EcoLogs: Keokuk to Address Untreated Sewage Discharges

Through an agreement with EPA Region 7, the City of Keokuk, Iowa, will improve its combined sewer system over the next 20 years, reducing discharges of hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage to the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Through an agreement with EPA Region 7, the City of Keokuk, Iowa, will improve its combined sewer system over the next 20 years, reducing discharges of hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage to the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Under a consent order, Keokuk will submit a long-term control plan to EPA and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources by December 31, 2012.

Once approved by EPA and IDNR, Keokuk must complete the implementation of all terms of the order, including requirements related to the long-term control plan, no later than December 31, 2030.

Initial projections by the City of Keokuk to implement the long-term control plan are estimated to be between $60 million and $100 million for total separation of the combined sewer system.

Chesapeake Bay 'Pollution Diet' Established

The U.S. EPA has released the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), intended to restore clean water in Chesapeake Bay and the region's streams, creeks and rivers.

The 'pollution diet' is driven primarily by jurisdictions' plans to put all needed pollution controls in place by 2025 and EPA will hold jurisdictions accountable for results along the way.

The TMDL identifies the necessary reductions of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment from Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

It calls for a 25 percent reduction in nitrogen, 24 percent reduction in phosphorus and 20 percent reduction in sediment. The TMDL -- which sets Bay watershed limits of 185.9 million pounds of nitrogen, 12.5 million pounds of phosphorus and 6.45 billion pounds of sediment per year -- is designed to ensure that all pollution control measures to fully restore the Bay and its tidal rivers are in place by 2025, with at least 60 percent of the actions completed by 2017.

The TMDL, as well as evaluations of the state plans and EPA backstops and contingencies can be found at www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl.

Stormwater Improvements get Funding in Rose Hill, KS

The city of Rose Hill, KS, has been awarded $485,000 from EPA for improvements to its stormwater system.

The project is designed to correct drainage problems in the city by addressing current and future flooding issues. The undersized Berlin Drive storm sewer will be enlarged and the downstream channel will be graded. A detention pond will be constructed to reduce peak flows and downstream flooding.

These improvements include the construction of 700 feet of 48-inch reinforced concrete pipe and the cleaning and grading of 1,850 feet of downstream channel to improve flows and eliminate stagnant areas of water.

The project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2011.

Northeast Ohio Sewer District to Address Untreated Sewage in Waterways

Under a settlement with U.S. EPA and the U.S. Justice Department, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District will address the flow of untreated sewage into Cleveland area waterways and Lake Erie.

NEORSD discharges nearly five billion gallons of untreated, raw sewage approximately 3,000 to 4,000 times per year into Lake Erie and nearby rivers. The settlement will require the sewer district to spend approximately $3 billion to install pollution controls, including the construction of seven tunnel systems ranging from two to five miles in length that will reduce the discharges of untreated, raw sewage to approximately 537 million gallons per year.

The sewer district estimates that this investment will lead to more than 30,000 jobs in the Cleveland area and return $2.63 for every $1.00 invested.

The settlement will also significantly advance the use of large-scale green infrastructure projects to control wet weather sewer discharges by requiring the sewer district to invest at least $42 million in green infrastructure projects. These projects are expected to capture an additional 44 million gallons of wet weather flow beyond what the tunnels and other traditional infrastructure construction improvements will capture.

The settlement also requires the district to pay a penalty of $1.2 million which will be distributed evenly between the United States and the State of Ohio.

Sewer Tunnel to Provide Combined-Sewer Overflow Relief in Columbus

Construction has begun on a hard-rock stormwater overflow and relief sewer tunnel 180 feet below the surface in Columbus, Ohio. The nearly 4.5-mile-long, 20-foot-diameter tunnel will further limit combined sewer overflows (CSOs) into the Olentangy and Scioto rivers.

Black & Veatch, in association with H.R. Gray, is providing construction management for the tunnel project, which will augment the existing Olentangy Scioto Interception Sewer (OSIS).

The tunnel will be completed in two phases, with overall substantial completion and operational control expected in December 2014.

Watershed Protection, Restoration Grants Awarded in New Hampshire

Over the past year the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has awarded over $1 million to 15 New Hampshire communities and non-profit organizations to address water pollution problems caused by runoff.

The projects are currently underway and range in size and scope from a $1,200 award to NH Public Radio to develop a central web-based warehouse for innovative land use zoning regulations to an over $200,000 grant to Trout Unlimited to restore Nash Stream, a historically high quality brook trout fishery in Coos County.

Other projects seek to reduce excessive sediment and phosphorus runoff, address cyanobacteria blooms, and control erosion.

Major Sanitary Sewer System Upgrades Planned for DeKalb County

Under a consent decree with EPA and the U.S. Justice Department, DeKalb County, GA, will make major improvements to its sanitary sewer systems in an effort to eliminate unauthorized overflows of untreated sewage.

DeKalb will also pay a civil penalty of $453,000.

DeKalb's sanitary sewer system serves over 500,000 people and was designed to convey only municipal sewage, not stormwater, resulting in overflows during wet weather events.

The consent decree will require DeKalb to identify and quantify overflows of untreated sewage and their causes; to identify, delineate, assess and rehabilitate all priority areas within 8 ½ years; and improve its management, operation and maintenance programs to prevent future overflows and respond to overflows when they occur.

DeKalb has estimated the cost at approximately $700 million.

Sustainable Water Infrastructure Resources for Businesses, Local Elected Officials

A new website and suite of social networking tools seeks to create and sustain a dialogue between business leaders, consumers, community leaders and water providers about local, regional and national water management issues.

The "Water is Your Business" initiative, launched in July, is a joint effort of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Let's Rebuild America campaign and the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC).

Features on the site include "Local Leaders" toolkits for elected officials and businesses and general information for citizens across the county to promote solutions that increase overall public and private investment in water infrastructure and more sustainable water management.

Michael Deane, executive director of NAWC, said, "We hope This website will raise awareness on the importance of water infrastructure to public and environmental health, and the economic vitality of American communities."

Visit the website at www.waterisyourbusiness.org.

Homebuilder Settles Stormwater Violations in 21 states

A national residential homebuilder has agreed to pay a $925,000 civil penalty to resolve alleged Clean Water Act violations at its construction sites in 21 states.

Under the settlement, Beazer Homes USA Inc. will also implement a company-wide stormwater program to improve compliance with stormwater runoff requirements at current and future construction sites around the country. This will include improved pollution prevention plans for each construction site, additional site inspections, and prompt correction of any problems.

A portion of the settlement will help EPA efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay, specifying a reduction of approximately 10.4 million pounds of pollutants to the bay watershed.

Seven states have joined the settlement: Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, Tennessee, and Virginia. Each will receive a portion of the $925,000 penalty.

Construction Company Fined for Impacting Stream, Wetlands in Iowa

A private construction company hired by the Iowa Department of Transportation has agreed to pay a $60,000 civil penalty for performing unpermitted fill activities that impacted a section of a nearby stream and three acres of adjacent wetlands.

Manatt's Inc. was contracted to work on a section of Interstate 35 in Clarke County, IA, but did not have a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform fill work at the site.

The unauthorized fill activity, which included filling approximately 1,000 linear feet of an unnamed tributary of White Breast Creek, was identified during an inspection by Corps' representatives in July 2009.

Klamath River Restoration Plan Approved

The U.S. EPA has approved California's water quality improvement plan for restoring salmon fisheries and water quality in the Klamath River.

The plan calls for massive pollution reductions for the California portion of the river, including a 57% reduction in phosphorus, 32% in nitrogen, and 16% in carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD).

The plan also calls for annual reductions in the river's reservoirs of more than 120,000 pounds of nitrogen, and 22,000 pounds of phosphorus.

The Klamath River flows 255 miles southwest from Oregon through northern California, and empties into the Pacific Ocean. Today, the entire Klamath River is listed as "impaired."

TMDLs for several water bodies in the Klamath Basin are also being implemented to address impairments.

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