Renewed push for HR 2421
August 1, 2008

The sponsors and co-sponsors of HR 2421, which would significantly increase the scope of Federal authority over water quality in the United States, are on a renewed campaign to build public support for the bill.

We can help you with controls for point-source and non-point-source pollution. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Gorman-Rupp proves American manufacturing is alive and well
August 4, 2008

The Gorman-Rupp Company is reporting a record-setting second quarter of business this year. With new innovations like the Ultra V sewage pump and a major new investment in a high-tech manufacturing plant, Gorman-Rupp is proving that American manufacturing is alive and well for those companies that choose to innovate, automate, and simply build a better product. We have been the representatives for Gorman-Rupp in Iowa and Nebraska for more than 20 years.

Helping Ottumwa get back on its feet
August 5, 2008

Among the many communities across Iowa hit hard by this summer's flooding was Ottumwa, which is one of Iowa's 25 largest cities. Ottumwa's wastewater treatment plant was badly damaged in the floods, and we have helped Ottumwa get back into operation with the quick shipment of a portable pump.

Iowa's water-quality rules to get tighter
August 6, 2008

The DNR is planning to advance new rules to comply with Federal regulations on water quality. New rules will be going under consideration soon, with implementation of those rules soon to follow. Municipal wastewater plants are likely to have to change some treatment standards as a result.

Dispute emerges over new water plant
August 7, 2008

Some Omaha-are residents are going to the media with concerns over the new Platte West Water Treatment Plant, which is scheduled to go into service in a matter of weeks to increase the city's water capacity. The new plant is needed quite urgently, but the residents are worried that contamination from a former ordnance plant could reach the water going into the plant. The Nebraska DEQ says that it has no regulatory authority over the matter, and the Metropolitan Utilities District says that it received the approval of the US Army Corps of Engineers to go ahead.

We can help you with clean-water pumps from Patterson, which supplied the high-service pumps on the Platte West project. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Thirsty Olympic Games
August 8, 2008

Much of the attention paid to the environmental factors at the Beijing Olympics has surrounded the area's atrocious air quality. Less-known is the fact that China has a titanic problem with clean-water shortages. The need for clean water in a modern society is great, and the Olympics are going to place a pretty serious strain on the region's ability to provide fresh water.

We can help you with products for clean drinking water and products for cleaning wastewater. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

How Cedar Rapids maintained its water supply during the flood
August 11, 2008

The city of Cedar Rapids was one of the hardest-hit locations in the flooding that struck much of Iowa this summer. The story of how they managed to save the city's last water well as the floods came in is rather compelling.

We can help you with pumps for clean-water systems. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Floods put spotlight on Iowa's unsewered communities
August 12, 2008

Following this year's floods, the attention of some state lawmakers is falling upon Iowa's many unsewered communities and others with low levels of biological treatment. The floods placed attention on the matter due to the large number of communities that experienced bypasses and other releases of untreated or inadequately-treated wastewater into the state's rivers and streams. Treatment equipment and pumping capacity can certainly be made available in most, if not all, of the communities in question; the contentious issue is where to find the funding to take action.

Contractors go to White House, worried about rising costs
August 13, 2008

The president and CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America met with President Bush yesterday to discuss their concerns about the rising cost of petroleum and other major components of construction, which have dramatically increased construction costs this year. Since many public projects are tightly bound by the community's borrowing ability, ways have to be found either to reduce other costs or some projects will simply go unbuilt. One way to help is to use fabricated enclosures for everything from pump station buildings to chemical storage, since they can significantly reduce the cost to build in the field.

Nebraska debates fluoridation
August 14, 2008

Many of Nebraska's communities will be voting this year on whether to fluoridate their public drinking-water supplies, thanks to an act of the state legislature that requires those communities to put the matter to a vote. Fluoride has excellent dental-health benefits, and it is easily monitored for proper dosages.

Boil order imposed on Hemingford
August 15, 2008

The village of Hemingford, Nebraska in the northern Panhandle is under a boil order due to high levels of bacteria in the municipal water supply. Bacteria are generally killed by chlorination, ultraviolet light, or ozone, but extraordinary situations like high levels of agricultural runoff due to storms can contaminate water wells and make normal precautions inadequate. Particle counters can be a simple and inexpensive way to get early warning of bacterial breakouts when they occur.

Flood damage still being repaired in Iowa City
August 18, 2008

Two months after the massive floods that hit eastern Iowa especially hard, work is still underway to return basic utility services to full capacity. An effort to repair sewage force mains in Iowa City led to a 100,000-gallon wastewater bypass into the Iowa River last week, and one of the pipes being checked was missing a 40-foot section. It's impossible to know when portable bypass pumps will be needed most, which is why early planning for emergencies is critical.

Tropical storm lands in Florida
August 19, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay remains strong as it traverses Florida. It made landfall this morning around Naples, Florida, and has maintained a lot of strength as it pushes north. The storm serves as a reminder of the value of flood-cleanup pumps and engine-backup lift stations, particularly as an estimated 93,000 customers are without power across the state of Florida.

Rising construction prices place pressure on contractors
August 20, 2008

Average prices for many construction materials rose substantially last month, and they're showing few if any signs of slowing down. Meanwhile, demand has slackened in many places as well. As a result, lots of projects are bidding well above engineers' estimates. One way to help control costs is to use fiberglass enclosures, which can be factory-built at lower cost than many field-constructed buildings. Contact us with your questions about fiberglass enclosures.

Fay drops stunning amounts of water on Florida
August 21, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay has dropped an incredible amount of rain on parts of Florida -- with some places getting almost 24 inches of rain in just over two days. That's about the same amount of precipitation as Omaha gets in an average year. Meanwhile, lots of places are losing power due to the storm as well. While the precipitation is apparently good news for citrus growers, it's certainly going to create flooding problems for many people. The confluence of heavy rains and power outages are a good reminder of the value of battery-backup sump pumps -- increasingly valuable even in Florida, where basements are no longer an anomaly, and practically a necessity in the Midwest. Those power outages also serve as a reminder of the value of lift stations with engine backups and portable bypass pumps. Heavy rains put an even heavier burden on many sewer systems.

Kansas tells Nebraska, "You'll be hearing from our lawyers"
August 22, 2008

The chief engineer of the Kansas Division of Water Resources has made it clear that his state plans to take Nebraska and Colorado to task -- probably in court -- to ensure that Kansas gets more water through the Republican River Compact. Water shortages in the Great Plains are becoming a significant subject of interest from our part of the country all the way south to Texas, where T. Boone Pickens has been coordinating water rights for profit.

We can help you with pumps for clean water, gates for irrigation management, and many other clean-water products. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Ottumwa notes one-year anniversary of waterworks flood
August 25, 2008

It was a year ago that the Ottumwa Water Works was hit by a serious flood that knocked out much of the city's water-distribution system. A year later, the city is taking precautions to ensure that such a disaster never happens again. We have a number of solutions that can help prevent disaster during flooding emergencies, including flood-control gates, emergency bypass and flood-protection pumps, and pump stations with engine backup systems, just in case the power goes out -- which it's most likely to do during the same emergencies that lead to flooding.

Council Bluffs wants a new water plant by 2011
August 26, 2008

The western Iowa city of Council Bluffs is in the design phase of a project to build a new 5 million-gallon-per-day (MGD) water treatment plant.

Lincoln raises water and sewer rates by 3%
August 27, 2008

Higher fuel and chemical costs have raised the price of operating the Lincoln water and wastewater system, so the public works department there requested an increase in rates which was approved by the Lincoln City Council on Monday. A sampling of public reaction -- including a resident who accused the council of raising rates as a service to homebuilders and commenters on the Lincoln Journal-Star website who say they'll ignore summertime watering restrictions and try to vote the sitting councilmembers out of office -- gives us another plain example of how sensitive many people are to even small changes in water and sewer rates. How to effectively communicate the need for policy and rate changes to the public will be the subject of a presentation we will be giving at the Nebraska AWWA conference in November.

Post-flood tests for toxic wastes to continue through end of year
August 28, 2008

The Iowa DNR will be testing the state's waters through the end of the year to look for any signs that June's floods caused lasting damage to the environment. Heavy damage to several of Iowa's largest municipal wastewater treatment plants was likely the most serious effect of the flooding -- which should serve as a reminder to the public of just how important investment in our water infrastructure is, no matter how little attention the subject normally gets.

Cedar Rapids looks at the next stage in flood mitigation
August 29, 2008

The city of Cedar Rapids is reviewing the recommendations it has received from engineering consultants who want the city to look at new ways of mitigating the impact of future floods. After this year's catastrophic flooding in Iowa's second-largest city, the consultants have recommended at least four different options for preventing a recurrence, including diversion channels and creeks for the Cedar River, larger levees and flood walls, expanded floodplains, and faster movement of floodwaters through the city.

We can help you with a range of flood-prevention and flood-mitigation tools, including pumps and pumping stations and flood-control gates. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Past water and wastewater news updates

last revised August 2008