EPA SST Publishes Workgroup Best Practices Guide

The new asset management document, titled Successfully Protecting Your Investment In Drinking Water Infrastructure: Best Practices from Communities and Local Experts, is now posted on the EPA website!

https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/successfully-protecting-your-investment-drinking-water-infrastructure-0

The document reflects the efforts and contributions of the Asset Management workgroup (2015-2016) established under the 2015 National Capacity Development & Operator Certification Workshop.  Please share the document with others in your state who have an interest in asset management and drinking water infrastructure.

EPA is planning to host a roll-out webinar in August that will feature presentations from some of the local decision makers included in the document.  Look for more information in the near term.

Microsoft Ending Support for Windows Vista

Editor’s Note:  This information was provided by our colleagues at the WaterISAC.

If you know of any water systems still using the Windows Vista operating system, please let them know about the following ASAP.

“All software products have a lifecycle.  After April 11, 2017, Microsoft is ending support for the Windows Vista operating system.  After this date, this product will no longer receive security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft.  Computers running the Windows Vista operating system will continue to work even after support ends.  However, using unsupported software may increase the risks of viruses and other security threats.  Users and administrators are encouraged to upgrade to a currently supported operating system.  For more information, see Microsoft’s Vista support and product lifecycle articles.”

EFCN and AWWA Partner on Small System Webinars

EFCN and AWWA, under the Competitive Award Grants provided by EPA, have shared a list of upcoming webinar opportunities for states, assistance providers, and small utilities.  See below for more details.

Communicating with the Public about Water Infrastructure

 DATE:              Thursday, February 9

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

REGISTER:      Register

Issues such as drinking water contaminants, algal blooms, and increased utility rates can put a community on edge.  This webinar will address how best to communicate with the public in a way that will garner support and encourage public engagement.  Participants will learn tools for communicating with their customers directly and through media outlets, as well as effective messaging for maximum impact.

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Financing for the Future – Financial Longevity for Municipal Operations

 DATE:              Thursday, February 16

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

REGISTER:      Register

With increasing demand on utilities, expanding or declining populations, and the need for future infrastructure repair, it is necessary to look beyond the sort term financial planning and look towards financing for the future.  This webinar will introduce methods that can be used for budgeting for the future.  Participants will gain an understanding of how they can project for future changes and risks, and create a financial plan that will ensure there is money to address these events as they occur.

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Water Audits and Water Loss Control:  Gathering Your Data

DATE:              Wednesday, March 1

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

REGISTER:      Register

The hardest part of completing a water audit or determining the categories of your non-revenue water, by far, is just getting started. The first step is finding and collecting your data.  Knowing what data you need, where to look for it, what some of the potential issues with the data may be, and how you can improve data in the future is your starting place.  This webinar will cover all of those topics to help make it easier for you to start the process.

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Preparing Winning Financing Applications for Water Infrastructure Projects

 DATE:              Thursday, March 9

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

REGISTER:    Register

This webinar will showcase some of the federal funding programs related to financing water infrastructure projects.  It will highlight some tools that you can use to enhance your application, and better plan for the financial management of your utility.  Tools include intentional rate setting practices, asset management, capital improvement planning, and customer affordability analyses.

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Water Audits and Water Loss Control:  Entering Your Data into the Spreadsheet

DATE:              Wednesday, March 22

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

REGISTER:      Register

The water audit process starts by gathering your data. That process was described in the webinar on February 7th. Once the data is collected, you are ready to enter it into the free Water Audit Spreadsheet from AWWA.  This webinar will discuss how and where to enter the data as well as determining the appropriate data grades for your information.

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.

 

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!

EPA Hosting 3Ts for Lead in Schools Webinar

EPA is hosting a webinar to discuss the 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools.  The 3Ts represent Training, Testing, and Telling.  This 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.

DATE:              December 7

TIME:               3:00-4:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=3267&evt=3Ts

This webinar is open to primacy agencies, tribes, water systems, technical assistance providers, academia, and those seeking information about EPA’s 3Ts and implementing a lead testing program for school drinking water.  You are strongly encouraged to reach out to schools and school districts to encourage their participation as well.  You may wish to include the information below in your invitations.

Lead is a toxic metal that is harmful to human health. Since children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure and they spend a significant portion of their day in schools, testing drinking water in schools and reducing lead levels is extremely important. The3Ts 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.

This link https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/3ts-reducing-lead-drinking-water-schools-and-child-care-facilities will take you to the 3Ts Toolkit for Schools.  The following link will take you to the full 3Ts Toolkit https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/training-testing-telling-3ts-full-toolkit.

 

Yahoo and Other Data Breach Victims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a step-by-step video to users whose personal information may have been exposed in a data breach.  This video provides instruction on how to report an incident and develop a personal recovery plan after a data breach has occurred.

US-CERT encourages users to review the FTC blog and US-CERT Tips on Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks, Safeguarding Your Data, and Protecting Your Privacy for more information.

ASDWA and EPA WSD Explore Hazard Mitigation

Hazard mitigation is important for small systems.  By engaging with local mitigation offices, small water systems may be able to take advantage of some funding opportunities that would improve their resiliency to recurring events like flooding or power loss.  It’s the kind of proactive and preventive action that helps water systems be more sustainable and resilient.

On September 15, ASDWA and EPA cohosted a webinar and interactive discussion to showcase Hazard Mitigation for Natural Disasters: A Starter Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities.  This Guide explains why mitigation is important; how small systems can be included in their community’s local mitigation plan; how to identify potential mitigation projects; and how to implement and fund proposed mitigation projects.

You are invited to visit ASDWA’s security web page at www.asdwa.org/security and scroll to the Important Documents Section.  There you will find:

+ A link to the video recording of the webinar

+ A link to the Hazard Mitigation Guide

+ A link to FEMA’s list of State Hazard Mitigation Officers

You are also encouraged to share the Guide with your water systems.

Succession Planning Webinar

As part of the ongoing EFCN and AWWA collaboration to provide information for small systems, the latest addition to the series is Succession Planning.

DATE:              Thursday, September 15

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7133636214091708673

With an aging workforce and declining interest and engagement from younger professionals entering the workforce, developing a succession plan is a vital component to managing water infrastructure. This webinar will touch on the topics of recruitment, retention, and will do a detailed review of how to develop a succession plan.