DWSRF and Capacity Building in Action: Identifying and Prioritizing Systems for DWSRF Assistance

Continuing their ongoing joint webinar series, EPA’s DWSRF and Sustainable Systems Teams are hosting a webinar for states to discuss ways that you can identify and prioritize systems in need of DWSRF assistance.

 

DATE:              Wednesday, March 7

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

REGISTER:      Click here

Join us to learn how Delaware and Pennsylvania collaborated with EPA Region 3 in using EPA’s Enforcement Tracking Tool (ETT) to identify systems in non-compliance, and how assistance was provided to return the systems to compliance and protect public health.

 

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Connecting Private Wells and Source Water Protection

Our colleagues at PrivateWellClass.org have developed the following article to help state drinking water programs think proactively about private wells, how to help their owners maintain them, and the connections between private wells and source water protection.

Improperly managed private water wells are a source of ground water contamination but are sometimes overlooked in the source water protection conversation. Activities typically focus on identifying and managing potential sources of contamination within a watershed, such as agricultural operations, leaking underground storage tanks, and storm water runoff. While these are undoubtedly significant and common, it’s important not to underestimate the impact that 15 million private wells have on source water quality. RCAP’s private well program, funded by EPA’s training and technical assistance grants, has elevated awareness of this issue within the public water supply community and worked to improve public health protection for the 47 million Americans who use private well water.

A majority of well owners don’t know how to care for their well, determine if their water is safe to drink, or protect groundwater from contamination. Many private well owners have never tested their well water quality. This lack of knowledge not only endangers the health of those who rely on private well water, but also increases the vulnerability of the 102 million Americans served by a public water system using groundwater. RCAP’s private well program uses a combination of online and in-person technical assistance, training, and education to boost knowledge and competency of the individual well owner as well as the thousands of dedicated environmental health, cooperative extension, and water well professionals that serve well owners day to day. With support from EPA over the last five years, RCAP has developed an extensive partner network that reaches all 50 states, tribal lands, and U.S. territories.

 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign coordinates the program with RCAP and their six regional affiliates. Other partners include the National Ground Water Association, the Water Systems Council, the National Environmental Health Association, and cooperative extension programs in Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. Efforts to date have fostered cooperation with state health departments, county/local health districts, drillers associations, state extension offices, real estate professionals, and laboratories, among others, that leverage state and local resources to provide direct, targeted support for well owners. There is still significant work to be done to reach the millions of well owners lacking the basic skills of well care. Here’s how state drinking water programs can help:

 

  1. Sign up as a private well partner. The U of I team delivers a monthly newsletter for the private well stakeholder community and last year held the first-ever national conference for the private well professional community.

 

  1. Request and distribute well owner brochures. The U of I team has developed a brochure that encourages private well owners to test their water and learn more about well care. Requests for professionally-printed copies of this tri-fold are accepted on an ongoing basis, but please submit before February 9 to be included in the first print run.

 

  1. Lead the collaborative effort in your state. State drinking water programs are in a unique position to leverage existing source water protection programs, make connections with state-level colleagues who regulate well construction, and coordinate with RCAP field staff involved in this effort. A state-wide workgroup can boost dialogue about private well issues and connect stakeholders to the wealth of resources developed under the RCAP program.

Take advantage of these opportunities to share helpful information with private well owners and to help your state’s source water protection program.

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.

EPA Leans in to Water System Partnerships

EPA has launched a new interactive website https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/water-system-partnerships to increase awareness about the benefits of drinking water partnerships.  EPA describes partnerships as “…tools to help address the challenges water systems face, with options ranging from informal arrangements, such as sharing equipment, to transferring ownership of a system through consolidation.

Drinking water system partnerships provide opportunities to increase capacity by working together to solve compliance challenges, share costs of operations and maintenance activities, and leverage other resources. EPA’s new website highlights ways partnerships can address these challenges, leading to enhanced public health by working together and sharing information.

The Partnerships website also outlines benefits for state programs such as improved compliance, resource savings, improved customer relations and the potential for a reduction in the number of systems to be regulated.  There’s also a clickable map that briefly describes, by state, the available types of partnership resources.

EPA’s Water System Partnership website provides states, communities, utilities and others with a user-friendly interface to explore the different types of partnerships, success stories across the nation, and national and state resources.  We encourage you to check it out!

Webinar – Training Your Board Members

The Environmental Finance Center Network in collaboration with AWWA are hosting a webinar titled Water System Management and Finance for Board Members

DATE:              Wednesday, November 29

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

REGISTER:      Click Register

This webinar is designed to be an educational tool to assist board/council members in understanding and operating their water business.

Water is a business! City Councils and rural water district boards have a lot to consider: water pressure, meeting all federal and state regulations and standards, and making rates affordable. In fact, their job is making the right choices about complex managerial and financial decisions of running a high quality water utility. Boards/councils need to know the pros and cons concerning managerial and financial decisions about water. Like any business, there are risks and options, but is your board/council keeping them in mind?

 

Sign up today for this webinar and find out!

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.

UNC EFC Webinar on Designing Rate Structures

  Our colleagues at the University of North Carolina’s Environmental Finance Center are hosting a webinar titled Designing Water Rate Structures that Support Your Utility’s Objectives.

 

DATE:              Thursday, August 24

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1399131129069493505

Different rate structure designs affect revenue generation and can either help or hinder varying objectives of the utility.  This webinar will describe different elements of water and wastewater rate structures, and when it is appropriate to favor certain elements or rate structure designs based on the unique characteristics and objectives of the utility.

 

UNC’s Environmental Finance Center Hosts Webinar on Private Utilities

 

 

 

 

The University of North Carolina’s EFC is hosting a webinar on Private Water and Sewer Companies – Understanding What Their Role May Be with Your System

DATE:              Wednesday, August 9

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

Register:          Register Here

There is a lot of talk about private investors helping with infrastructure investment needs. You may be wondering why they may be interested in your system and if you should be interested in them.

If you are trying to understand more about private water and sewer companies, you probably have many questions. For example:

  • Who are they and how does a private system work?
  • What is your role?
  • What can and can’t they do for you?
  • What about a partnership?

Attendees will have the unique opportunity to ask any and all questions about partnering with private water companies.

 

ORD Webinar on Water Loss Management and Rehabilitation Technologies

 

 

 Register today for the latest in the EPA ORD webinar series.  This month’s focus will be on water loss management and rehabilitation technologies for distribution systems.

 

 

 

DATE:              July 25, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5350209670959878657

The first of two presentations will review methods to reduce non-revenue water with practical and cost-effective water loss management. This will include how to (1) assess and identify water loss within the water distribution system, (2) quantify non-revenue water, and (3) monitor system consumption and pressure will be discussed.  The second presentation takes a look at the latest innovations for the rehabilitation of water mains, primarily focused on trenchless technologies.

Ask the Expert Webinar & Discussion:  Advice on Capital Planning for Your Water System

 

 

 

 

 

Are your water systems thinking about conducting long-term planning?  If so, they probably have a lot of questions about the process…and so may you if you’re trying to help them achieve success?  You and your water systems may have specific questions regarding something you or they have tried that didn’t quite work out.

Join the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) for this online forum that offers a unique opportunity to ask any and all questions regarding water system planning.  Come and learn as they take questions and discuss issues such as:

Where do I start? – What is the difference between a capital plan and an asset management plan? – What types of assets should I include in a capital plan? – What resources and software are available to help me prepare a capital plan? – How can I tie needed capital improvements to changes in water rates?

DATE:              Wednesday, June 14

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2332795720187920899