Partnership Discussions

During the first part of March, EPA’s Sustainable Systems Team hosted a webinar to look at Water System Partnerships.  This event was part of the ongoing Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and Capacity Building in Action webinar series.

Ellen Tarquinio (EPA SST) set the stage and provided background on the partnerships concept and what the range of partnerships can look like.  Two states then provided insights into how their capacity development programs supported a range of partnership opportunities.  Thanks to both Karen Torres of New Mexico and Arlene Wyatt of Washington for sharing their approaches!  For those of you who could not participate in the event, ASDWA has included the powerpoint presentations at the link below.

EPA_Presentation_Partnerships

EPA Selects the National Rural Water Association to Assist Region 8 Communities with Finance

EPA has selected the National Rural Water Association as the Environmental Finance Center to support technical assistance and training for municipalities within the jurisdiction of EPA Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, and WY).  The award has been announced by EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center (WIRFC).  WIRFC manages and supports ten Environmental Finance Centers (EFCs) located across the country to provide innovative solutions to communities to help manage the costs of environmental protection programs and activities. Since 1992, the EFCs have been working to promote sustainable environmental and financial practices throughout the United States.

EPA’s WIRFC (often called just the Water Finance Center) is an information and assistance center, helping communities make informed decisions for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure to protect human health and the environment.

EPA ORD Small System Webinar for February

Registration is now open for EPA’s Small Drinking Water Systems Webinar on Removal of Inorganic Contaminants of Interest: Strontium and Nitrates.

DATE:                  February 28

TIME:                   2:00-3:00PM (eastern) with optional 30 minute Q&A

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2644432498297677570

Two topics will be covered during this event – removal of strontium from drinking water by conventional treatment and lime softening – and nitrate treatment technologies for drinking water.

This webinar is part of EPA’s Small Systems Monthly Webinar Series:  Challenges and Treatment Solutions for Small Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems.  Recommended attendees include primacy agencies, water utilities, assistance providers, and others interested in community water system solutions.

Did You Miss “Communicating with the Public”?

On February 9, ASDWA’s colleagues at AWWA and the Environmental Finance Center Network cosponsored a webinar titled Communicating with the Public about Water Infrastructure.  The information and shared techniques on effective communication were very helpful.  If you didn’t have a chance to view the webinar, you can watch it at your convenience using this link:  http://efcnetwork.org/events/webinar-communicating-public-water-infrastructure/.

 

Lead in Schools Webinar

EPA is hosting a webinar to highlight the 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools.  This is a repeat of the earlier December 7 webinar on this subject.

DATE:              January 30, 2017

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

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=3416&evt=3TsJan2017

The 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools was developed using a training, testing, telling approach to assist schools in implementing a voluntary lead testing program.  The webinar will provide a background on lead in drinking water, suggested steps for sampling at schools, discuss appropriate remediation measures, and the important aspects of an effective communication strategy.

Please share this information with your colleagues, assistance providers, water utilities, and anyone interested in knowing more about implementing a lead testing program in schools.

Disinfectant Residuals Webinar Coming Soon

Registration is now open for EPA’s Small Drinking Water Systems Webinar on Disinfectant Residuals.  This is part of the ongoing monthly EPA ORD webinar series to discuss challenges and treatment solutions for small drinking water and wastewater systems.

DATE:              Tuesday, January 31, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4612325214578663169

 

Two topics – Disinfectant Residual: Representative Monitoring and Minimum Residual Implications and Development of a Disinfectant Residual Monitoring Plan – will be covered during the event.

 

EPA Awards $12.7 Million to Assist Small Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems

Today, EPA is awarding $12.7 million in grants to help small drinking and wastewater systems and private well owners.  Since 2009, EPA has provided $95 million in technical assistance grants to assist small drinking water and wastewater systems and private well owners.  Water systems staff will receive training and technical assistance to improve operations and management practices, promote system sustainability, and better protect public health and the environment.  The selected grantees are:

  • $4.0 million each to the National Rural Water Association and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership to help small public water systems across the country achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • $1.8 million to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to improve the financial and managerial capabilities of small public water systems across the country.
  • $1.7 million to the Rural Community Assistance Partnership to inform private drinking water well owners about protecting their drinking water supply and improving water quality.
  • $1.2 million to the National Rural Water Association to improve operational performance at small publicly-owned wastewater systems and decentralized wastewater systems, thereby improving public health and water quality.

Correction – despite the earlier press release from EPA, the $1.2M for wastewater training was actually awarded to RCAP not NRWA.

More than 97 percent of the nation’s 157,000 public drinking water systems serve fewer than 10,000 people, and more than 80 percent of these systems serve fewer than 500 people. Many small systems face unique challenges in providing reliable drinking water and wastewater services that meet federal and state regulations. These challenges can include a lack of financial resources, aging infrastructure, and high staff turnover.

More information can be found at http://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/training-and-technical-assistance-small-systems-funding#rfa

RCAP Adds to Video Library

The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) has released three new videos on the subject of water quality in storage tanks.  These videos highlight the importance of storage tank inspection and maintaining water quality.  This brings the total number of training videos in the RCAP Video Library to 39!  You are encouraged to use them as a standalone resource or as part of a training program.  Go to https://vimeo.com/rcap/videos and take a look at:

  • Conducting a Periodic Inspection: Elements of a periodic inspection are shown for variety of storage tanks.
  • Types of Storage Tank Inspections: Discusses the three types of storage tank inspection – routine, periodic and comprehensive inspection.
  • Water Quality in Storage Facilities: Discusses the challenges associated with maintenance of water quality during storage.

Thanks RCAP!

Two New Webinars from EFCN

Mark your calendars now for two new small system focused webinars from our colleagues at the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) as part of their training and assistance grant from EPA.

Ask the Expert – Advice on Water System Partnerships

 DATE:              January 12, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4679240390727658755

This event explores ways that water systems can partner or collaborate to enhance their performance and capabilities.  The webinar also looks at many of the ‘where do I start and what should I avoid and how do I retain control of my system’ type questions that frequently arise in partnership discussions.  This online forum offers an opportunity for you to ask any and all questions related to water system partnerships and regionalization options.

Achieving Revenue Stability through Your Water Rate Structure

 DATE:              January 19, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/132920338571523331

This webinar will explain how demand changes affect revenues and how water utilities can improve their revenue stability by modifying their rate structure design.  The vast majority of a water utility’s revenues is directly dependent on the volume of water sold to customers.  Water demand fluctuates from year to year, and numerous studies have shown that average residential demands are decreasing, placing much of a utility’s revenue at risk.

 

Retaining Your Workforce Webinar

Our EFCN colleagues are hosting a webinar to share strategies on how small systems can retain a happy workforce.

DATE:              December 8, 2016

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1046788224422506497

This webinar will provide some useful retention practices for small systems to use to maintain a strong and happy workforce.  It also will share evaluation tools that can be used to measure employee performance and support professional development.