News Briefs: Ontario WWTP Shuts Down Repeatedly Due to Wipes Clogs

Also in this week's sewer and water news, Portland, Tennessee's wastewater department experiences 15 overflows during a wet start to 2020

The Blue Mountain (Ontario) Public Works Department recently reached out to the public asking people to stop flushing disposable wipes, as the town’s treatment plant has struggled with the rags causing clogs.

“These rags that are often labeled as ‘disposable’ or ‘flushable,’ are not flushable at all,” Allison Kershaw, manager of water and wastewater services, tells Collingwood Today. “At the very end of our treatment plant, where there is supposed to be disinfection occurring, all of these ‘disposable’ rags are collecting and causing major issues.”

Kershaw reports troubles with pumps and valves, and crews struggling to clean out the grit and clarifiers. Operators have recently had to shut down the system three times to pump the plant’s contents out to lagoons in an effort to remove the wipes.

Excessive Rainfall Leads to 15 Overflows in Portland, Tennessee

The Portland (Tennessee) Wastewater Department experienced 15 wastewater overflows in January mostly due to excessive rainfall, according to the Portland Sun. The city submitted several overflow reports to the state’s Department of Environment and Conservation.

While most of the overflows were weather related, one of the overflows was due to a blocked filter press screen.

The city’s collections system supervisor tells the newspaper that he submitted five reports to the DEC in January listing overflows at numerous manholes and also two lift stations.

The city is about to enter into Phase 2 of a treatment plant project which is expected to ease the ongoing issues.

EPA Announces $2.7 Billion in State Revolving Funds for Water Infrastructure

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the availability of $2.7 billion for State Revolving Funds. This funding assists states, tribes and territories with infrastructure projects that help protect surface water and provide safe drinking water to communities across the United States.

“EPA’s decades-long commitment to water infrastructure has helped provide $180 billion in project financing to over 41,000 water quality infrastructure projects and 15,000 drinking water projects across the country,” says EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

In 2020, EPA is providing approximately $1.6 billion in new federal grant funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. This funding is available for a wide range of water infrastructure projects, including modernizing aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling and addressing stormwater. More than $64 million in CWSRF grant funding is available to tribes, certain U.S. territories and the District of Columbia for infrastructure projects.


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