November Newsline: Water industry $127B in 2009; Inergy pipeline update; Tampa sewer rates rising

November 2009 Vol. 64 No. 11

According to a consent decree filed in September in federal court, the city is required to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to reduce, and where feasible, eliminate overflows into the Ohio River from its combined sewers by calendar year 2020 or 2025, depending on Jeffersonville’s financial health; implement a plan with specific actions to improve the capacity, management, operation, and maintenance of its sanitary sewer system to eliminate overflows of untreated sewage; and eliminate all discharge points within its sanitary sewer system.

Under this settlement, the city will improve its sewer system to minimize, and in many cases, eliminate those overflows at a cost likely between $100 and $150 million.

In addition to improving its sewer system, Jeffersonville has agreed to pay the United States a civil penalty of $49,500 and the state of Indiana a civil penalty of $8,250, provided that Jeffersonville implements two environmental projects identified in the settlement that are designed to improve water quality in the city at a cost of more than $248,000.

Located on the north bank of the Ohio River, directly across the river from Louisville, KY, Jeffersonville has a population of approximately 30,000. Of Jeffersonville’s total sewer area, 15 percent is served by combined sewers while 85 percent is served by separate sanitary sewers. The combined sewers are located in the older, downtown portion of Jeffersonville and lack sufficient capacity to transport all of the combined sewage that it receives to the city’s wastewater treatment plant during rainfall events. As a result, Jeffersonville commonly discharges the combination of sewage and storm water through one or more of its 13 combined sewer overflow outfalls that discharge to the Ohio River.

A copy of the consent decree is available on the Justice Department Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

OSHA requires safe egress from trenches
In an interpretation letter posted July 27, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration advised employers that employees working in trenches must be able to exit safely at all times, whether by a ladder, stairway, ramp or other means.