Talking About Lead

Lead service lines, lead solder, lead in schools – these are hot topics regardless of where you live, the size of your community, and the source of your drinking water.  Everyone is scrambling to decide how best to remove lead as a drinking water contaminant.  But while the scientists and regulators are figuring all of this out, what do you say when your friends, neighbors, colleagues, or customers tell you about what they’ve heard or read?

Our colleagues at AWWA have developed a free toolkit, Lead and Drinking Water: Talking with Your Community, that discusses how to get your message out and what the basics of that message might be.  Go to www.awwa.org/leadcommunications and click on each of the four key resource elements:

  • Reach Your Customers
  • Tell the Whole Story
  • Engage Partners
  • Help Schools.

These links include templates for brochures, fact sheets, sample collection procedures, and presentations that you can use when talking to schools.  While not all of the materials may be right for a small system, they can be inspiration for systems to development their own messages.  The title document also contains a list of additional resources such as websites for EPA, CDC, and the Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative.

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Register Today – EPA’s Asset Management Community Call

DATE:              April 18, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

Are you looking for helpful tools and resources as you pursue asset management – as a trainer, as a water system, as a state program specialist?  Join EPA for this event to learn what’s available and how to use the array of tools, information, and strategies to best effect.  See the attached flyer for more information.  AM Community Call Flyer

NEW:  Knowledge Retention and Preventive Maintenance Log Tools

 

 

EPA has released two interactive tools to support water system operators in providing safe drinking water and protecting public health: the Knowledge Retention Tool and the Electronic Preventive Maintenance Logs.  Both resources can be found at this link, and are available for immediate download.

The Knowledge Retention Tool is a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet to record system management information in a single location, helping to increase organization and coordination among operators.  Designed to assist in personnel transition, the tool encompasses a wide variety of information that a new or contract operator would need to effectively manage and operate a small water system.

The Electronic Preventive Maintenance Logs are an electronic update (zip file) to the Preventive Maintenance Card File for Small Public Water Systems Using Ground Water released in 2004.  This tool includes fillable pdf logs for each month, this tool includes common daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, and a suggested schedule of annual tasks, which assist water system operators in planning and recording preventive operation and maintenance tasks for small drinking water systems.  This tool is designed to equip operators with many of the resources necessary to maintain SDWA compliance and provide safe drinking water to the communities they serve.

Questions?  Please contact EPA’s Leslie Temple at temple.leslie@epa.gov

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.”

AWWA Offers New Affordability Webinar

Our colleagues at AWWA are offering a no cost webinar for AWWA Members (others – $125) on the subject of affordability and how utilities are striving to better support their low income customers.

DATE:  February 28, 2018

TIME:  1:00-2:30PM

REGISTERHere

Affordability of water service is at the forefront of many challenges water systems face today.  Implementing a customer assistance program (CA) can ameliorate the effect of high water bills on vulnerable and low income customers.

This webinar is an introduction to several models and approaches utilities are using to assist low-income customers and the tools the utilities are using to effectively reach low-income communities.  These models are presented against the backdrop of “Navigating Legal Pathways to Rate-Funded Customer Assistance Programs.” This new report along with additional information from US EPA and others means that the conversation has advanced considerably in the last few years and considerable new information is available.

EFCN Hosts January Webinars

Time for New Year’s resolutions!  Why not brush up on your water pricing and asset mapping skills?  Our colleagues at the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) are offering two new webinars for the month of January…

 

Pricing Water for Full Cost Recovery – How Different Rate Structures Impact Different Customers

DATE:              Thursday, January 18

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

REGISTER:      Register

Water rates should ideally bring in enough revenue to cover the cost of providing water service today and into the future. This webinar will demonstrate how water systems can calculate price levels under different rate structures to achieve full cost recovery and then look at how those various rate structures impact a range of customers with different levels of monthly water consumption

Intermediate Asset Management – Benefits of Mapping Your Assets

DATE:              Tuesday, January 30

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

REGISTER:      Register

Mapping your system’s assets and collecting asset inventory data can provide tremendous benefit to your system, including operations and maintenance efficiency, emergency response/repair, short and long-term capital planning, and knowledge management. Gathering this information and turning it into actionable data and knowledge through proper visualization of the data can aid decision-making. This hour-long webinar will discuss techniques and tools you can use to begin your asset inventory and system map, as well how these activities can begin your overall asset management program.

Talking About Water Loss…

  During ASDWA’s October 2017 Annual Conference, the topic of water loss and water audits came up.  What tools are out there that might be helpful in trying to prevent, identify, and correct water loss in a community?  One free tool is AWWA’s Water Audit Software.  You may download it at no cost here from AWWA’s website.

Their description of this audit tool includes the following…This spreadsheet-based water audit tool [is] designed to help quantify and track water losses associated with water distribution systems and identify areas for improved efficiency and cost recovery…Version 5.0 introduces a new Water Loss Dashboard with interactive graphical analyses as well as a new Comments page allowing the water auditor to capture essential information pertaining to the audit (data sources, assumptions, calculations, etc.). In addition, the overall color scheme and layout have also been improved

Take a look at this tool and consider recommending it to your water systems that may be experiencing water loss.

EPA to Host DWSRF Set-Asides and Eligibility Handbook Webinar

EPA invites you to register and attend a webinar titled Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and Capacity Building in Action:  Analysis of the Use of DWSRF Set-asides and the DWSRF Eligibility Handbook.

DATE:              Wednesday, November 29

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3718129797900846850

This webinar will highlight two EPA documents – Analysis of the Use of DWSRF Set-asides and the DWSRF Eligibility Handbook. These documents describe the variety of ways that DWSRF funds can be used for infrastructure improvements as well as programmatic activities and technical assistance through the set-asides. The webinar will also include discussion of state examples that are highlighted in the documents.

ORD Small System Webinar Series

 

This month’s ORD Small Systems webinar will focus on State Acceptance of Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection Technologies.

 

DATE:              Tuesday, October 31

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8720506381471194113

Two presentations, State Approval of UV Treatment for Drinking Water:  Facing Challenges Through Collaboration (Derek Losh, OGWDW) and EPA UV Testing and Recommendations for Reactor Validation (Jeffrey Adams, ORD), will look at ongoing work to identify a set of technical priorities for review and approval of UV equipment installation and ongoing compliance monitoring.  The presentations will also look at new UV validation testing approaches for disinfection applications of Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and viruses using various test microbes.

CUPSS Training in October

CUPSS Training in October

 

Want to be a CUPSS trainer?  Need to refresh your CUPSS knowledge?  Join EPA in October to go through all three elements of the CUPSS Train-the-Trainer series.  CUPSS stands for Check Up Program for Small systems…and is a simple tool to help small systems work through establishing an asset management program.

 

CUPSS Train-the-Trainer Session 1

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017, 1:00-3:00 pm Eastern

Setting up CUPSS and My Inventory: Learn how to install and navigate CUPSS, create an asset inventory, and set up a customized asset report.

Register:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7091399584598651651

 

CUPSS Train-the-Trainer Session 2

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017, 1:00-3:00 pm Eastern

My O&M and My Finances: Create your operation and maintenance tasks, enter finance information, and determine your financial forecast.

Register:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6474146950904953859

 

CUPSS Train-the-Trainer Session 3

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017, 1:00-3:00 pm Eastern

My CUPSS Plan, Advanced Features, and Tips for Trainers: Create a custom asset management plan, CUPSS troubleshooting tips, and advanced features.

Register:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3165407500159574275