Tag Archives: Drinking Water

24-Inch Water Pipe Burst Closes Dallas Street

A water main break in Dallas released enough water to stop traffic and close one street for at least a day.

The 24-inch water pipeline burst on Beckley Avenue, under the Commerce Street Bridge.

“The possibilities of the failure could be corrosion, electrolysis that occurs there, it could be ground shift,” explained Randy Payton, with Dallas Water Utilities.

According to Payton, each year Dallas spends about $100 million on pipe replacement.

“Dallas has an aggressive approach in replacing its pipelines annually,” he said.

It’s expected to take a full day, up to 20 hours, to repair or replace the pipe.

There are some 5,000 miles of pipeline running through the city of Dallas.

Payton said it’s unusual for larger pipes to break and that the 24-inch pipe on Beckley is, “…a reliable pipe. Generally, like I said, it only fails once or twice a year — throughout the system.”

The large size of the burst pipe will require more manpower to repair/replace it.

SOURCE: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/06/06/24-inch-water-pipe-burst-closes-dallas-street/

Leaks and corrosion: Water main pipes being replaced in metro-east


BELLEVILLE — Illinois American Water Co. is investing $1.2 million to replace water main piping in parts of Belleville, East St. Louis, Granite City and Venice.

The original piping is rife with leaks, corrosion and longterm sediment accretion, according Grant Evitts, senior operations manager for the Interurban District.

“The water mains we are replacing with this project were installed over 50 years ago,” Evitts said. “Upgrading the infrastructure is essential to ensuring quality water service.”

According to utility company spokeswoman Karen Cotton, the funding for this project will be provided by revenue from customer water rates. These rates, which aren’t subsidized with taxes or fees, are based on the true cost of providing water service, including water treatment, distribution, customer service, meter reading and infrastructure investments that need to be made to ensure water quality and upgrading of the water main systems.

Work to install more than two miles of water mains begins this week on Coral Drive in Belleville. There will be 1,509 feet of 2-inch galvanized piping replaced with 8-inch ductile iron on Coral Drive from Carlyle Avenue to Gardenia and from Shady Lane to Holly Drive. Later this year, 750 feet of water main will be replaced on South Pennsylvania Avenue in Belleville.

Other installation projects throughout the year will include:

* 3,445 feet of 8-inch ductile iron main on Church Lane in East St. Louis from 78th Street to Illinois 157.

* 3,552 feet of 8-inch ductile iron main on Edison Avenue in Granite City form 22nd Street to 26th Street.

* 920 feet of 8-inch ductile iron main on Lincoln Avenue in Venice from Cleveland Avenue to Klein Avenue.

On Oct. 27, Illinois American filed a request with the Illinois Commerce Commission for a rate increase of $7.06 a month to be added to the existing $43.65 per month average residential bill. The review process is pending.

“We maintain ongoing infrastructure investments to ensure that we do not find ourselves in a crisis situation,” Cotton said. “…This will help meet the demands of today’s customers and planning for the future.”

EPA: US needs $300B in sewer, water work

A federal study shows municipalities nationwide need more than $300 billion worth of essential upgrades to long overlooked water and sewer systems over the next 20 years.

The need is acute in Northeastern states with older systems like New York, which needs $29.7 billion worth of improvements, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Wednesday. But he said that price is a “just a drop in the bucket” compared to the higher cost of continuing to upgrade parts of sewer and water systems when emergencies strike. He is pushing a bill that would counter planned funding cuts in the federal transportation bill now being negotiated in Washington.

“EPA found that the nation’s 53,000 community water systems and 21,400 not-for-profit, non-community water systems will need to invest an estimated $334.8 billion between 2007 and 2027,” stated the federal Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment, which is updated every four years.

The National Association of Counties’ 2008 report estimated the need for water and sewer upgrades at $300 billion to $450 billion nationwide and the federal stimulus project provided just a fraction of that as the recession reduced local governments’ revenues.

“This is a very serious concern,” said Carolyn Berndt of the National League of Cities. “Many communities have a long-term plan to replace all their underground water infrastructure, but even if they do a couple percentages of pipes a year, it’s still going to take over 100 years for some of them to replace it all.”

She said local governments have been paying more than 95 percent of the cost of water and sewer upgrades since the 1990s as federal aid has declined. Schumer said federal aid covered 75 percent of local costs in the 1980s and 1970s.

“It’s a huge undertaking,” Berndt said. “Some of these pipes are 100 years old. That’s why they continue to see water main breaks.”

The group supports Schumer’s effort, which comes as Congress works to cut spending.

SOURCE: http://online.wsj.com/article/AP219f0f0323df453694748991f44b896d.html

South Bismarck sewer repairs continuing

Crews were seen repairing a corroded sewage pipe and keep raw sewage from seeping into homes in south Bismarck.

The city’s utility operations director, Keith Demke, said the workers were not successful in stopping the leak Wednesday night, and he said more work is required.

“We are asking residents in the affected area to continue to reduce the flows to the sewer system until further notice,” Demke said.

South Bismarck residents have been asked to limit showers, baths, laundry and other water use since Tuesday evening. To further ease pressure on the sewer system, some of the sewage is being moved through the South Washington lift station. Those affected are residents and businesses south of Bismarck Expressway from Washington Street to Airport Road.

The threat of sewage seeping into basements forced city crews to divert the mess from the normal sewer main into a storm water drainage ditch that flows directly into the Missouri River. The drainage ditch is south of Wachter Avenue and north of a bridge near a walking path.

“If we don’t do this, it’s going to back up into people’s homes and basements,” Demke said.

For the short-term repairs, Demke doesn’t believe the sewage diversion poses a health risk to people “unless they are in direct contact with it.” He said much of the drainage ditch’s mile-plus path is not accessible west of Tatley Meadows.

The leak was caused by a corrosion hole in the iron pipe carrying the waste material. Demke said the 24-inch pipe is the second largest sewer drainage system serving the city, about one-third of the city’s solid waste intake.

“It’s going a little slower than we thought,” Demke said Wednesday night. “They’re patching a new pipe together, bolting it, refilling it and then they’ve got to get the air out of the pipe.”

SOURCE: http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/south-bismarck-sewer-repairs-underway/article_cd351da0-3716-11e1-9f47-0019bb2963f4.html

$20m (AUD) to fix Canberra’s Scrivener Dam

Up to $20 million will be spent repairing Canberra’s Scrivener Dam after a safety audit uncovered corrosion problems.

The annual safety audit of the dam three weeks ago found corroded bolts in the flap gates of the dam wall which are opened during flooding to regulate the level of Lake Burley Griffin.

It recommended 120 anchor bolts be replaced within one to two years.

“The engineering work involves replacing every bolt, on every hinge, on every gate,” said National Capital Authority (NCA) chief executive Gary Rake.

“Each of the five flap gates will, in turn, be removed and replaced by a temporary floating gate while the bolts are changed.”

Most of the bolts are encased in steel structure or concrete and are difficult to access.

The work will also include redesigning the anchor bolt system to reduce corrosion and improve accessibility.

It is expected to cost between $15 million and $20 million (AUD), and will take up to 18 months to complete.

Mr Rake says the lake level is also being lowered to the same level reached in February 2003 during drought conditions.

“Lake Burley Griffin was lowered 200 millimetres last Friday evening in anticipation of increased water inflows,” he said.

“We will lower the lake by another 300mm. Lowering the lake to this level will assist us in managing risks associated with both the day-to-day operation of the dam and the completion of these engineering works.

“We expect that the lake will remain at this lower level throughout the work.

“There may be occasions when the lake needs to be lowered even further. Lake users will be given advance notice of expected changes in the lake level whenever possible.”

Mr Rake says the dam remains safe and fully functional.

“Undertaking these works will not interfere with the regular operation of the dam. We have been advised by independent engineers that Scrivener Dam remains safe and fully functional,” he said.

“All risks associated with these works and the day-to-day operation of the dam are being appropriately managed.”

SOURCE: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-01/scrivener-dam-repair-bill/3706644 

Water line break & corrosion a headache for Tucson Water

Aging water lines are a problem for Tucson Water. They often break causing big headaches.

But what happens when lines that are relatively new break. Solving that problem goes from headache to migraine.

A 24 inch line broke in front of Miller Elementary School at Camino de la Tierra and Avenida de Isabel. Because it was not a service line, homeowners and the school were not affected. Everyone still has water flowing into their homes.

But the biggest problem is trying to determine what a line that was installed in 1981 sprung a leak. A cast iron pipe like that should last 50 to 80 years at least. Turns out soil corrosion might have caused the line to fail. It could also be an electrochemical phenomenon.

What is known, there are some very large holes on the bottom of an eight foot section taken out of the ground.

An inspection of other pipes leading into homes in the area also showed the same type of corrosion.

The city will use camera’s to try to determine just how much of the pipe needs to be replaced. It will send a camera several hundred feet in both directions to see if corrosion may have weakened other parts as well.

So what started out to be a routine repair job may be long and complicated. The Water Department has identified $131 million in water line repairs that need to be done.

In the meantime, the water department had an early warning system in place which sends out alerts when a line is deteriorating.

The system worked a few weeks ago when workers were alerted to a weakening 42 inch line on Columbus Avenue and Grant.

It would have been a catastrophic event had it burst.

Workers are now repairing damage to the line.

SOURCE: http://www.kold.com/story/16148949/water-line-break-a-headache-for-workers

A Kansas city must conduct tests to determine the corrosivity of the city’s water supply

McPherson’s Board of Public Utilities initiated plans to tackle the city water supply’s copper contamination, although the utility remains far from implementing any changes.

At its Monday meeting, board members were informed by BPU General Manager Tim Maier the utility received instruction from the state. Officials outlined what steps must be taken to lower copper levels in McPherson’s water supply and set a series of deadlines by which additional testing must be completed.

To work toward compliance with regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency, BPU will take new samples from city households in an effort to determine which types of treatment will best rectify the problem. The utility is scheduled to have treatment recommendations prepared in the summer 2012.

BPU also must conduct tests to determine the corrosivity of the city’s water supply and prepare a plan to lower corrosion in water lines.

The corrosivity of water is not regulated by the EPA, though it contributes to the levels of restricted substances in the water supply. Most copper contamination, according to Maier, occurs in the copper pipes within households.

By lowering the corrosivity of the water, copper levels likely will  drop, as well.

In the city commission meeting conducted earlier on Monday, Maier said corrosion treatment recommendations are due in 2015.

SOURCE: http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/news/x363495861/BPU-outlines-steps-to-address-copper-in-water

Corrosion – Fatal Impact on Concrete Wall Flaw

A deficiency in the concrete wall construction of the basin at the Gatlinburg Wastewater Treatment Plant led to the basin wall collapsing, killing two employees in April, a report from the state issued Thursday says.

“Walls were cast in a manner that produced a cold joint between the cast wall which fell” and three interior intersecting walls, according to the report from the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA).

TOSHA announced in early October that it found no safety violations at the plant, and this week released a five-page report that was the basis for that finding. When TOSHA announced in early October there were no safety violations, it didn’t give a probable cause of the basin wall collapse.

The new report does. What its inspectors call a “cold smooth joint” led to leakage of acidic waste across the joint, and “as a result, corroded the rebar splice couplers over a number of years.”

The couplers were not believed to have failed at one time, but gradually over the life of the basin, the report said.

When the findings of no safety violations were announced earlier this month, Veolia spokeswoman Karole Colangelo said, “Although the findings from TOSHA reinforce our emphasis on employee safety, it does not dismiss the fact that two Veolia Water employees perished in this tragic accident, and company employees continue to mourn their deaths.”

“It was assumed the two operators were making adjustments to the effluent flow inside the equalization basin,” the report says. While the men were working, the wall collapsed and fell on the building in which they were working.

The collapse sent about 850,000 gallons of untreated wastewater into the Little Pigeon River and forced the city to pump more untreated water into the river until it could come up with a temporary solution a few days later.

According to the workers’ last journal entry at 5:30 a.m. that day, the basin contained 1.3 million gallons of water and was 85 percent full. The water level was recorded at 25.5 feet. The report says interviews with operators and plant officials show the average water level was 4-8 feet.

The plant is owned by the city but managed by Veolia Water North America Operating Services LLC. Veolia officials told the state inspectors that both Crowder Construction Co., that built the plant and Flynt Engineering Co., that designed it are out of business. The basin was finished in 1996.

TOSHA learned that after the basin was finished in 1996 the north wall had cracks and a lateral displacement/bowing of the wall and walkway. Veolia told the state that buttresses were installed that “corrected” the problems with the wall and walkway.

TOSHA noted that the flow control building where the workers were is still not accessible, but the state says “we have no probable reason to think that access to this area would reveal any additional information that would result in citation being issued to Veolia.”

The report says the contractor used “splicing couplers” instead of dowels, as required in the original drawings, noting that while that was a “deviation” from the design, it was probably not the cause of the collapse. The report did say that “formation of a cold joint resulted in accelerated corrosion of the couplers.”

TOSHA reviewed the original design of the basin and found the design of walls “adequate.”

SOURCE: http://themountainpress.com/view/full_story/16198627/article–Report–Wall-flaw-caused-accident-?instance=main_article_top_stories

NJ Reservoir Drainage May Affect Local Drinking Water

Officials say water may look, smell differently, but is still safe to drink while the Cedar Grove Reservoir is drained.

While the Cedar Grove Reservoir is drained, workers will go in and repair corrosion damage, inspect its conduits and fix leakage.

The process of draining the reservoir, which is located along Ridge Road, is expected to take three to four months. During that time, water customers in towns supplied by the reservoir may notice some discoloration or changes to the taste of the water, but officials say the water is safe to drink.

The City of Newark owns the reservoir and the city’s Department of Water and Sewer Utilities for the City of Newark along with Mayor Cory A. Booker, explained that the discoloration occurs when valves are opened and closed during the drainage process. The Great Notch reservoir, owned by the Passaic Valley Water Commission and located in Woodland Park, will supply additional water to customers, so there is no interruption in the supply or quality of water while the repair work is being done.

“We are working to upgrade and modernize our water system and to provide residents with the highest quality water supply in the nation,” said Booker. “This repair work will require us to drain and inspect the Cedar Grove Reservoir, which may cause temporary discoloration or a change in the water’s taste. But the water provided will be safe to use.”

City officials say there is a leak in the outlet tunnel and corrosion damage to the 60-inch water main. The main also needs a new valve.

The reservoir provides water for Newark, Belleville, Bloomfield, and some areas of East Orange. Every decade or so, the reservoir is drained and cleaned of debris. Its pipes are inspected, and then it is re-filled. The project is expected to finish on April 30 of next year, according to Township Manager Thomas Tucci, who said the project will not create any issues to residents.

The city has not drained the reservoir since 1990 to perform repairs. Water samples are taken daily from the reservoir and tested to make sure the water quality complies with safe water drinking standards. Discoloration does not make the water unsafe, officials say, but could cause discoloration while washing clothes.

“There may be some slight color changes during the switchover,” said Andrew Pappachen, Director of Operations for the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corp. “However, we will ensure the potability by maintaining sufficient chlorine residual in the water. We will be monitoring the water quality more often.”

SOURCE: http://southward.patch.com/articles/reservoir-drainage-may-affect-local-drinking-water

Pipeline corrosion issues at Crystal Springs Reservoir requires underwater work

Coastside County Water District officials could spend about $125,000 for a dive team to fix corrosion problems that have closed off a pipeline at Crystal Springs Reservoir in California.

First discovered earlier this year, corrosion damage on the pipe equipment at Crystal Springs has caused a valve on the intake system to remain firmly shut, cutting off one conduit for the water district’s second largest source of water.

Water managers point out the district can still draw water using a second intake pipe at the reservoir, but parts on that pipe are also showing the same corrosion damage. They emphasize they need both pipes in working order to ensure the water source remains secure.

“If one failed, how far is the other one to go?” said water treatment plant supervisor Joe Guistino. “This is a critical water supply for the district under normal years.”

Half Moon Bay’s water district needs to look no further than the South Coast to see the importance of having well-maintained equipment. Last month, Pescadero lacked water for more than two days after its main water pump malfunctioned. The backup pump that was supposed to take over wasn’t activated until the town’s water supply was completely drained, causing a sudden water shortage that crippled the community.

Even in a worst-case scenario, Coastside water district officials say they would still be able to supply water for their customers in the Half Moon Bay area. The water district normally doesn’t need to draw from Crystal Springs Reservoir until the dry weather in the summer months begins to deplete other water sources. In the 2010-11 fiscal year, the district took more than 110 million gallons from the reservoir, approximately 16.5 percent of its total annual water supply. Despite the pipeline troubles, the utility drew more than 1 million gallons in July, all of which was used for irrigation at the Skylawn Memorial Park off Highway 92.

Water managers say the specific problems at Crystal Springs Reservoir are the pneumatic actuators on both water pipelines. One of the actuators has holes rusted through it, causing the device to perpetually close off an automated valve. The same equipment had corroded on the pipeline about 10 years ago and had to be replaced.

Finding new replacements would be one way to fix it, Guistino said, but that will require ordering a custom-made part from the manufacturer. Alternatively, the district could decide just to remove the actuators and leave the water pipe open.

Repairing the underwater pipes is a hazardous job that involves spelunking through plumbing tunnels under the lake. District staff used to access the tunnel system by riding a small basket 160 feet down a well shaft, but, today, safety concerns have led the district to hire outside professionals to handle any maintenance work.

Guistino estimated the water district could complete the repairs by next year.

SOURCE: http://www.hmbreview.com/news/ccwd-eyes-crystal-springs-repairs/article_ff5f5f42-df15-11e0-b34f-001cc4c002e0.html