"Rain Tests Water Rules"

"ALBANY -- Summer 2009 was notable for two things: constant rain and financial hardship.
     
But both exposed a major problem facing municipalities around Albany County: sewer systems that are often overrun by heavy rain and governments that don't have the millions of dollars needed to upgrade often antiquated systems.

And while making major repairs to the region's sewer systems can break the bank of local governments, the penalty for allowing tainted water to get into the region's waterways can cost $37,500 for each violation.

This summer's record rainfall and those road-eroding, gully-washing, lake-forming epic deluges produced nearly 10 inches of rain in July alone. The county's cash-strapped communities have been swimming upstream in an attempt to comply with state and federal storm water pollution regulations during the wettest summer in memory."

Paul Grondahl reports for the Albany Times-Union August 20, 2009.

Monday, August 31, 2009