Looking Ahead in Drinking Water Training

Did you know that EPA OGWDW keeps a schedule of upcoming webinars for rules, strategies, and issues of particular concern?  Check out https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/drinking-water-trainings.  You can “save the date” for upcoming web events such as two November dates for Phase II/V rules with a focus on arsenic, nitrate, and nitrite.  From this site, you can also link to upcoming ORD trainings.

Yahoo and Other Data Breach Victims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a step-by-step video to users whose personal information may have been exposed in a data breach.  This video provides instruction on how to report an incident and develop a personal recovery plan after a data breach has occurred.

US-CERT encourages users to review the FTC blog and US-CERT Tips on Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks, Safeguarding Your Data, and Protecting Your Privacy for more information.

EPA Webinar Covers Latest Competitive Awards for Small Systems Assistance

On September 21, EPA OGWDW hosted a webinar for state drinking water program staff involved with the training and technical assistance grant competitive award program.  Successful awardees from the FY 15 competition – RCAP, NRWA, and EFCN – each described their program and proposed approach for this effort that encompasses small system drinking water compliance assistance, financial and managerial assistance, and assistance for private well owners.  In all, $11.7 million was awarded for these initiatives.  A separate wastewater award was not part of the webinar’s focus.

For those of you not able to participate in the web event, EPA has provided a consolidated powerpoint presentation from all three awardees.  In addition, EPA have developed a fact sheet about the purpose of and process for the awards.  The fact sheet also outlines roles and responsibilities for assistance providers, state primacy agencies, and EPA Regional and Headquarters offices.  See below for these two items.



EPA to Host Drinking Water Best Practices Webinar

On September 28, sign on to hear EPA Region 3 discuss the Delaware Drinking Water Asset Management Grant Program.  This program was selected as one of the “best practices” to be included in the 2015 National Water Program Performance, Trends, and Best Practices Report.


DATE:              September 28

TIME:               3:00-4:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      On the day of the event, Join Here.  There is no advance registration.



ASDWA and EPA WSD Explore Hazard Mitigation

Hazard mitigation is important for small systems.  By engaging with local mitigation offices, small water systems may be able to take advantage of some funding opportunities that would improve their resiliency to recurring events like flooding or power loss.  It’s the kind of proactive and preventive action that helps water systems be more sustainable and resilient.

On September 15, ASDWA and EPA cohosted a webinar and interactive discussion to showcase Hazard Mitigation for Natural Disasters: A Starter Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities.  This Guide explains why mitigation is important; how small systems can be included in their community’s local mitigation plan; how to identify potential mitigation projects; and how to implement and fund proposed mitigation projects.

You are invited to visit ASDWA’s security web page at www.asdwa.org/security and scroll to the Important Documents Section.  There you will find:

+ A link to the video recording of the webinar

+ A link to the Hazard Mitigation Guide

+ A link to FEMA’s list of State Hazard Mitigation Officers

You are also encouraged to share the Guide with your water systems.

EPA Schedules Next in Ongoing Small System Webinar Series

Each month, EPA’s Office of Research and Development hosts a webinar to discuss challenges and treatment solutions for small drinking water and wastewater systems.  This month’s webinar will focus on Perfluorinated Chemicals: Analytics, Occurrence, and Treatment.

DATE:              September 27

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern) with optional 30 minute Q&A add on

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1649481124275597827

This web event is open to all interested parties.  Please see this flyer for additional information.


Developing and Implementing Tools for Small Systems to Evaluate and Select Appropriate Treatment Technologies

Water utilities can struggle to know which treatment technologies to consider and then which one to select and implement to solve their water quality and compliance challenges. This is particularly challenging for small water systems without resources to stay up-to-date on the range of appropriate technology options and their associated treatment and operational performance. The DeRISK Center is dedicated to addressing this challenge by developing and implementing tools for small systems to evaluate and select appropriate treatment technologies. These tools are designed to help utilities, states, consultants, and technology providers make technology selection decisions based on public health protection and sustainability beyond just regulatory compliance.

A conventional analysis of technology alternatives is typically performed when water systems need to upgrade or replace major treatment facilities. This analysis consists of identifying the feasible alternatives that will accomplish the treatment goals, comparing the alternatives based on some criteria, and selecting the “best” alternative. The criterion most used is cost—capital cost, operation and maintenance cost, or an engineering life-cycle cost analysis that includes the anticipated life-span of major equipment.

The DeRISK Center tools employ a decision support methodology that improves on this conventional approach. The major steps in the methodology are deciding what criteria are most important to stakeholders and providing and easy way to compare technology alternatives to each other with respect to each criterion. Our approach strives to go beyond just a comparison of costs. As shown in Figure 1, the decision support methodology expands on the conventional analysis of alternatives process by including:

  • Facilitated methodology that incorporates stakeholder input
  • Data on innovative treatment technologies
  • Relative health risk protection of treatment approaches
  • Sustainability measures of treatment approaches
  • Stakeholder preferences

Performance information such as treated water quality and performance data along with other characteristics, including source water quality constraints, are used to identify feasible technology alternatives. The characteristics for feasible alternatives are then fed into the analyses of health risk, sustainability, and stakeholder preferences in order to provide data to the decision support methodology.

Microbial and chemical agents in drinking water can pose significant human health risks. Evaluating the combined impacts from multiple contaminants can provide new insights into how best to manage that risk and protect public health to meet regulatory compliance and achieve the greatest risk protection possible given feasible alternatives. The DeRISK Center tools utilize the Relative Health Indicator (RHI)—a semi-quantitative metric developed to harmonize the cancer and non-cancer impacts from a wide range of drinking water contaminants—to compare the relative health risks posed by multiple waterborne constituents.

The DeRISK Center is also focused on analyzing and improving the environmental and economic sustainability of small drinking water treatment systems. To achieve this, life cycle analysis (LCA) methodology is being used to quantify and characterize environmental impacts associated with various drinking water technologies. These impacts (using EPA’s TRACI assessment method) include ozone depletion (kg CFC-11 eq), global warming (kg CO2eq), smog (kg O3 eq.), acidification (kg SO2 eq.), eutrophication (kg N eq.), carcinogenics (CTUh), non carcinogenics (CTUh), respiratory effects (kg PM 2.5 eq.), ecotoxicity (CTUe), and fossil fuel depletion (MJ surplus). A comprehensive LCA model framework was developed utilizing water treatment data, experience, and commercial information.

Last, the DeRISK Center is putting these tools to the test evaluating treatment technology decisions through cases studies with actual small water systems needing to address water quality and compliance challenges. The first case studies are assessing disinfection alternatives for small water systems in New Hampshire.

If you are interested in testing these tools and collaborating with DeRISK Center researchers to assess treatment technology alternatives for your water system, please contact Chad Seidel at chad.seidel@colorado.edu.

This post was re-blogged from WaterOperator.org

Affordability and Succession Planning Webinar Reminders

Just a Reminder – Two Helpful Webinars from EFCN and AWWA

Are Your Rates Too High – Looking at Affordability of Water Rates

DATE:  September 13, 2016

TIME:   2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  http://efcnetwork.org/events/webinar-rates-high-looking-affordability-water-rates

This webinar will demonstrate how the “Water and Wastewater Residential Rates Affordability Assessment Tool” can be used to assess the level of affordability in the community, using parameters beyond the Median Household Income (MHI). The webinar will also include information and resources on how to design an assistance program for those customers who cannot afford their water bills. The programs highlighted will include options related to rates, as well as water efficiency.


Succession Planning

DATE:  September 15

TIME:   2:00-3:00PM (eastern)


With an aging workforce and declining interest and engagement from younger professionals entering the workforce, developing a succession plan is a vital component to managing water infrastructure. This webinar will touch on the topics of recruitment, retention and will do a detailed review of how to develop a succession plan.


Looking for Helpful Asset Management Training? Read on…

EPA’s Sustainable Systems Team is offering a three-part training on CUPSS – the Check Up Program for Small Systems.  CUPSS software can help small water and wastewater systems implement asset management practices.

Each of the three 2-hour sessions will contain an overview of a CUPSS module supported by live demonstrations. Participants who complete the assignments after each session will receive a CUPSS Trainers Certificate and will be included in the CUPSS Trainers Directory

Session 1:  Setting up CUPSS and My Inventory

DATE:              Thursday, September 15

TIME:               1:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=2719&evt=cupss091516


Session 2:  My O&M and My Finances

DATE:              Thursday, September 22

TIME:               1:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      http://login,icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=27200&evt=cupss092216


Session 3:  My CUPSS Plan, Advanced Features, and Tips for Trainers

DATE:              Thursday, September 29

TIME:               1:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=2721&evt=cupss092916


EPA Posts FY 16 RFA for Small System Training and Assistance Competitive Awards

EPA has announced the availability of $12.688 million in competitive grants to non-profit organizations to provide training and technical assistance to small public water systems, small wastewater systems and private well owners, located in urban and rural communities throughout the U.S. and its territories.

Through the RFA (Request for Applications), EPA will be able to identify eligible candidates who will use the funds to help provide water and wastewater system staff and private well owners with training and tools to enhance system operations and management practices, and support EPA’s continuing efforts to protect public health and promote sustainability in small communities.  Applications are due September 30.  You may view the RFA at Training and Technical Assistance to Improve Water Quality and Enable Small Public Water Systems to Provide Safe Drinking Water (PDF)

EPA expects to award four to nine cooperative agreements from the available amount.  Successful candidates will provide training and technical assistance to:

  • Small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA);
  • Small public water systems on a wide range of managerial and, or financial topics to achieve and maintain compliance with the SDWA; or
  • Small publicly-owned wastewater systems, communities served by onsite-decentralized wastewater systems and private well owners to help improve water quality.

For more information about training and technical assistance for small systems, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/training-and-technical-assistance-small-systems-funding