New Rate Checkup Online Tool

Wichita State University’s Training and Technology Team (T3) has developed an easy-to-use online forecasting tool to assist smaller water systems with setting appropriate water rates.

The Rate Checkup Online Tool is designed to help water systems calculate water rate schedules.  The Tool allows you to:

  • Input data in easy to manage interfaces
  • View integrated data validation
  • Forecast water rates based on customer groups
  • Generate custom reports with charts in various formats.

To learn more about the Tool and the University’s T3 program, go to http://www.tthree.org/rate-checkup/ and/or contact Amy Jones, T3 Project Manager at Wichita State at amy.jones@wichita.edu

RCAP Seeks New Executive Director

The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) seeks an experienced and politically savvy Executive Director who is a passionate advocate for rural communities, and has a strong track record of leading organizations through transitions.  As many of you know, Robert Stewart has held the position for 11 years and has made the decision to move back to Texas.

RCAP is looking for a strategic leader that can build on the organization’s excellent track record of delivering high quality services, information, and resources to rural communities.  RCAP is a nonprofit service delivery network comprised of a national office in Washington, DC and six regional partners.  For more information and a full description of the position and the organization, please visit http://rcap.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/RCAP-Executive-Director-Position.pdf.

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.

 

EPA ORD to Host ‘Approaches to Technology Approval’ Webinar

As part of the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant program, EPA has funded two National Research Centers for Small Drinking Water Systems:  the Design of Risk Reducing, Innovative Implementable Small Systems Knowledge (DeRISK) Center at University of Colorado-Boulder and the Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems (WINSSS) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  This webinar will present some of each center’s drinking water treatment technology results.

DATE:              December 13, 2016

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6275196912735403265

Based on the results of a survey of state primacy agencies, the WINSSS Center will discuss an Analysis of Drinking Water Systems Survey:  Developing a Better Understanding of Drinking Water Technology Approval.

The DeRISK Center presentation will focus on Appropriate Application of Innovative Technologies for Small Drinking Water Systems:  The DeRISK Center’s Decision Support Methodology.

 The intended audience for this event includes state primacy agencies, tribes, community planners, technical assistance providers, academia, and water systems interested in issues facing community water systems and solutions to help them.

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.

 

DWSRF and Capacity Building in Action:  Leveraging Resources to Address Lead in Drinking Water

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and Sustainable Systems Teams at EPA are hosting a series of webinars to highlight ways in which DWSRF set-asides and infrastructure project assistance can be used to build capacity at drinking water systems.

DATE:              Tuesday, November 15

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

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=3187&evt=111516

The topic of this webinar is to discuss how the DWSRF can be leveraged to address the challenges of lead in drinking water.  Nick Chamberlain (EPA HQ) will discuss background on eligibilities; Robin Schmidt (WI) will present on lead service line replacement; and Michael Maynard (MA) will present on lead testing in schools.

These every-other-month webinars will continue into 2017.  In January, look for information on how the DWSRF can be used for projects to reduce water loss and increase efficiency.  In March, the subject will be water system partnerships; how their formation may help to improve capacity; and the role that the DWSRF might play.

 

EPA Posts FY 16 RFA for Small System Training and Assistance Competitive Awards

EPA has announced the availability of $12.688 million in competitive grants to non-profit organizations to provide training and technical assistance to small public water systems, small wastewater systems and private well owners, located in urban and rural communities throughout the U.S. and its territories.

Through the RFA (Request for Applications), EPA will be able to identify eligible candidates who will use the funds to help provide water and wastewater system staff and private well owners with training and tools to enhance system operations and management practices, and support EPA’s continuing efforts to protect public health and promote sustainability in small communities.  Applications are due September 30.  You may view the RFA at Training and Technical Assistance to Improve Water Quality and Enable Small Public Water Systems to Provide Safe Drinking Water (PDF)

EPA expects to award four to nine cooperative agreements from the available amount.  Successful candidates will provide training and technical assistance to:

  • Small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA);
  • Small public water systems on a wide range of managerial and, or financial topics to achieve and maintain compliance with the SDWA; or
  • Small publicly-owned wastewater systems, communities served by onsite-decentralized wastewater systems and private well owners to help improve water quality.

For more information about training and technical assistance for small systems, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/training-and-technical-assistance-small-systems-funding