Tips & Reminders for Electronic CCR Delivery

EPA has just completed a two-part webinar on Consumer Confidence Reports and the impact of new flexibilities in delivery mechanisms.  With the advent of electronic delivery options, states and water systems alike have some new concepts to consider and older action items that still need to be remembered.  The excerpts in the link below offer the Agency’s “best thinking” on the top ten things to remember as systems consider taking advantage of the electronic delivery option for CCRs.  In addition, there is a slide that includes helpful CCR reminders for state drinking water programs.

Top 10 Things To Remember & Primacy Agencies

FY 13 Competitive Award Selections Announced

Late yesterday afternoon, EPA announced the successful grantees for the FY 13 competitive award to provide training and technical assistance to small water systems in both rural and urban communities.

The total funding for this program in FY 13 is $12.7 million.  In general, and as states had recommended, the target areas for funding remain broadly the same as under the FY 12 program.  And, again as in FY 12, Congressional language also dictated that some of the work be directed toward wastewater system needs.

This year’s awardees and their primary task areas are:

  • National Rural Water Association ($4.5M) and Rural Community Assistance Partnership ($4.5M) to provide training and technical assistance for small systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ($2M) to help small public water systems improve their financial and managerial capabilities to effectively provide safe drinking water over the long term.
  • Rural Community Assistance Partnership ($300K) to assist private drinking water well owners with information they need to protect their water supply and improve water quality.
  • National Rural Water Association ($1.4M) to 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.

Congratulations to our various TA partners for their successful applications.

 

ASDWA will share more details about the initiation of this new grant and performance period as they become available.

New England Water Works’ Brochure on Workforce

During the recent ABC Annual Conference, Bill Sullivan, Connecticut’s Operator Certification Coordinator, described a helpful brochure developed by the NEWWA Operator Certification Committee that provides a concrete list of actions that support recruitment and development of new operators.

Earlier this week, Bill sent us a copy of the brochure.  Although it has been around for a bit, we still think it’s great and appreciate the good efforts of our New England partners!  Bill explained that the brochure “focuses on identifying the next generation of drinking water professionals and the methods and means of attracting them to our profession.”  The brochure lists specific action items for water utilities, states, EPA, public officials and decisionmakers, and water associations to take to encourage recruitment and ensure succession.

Please click the link below to view the brochure.

DW Workforce Flyer Final 6-30-11

EFCNetwork Launches Water System Partnership Webinar Series

The Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCNet) is launching a new webinar series to look at water system partnerships and regionalization strategies.

The first of four webinars in the series will look at Inter-System Agreements, meaning those partnerships where two systems consider creating a physical interconnection to buy or sell water or to be better prepared for an emergency.  This webinar will also showcase a new guide called “Crafting Inter-Local Water Agreements:  Tips Relating to Issues You May Not have Thought Of or that You were Hoping to Avoid.”

DATE:  February 5, 2014

TIME:   2:30-3:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:   https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/934782833

You are encouraged to register early for this no cost event.  Please also consider sharing this opportunity with your partners in the small system community as well as with those small systems that may benefit from this information.

Additional information about this webinar and EFCNetwork are included in the Flyer link below.

Water System Partnerships Flyer

 

AWWA’s New Backflow Prevention YouTube Videos

The American Water Works Association’s Cross Connection Control Committee has produced two public service videos, available on YouTube, that highlight the importance of proper selection and installation of backflow preventer and cross connection control devices.  The short (about 5 minutes) videos provide an excellent resource to educate utility staff, boards and decision makers, and the interested public about backflow and cross connection – what it is, how it can happen, and how it can be averted without major costs to the community.

To view the videos, just click these links:  Backflow Prevention and

Backflow Prevention: Assembly Applications & Installations

ASDWA Releases New Resource Needs Report

Today, ASDWA has released a new resource needs report titled Insufficient Resources for State Drinking Water Programs Threaten Public Health.  This report documents a yearly shortfall of at least $230 million between the resources available in states (from all sources – both federal and state) and those needed by states to administer minimum required programs.

ASDWA last reported on state resource needs in April 2003.  Since that time, the situation has, in many respects, grown worse.

Investments in state drinking water programs may be perceived by the public as a relatively low priority because state drinking water programs can be “victims of their own success.”  A successful, prevention-based program makes few headlines and operates largely outside the public eye, which makes it harder to explain the importance of adequate funding.  But the success of these essential state programs is not guaranteed and states continue to face fiscal challenges that compromise their effectiveness.  In response to the report’s findings, we believe that Congress, with the support of the Administration, needs to appropriate more funds for state drinking water programs.  In addition, we encourage states to consider appropriating more state general funds and, where feasible, instituting new or enhancing existing fee programs.  We also urge EPA to allow state flexibility in administering federal requirements, wherever appropriate, and recommend that states adopt program efficiencies to make the best use of available resources.

For more information on this report – including a “Recommendations Summary” and a copy of a press release – please go to www.asdwa.org.

UNC’s EFC Looks at Water System Partnerships

The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina has recently posted a new discussion on the concept and value of water system partnerships.  We encourage you to take a look!  Just scroll down this page until you see the link to the UNC Environmental Finance Center on the right had side.  Click the link for the Partnerships article and begin to read!

ABC Issues Voluntary Model Standards

On January 15, the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) released its Model Standards document.  The Model Standards are a voluntary approach to achieve consistency across state operator certification programs.  The document speaks to the full range of operator certification program elements and includes an appendix that provides a set of common definitions and a list of referenced documents.

The press release that explains more about the Model Standards initiative appears at the bottom of this message.  To read or download the document, please go to: http://www.abccert.org/pdf_docs/ModelStandardsofOperatorCertification.pdf.

ABC press release – revised (1)

ASDWA-EPA Small Systems Technology Workshop Information Available

In September 2013, ASDWA and US EPA cohosted the 10th Annual Drinking Water Workshop.  Titled Small Drinking Water Systems: Challenges and Solutions, the Workshop brought together state drinking water program staff, EPA personnel, and other members of the water community to look as small system technology issues and solutions.

 

We are happy to announce that materials from that Workshop are now available on the ASDWA website and through the Conferences page where you access information from past ASDWA meetings.  The material posted includes agenda, speaker bios and presentations from the meeting.

Summary & Presentations – 2013 Joint National Capacity Development & Operator Certification Workshop

On November 19-21, 2013, EPA and ASDWA hosted the 2013 Joint National Capacity Development & Operator Certification Workshop in Atlanta, GA.  Nearly every state was able to send one or more representatives from their capacity development or operator certification programs to participate in this triennial event.  The workshop afforded state program staff the opportunity to meet with their peers and colleagues in the water community to consider potential solutions to common problems, identify new opportunities for partnerships, and build on lessons learned from a range of perspectives. Nearly 130 participants attended the Workshop

We are pleased to share the workshop summary and power point presentations.  You may view and/or download both the summary and workshop presentations by clicking the “Conferences” tab on the ASDWA website at www.asdwa.org and then clicking the “Past Conferences” link at the top of the page.

As you read through the summary, we encourage you to take a look at the Breakout Brainstorm and Wrap Up sessions at the end of the document.  These suggestions will be used as EPA and the states work collaboratively to identify key needs and strategic approaches for operator certification and capacity development programs over the next several years.  We also encourage you to share both the summary and presentations with your colleagues and partners in the drinking water community.