News Briefs: Major Sewer Line Failure Stops Shellfish Harvest in a Virginia City

Also in this week's sewer and water news, utility crews in Nashville are examining underground infrastructure in the aftermath of the Christmas Day bombing on Second Avenue

Officials have placed a ban on shellfish harvesting after a major wastewater line broke in Newport News, Virginia.

The 36-inch line break caused wastewater to pour into the streets, making travel difficult in the area.

Hampton Roads Sanitation District General Manager Ted Henefin tells WAVY News it’s a significant issue. “Pretty confident it’s a major failure. It’s coming out of the ground at that point and basically running through the storm drain and into the local bodies of water.”

He says crews will have to perform controlled releases upstream in order to repair the broken pipe.

New York Governor Proposes Prohibition of Utility Disconnections During State of Emergency

In other news, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced a proposal to prohibit utility disconnections in regions that are under a state of emergency as part of the 2021 State of the State. The governor will propose legislation that will apply to water, electric, gas, telecommunications, cable and internet services. Utilities that fail to comply will be subject to penalties.

“In a year in which we dealt with an unprecedented pandemic, ferocious storms added insult to injury by knocking out power for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers,” Cuomo says. “Utility companies provide essential services, and we need to make sure they continue to provide them, rain or shine. That’s why we're proposing legislation to make sure that New Yorkers, especially those living in regions under states of emergency, have access to these critical services to provide for themselves and their families.”

Nashville Utility Workers Examine Underground Infrastructure After Bombing

As a result of the recent Christmas Day bombing incident in Nashville, Tennessee, utility crews are inspecting and cleaning sewer lines to determine the extent of the damage in the Second Avenue area. The cost of the endeavor is about $75,000.

Some of the area’s clay pipes date back to 1903, according to officials, and there’s concern the blast could have damaged that underground infrastructure.

“When you have an older clay pipe especially, that type of vibration could have caused it to fail,” Sonia Allman, Metro Water Services’ Public Information Officer, tells WTVF News.


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