Power comes back for Galveston
October 1, 2008

Galveston, Texas, should be getting power back today, two and a half weeks after Hurricane Ike made landfall. Long-duration power outages can happen for a wide range of reasons, including tropical storms, earthquakes, and ice storms -- which is why our engine-backup lift stations are a smart investment for many communities.

Cedar Rapids flood plan comes to fruition
October 2, 2008

The Cedar Rapids City Council has been given nearly-final plans for a flood-control system including a long pair of floodwalls along the Cedar River that would stretch from upstream of the water treatment plant all the way to south of the cemeteries on the southeast side of downtown. The plan will eventually include levees, parks (that can act as sacrificial flood barriers), and both removable and permanent floodwalls. Many of our water-control gates are used in similar flood-protection systems in other locations.

Rural residents trust groundwater twice as much as city dwellers do
October 3, 2008

A survey among residents of Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska found that about 40% of rural residents are confident in the quality of their groundwater, whereas only about 20% of city residents felt the same way. About 35% of respondents (in total) said that groundwater quality was "fair", "poor", or "good, but deteriorating." Such public-opinion results tell us that those of us involved in delivering safe, clean drinking water and cleaning water for re-use need to do a better job of communicating what we do and the resources we need to do it well.

Investing in water
October 6, 2008

While the stock market is in disarray, a new report suggests that investing in water and sewer infrastructure improvements yields a very high return. While the report's estimate of a $9 return on every $1 in infrastructure investment is probably much too high, there is plenty of evidence to tell us that much of our water infrastructure is in need of improvement, and that it's impossible to expect a community to thrive when people can't rely on their taps and sewers to work properly. We serve a wide range of needs in the water industry, from monitors for drinking-water quality to the pumps that move our water from place to place.

A new 88-acre lake for Omaha?
October 7, 2008

The Papio-Missouri River NRD is working on building an 88-acre lake on the southwest side of Omaha in an effort to help improve flood controls in the area.

We can help you with sluice gates and other flow-control gates for dams. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Iowa and Nebraska form a bright spot on the drought map
October 8, 2008

With severe drought conditions prevailing on the West Coast and in the Southeast, it's good news for our region that drought conditions have eased considerably in the Upper Midwest, including across most of Iowa and Nebraska. Regardless of the month-to-month variations in precipitation and river levels, our interest in issues like water re-use remains high, since we have seen what can happen when nature turns off the spigot.

Storm sewer fails in Bettendorf
October 9, 2008

A storm sewer in Bettendorf has basically eroded into uselessness, leaving the city with a considerable expense for repair. The management of stormwater has never really attracted a great deal of attention in Iowa until recently, when this summer's massive flooding struck just as several communities began to get a grasp on the huge amounts of money they'll be required to spend on separating their storm sewers from their sanitary sewers. We can help with a wide range of stormwater projects, with products like flap gates for controlling discharges and liners for stormwater basins.

Delivering safe water to the world
October 10, 2008

One of the things we often overlook in the United States is just how much of the world has little or no reliable access to safe, clean drinking water. While we tend to think about water-pollution control as a matter of environmentalism, it's really not about that: Clean water is first and foremost a public-health issue. As recently noted by a water economist, the United Nations has many goals for bringing clean water to the world -- particularly the poor -- but it's difficult to tell whether the money that they're spending will be used effectively, largely because safe water supplies aren't just a matter of having the right equipment (like pumps, chlorination systems, and sensors), but also of ensuring that capable people are involved in the process as well. That's why water-industry groups in the US work with the Water for People campaign, which pushes for a more comprehensive approach. That's also why it's important for American water professionals to communicate effectively with the public about the health and safety ramifications of what we do. We will be giving a presentation at the Fall Conference of the Nebraska AWWA next month on how water professionals need to learn to communicate with the public through the media.

Wildfires pop up near Los Angeles
October 13, 2008

Brush fires are popping up near Los Angeles today. At times like these, it's quite common for us to receive a sudden increase in inquiries about our portable firefighting pumps. Most are available for shipment in 24 to 48 hours, so quick delivery is available to those in need.

Nebraska legislature looks at water transfers
October 14, 2008

The Natural Resources Committee of the Nebraska Unicam recently held an interim hearing to discuss transferring water from areas with overflowing rivers to those with shortages. Nebraska's ongoing challenges in allocating water among the state's 23 natural-resource districts during the long-term drought has required considerable long-term discussion about what to do to sustain agricultural, industrial, and residential prosperity alike.

We can help you with gates for controlling river flows and pump stations for moving water long distances. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Omaha dedicates new Platte West water treatment plant
October 15, 2008

Omaha's Platte West Water Treatment Plant is being dedicated today. The new plant, which uses Patterson horizontal split-case pumps to create system pressure, increases Omaha's available water supply by almost 50%. Interestingly, the plant is upstream of Lincoln's water plant, even though Omaha is about 60 miles to the west of the capital city. A video documenting the steps that led to the plant's construction gives a fine overview of the process.

California official says, "Fire season is year-round now"
October 16, 2008

The large wildfires in the Los Angeles area this week once again serve as a reminder that parts of the US are under nearly-perpetual threat of fire damage. In many locations, portable fire pumps are an excellent first line of defense against letting small fires become large and uncontrollable.

61 Nebraska communities will decide on fluoridation next month
October 17, 2008

61 communities across Nebraska will be holding votes on whether to add fluoride to their municipal drinking-water systems. Most American communities already add fluoride, because when properly dosed (through the aid of fluoride monitors), fluoride can help dramatically reduce the incidence of dental problems in a community. We will be participating in discussions on fluoridation and public education at the upcoming Nebraska water convention in Kearney.

Iowa Department of Agriculture offers clean-water funds to communities
October 20, 2008

The Iowa Department of Agriculture is offering $1.5 million in grants to support water-quality improvements in public water supplies, soil conservation districts, and municipalities. Eligible projects could include soil-erosion controls, municipal wastewater discharge improvements, and management plans for livestock runoff.

Iowa's SRF plan updated for 2009
October 21, 2008

The latest update on Iowa's Clean Water State Revolving Fund indicates that demand has never been higher for loans from the program, thanks in particular to increasingly stringent regulations on water quality. The funds for both drinking water and water-pollution control are both in heavy use and demand is expected to grow even more in the near future.

We can help you with products for drinking-water systems, as well as those for water-pollution control and prevention. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Good patent law helps lead to better products
October 22, 2008

The President has signed a bill into law that increases penalties against companies that infringe on intellectual-property rights, particularly including patent law. That's good news, since it protects innovative companies like Gorman-Rupp, which is a consistent innovator in pumps and pumping systems. Well-enforced patent law helps ensure that companies like Gorman-Rupp can recover the costs of developing the product innovations that make life better for the people using those products.

Gorman-Rupp reports record results for the past nine months
October 23, 2008

The Gorman-Rupp Company is having a record-setting year, which is great news on many fronts: The company, which manufactures the self-priming pumps we sell throughout Iowa and Nebraska and many of the assorted pumps we sell in our online store, is proving that American manufacturers can compete and succeed in the world economy when they innovate and produce consistently better products than the competition. Customers and specifying engineers can take comfort in Gorman-Rupp's success as well, since it means the company will continue to be a fortress of financial strength, which ensures that it will be around for many years to come.

Summer floods will mean more land application of sludge this fall
October 24, 2008

This summer's flooding caused major damage to the Cedar Rapids wastewater-treatment plant, as well as to many others around the state. One of the items damaged at Cedar Rapids was the plant's sludge incinerator. As a result, the city is going to make unusually high use of land application on farm fields to dispose of the sludge, since it's much cheaper than trying to send the sludge to landfills. Sludge that has been treated by anaerobic digestion is a very useful form of fertilizer for crops like corn.

Carbon sequestration could affect water supplies
October 27, 2008

As people have discussed options for reducing carbon in the atmosphere, the idea of underground sequestration has been discussed with some seriousness. By capturing and storing carbon dioxide in underground rock formations, it is thought that the carbon dioxide would be effectively isolated from the atmosphere. However, some groups in the water industry are concerned that if the carbon dioxide leaks from those underground storage sites, it could carry metals into sub-surface water supplies by disrupting the natural pH balance of the water.

We can help you with particle counters and turbidity monitors to help ensure the clarity and safety of drinking water. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

National Research Council wants "radical changes" to US stormwater regulations
October 28, 2008

The National Research Council, a division of the National Academy of Sciences, has released a report on "Urban Stormwater Management in the United States". The report calls for "radical changes" to the EPA's stormwater regulations, which could include combining all wastewater and stormwater permits in a given watershed under a single permit, requiring local authorities to beome the front-line regulators for stormwater discharges, and changing the focus of stormwater management from chemical pollutants to water volume.

Stormwater treatment and control has become a much more significant area of concern throughout our territory, and we are able to help with products ranging from detention basins and tanks to pumping stations. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Clean Water Act turns 36 this month
October 29, 2008

As of this month, the Clean Water Act has been in effect for 36 years. Iowa's regulatory environment has become noticably tighter in the last couple of years, as the state has moved to respond to legal challenges by groups that claim the state hasn't sufficiently enforced the act over the last three and a half decades. The process of improving compliance is going to take a long time and a lot of investment.

We can help you with many of the water and wastewater products that keep water clean and safe. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Fort Dodge cracks down on illegal sump pumps
October 30, 2008

The city of Fort Dodge will be cutting off water service to residents who have their sump pumps illegally tied into the sanitary sewers in town. We offer many sump pumps in our online store, but we strongly encourage users to make sure they comply with all local laws and regulations when they install them. Discharging into sanitary sewers is generally not allowed, since it pumps lots of mostly-clean water into municipal wastewater systems, rather than allowing it to flow naturally to creeks, streams, and rivers.

Past water and wastewater news updates

last revised October 2008