New Posts in ASDWA’s CapCert Community Resource Library

If you’re a state or Regional operator certification or capacity development coordinator, then this message is for you!

ASDWA has just posted presentations from EPA’s four Workforce Workgroup webinars in our CapCert Community Resource library.  Want to know about successful state initiatives related to workforce?  Interested in learning about the benefits of hiring a vet?  Curious as to what partnerships are in place to help with staffing shortages?  Then, this is the place for you!  These presentations represent the body of information collected by the EPA Workforce Workgroup that dealt with various internship and training programs for water operators as well as information provided on recruiting and training military veterans for positions within state and/or local government agencies as well as positions at water systems.  The “Vets Initiative” promotional flyer can also be found here.

Don’t forget, you must register to be able to view the CapCert Community information.  If you are not registered but would like to do so, please send an email with your request to Anthony DeRosa here at ASDWA.  He can be reached at adersoa@asdwa.org.  Please note that this Community is open only to state and EPA staff with a defined interest in capacity development and/or operator certification.

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New CUPSS Training Begins Next Week

Just a reminder…the first of three CUPSS training webinars is set to take place next Wednesday, February 13.  This session will cover how to set up the utility’s basic information, navigate CUPSS elements, create an asset inventory, and create a customized asset report.  There’s no cost to participate but you must register in advance.  Please go to: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/911152526.  For more information about this webinar series, please refer to our archived article dated January 28.

WARNs and Small Systems – A Beneficial Team Approach

Once again, our friends at SmallWaterSupply.org have offered to share some of their “discovered” success stories that highlight helpful tools and strategies that are useful for small systems.  Even if your work does not fall under the traditional “security” umbrella, take a look at how these state WARNs (Water and Wastewater Agency Response Networks) are being used to meet small system needs ranging from drought to main breaks.  There are WARN programs in nearly every state.  They are a great resource for any small system.  Read on to learn more…
MoWARN: Helping Rural Utilities in Missouri

In Missouri, MoWARN is closely affiliated with Missouri Rural Water, which helps operate and maintain the network. Their members currently range in size from a utility with 200 connections to one with 4,500 connections, but they welcome members of any size. Big regional events like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy are frequently cited as examples of WARN helpfulness, but smaller utilities can face other challenges as well. MoWARN chair Randy Norden speaks of helping with drought-related problems, tornadoes, floods, and even a mistake that led to a loss of power at one utility. Missouri Rural Water’s strong commitment to emergency response has meant that they already have a lot of resources in place to help WARN member utilities with requests as they come in.

As with all WARNs, signing up with MoWARN is free, though it does require a membership application and a signed mutual aid agreement. This doesn’t mean you’re signing over your resources to someone else; you still get to decide when to volunteer resources, and you can even recall volunteered resources if you need to. On the other hand, the benefits are many, including quick access to tools, generators, and other help, and the satisfaction of helping other systems get back on their feet. In addition, if you do have to deal with a large-scale disaster, being part of a recognized mutual aid program makes it easier to get reimbursed by SEMA and FEMA. Missouri utilities interested in joining MoWARN should visit the website, or contact Randy Norden if they have questions. As a recent MoWARN email points out, “Membership costs you nothing; benefits are priceless.”

SDWARN: Commended for Their Help

Last summer, a rural county water system in South Dakota experienced a severe main break resulting in a water outage. The South Dakota DENR and SDARWS, the state rural water association, enacted a WARN emergency. Volunteers from SDWARN member Fort Pierre responded, along with two SDARWS circuit riders. Working together, these four volunteers helped to locate and repair the leak and restore service. They also helped haul water from a hydrant twenty miles away to refill the water tower.

In recognition of the hard work put in by these WARN volunteers, SDWARN and the two volunteers received commendations from the DENR Secretary and the governor of South Dakota. In his letter to the Fort Pierre utility, DENR Secretary Steven Pirner wrote, “It was great to see the resources provided through the South Dakota Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (SDWARN) work as intended. As the SDWARN facilitator [at Ft. Pierre], you and your drinking water team are demonstrating how ‘utilities helping utilities’ in South Dakota truly make a difference.” To learn more about the water leak response from the SDARWS perspective, you can read the pdf found here.

South Dakota utilities wanting to know more about SDWARN can visit the website, where they’ll find a regional directory of members, contact information, and a copy of the mutual aid agreement.

Want to know if there’s a WARN in your state? Check the national WARN regional directory.