News Briefs: Unconnected Resident Seeks Repayment for 44 Years of Sewer Bills

Also in this week's sewer and water news, the U.S. EPA has announced a new round of $6 billion in funding under its WIFIA program

A Virginia woman is asking the city of Richmond for $26,000 to pay her back for the 44 years of wastewater fees she was billed for while her home was on a septic system.

The woman, Zenobia Gary, says she thought a sewer line was connected to her home, and so did the city, as they’d been billing her for the service for more than four decades.

The septic tank was discovered by a plumber digging in her yard, according to WWBT News.

“You can say lucky or not lucky. To have this septic tank for 30 or 40 years without cleaning it, this surprised me really. This was full,” the owner of Leo’s Plumbing, Elias Chaoul, told the news station. 

EPA Announces $6 Billion in New Funding for Water Infrastructure Projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the 2020 notice of funding availability under its Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, including funding for the new State infrastructure financing authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program. 

These funding programs accelerate investment in critical water infrastructure through innovative and flexible financing that can support diverse projects in both large and small communities. 

This year’s funding will provide up to $6 billion to support $12 billion in water infrastructure projects while creating more than 35,000 jobs and improving public health and environmental protection in communities across the country.

“This new round of $6 billion in funding comes in time to help communities that are trying to recover from the health and financial stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and, for the first time, includes funding expressly available to states,” says EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

LIFT Releases New Strategic Plan

The Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) Program, a joint initiative of the Water Environment Federation and The Water Research Foundation, has released a new strategic plan for 2020–2025.  The LIFT Program is an interactive forum that supports collaboration, evaluation, and testing to accelerate the deployment of innovative research and technologies across the water sector. The LIFT community engages academia, technology developers, and utility end users.

The strategic plan outlines specific actions that will contribute to four key strategic goals: empowering and accelerating water technology innovation; energizing the water innovation environment with partnerships in and beyond the water sector; broadening the water innovator community through advanced knowledge and technology transfer; and aligning and growing resources to ensure program program sustainability.


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