RCAP Shares New Videos for Distribution Systems, Hydrants, and Chlorine Residual

Our partners at National RCAP have just shared three new videos developed as part of their EPA competitive award “Distance Assistance” initiative.  They have distributed the videos to their regional partners (RCAC, Great Lakes RCAP, Midwest Assistance Program, RCAP Solutions, Southeast RCAP, and Community Resource Group) and are encouraging them to recruit system operators to view and learn from them.  In addition, RCAP suggests that, “These videos can be used in classroom trainings as valuable “breaks” from powerpoint presentations and other training activities.  The techniques demonstrated are useful skill-building visuals of daily activities, and can even be used for math exercises.”

Just because you produced high quality water at the treatment facility doesn’t mean that your job is done. Maintaining water quality throughout your distribution system is also essential. Studies have shown that over 1/3 of waterborne illness originated from problems in the distribution system. Water quality in the distribution system can degrade for a variety of reasons including contamination from an uncontrolled cross connection, contamination during storage, or high water age leading to degradation of water quality. Events such as a main break or loss of system pressure can also allow contaminated water to enter the distribution system. So as an operator what should you do? This video will discuss 6 items for you to consider to protect water quality in the distribution system.

This video will cover basic inspection and flushing of a fire hydrant. All fire hydrants in a water system need to be inspected on a regular basis. Inspection is needed to ensure a high degree of confidence that hydrants will perform properly in an emergency. A number of circumstances can affect a hydrant’s performance, including vandalism, accidental damage, wear and tear, and mechanical malfunction. Hydrants may also be flushed periodically to improve water quality.

This video will cover taking a good chlorine sample and methods for analysis. Effective measurement of chlorine residual is essential for protection of public health. The presence of the residual not only provides disinfection, it also serves and an indicator of water quality. Loss of residual can be an indicator of a water quality problem. Chlorine residual may be measured for compliance or non-compliance purposes. While the analysis will remain the same, how you collect the sample may differ. This video will discuss measurement of chlorine residual using a colorimeter and a handheld spectrophotometer.

National RCAP is planning to share two more videos – one on coliform sampling and one on valve exercising and maintenance – in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, for more information about distribution system water quality, hydrant inspection, chlorine residual, and other topics, please visit the RCAP website at www.rcap.org.



How to Think About Climate Change/Extreme Weather

We are all well aware of the weather extremes – droughts, floods, tornadoes, electrical storms – that are plaguing our nation these days.  Every water system has a “storm story” to share. We think the following information could be helpful in showing these systems what their colleagues have done and are continuing to do to avoid chronic repeats of costly weather-related incidents.

EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) mission is to provide resources for drinking water, wastewater, and storm water utilities to adapt to climate change by promoting a clear understanding of climate science and adaptation options.

Most recently, the CRWU Team has developed a series of videos that demonstrate how small and large, drinking water and wastewater, urban and rural systems have begun to plan ahead to be better prepared to manage extreme weather events.  Watch how these community drinking water and wastewater utilities are responding to extreme events and planning for their climate futures:

These utilities and thousands more across the nation are experiencing the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. Many are taking action now to reduce their vulnerability and increase their resilience to a changing climate.  In 2015, EPA partnered with and assisted more than 20 communities as they completed their first climate risk assessment using EPA’s Climate Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT).  Visit the EPA Climate Ready Water Utilities website to learn more.

Help for an Early Start on Next Year’s CCRs

As you know, each year, community water systems have to prepare an annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) unless the system is small enough to warrant a special waiver by the state’s governor.  All non-waiver water systems must also demonstrate that they have developed and distributed these CCRs by July 1 of each year.

While the information below is a little late for this year’s CCR deadline, you may be interested in sharing the recently published Best Practices Factsheet and the Unit Conversion Guide with your water systems.  Click the links below for more information.

Both of these new documents should be added to your compliance assistance toolbox.

RCAP & AWWA are Partnering for Compliance Training Sessions

RCAP and AWWA are partnering to host a series of day-long, no cost training sessions across the states that focus on compliance issues of particular interest to small and rural water system operators.  See the list below to register for an event in your state over the next couple of months.

TRAINING TOPIC FOR ALL EVENTS:  Small System Operator Training:  Achieve and Maintain Compliance with SDWA

OHIO:  Brought to you by the Ohio Section-AWWA and RCAP

Date:                August 11, 2105

Time:               8:00AM – 5:00PM (eastern)

Location:         Columbus Public Utilities Complex

910 Dublin Road

Columbus, OH 43215

Register:         Click this link – Register today!


INDIANABrought to you by the Indiana Section-AWWA and RCAP

Date:                August 12, 2015

Time:               8:30AM – 4:30PM (eastern)

Location:         Nappanee Public Library

157 North Main Street

Nappanee, IN 46550

Register:         Click this link – Register today!


UTAHBrought to you by the Intermountain Section-AWWA and RCAP

Date:                August 12, 2015

Time:               8:00AM – 4:30PM (mountain)

Location:         Brian Head Town Public Safety Building

535 S. Vasels Road

Brian Head, UT 84719

Register:         Click here – Register today!


WASHINGTONBrought to you by the Pacific Northwest Section-AWWA and RCAP

Date:                August 18, 2015

Time:               8:30AM – 4:00PM (pacific)

Location:         Lacey Community Center

6729 Pacific Avenue, SE

Lacey, WA 98503

Register:         Click here – Register today!


FLORIDA:  Brought to you by the Florida Section-AWWA and RCAP

Date:                August 20, 2015

Time:               8:00AM – 4:30PM (eastern)

Location:         Florida Department of Health

4025 Esplanade Way

Tallahassee, FL 32399

Register:         Click here – Register today!


MINNESOTABrought to you by the Minnesota Section-AWWA and RCAP

Date:                August 25, 2015

Time:               8:00AM – 5:00PM (central)

Location:         Holiday Inn

75 South 37th Avenue

St. Cloud, MN 56301

Register:         Click here – Register today!


LOUISIANABrought to you by the Southwest Section-AWWA and RCAP

Date:                August 27, 2015


Location:         Farmer’s Market

500 North 3rd Street

Alexandria, LA 71301

Time/Registration:  Information coming soon.  Contact Southwest Section-AWWA for more information


SOUTH DAKOTABrought to you by the South Dakota Section and RCAP

Note:  Training split between two half days

Dates:              August 27, 2015 and August 28, 2015

Times:             1:00PM – 5:00PM and 8:00AM – 12:00PM (central)

Location:         Best Western Ramkota Hotel Pierre

920 West Sioux Avenue

Pierre, SD 57501

Register:         Click here – Register today!


These and other RCAP trainings can be found at http://www.rcap.org/rcaptraining and on AWWA’s site at http://www.awwa.org/resources-tools/water-knowledge/small-systems/2015-small-systems-training/2015-workshops.aspx.

EFCN and AWWA Host “Setting Water Rates using a Complimentary Excel-based Model” Webinar

How would you answer this question?  What should your water rates be to cover all of your expenses in the next few years?”

The Environmental Finance Center Network, in partnership with the American Water Works Association is hosting a webinar on August 11 to help water systems answer this question by demonstrating the Water and Wastewater Rates Analysis Model, a complimentary basic Excel-based tool developed for small water systems by the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

DATE:              August 11, 2015

TIME:               2:30-3:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8324571126399944962

How does this model work?  Users input data on their water system’s expenses, rate structures, number of customers and customer water use. The model then projects revenues, expenses and fund balances for the next few years, giving the user the option to adjust rates as necessary to generate the revenues needed to meet financial obligations.

The model helps water systems determine whether they need to adjust rates, and by how much, in order to achieve financial sufficiency. The model can be used by water systems that set volumetric charges for water as well as systems that only charge flat monthly fees.

Who should participate?  This no-cost webinar is designed for water systems serving 10,000 or fewer people, especially targeting local government systems facing financial challenges.  Owners of privately owned systems, consultants and technical assistance providers serving small water systems are also invited to participate.

Questions?  For registration questions, please contact Laura Flag at lnflagg@syr.edu.  For program questions, please contact Lexi Kay at akay@sog.unc.edu.


EPA Webinar on Corrosion Control

EPA’s Office of Research & Development (ORD) is presenting the latest topic in its monthly webinar series – Corrosion Control for Drinking Water Systems.  There is no cost to participate.  One CEU will be offered – please check with your state program about availability.

DATE:              July 28, 2015

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5651769410281471234

Two EPA presenters will provide an overview of available treatment strategies for lead & copper control and existing requirements for optimizing corrosion control under the Lead & Copper Rule, including monitoring requirements and treatment methods.

More information on this event can be found in this flyer ORDSmallSystemsWebinar_July.

Questions about this event should be sent via email to Victoria Banks at EPA     Banks.Victoria@epa.gov

RCAP Offers Online Training for Operators

Our colleagues at RCAP are hosting several online training courses for drinking water operators throughout the months of July and August.  Take a look…and please pass the information to operators in your state who might benefit from these sessions.  There is no charge to participate in the training.


Arsenic is often found as a co-contaminant with nitrate, but can also occur by itself. Disinfection byproducts are cancer-causing compounds that can form in treatment and distribution systems that use chemical disinfectants such as chlorine. Lead and copper can leach from distribution system materials and from plumbing fixtures on your customers’ premises. This workshop will describe how and where these micro-contaminants occur and the technology available for their removal. Intended audience is water treatment and distribution operators and water system managers.

DATES:     JULY 7, 2015 and again JULY 9, 2015

TIMES:      1:00AM-3:00PM (Eastern)


  For July 7 use http://www.events.rcac.org/assnfe/ev.asp?MODE=&ID=521

  For July 9 use https://www.events.rcac.org/assnfe/ev.asp?MODE=&ID=522



Nitrate is one of the “acute” contaminants for which one glass of water can make a person very sick – or worse. Nitrate contamination can come from a wide variety of sources, some natural and some directly related to human activity. This workshop will cover common sources of nitrate contamination, control methods that can be taken at the watershed, and the Best Available Technology (BAT) available for nitrate remediation and removal. Intended audience is water treatment and distribution operators and water system managers.

DATES:     JULY 28, 2015 and again JULY 30, 2015

TIMES:      1:00-3:00PM (Eastern)


  For July 28 use https://www.events.rcac.org/assnfe/ev.asp?MODE=&ID=519

  For July 30 use https://www.events.rcac.org/assnfe/ev.asp?MODE=&ID=520


The “finished” water leaving your production or treatment system can meet or exceed all applicable regulations, but a poorly operated and maintained distribution system can turn a quality product into a threat to public health. Do you have a water main flushing program? Do you have a valve exercising program? Do you have a cross connection control program? Do you have a storage tank cleaning and inspection program? This workshop will describe the principles and practices of a well operated and maintained distribution system and various tools and templates that are available. Intended audience is water distribution operators and water system managers.


DATES:     AUGUST 11, 2015 and again AUGUST 13, 2015

TIMES:      1:00-3:00PM (Eastern)


  For August 11 use https://www.events.rcac.org/assnfe/ev.asp?MODE=&ID=524

  For August 13 use https://www.events.rcac.org/assnfe/ev.asp?MODE=&ID=523

For more information on workshop content, please contact: Neil Worthen, RCAC, at 575-527-5372, nworthen@rcac.org.

For registration questions, email: registration@rcac.org.

Certificates showing 2.0 contact hours will be mailed to everyone that registers in advance, signs-in, and completes the pre- and post-test. California honors these certificates for license renewal as do several other states.   Attendees will need to check with their certifying agency.