What happens when an operator acts improperly? State drinking water program policies on operator discipline vary nationwide, says a new survey from the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC). 

The NEIWPCC surveyed member states and worked with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) to reach additional state programs. The activity grew from a workgroup discussion and covered the range of the disciplinary process, from improper actions, to hearings, punitive action, appeals, and potential reinstatement.

Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington submitted surveys. Additionally, Illinois and Wyoming provided email responses. Click here to see the survey report.

Posted in: Enforcement

Many misconceptions still exist in the public sphere about what is actually flushable. Even if it will flush, that doesn't mean you should! A 15-ton "fatberg" in the London sewer system recently raised awareness about the problem of flushing things that shouldn't go down a drain, wet wipes in particular. These "flushable" products, advertised for adult use, are actually causing damage to sewers and treatment systems. 

Last month the Water Environment Federation, along with the the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, and the American Public Works Association, agreed to work together to address this issue. The group will recommend labeling standards and best practices to reduce problems for wastewater systems. 

While this group works to education the public from the product perspective, systems have an opportunity to keep educating customers about what not to flush. To get started, you might watch this video from WEF (below) or check out this helpful resource page from NACWA: 

Here's a list, from the City of Portland, of what not to flush or put down your sink:

  • disposable diapers
  • tampons and tampon applicators
  • sanitary napkins
  • cotton balls and swabs
  • mini or maxi pads
  • condoms
  • cleaning wipes of any kind
  • facial tissue
  • bandages and bandage wrappings
  • automotive fluids
  • paint, solvents, sealants and thinners
  • poisons and hazardous waste
  • cooking grease 

Customers may not read every notice you publish. We recommend including this information in newsletters or as bill stuffers several times each year. 

Posted in: Wastewater, Videos
The Environmental Finance Center Network has scheduled a five-part webinar series on the core components of asset management. This training series will help the utility answer the question, “How can we spend our limited dollars to have the greatest impact?” This is a great FREE training opportunity for water utilities as well as for regulators, technical assistance providers, consultants and others who assist small water and wastewater systems. 
1 – The Current State of the Assets
Webinar 1 will provide an overview of Asset Management and discuss the first core component of Asset Management, The Current State of the Assets. This will include a discussion of the need for an asset inventory, mapping, condition assessment, and remaining useful life.

November 7, 2013
2:30 – 3:30 EST
2 – Required Level of Service
Webinar 2 will provide an overview of Asset Management and discuss the second core component of Asset Management, Required Level of Service. There will be a discussion of why goal setting at a utility is important, what makes a good goal, how to set goals, and how to measure.

November 26, 2013
2:30 – 3:30 EST
3 – Critical Assets
Webinar 3 will provide an overview of Asset Management and discuss the third core component of Asset Management, Critical Assets. It will include a discussion of the two factors that make up criticality: likelihood of failure and consequence of failure, as well as a discussion on how criticality ties into the rest of Asset Management.

December 2, 2013
2:30 – 3:30 EST
4 – Life Cycle Costing
Webinar 4 will provide an overview of Asset Management and discuss the fourth core component of Asset Management, Life Cycle Costing. It will present the two components of life cycle costing: Operation and Maintenance and asset replacement. This discussion will go into tactics for more strategic O&M tasks and how you bring risk into the decision-making process for both O&M and capital.

December 12, 2013
2:30 – 3:30 EST
5 – Long Term Funding Strategy
Webinar 5 will provide an overview of Asset Management and discuss the fifth core component of Asset Management, Long Term Funding Strategy. This webinar will include a discussion of the need for funding the system and how to build the capacity within the community to raise rates. It will also include information on telling a good story about what you need and why. 
December 18, 2013
2:30 – 3:30 EST

A decade ago paper magazines, many of them free and supported by grants or advertisers, were commonplace in the water industry.

Today the world is a different place, with a dramatically-changing print industry. At first content shifted to websites and blog posts, but recently technology has made it easier to deliver a magazine-style experience online.

For example, Water Online now has water and wastewater versions of a digital magazine. The latest wastewater edition includes helpful articles like a regulatory update and instrumentation pitfalls to avoid. It looks a lot like a print magazine, down to pages that appear to flip. Clicking on ads takes you straight to the manufacturer's website. 

Digital magazines are portable, easily shareable, and environmentally-friendly? But, there are certainly times when they're less convenient and comfortable to read. And with it not sitting there catching your eye, do you even remember to read it? 

We're curious. Are you enjoying digital magazines as much as you did paper? Are there still print versions that make it to your home or office? Leave a comment letting us know what you think!

Posted in: Support
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