utility in the city of Vallejo faced a near-crisis as one of its pump stations couldn’t lift raw water to the nearby town of Cordelia.

“We were getting close to about two days' water left,” says Beth Schoenberger, Vallejo Water Department operations manager, tells KPIX News. “It’s not a situation that we are comfortable with and it’s relatively unprecedented.”

Firefighters battling with wildfires in the area also put a strain on the city’s supply. The large-scale blackouts in the Bay Area were initiated by the utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in an effort to avoid starting fires with downed and poorly maintained lines in dry, windy conditions.

Ten Arizona Breweries to Offer Reuse Beer at Celebration

Ten of the Scottsdale, Arizona, area’s most popular craft breweries are now serving specialty beers brewed specifically for the One Water Brewing Showcase – a one-of-a-kind event designed to help change public perception about the purity of recycled water.

The One Water Brewing Showcase will be held Nov. 8 and 9 at the Scottsdale Waterfront as part of Canal Convergence, Arizona’s premier interactive, immersive arts experience.

The showcase is a joint effort between Scottsdale Water and Scottsdale Arts to celebrate Scottsdale having recently received the state's first – and only the third in the nation — permit for direct potable reuse.

The groundbreaking permit effectively establishes a model for cities across Arizona and globally to begin working towards reusing their precious water resources for future, long-term water sustainability. The One Water Brewing Showcase is part of a sustained effort to normalize public perception about recycled water and the eventual widespread process of direct potable reuse.

Chicago Unveils Sewer/Water Bill Debt Forgiveness Program

The city of Chicago will no longer shut off residential water supplies for unpaid bills, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced.

The mayor says access to water is a basic human right and that Chicago residents shouldn’t have to choose between paying utility bills and other needs. To address the issue, the city is unveiling its Utility Billing Relief and Debt Forgiveness program. The program will give residents ways to settle debts by paying 50% for sewer and water bills. After a year of making those payments, the city would forgive the remaining debt.


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