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Black & Veatch has released the results of its sixth 50 Largest Cities Water and Wastewater Rate Survey, a resource for water and wastewater utilities. The survey highlights customer charges for water and sewer service for residential, industrial and commercial customers.

A $7 billion project labor agreement (PLA) was signed Sept.14, by the United Association General President William P. Hite and TransCanada Corporation. In a time when the construction industry is facing record unemployment, this project will create thousands of quality jobs for the well-trained members of the United Association as well as other labor organizations for the construction of the 1,959-mile Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion Pipeline Project (Keystone XL).

A subdivision in the city of San Bruno, CA, was engulfed in flames when a natural gas pipeline exploded on Sept. 9. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which owns the pipeline, and federal investigators are probing the pipeline blast that killed at least four people and damaged 58 homes in the hilly neighborhood. Three people remain missing at the time of this report.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission seeks bidders on work including a collection of detailed repair, rehabilitation and replacement tasks within residential areas. This is the first of a series of up to six contracts the commission will publicize via its Central Bidder Registration system. Contractors wishing to submit bids or receive information on future projects should register at the commission's website, Solicitations are available from the project’s website, http://www.wsscwater.com/business/cbr/.

Scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have collaborated in developing innovative water quality software that enhances a water system's ability to detect when there has been intentional or unintentional contamination. The Canary software can help detect a wide variety of chemical and biological contaminants, including pesticides, metals and pathogens. Once contamination is detected, a water utility can issue a "Do Not Drink" order to prevent customers from ingesting the water.

According to a report released in August by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, despite grim predictions at the close of 2008, the U.S. wind power industry experienced another record year in 2009. At the same time, the report’s primary authors and scientist, Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger say the combination of the financial crisis and lower wholesale electricity prices has taken a toll on the wind power industry, dampening expectations for 2010.

The Pipeliners Association of Houston, Houston, TX, will be hosting their annual fall golf tournament on Nov. 1 at the Kingwood Country Club in Kingwood, TX. All proceeds from the 4-Man Texas Scramble go to the Pipeliners Association of Houston Scholarship Fund.

When disaster strikes, it's nearly always without warning--and the speed of the response can be vital to its success. This summer, within a few days of the incident on the Deepwater Horizon, Thompson Pump's Emergency Response Team mobilized to the Gulf Coast to provide pumping equipment, supplies, manpower and a wealth of tactical knowledge to areas devastated by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The Northeast Trenchless Association (NTA) hosted its annual summer outing at Tacoma Lakes in Monmouth, ME, on Aug. 7. Over 100 members and guests from as far away as Texas attended and enjoyed a picture perfect day with friends and family.

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the leading organization focused on protecting underground utility lines and the safety of people who dig near them, announced that underground utility damages in the U.S. decreased to an estimated 170,000 in 2009, down 15 percent from 2008, and down 58 percent from 2004.

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