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It takes a lot to survive a year in the business world, much less 25 years. It’s apparent that Vac-Con, Green Cove Springs, FL, an industry leader in the building of combination sewer cleaning vacuum trucks has found the right combination to make it work. Founded in 1986 when the company employed five people to its expansion in 2011, employing hundreds of people, having a worldwide network of dealers and nearly 6000 machines in service, Vac-Con is a true American success story.

After more than two years of declining revenues, tightening budgets and helplessly watching from the sidelines as their sewer and water infrastructure continues to decay and they are increasingly struggling to maintain current service levels, U.S. municipal personnel are hoping to experience at least a minor measure of improvement in 2011.

Underground Construction’s 14th Annual Municipal Sewer and Water Infrastructure Survey appears this month. While compiling and writing the report each year is always extremely interesting and revealing, I found this year’s survey to provide a particularly telling insight into the municipal market.

If one word is used to describe 2010 from the perspective of the Distributor Contractors Association (DCA), that word would be “change,” said Kevin Miller, whose term as DCA president ends in March.

ISCO's Snap-Tite, a no-dig culvert lining solution, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) Odessa District recently held a demonstration at the Stanton TXDOT maintenance office located a quarter mile north of IH 20 on SH 137 in Martin County, Texas, showcasing how to install a Snap-Tite® liner into an aging and deteriorated culvert.

BC Hydro began construction in November 2010 on a $200-million transmission system for Vancouver’s central neighborhood, making its first significant investment in the city’s power grid in 30 years. The project includes boring a tunnel under False Creek and building a new substation in Mount Pleasant.

After meeting for four years and spending $140 million, the California Natural Resources Agency, U.S. Dept. of the Interior and our other agencies have released the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. The document outlines two goals: restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem and building a pair of tunnels or canal to ferry its water elsewhere.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has significantly updated its compact excavator safety manual and now offers a new Spanish/English version of the material.

The AEM Compact Excavator Safety Manual was developed under the guidance of the association’s Attachment Manufacturers Council and Compact Loader/Compact Excavator Council.

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) hearing on March 1-2 in Washington may push Congress to renew failed efforts from the fall of 2010 to upgrade pipeline safety laws. The hearings will air the NTSB's preliminary findings from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) pipeline explosion in California last September where seven people were killed.

In Georgia’s DeKalb County, officials say 12,600 gallons of raw sewage spilled near Emory University on Jan. 16.

A sewer pipe under Hancock Drive burst, spilling the untreated sewage into Peachtree Creek behind the college campus, according to DeKalb watershed management records.