EPA Hosting Climate Tool Webinars

EPA is providing no cost training webinars for the water sector on the Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT).  CREAT has been designed to support water sector utilities in conducting climate related risk assessments, evaluating adaptation options, and understanding climate threats.  This training could be helpful for smaller systems that may not have considered how climate change impacts may affect their ability to continue to deliver water to their customers…or that such planning could benefit them in multiple ways!

EPA is currently delivering a nine-webinar series of training materials for CREAT that will continue through November 15 including: CREAT 101, an introduction to the tool; CREAT 201, an overview of setup steps and climate science information within the tool; and CREAT 202, an overview of the analysis and reporting functions within the tool.  These training webinars provide water sector utilities with a detailed understanding of how climate change may impact utility facilities and operations, encouraging wider adoption of climate related risk assessments and adaptation plans.  The tool is helpful for drinking water utilities of all sizes and sources.

To register for the webinars online, visit:  https://www.thetestportal.com/CREAT.  You can also download the tool at:   http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/climate/



Expanded Water Operator Certification Study Guide

AWWA announces the publication of the sixth edition of its Water Operator Certification Study Guide.  This latest version has twice as many questions and answers as the previous edition, thus allowing the operator to really concentrate on thorny or problem areas.  Questions are similar in format and content to those on actual exams and include all areas of the exam.

The sixth edition is available from AWWA at http://www.awwa.org)  Softcover, 404 pp. ISBN 978-1-58321-852-5.  $59 AWWA members, $89 nonmembers. No. 20517-6E.

EPA Region 3 Announces Operator Excellence Award

Each year, EPA Region 3 challenges their states (Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia) to identify drinking water system operators who demonstrate outstanding excellence in performance.  This year’s award recipient is Ms. Leslie Gryder of the City of Lynchburg Water Filtration Plant in Lynchburg, VA for the large system category.  Ms. Gryder has been presented with a plaque by EPA R3 Drinking Water Branch Chief, William Arguto.

Wanda Johnson, the EPA Region 3 Operator Certification Coordinator stated, “All of the candidates nominated are definitely winners in their own right but please join me in congratulating the Virginia Department of Health for this year’s winning nomination!  This award continues to set a standard for all operators to aim for and brings attention to the certified operator profession as a suitable career which is essential to providing potable water and protecting public health.

Click on the following link (http://www.epa.gov/reg3wapd/drinking/awards.htm) to access the Award Program Web Page where you can see pictures from this year’s award ceremony and read an article from one of the local newspapers about the event.

Program and Operator Volunteers Needed for Exam Development Activities

The Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) is seeking volunteers to participate in two important activities that will establish the reliability and determine the passing scores of its newly developed standardized Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment, Collection, and Distribution certification exams.

ABC will be conducting Beta Testing and Passing Score Studies on the new exam forms prior to their Spring 2012 release. These exam development activities provide a unique opportunity for certification programs and certified operators to shape the next generation of ABC certification exams and to experience the new standardized exams prior to their release. Beta Testing and Passing Score Studies are critical to the protection of the public health as they ensure that ABC certification exams administered across North America appropriately distinguish between candidates who are minimally competent and those who are not.

Certification Programs: consider implementing the Beta Test as your certification exam between October 15 and December 15, 2011. Beta Tests are free and may qualify your program for discounted Annual Conference registration.

Certified Operators: consider volunteering for Passing Score Study Panel membership in any of the certification categories and classes in which you are certified. Participating Operators will enjoy networking, be entered into a gift card drawing, and receive continuing education credit toward renewal of their ABC Certifications.

For additional information, please refer to the overview of ABC’s Beta Testing & Passing Score Studies or contact Lorrie Banks, Office & Volunteer Coordinator, at certification@abccert.org or (515) 232-3623.

NESC Important Reminder – No Need to Pay If It’s Free

The National Environmental Services Center recently sent out the following reminder about their services…

No Need to Pay If It’s Free:  Over the years, we’ve encountered different businesses that resell information developed here at the National Environmental Services Center (NESC).  Recently, we’ve become aware of places that charge for articles that appeared in On Tap and Small Flows magazines.

Rest assured that the vast majority of our information has always been free—and still is. Before you (or anyone you know) pay to access NESC materials, check here first. Chances are it’s free!  Visit NESC’s website at www.nesc.wvu.edu to see the various materials available for your use.

Check out our online shopping cart at www.nesc.wvu.edu/products.cfm to download free products.

OECA Adds to ECHO Capability

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) is adding new features to the Enforcement and Compliance History On-line (ECHO) tool. Two drinking water improvements are in the works:

Drinking Water information is now featured and available in OTIS Lab. It includes a new homepage that provides access to the Enforcement Targeting Tool excel reports and allows users to download the quarterly exports to their desktops. It will also give OTIS users access to SDWA policy and guidance documents, training, and related drinking water resources. In addition, this new homepage will provide links to the public site ECHO, where the Drinking Water Data Search is featured.

The Drinking Water Serious Violators Report and Serious Violator List will be rebuilt as web pages that will be easier to read and browse than the current PDF reports.  The new reports will also be automatically regenerated after each update of SDWIS, improving their timeliness and reducing the staff time needed to create them.

A new mapping tool – the EPA and State Enforcement Actions Map – is another improvement in transparency that will “…allow the public to access federal and state enforcement information in an interactive format and to compare enforcement action information by state. The map will be refreshed monthly to include up to date information about the enforcement actions taken to address violations of air, water, and waste laws.” The complete news release is available on EPA’s website.

Use the following links to access various features:

SDWA in OTIS: http://www.epa-otis.gov/otis/sdwa_home.html

ECHO (Public Website): http://www.epa-echo.gov/echo

EPA and State Annual Enforcement Actions Map:  http://www.epa-echo.gov/echo/maps/enfactions/state_map.html


“Partnering Over Time” – Come Join EPA for a Webinar on Water System Partnerships

WHAT:  Water system to water system partnerships that include operator mentoring, sharing equipment, third-party billing, contract management,and even ownership transfer are real solutions to address everything from shrinking utility resources, to regulatory compliance issues to operator know-how.

WHO should attend:  State Drinking Water Programs; Funding Agencies; Technical Assistance Providers; and Utilities

WHY:  Come hear from the utilities, the state regulator, a funding agency, and the facilitator as each explains his/her role in the evolving partnership between the two water systems.  Learn how the partnership led to  reliable service and safe drinking water for the communities.

WHEN:  Wednesday, October 26, 2011; 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET

HOW:  Webinar Registration:  https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/575724046

– Click on the link to register for the webinar.
– You will receive a confirmation email
– The message will have further instructions about accessing the webinar and conference line.

Want to learn more about Water System Partnerships?: