Just in Case You Missed It…

The small system drinking water support community is a collaborative one.  We often support each other by re-sharing information.  In this case, we are sharing resource news that you may have received from our partners at wateroperator.org or from your regional RCAP organization.  In any case, we believe that the information below should be useful to you in your work with small drinking water systems.

Did you know that over 20 training modules on water & wastewater topics are available on Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP)’s resource library website?

These modules include guides/notes for trainers, training logistics guidance, fillable/customizable PowerPoint presentations, quizzes, answer keys, grading criteria, diagrams, spreadsheet tools and more. Many training modules can be downloaded as .zip files, and can include word documents, .pdf’s, annotated PowerPoints, spreadsheets, and photos.

Available topics include: Distribution, Operations & Maintenance Planning, Water Loss, Water Quality in Storage Facilities, Wastewater System Safety, Wastewater System Safety, Wastewater Sampling & Preservation, Wastewater Lagoons & Oxidation Ponds, Energy Efficiency for Wastewater Plants, Discharge Monitoring, Chemistry for Water Operators, Principles of Wastewater Disinfection & Chlorination, Basic Hydraulics and Pumps, and more.

For those interested in implementing these trainings, a good first step might be to check out this presentation on best practices in leading workshops. This presentation covers proven engagement and knowledge retention techniques to help you make the most of your time and efforts.

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EFCN Offers August Web Training Opportunities

Mapping:  There’s More Than One Way to Show Your Data Electronically

DATE:              Tuesday, August 21, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Register Online

The knowledge you can gain about your system by visualizing data using electronic maps is invaluable. Though developing an electronic mapping program (or making the transition from paper to electronic mapping) can seem daunting and expensive, it may not be not as hard, or as costly, as you think. This webinar will review some of the types of data that can be mapped electronically and review a range of available electronic mapping platforms and data collection options available to you. We will also demonstrate that electronic maps are able to show you much more than simply asset locations.  This information comes from the Southwest Environmental Finance Center at the University of New Mexico.

 

Encouraging Conservation—An In-Depth Look at Non-Pricing Approaches

DATE:              Thursday, August 23, 2018

TIME:               2:00PM-3:00PM EDT

REGISTER:      Register Online

Water systems have a variety of reasons for wanting to encourage conservation, from environmental benefits to limited supply or treatment capacity. This webinar will explore non-pricing strategies that water systems can use to encourage their customers to conserve water. These strategies include water use restrictions, increasing customer information, and reducing real water loss. We will discuss how these approaches impact the system’s ability to cover the full cost of providing safe drinking water today and into the future.  This information comes from the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

EFCN Offers Two New Webinars

1  Understanding Asset Criticality: Reduce Risk and Optimize Operations

DATE:              July 24, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Register Online

Understanding asset criticality can help a utility reduce risks by optimizing operations, planning maintenance tasks and timing, and capital improvements. This webinar will go into detail on the subject of criticality. We will look at multiple types of redundancies, how assets can fail in multiple manners, and how maintenance operations can be improved to take better care of your system’s most critical assets.

Nick Willis, Program Manager at the Environmental Finance Center at Wichita State University, will lead the discussion.

Questions? Contact EFCN at smallsystems@syr.edu

 

2  How to Build Marketing Skills to Gain Support from Water Customers

DATE:              August 9, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Register Online

Water utilities are experts at keeping their work behind the scenes. Water infrastructure is buried in the ground and treatment plants are tucked away in the community. Water magically appears for customers at the turn of a faucet, whenever they need it. Customers rely on this water for health, cleaning, recreation, and life itself. However, very few customers understand the value of clean water service, or the immense amount of resources and around-the-clock work that it takes to make it happen.

It is time for drinking water utilities to take the stage and show customers the value of public water. In this webinar you will learn the importance of marketing and communication to utility customers. Attendees will learn the steps to creating meaningful public engagement, as well as the single most important aspect of gaining customer support.

Wichita State University’s Leslie Kimble, Marketing Coordinator for the Environmental Finance Center, is the presenter.

Questions? Contact EFCN at smallsystems@syr.edu

Assessing Financial Capacity – Webinar

EPA’s Drinking Water SRF and Capacity Development programs are teaming up to offer another in their series of helpful webinars.  This one looks at Assessing Financial Capacity.

DATE:              Tuesday, July 10

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4941509111877932803

Financial capacity is a critical component for ensuring long-term sustainability of water systems. During this webinar, Ohio and Oklahoma Capacity Development Coordinators (Susan Schell and Brandon Bowman) will share how they assess water system financial capacity and how DWSRF set-asides can be used to support financial management and building capacity of drinking water systems. The webinar will also include information on EPA’s new Financial Capacity Assessment Trainings.

Please reserve your webinar seat today!

New England Water Works Offers Board Training Basics

Our colleagues at the New England Water Works Association (NEWWA) have a web page devoted to online learning.  One of the areas of focus is Water Board or Commissioner training.  Based on a 2014 EPA Reference Guide, the online update is divided into three modules:

  1. Roles & Responsibilities and Communication
  2. Budgets & Planning for the Future
  3. From source to Tap – Treatment & Distribution Overview

The goal is for board members or commissioners to acquire a basic understanding of issues such as setting water rates and working effectively with water system operators.

 

For more information, please click this link.

Upcoming Webinars for Small Water Systems

The Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) is hosting three new webinars focused on small system needs.  Please share these learning opportunities with your state’s small systems, assistance providers, and other interested parties.

  1. ENCOURAGING CUSTOMERS TO CONSERVE – PRICING AND NON-PRICING APPROACHES

DATE:    Thursday, May 31, 2018

TIME:    2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  Click here

Water systems have a variety of reasons for wanting to encourage conservation, from environmental benefits to limited supply or treatment capacity. This webinar will explore pricing and non-pricing strategies that water systems can use to encourage their customers to conserve water. Attendees will learn how those approaches impact the system’s ability to cover the full cost of providing safe drinking water today and into the future.

 

  1. EPA TOOLS FOR SMALL PUBLIC SYSTEM WATER OPERATORS: ELECTRONIC PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE LOGS

DATE:              Tuesday, June 19, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar features EPA’s updated tool, “Preventive Maintenance for Small Public Water Systems Using Ground Water.” The event will feature the many advantages of implementing a preventative maintenance program. Participants will learn where to find the new electronic preventative maintenance logs and how to use the interactive PDF.

 

  1. HOW TO MOTIVATE YOUR EMPLOYEES AND KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS HAPPY

DATE:              Wednesday, June 27, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

Employees are a utility’s most important asset. How do you maintain this asset so that that employees are happy and motivated when they come to work? Does having happy employees help you have happy customers? Although a utility can’t control when a customer complaint will arise, they can control how employees and leaders handle the situation.

This webinar will teach utilities how to effectively address customer complaints and how to use strategic communication to increase customer and employee satisfaction. The webinar will also explore the relationship between employees and customers.

WaterOperator.org Hosts NCWS Resource Webinars

Our colleagues at WaterOperator.org invite you to help spread the word about two webinar opportunities (same content – just different days) geared toward noncommunity public water systems and those who serve them.

The webinars will introduce their free online course that helps owners and operators of noncommunity public water systems with a groundwater well better understand how to properly care for their water supply. The course curriculum includes the basic science of groundwater, well mechanics, and source water protection best practices.

DATE:              May 29, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Here

 

DATE:              June 6, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Here

The webinar will also highlight some of WaterOperator.org’s most interesting features and how to use the site more effectively for your work.

Though the online course and webinar are geared towards noncommunity systems, very small community water supplies using groundwater may also find the information useful.  Please share this opportunity with your water systems, assistance providers, and colleagues with an interest in this subject.

 

Webinar:  Encouraging Customers to Conserve–Pricing and Non-Pricing Approaches

As part of their ongoing collaboration, AWWA and the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) offer another in their webinar series for small systems.

DATE:              Thursday, May 31, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

Water systems have a variety of reasons for wanting to encourage conservation, from environmental benefits to limited supply or treatment capacity. This webinar will explore pricing and non-pricing strategies that water systems can use to encourage their customers to conserve water. You will learn how those approaches impact the system’s ability to cover the full cost of providing safe drinking water today and into the future.

EFCN to Host Intermediate Asset Management Webinar

This EFCN Webinar will focus on establishing level of service goals as part of an asset management plan.

DATE:              Tuesday, May 1, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here Register

Establishing level of service goals is one of the most underappreciated steps in asset management planning. Asset management allows utilities to maintain a desired level of service at the lowest life cycle costs. But how do we know if and when we are meeting our “desired” level of service?

This webinar will teach you why small water systems shouldn’t skip this important step of asset management, and simple ways to “level up” your utility’s asset management plan by establishing level of service goals today!

Talking About Lead

Lead service lines, lead solder, lead in schools – these are hot topics regardless of where you live, the size of your community, and the source of your drinking water.  Everyone is scrambling to decide how best to remove lead as a drinking water contaminant.  But while the scientists and regulators are figuring all of this out, what do you say when your friends, neighbors, colleagues, or customers tell you about what they’ve heard or read?

Our colleagues at AWWA have developed a free toolkit, Lead and Drinking Water: Talking with Your Community, that discusses how to get your message out and what the basics of that message might be.  Go to www.awwa.org/leadcommunications and click on each of the four key resource elements:

  • Reach Your Customers
  • Tell the Whole Story
  • Engage Partners
  • Help Schools.

These links include templates for brochures, fact sheets, sample collection procedures, and presentations that you can use when talking to schools.  While not all of the materials may be right for a small system, they can be inspiration for systems to development their own messages.  The title document also contains a list of additional resources such as websites for EPA, CDC, and the Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative.