MSD receives notice of violation for April 30 French Broad spill

A notice of violation has been issued to the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County by the N.C. Division of Water Quality, pertaining to the April 30 spill of raw sewerage into the French Broad River. The overflow of almost 6 million gallons was the result of a pump accident during a construction operation at the plant, resulting in the shutdown of its main pumps.

What happens to Asheville’s water system on May 15?

As a forcible transfer of Asheville’s water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District clears its last legislative hurdles in Raleigh, city staff say relinquishing the system by May 15, as the bill requires, is an administrative impossibility. So what happens to the city’s water system in two weeks? “That’s a good question,” Water Resources Director Steve Shoaf says.

‘A horrible situation’: millions of gallons of raw sewage spill into French Broad ***UPDATED***-attachment0

‘A horrible situation’: millions of gallons of raw sewage spill into French Broad ***UPDATED***

A malfunctioning pump at the Metropolitan Sewerage District plant sent millions of gallons of raw sewage into the French Broad River starting this morning. MSD crews hope to have the “horrible situation” repaired by early afternoon, said MSD Director of Engineering Stan Boyd, and shortly before 3 p.m. the leak was fixed. (Screenshot courtesy of a video uploaded by the nonprofit, French Broad Riverkeeper. The full video can be found in this post.)

City releases water merger report, finds local agreement best option

The city of Asheville has released a report by the Raftellis consulting firm on a possible merger with the Metropolitan Sewerage District. The report claims that an “inter-local agreement” between the two would have the greatest benefit while avoiding the cost of a merger. MSD taking over the city system will, according to the report, cost the city around $3.75 million a year.

MSD board discusses potential lease of Asheville watershed property

While there was no formal action taken, the board of the Metropolitan Sewerage District has reviewed what were called “underlying assumptions” used by staff in studying the proposed merger of the Asheville water system with MSD’s operation. The option of leasing the approximately 20,000 acres of protected watershed, leaving ownership in the hands of the city, was one item on that list of eight.

Reluctant Partners: Water system/MSD documents

The city of Asheville, the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County, and Henderson County officials have been negotiating and discussing the possibility of merging Asheville’s water system with MSD. Here are a few documents related to the topic. For more information, see “Reluctant Partners: Asheville, MSD Take Tentative Steps Toward Merger” in the Aug. 1, 2012 issue of Xpress.

Get to know Tim Moffitt

Recently, I attended a public forum at Jubilee concerning the study and potential takeover of the Asheville city water system by a legislative “study committee” chaired by Rep. Tim Moffitt. A daunting majority of citizens attending were against the notion of the N.C. Legislature seizing this very valuable city water system and restructuring it as […]

Flooded with interest: Water-system forum attracts more than 200 *UPDATED with video*-attachment0

Flooded with interest: Water-system forum attracts more than 200 *UPDATED with video*

A sacred topic attracted more than 200 people who crammed into the pews of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church on Monday night: the Asheville water system. Hosted by the Asheville-Buncombe League of Women Voters (and co-sponsored by Mountain Xpress and Urban News), the Feb. 13 forum served as an informational session to the public about the water system, its history and its possible future. These are the highlights.

MSD gives itself high marks in its 2011 performance report-attachment0

MSD gives itself high marks in its 2011 performance report

Every day, the Municipal Sewerage District collects and treats — and discharges into the French Broad — an average of 18 million gallons of wastewater, relying on millions of microbes to do what they’ve been doing since the Earth was young: consume organic waste. And every year, the Clean Water Act requires the utility to provide an assessment of how well they’re doing. That report was submitted to DENR August 30; let’s take a look.

Metropolitan Sewerage District to consider budget, sewer-rate increase

At its meeting at on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Sewerage District will hold a public hearing on its proposed fiscal year 2012 budget. Totaling around $43.3 million, the budget calls for a 3 percent increase in the domestic sewer rate, raising the average household’s monthly bill from $25.72 to $26.45. MSD has increased sewer rates every year going back to fiscal year 2007. Rate increases over the past five fiscal years have averaged 3.75 percent.

Rep. Moffitt proposes legislation seizing Asheville water system ***Updated 4:15 p.m. Thursday***-attachment0

Rep. Moffitt proposes legislation seizing Asheville water system ***Updated 4:15 p.m. Thursday***

Republican state Rep. Tim Moffitt has filed legislation that would seize Asheville’s water system, turning control over to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. Asheville City Council member Bill Russell, who also sits on the MSD board, said Moffitt didn’t inform either body before proposing the legislation.

MSD postpones decision on proposed cost-sharing plan

In a 6-5 vote on Wednesday, Dec. 15, the Metropolitan Sewerage District board tabled plans to implement a new cost-sharing policy for sewer-line extensions in new developments and annexed areas until next month. Despite getting the go-ahead from the MSD planning committee on Dec. 2 (in what was also a close vote), the board heeded a request from the Council of Independent Business Owners that the issue be tabled for a month.