Hiring Our Heroes

If you know of water utilities looking for operators, managers, security coordinators or other staff positions, here’s another possible resource.

The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation has created a “Hiring Our Heroes” program.  According to their website, “Hiring Our Heroes…launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, our goal is to create a movement across America in hundreds of communities where veterans and military families return every day.”

The Hiring Our Heroes webpage http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/events/hiringfairs contains information not only about in person job fairs but also offers opportunities for virtual fairs.  Water systems individually, or through their member organizations such as NRWA or AWWA or WEF, can reserve a booth (usually at no or minimal charge) and conduct interviews on the spot as well as collect resumes.  Right now, there are more than 25 job fair locations posted on the hiring fairs site.  In an interesting new twist, the Foundation also hosts fairs that include job opportunities for military spouses – an often overlooked resource!

Take a look at the web pages devoted to Hiring Our Heroes.  Please share this information with others in the water community who may be in need of well trained professionals.

ASDWA, ACWA, and GWPC Present the Clean Water Act-Safe Drinking Water Act Toolkit for State, Interstate, Tribal, and Federal Water Program Managers – An Introductory Webinar

Want to know more about how to better integrate drinking water and wastewater issues as you work with water systems in your state?

ASDWA, in concert with ACWA (Association of Clean Water Agencies) and GWPC (Ground Water Protection Council), have been collaborating to show how state and Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) program staff and managers can more routinely and more intentionally coordinate CWA and SDWA activities to achieve improvements in the quality of our waters.

On Tuesday, February 3, the three Associations will be sharing the results of this collaboration – a new CWA-SDWA Toolkit.  Join ASDWA, ACWA, and GWPC to learn more about the background and perspectives that went into its formation and anticipated use.

DATE:  Tuesday, February 3

TIME:   1:00-2:30PM (eastern)

REGISTRATION:  There is no advance registration required.  At the time of the webinar click this link:

https://acwa.adobeconnect.com/cwa-sdwa_toolkit_intro/ and enter as a GUEST.

This Toolkit offers new ways for you to think about how to help small drinking water systems to be proactive in source water protection and reap the financial efficiencies that pollution reduction can bring. This Toolkit:

  • identifies opportunities to reduce pollution in drinking water sources by using CWA tools;
  • provides examples of on-the-ground implementation, and is intended to help readers understand how they can work across program lines and agency boundaries;
  • demonstrates how program managers can align their efforts to protect source water through a combination of actions and institutional relationships that facilitate cross-program coordination at the national, regional, state, and watershed scales to achieve common objectives; and
  • shows how state clean water programs can leverage the high value consumers place on public health protection and safe drinking water to increase public support for addressing surface and ground water quality challenges more effectively.

 

Save the Date:  New Sustainability Webinar Coming Soon!

Mark your calendars for Monday, February 23rd.  That’s when EPA plans to offer the second in its four part Sustainability webinar series.  This event will include two discussion topics – the first on “Sustainable and Effective Practices for Creating Your Water Utility Roadmap” by Jim Horne from EPA’s Office of Water – and, secondly, “Operational Resiliency,” by Austin Water Utility Deputy Director Daryl Slusher and City of Phoenix Director of Water Services Kathryn Sorenson.

DATE:  Monday, February 23

TIME:   1:00-2:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  Click this link – Moving Toward Sustainability

 

EPA Launches New Finance Center to Improve Community Water Infrastructure and Resiliency

Last week, EPA announced the launch of a new Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center to help communities across the country improve their wastewater, drinking water and stormwater systems, particularly through innovative financing and by building resilience to climate change. This new center is part of the White House Build America Investment Initiative – a government-wide effort to increase infrastructure investment and promote economic growth by creating opportunities for state and local governments and the private sector to collaborate, expand public-private partnerships, and increase the use of federal credit programs.  This Center is separate from the Environmental Finance Centers that you may have been working with under the EPA OGWDW competitive award program.

The new Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center will:

  • Explore innovative financial tools, public-private partnerships, and non-traditional finance concepts to better leverage federal funding programs. The Center will build on the highly successful State Revolving Fund and other programs of EPA and its federal partners.
  • Explore ways to increase financing of climate-resilient water infrastructure projects that integrate water efficiency, energy efficiency, water reuse and green infrastructure.
  • Support communities to develop sustainable sources of funding, particularly for stormwater activities.
  • Build upon existing work to support small community water systems to build technical, managerial and financial capacities through collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Closely coordinate with the EPA-supported Environmental Finance Centers and consult with the Agency’s Environmental Finance Advisory Board.

Water infrastructure includes the pipes, drains, and concrete that carry drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater. It includes public drinking water systems; industrial wastewater pretreatment facilities; wastewater treatment plants; municipal separate storm sewer systems; decentralized, onsite and septic systems; and private wells. It also includes green infrastructure, which uses natural land cover to capture rain where it falls, allowing it to filter through the ground.

 

For more information on the Center and the Initiative, please visit:

EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center:

http://owpubauthor.epa.gov/infrastructure/waterfinancecenter.cfm

Build America Investment Initiative:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/17/fact-sheet-building-21st-century-infrastructure-increasing-public-and-pr

CUPSS Presentation and Audio Recording Available

If you were unable to participate in the December 10 CUPSS Community webinar, we have some good news to share!  You may download both the powerpoint presentation and an audio recording of the event from the links below.

The event showcased “The Ohio RCAP Approach to Asset Management and CMOM” and featured Wayne Cannon from Ohio RCAP who described an successful comprehensive evaluation process for their water and wastewater facilities. The process incorporates the CUPSS asset management software and includes a wide range of options such as: GIS mapping, operational and management review, field investigations, identification of best management practices, developing capital improvement and asset management plans, conducting rate analyses, and gaining community support through public informational meetings.  Click these links to view the powerpoints and listen to the presentation.

CUPSS Community Call Slides – December 2014

 

EPA Announces Successful Competitive Award Recipients for FY 14 Funds

In pursuing the next round of competitive grant awards for training and technical assistance support for small systems, as authorized by Congress, EPA’s OGWDW issued a Request for Applications with a closing date of September 2, 2014.  Throughout the Fall, applications were reviewed and scored by internal EPA panels, and selections have now been made.  The announcement below summarizes the outcome of the competition.  Please note that this is a selection announcement only; the actual grant awards are expected to be made in the Spring of 2015.

EPA Awards $12.7 Million to Help Small Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems Across the Country

EPA’s Fiscal Year 2014 appropriation directed the Agency to competitively award $12.7 million for training and technical assistance to public water systems and wastewater systems located in urban and rural communities and to assist private well owners. The funding will help provide water system staff with training and tools to enhance system operations and management practices, and supports EPA’s continuing efforts to protect public health and promote sustainability in small communities. Selections for awards have been made and the following organizations will perform the following work:

  • National Rural Water Association ($4M) and Rural Community Assistance Partnership ($4M) – provide training and technical assistance for small public water systems across the country to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ($1.8 M) – help small public water systems across the country improve their financial and managerial capabilities to effectively provide safe drinking water over the long-term.
  • National Rural Water Association ($1.2M) – assist small publicly-owned wastewater systems and decentralized wastewater systems to improve operational performance over the long term, thereby improving public health and water quality.
  • Rural Community Assistance Partnership ($1.7M) – assist private drinking water well owners with information they need to protect their drinking water supply and improve water quality.

For more information regarding these grants, please contact staff at EPA OGWDW – Adrienne Harris at harris.adrienne@epa.gov  or Maria Lopez-Carbo at lopez-carbo.maria@epa.gov .

ABC Offers Survey on Operator Job Analysis

The Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) and its Certification Commission for Environmental Professionals (C2EP) are currently conducting an international operator job analysis. The responses to these job analysis surveys will be used to build updated Need-to-Know Criteria, standardized examination forms administered by many state certification programs, and other important operator certification resources. For this research to be successful, ABC and C2EP need your help to recruit as many operators as possible to complete these surveys.  Why?  Because…

  • It’s an opportunity for them to play a role in building certification exams;
  • It will ensure your state’s operational practices are incorporated into the standardized exam development process; and
  • Operators who complete a survey will be eligible to win some great prizes!

Here are the survey links:

Water Treatment: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WaterTreatmentJASurvey2

Water Distribution: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WaterDistributionJASurvey2

Wastewater Collection: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WastewaterCollectionJASurvey2

Wastewater Treatment: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WastewaterTreatmentJASurvey2

 

For more information on the job analyses and prizes, visit www.ProfessionalOperator.org.

EFC Network Webinar on Customer Affordability Considerations

On December 9, under a grant from EPA, the EFC Network and AWWA partnered to host a webinar that focused on customer affordability considerations as part of water rate setting.  The webinar was designed showcase available tools to help smaller systems determine how to assess customer affordability in their communities as well as possible approaches to help low income customers pay their water bills.  You may download the recording of this event at http://efcnetwork.org/webinar-customer-affordability-considerations-in-water-rate-setting/

ASDWA Posts “Tech Tools for Noncommunity Systems” Webinar Recording

On December 2, EPA held a webinar on how to more effectively reach, educate and regulate non-community water systems using some of the technologies that are now readily available, often at very modest cost.  Speakers from Idaho DEQ, Utah’s Division of Drinking Water, the University of Illinois, and Rural Water Association of Utah spoke about technologies and tools to help with compliance; formats for easy data collection – both by states and water systems; and communication techniques to reach private well owners.

The webinar recording has been posted on ASDWA’s website so that those unable to attend the original event may still learn about these new opportunities.  Click www.asdwa.org/noncommunitysystems to view the webinar.

CUPSS Asset Management Presentation Available

If you were unable to participate in the December 10 CUPSS Community webinar, we have some good news to share!  You may download the powerpoint presentation from the link below.

The event showcased “The Ohio RCAP Approach to Asset Management and CMOM” and featured Wayne Cannon from Ohio RCAP who described a successful comprehensive evaluation process for their water and wastewater facilities. The process incorporates the CUPSS asset management software and includes a wide range of options such as: GIS mapping, operational and management review, field investigations, identification of best management practices, developing capital improvement and asset management plans, conducting rate analyses, and gaining community support through public informational meetings.  Click this link CUPSS Community Call Slides – December 2014 to view the powerpoint presentation.