EFCN Partners Host Several Useful Small Systems Webinars

Managing Disasters Before Disasters Strike

DATE:              Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar will explore emergency management and resilience strategies that can help small systems prepare for disasters. Discussions will cover trends in hazards, critical infrastructure stressors, and what steps small systems can take to adapt to an uncertain future.

Understanding the Root Cause of a Problem at Your Water System

DATE:              Thursday, October 18, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

Understanding the root cause of a problem at your water system is the crucial first step in addressing the issue appropriately. This webinar will introduce and demonstrate two tools that will help water operators and managers get to the root cause of a difficult problem. The first tool is a line of inquiry called Five Why’s. The second is using a lens through which you can examine the problem from different perspectives, called PESTEL. By using these tools, water operators and managers can ensure that they define the problem correctly, so they can apply the right methods, and maximize the efficiency of their staff time, money, and other resources.

Working Together to Protect Your Drinking Water Source

DATE:              Thursday, October 25, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

There are many benefits of collaborative relationships between water utilities, land conservation agencies and land trusts, and municipalities and counties to protect drinking water sources facing development pressure. Collaboration is not easy, however, and does not come naturally to all involved. This webinar will outline the benefits of collaboration as well as how to overcome any challenges that may arise. Panelists will share both the successes and lessons learned from getting outside their comfort zones and forging new partnerships

Risk and Resilience: Assessing Vulnerability for Coastal Communities

DATE:              Friday, November 2, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

In light of an ever-changing climate and increasingly stressed infrastructure, we must take steps towards preventing and mitigating the duration and severity of water service interruptions. This webinar will discuss the importance of understanding risk, explore what it means to be a resilient coastal system, and suggest strategies for conducting basic vulnerability assessments.

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Water Systems Council WellCare Takes on Preparedness

Many of you may already be familiar with WellCare, a feature of the Water Systems Council that works with private well owners.  They have put together a variety of useful resources and recommendations for well owners.  We encourage you to share these recommendations with private well owners in your communities. Please read below for more information.

Don’t let your summer become a bummer by being unprepared if your water well is impacted by a flood or natural disaster. We’ve gathered all the resources you’ll need to maintain and manage your water well in the event of an emergency, so keep reading!

Be Prepared:  #Itonlytakesone storm to demolish an entire town. Be prepared before these storms strike! Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan. Know where you will ride out the storm and get your supplies now. There are many resources available to help with #HurricanePrep and preparation for other natural disasters:

Emergencies/Disasters and Wells:  If a natural disaster has occurred on or near your property, there are some things you need to know about your drinking water supply. If in doubt about your water supply, follow local or state health department drinking and bathing advisories. Remember that there is danger of electrical shock from any electrical device that has been flooded; consult a certified electrician. Rubber boots and gloves are not adequate protection from electrical shock.

Septic systems should not be used immediately after floods. Drain fields will not work until underground water has receded. Septic lines may have been broken during flooding or other storms. Contact a local septic service immediately. Only trained specialists should clean or repair septic tanks because tanks may contain dangerous gases. In most emergency situations, obtaining bottled water is the most commonly promoted way to access safe drinking water. Do not rely on water treatment filters or devices that are NOT certified for microbial reduction as they may not provide the protection necessary for emergency situations. Consult a water professional or manufacturer for more information.  However, if the water only needs to be disinfected to be potable, there are four main options to treat water to make it safe for consumption:

  • Boiling
  • Chlorination
  • Distillation
  • Water treatment devices certified for microbial reduction of bacteria, cysts, and viruses

Prepare yourself in advance by downloading our wellcare® Information Sheet on Emergencies & Disasters and Wells and by finding the emergency agencies in your state on our Emergency Agencies interactive map.. The wellcare® Hotline can also help!

Managing a Flooded Well:  If you live in an area that was recently flooded, your private well may be in danger of contamination from pollutants carried by flood water or at risk of shock from waterlogged well equipment. Here are some steps you should follow after a flood:

  • Do not drink or wash with your well water. You could get sick from contaminants washed into the well by the flood.
  • Do not turn on the well pump. There is a danger of electrical shock and damage to your well or pump if they were flooded.
  • Contact your water well contractor for help in dealing with the impacts of the flood on your water quality and well system.

You should suspect water contamination any time your well casing becomes flooded, if your well is shallow and you are near areas that have been flooded, or if you notice taste, color, or sediment changes in your water. Find a safe alternative source for drinking, cooking, and washing until a water test proves your water is safe. If you can’t find a convenient source of safe water, boil your well water vigorously for one minute. If you live in an altitude greater than one mile above sea level, increase boiling time to three minutes.

Many times when your area experiences flooding or a natural disaster, your local health department or state environmental agency will provide free or low cost testing for well owners. If free or low cost water testing is not available, visit our Water Well Testing page. For more information on managing a flooded well, download Managing a Flooded Well.

Disinfecting a Well: If your well has been flooded, you will need to disinfect it. Luckily, disinfecting your well at home is fairly simple using household bleach and food grade white vinegar. Make sure to use a new bottle of unscented bleach, as it can lose potency over time. Don’t use stabilized swimming pool chlorine products or non-chlorinated “pool shock” products, as they are not effective enough to clean drinking water. Watch this video to see how it’s done.

Drought and Wells: Summer can also deliver drought conditions that can result in problems for your water well. During periods of drought, there are some things you can do to manage water levels and help prevent your well from going dry:

  • Measure water levels — Knowing the exact yield of your well is critical to managing the use of water or considering options to expand the supply.
  • Manage water levels — If you have a low yielding well – producing less than five gallons per minute – you should be very careful how much demand you place on it. Conserve water as much as possible.
  • Add water storage — Adding storage can help provide greater capacity when water levels are low and allows your well to rest and recharge. Bonus! It helps prolong the life of your well pump as it reduces the need for your pump to cycle as often.

Ask your water well contractor about some other options to reach water within your existing well. Download our wellcare® Information Sheet on Drought and Your Well for additional tips on managing your well during a drought.

Well Financing Options: Too often, urgently needed water well repair is not done because well owners cannot afford it. This video from the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) shows the financing options available for well owners. Additional resources for obtaining financing for water well repair or improvements include the Water Well Trust, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), and USDA Rural Development

Water Testing for Irrigation Wells: When testing the quality of water that is used for gardening and lawn irrigation, several specific measurements will help determine the effect the water will have on soil and plants. For example, water containing high concentrations of sodium can decrease plant growth. Other substances present in water may clog household irrigation systems and discolor walkways and exteriors including physical solids such as sand and silt, and dissolved solids like hardness, iron, and manganese. Learn more about the water tests that are important for gardening and lawn irrigation. Download our wellcare® Information Sheet on Testing Water for Gardening and Lawn Irrigation

More Free Resources: Available for free download: Real Estate Professionals: Buying or Selling a Home with a Well and Renting a Home with a Well

For more assistance or information, call the wellcare® Hotline at 888-395-1033, complete an online form, or chat with us live!

UNC-EFC Tackles Financial Resilience

The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill hosts a blog site that looks at water and wastewater needs, issues, concerns, and successes. One of their most recent posts looks at Local Government Financial Resilience and Preparation Before a Natural Disaster.

As the blog post notes, “…municipalities are becoming extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, making it necessary for local governments to become more resilient to catastrophes. Natural disaster resiliency often focuses on the built environment and hazard mitigation, but what about weathering the storm from a financial perspective?”  It goes on to suggest that communities should consider the following steps when evaluating the potential financial impacts of a natural disaster:  identify the probability and type of likely disasters, set a planning timeline, know about available funding sources, and set up a rainy day fund.

The blog post also contains numerous links to resources that can help a community understand and plan financially for a disaster.  One that stands out is Financial Planning for Natural Disasters: A Workbook for Local Governments and Regions.  The Workbook “…is designed to help local governments and regions understand their financial vulnerabilities to natural disasters, evaluate their financial capacity to cover the costs of those disasters, identify strategies to close the gap between financial vulnerability and capacity, and identify and address the spillover effects of neighboring local governments’ financial vulnerabilities to disasters.”

EFCN Hosts Two New Webinars

Our colleagues from EFCN’s Syracuse and Wichita State Universities are hosting two webinars this month that should be of interest to you.

Resiliency Planning 101

DATE:              February 13

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

REGISTER:      Click this link Register

This webinar will offer definitions of community and utility resiliency in the context of disaster preparedness, recovery, and proactive planning measures. Resiliency enables communities and utilities to remain economically and socially viable in the face of extreme weather or economic events.  This event is hosted by the Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center

What Challenges Do Different Sizes & Types of Systems Face?

DATE:              February 27

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

Register           Click this link Register

This webinar will address the challenges of delivering safe, potable water to communities of varying size and the differences and similarities of management challenges that both small and large systems face.  This event is hosted by the Wichita State University Environmental Finance Center.

New Resiliency Webinar from EFCN

Our EFCN partners are hosting a webinar titled Resilience:  Planning on Disaster and Preparing for Disruption.  How do you prevent or mitigate the duration of severity of water service interruptions – especially if you’re a small system?

DATE:              Wednesday, September 20

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7020594331405763586

This event will outline a basic framework for small water systems to use in in their resilience planning.  It will also offer various tools and resources to help get plan implementation off the ground.

EPA Sustainable Systems Team Shares Tabletop Exercise

EPA’s Sustainable Systems Team has developed a Tabletop Exercise and Facilitators Guide that states and assistance providers may want to use on their own.  The Sustainable Systems Team has worked through this Exercise a couple of times at National and Regional workshops and the response has been very positive.

The Exercise assigns roles for a variety of state programs and works through a project list that needs input from each of the respective roleplayers.  Projects are prioritized and funding, compliance, and/or assistance decisions are made based on that input.  As noted in the provided materials, the purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that a better understanding of other state roles, increased communication, and collaboration among different roles, will result in better, more holistic, PWS assistance.  Here’s the link to the Exercise and Facilitator’s Guide:  https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/table-top-exercise-collaborating-across-state-drinking-water-programs-support-sustainable

EPA ORD Tackles Water Security

Registration is now open for EPA’s Small Drinking Water Systems Webinar on Water Security and Resiliency.

DATE:              Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/287664509489298691

The webinar will cover two different new tools designed to meet water utility needs.  The first is the Route to Resilience tool designed to help small and medium sized drinking water utilities learn more about becoming resilient to all hazards.  The second featured tool is the Water Network Tool for Resilience that should be released later this year.  This tool will help water utilities investigate the resilience of their systems to a wide range of hazardous scenarios and evaluate emergency response actions and long term resilience-enhancing strategies.

More information on both of these presentations is available when you click the registration link above.

EPA WSD Hosts 3-Part Webinar Series on Improving Response

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting a three part webinar series for water and wastewater utilities and emergency management agencies to learn how to increase resilience and improve emergency response efforts.

Why is ASDWA telling you about this?  These discussions are very helpful for small systems that need to know the advantages of working with their local emergency management folks before something happens and how to receive support and assistance after something does!

ASDWA encourages you to participate and also share this learning opportunity with your water systems.

Webinar 1: Why should I care about collaboration?

DATE:                  May 10, 2017

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

REGISTER:        https://epa-water-ess-webinar1.eventbrite.com

This webinar will provide an overview of the critical interdependencies between the water and emergency services sectors.  It will include speakers from an emergency management agency and a water utility to discuss how their organizations have benefitted from mutual collaboration.

 

Webinar 2: What have others done?

DATE:                  May 24, 2017

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

REGISTER:        https://epa-water-ess-webinar2.eventbrite.com

This webinar will provide in-depth discussions of how two drinking water and wastewater utilities have worked with their local emergency management agencies, to their mutual benefit.

 

Webinar 3: Confronting Challenges – Access and Fuel Supply Planning

DATE:                  June 14, 2017

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

REGISTER:        https://epa-water-ess-webinar3.eventbrite.com

In this webinar, speakers from both sectors will discuss how they approached resolving access issues to disaster sites (credentialing) and what efforts they have undertaken to create a more resilient fuel supply.

All three webinars are free but each requires a separate registration in advance of the event.  Webinar links will be shared approximately one week prior to the event.

 

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/.

 

Financing Recovery and Mitigation – A Free Webinar Series

Learning about funding opportunities and how to access them is important for all members of the small system community. EPA is hosting two new webinars that showcase available funding for both disaster recovery efforts and resilience mitigation projects.  Please share these webinar discussions with your smaller systems.

Disaster Recovery Financing

DATE:              November 22

TIME:               1:00-2:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/disaster-recovery-financing-tickets-28791523221

This event describes how states and communities use SRF, FEMA, and other financing approaches to recover from a disaster. Utility and state speakers will share tips and examples.

Resilience Mitigation Financing

DATE:              December 7

TIME:               1:00-2:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/resilience-mitigation-financing-tickets-28791849196

This event focuses on tools and financing resources to conduct resilience planning and to mitigate impacts before a disaster strikes. Utilities will share stories about investing in resilient infrastructure.