NRWA accepting abstracts for 2016 WaterPro Conference in Orlando

NRWA is accepting abstracts for the 2016 Water Pro Conference, to be held Sept. 12-14 in Orlando Fla. Those interested in presenting can send abstracts and presenter info to Bill O’Connell at billo@nrwa.org before Dec. 18.

All topics on Water and Wastewater, Technology, Utility Management and Board Governance will be considered. Topics focusing on Resiliency and Nutrient Reduction will be given special consideration.

Hawaii Rural Water assists island after Typhoon


SAIPAN – Typhoon Soudelor passed directly over the island of Saipan on August 2, 2015. Hitting the island as the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane, Soudelor destroyed hundreds of power poles and transformers, flooded the power plant, and left many roads impassable. Wind gusts on the island, reached as high as 91 miles per hour, before the measuring devices were destroyed. Saipan is a U. S. territory in the Northern Mariana Islands.

Jason Zufelt, a circuit rider with the Hawaii Rural Water Association, flew to the island, to help bring water back to the storm-ravaged island. Zufelt took common tools with him, like hydrant wrenches and pressure gauges, to help replace those lost in the storm and equip more teams working to restore water.

“I suggested isolating different villages to keep water in the storage tanks,” Zufelt said. “It made is easier to charge the system over a small area instead of a larger area, and it helped isolate leaks.”

At the time, the Saipan Commonwealth Utilities Corporation could only supply water to damaged areas for about an hour a day.

The change in strategy allowed smaller, two-man teams to start restoring water. As opposed to the six-man crews, that would be needed to restore the larger areas. Zufelt also trained the teams in how to slowly restore water pressure to prevent a water hammer effect that could lead to more damage. He showed teams how to create three-phase power from a single-phase generator, allowing CUC to power-up six additional water wells.

Zufelt learned these strategies as part of Rural Water’s Emergency Disaster Response training, which included hands-on training at the Arkansas Rural Water Association’s facilities in Lonoke, Ark.

Once areas began receiving water, Zuflet worked with small teams to locate and repair leaks.

Zuflet spent 11 days assisting the island, and when he left, the entire island was receiving water for at least four hours a day, with many areas, including the hospital, restored to full service.

Revise Total Coliform Rule and Priority Compliance Topics Webinar: 2 p.m. CST Oct. 22nd


Revise Total Coliform Rule and Priority Compliance Topics  is scheduled for 2 p.m. CST on Oct 22. Register Now.

This webinar will present information on SDWA Compliance issues that have been ranked highest by the state primacy agencies.

The presenter will Randall Kelley. Kelley  has been with Kentucky Rural Water Association  since January, 2006.  Since joining KRWA, Kelley has held the positions of Wastewater Circuit Rider, ARRA Circuit Rider and Training Specialist.

Prior to joining KRWA, Kelley worked for the University of Louisville at the Center for Watershed Research as a Research Biologist.  He participated in numerous projects on small headwater streams, stream restorations, Tri-halomethane formation potential in natural waters, and numerous other projects. Kelley’s experience also includes working for a contractor to the USEPA in Cincinnati, Ohio as an aquatic macroinvertebrate taxonomist.

Kelley received a B.S. in both Biology and Environmental Science from Western Kentucky University and an M.S. in Biology from the University of Louisville.

WaterPro 2015 Image Galleries


NRWA is committed to ensuring that all media from its events is made available for the benefit of our members, vendors and partners. This page contains galleries with all NRWA photos from the conference, including photos submitted to the conference app.

Around WaterPro

Awards

Opening Session

App Photos

(more…)

WaterPro 2015 Videos


NRWA is committed to ensuring that all media from its events is made available for the benefit of our members, vendors and partners. This page contains NRWA video from the conference. Recordings of general sessions will be included, once that video has been processed.

Time Lapse Video of WaterPro 2015 Exhibit Hall Set-Up

Exhibit Hall Opening Ceremony featuring Native American Dancers from the Cherokee Tribe of Talequah

Tribute to Excellence Awards

I’m Their Leader, Which Way did They Go?

USDA Rural Utilities Service – Outlook 2016

USEPA Regulatory Outlook 2016

ATV Drawing

GWPC/IOCGG Opening Session

GWPC/IOGCC Water & Energy Panel

GWPC/IOGCC State’s First Initiatives

NRWA Honors Bastin, Dunlap; Idaho Named Association of the Year


IMG_8450(crop)OKLAHOMA CITY – The National Rural Water Association honored two long-serving members of the rural water family during the Tribute to Excellence Awards Ceremony on Sept. 29 in Oklahoma City. Phil Bastin of Indiana and Jim Dunlap of New Mexico received Clark Cronquist Lifetime Achievement Award, in honor of their leadership and service to the NRWA and the water industry.

Bastin lives in Spencer, IN with his wife Trudy. He has been the General Manager of BBP Water Corporation, a multi-county water company for 31 years.  He has served on the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water Board of Directors for 26 years holding several offices including serving as the Board President for two years.  Bastin has also served on the Board of Directors of NRWA for 23 years, serving as President from 2002 to 2004.

Dunlap resides in Farmington, NM with his wife Chris. He began serving on the NRWA Board of Directors in 1979, three years after the association was formed. He has served in several offices in his 36 years, including as president from 1996 to 1998. He was a founding member of the New Mexico Rural Water Association, and is the President of Upper La Plata Water Users Association.

~IMG_8472The Idaho Rural Water Association received the Outstanding Achievement in Communications, Publications and Public Relations and the prestigious State Association of the Year award.

“This Association supports ALL NRWA initiatives and programs,” said NRWA Award Committee Chairman Paul Fulgham. “WaterPro Conference, Water University, Water Pac and Affinity Programs are promoted at their annual conference and in their publications and website.”

Newer programs such as the WaterPro OnLine Community are also promoted on the IRWA website, magazine, on Facebook and Twitter. They offer limited free legal counsel to members, and their magazine keeps systems aware of industry advances, water quality issues, upcoming events and Association activities and benefits. Local television stations continue to support them by airing public service announcements.

IMG_8462The Alabama Rural Water Association won the award for Outstanding Legislative Achievement.

“Alabama is continuously visible in each Congressional District meeting with Members of Congress and supporting their fundraising efforts,” Fulgham said. “The Congressional delegation seeks their position on issues facing the Water Industry in Washington, D. C. and related to local issues.”

The Evergreen Rural Water Association of Washington won the Outstanding Achievement in Technical Assistance Award.

“Technical assistance is the back bone of Evergreen,” Fulgham said. “Their field staff are the lifeblood of the association and superheroes to the community water systems and wastewater treatment plants in their State.”

IMG_8463The summer of 2014, the north central area of Washington experienced a large wildfire. Fire raged over 256,000 acres and power was out in the entire valley.  Circuit Riders called systems to check on their statues; and they also drove to systems that couldn’t be reached by phone. Circuit Riders helped systems with backup power, system repairs, water testing, disinfecting, and locating broken and/or burnt water lines.

The Outstanding Achievement in Training Award went to the Wisconsin Rural Water Association.

IMG_8458“Wisconsin prides itself as being the foremost training provider in their state,” Fulgham   said. “In 2014, they conducted 233 individual classes & events with 121 different topics in 113 locations around the state. A total of 5,605 operation specialists and utility management personnel attended these sessions.”

Wisconsin recently built a $1.2 million training center exclusively for training system operations specialists in both hands-on and classroom situations. This 14,000 square foot facility includes two classroom training areas, a wet lab for water related training, a wastewater laboratory, an indoor drive through training area and 5 acres of adjacent property where heavy equipment operation and well drilling training is conducted.

IMG_8460The Kentucky Rural Water Association was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Member Services Award.

“In addition to excellent conferences, certification based training, onsite technical assistance and legislative representation, Kentucky offers many additional programs and services for the express benefit of their member water and wastewater utilities,” Fulgham said.

Kentucky offers members a Finance Corporation, an Information Technology Assistance Program, a Utility Optimization Program, a Compliance Check Program, a Record Keeping Package Program, Utility CCR Hosting and a Benefit Survey.

IMG_8455The City of Davison, Mich. received an Environmental Achievement Award. Davison has five active groundwater wells and has been very proactive in protecting its water supply by implementing a Wellhead Protection Program and has diligently maintained it over the last 12 years.

“Keeping the program vibrant and active is often a challenge for most communities, but Davison has done an amazing job maintaining interest in the program,” Fulgham said. “They worked to find ways to involve stormwater management efforts within the WHPP efforts, as well.”

IMG_8474This year was the first year NRWA recognized a community for Exemplary Efforts in Energy Efficiency. Mountain Regional Water, Park City, Utah earned the first-ever Energy Efficiency Award.

“With their innovation, they have practically and literally ‘written the book’ on water system energy savings,” said Fulgham. “Their foresight and hard work has realized a savings of over $300,000 per year in energy and power costs.”

The utility has a designated “Energy Champion” who is in charge of overseeing and properly implementing the District’s plans as well as comprehensive training of all operations staff.

The Tribute to Excellence awards ceremony was held as part of NRWA’s WaterPro National Conference held Sept. 28-30 in Oklahoma City.

NRWA Opens 2015 WaterPro Conference


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OKLAHOMA CITY – The National Rural Water Association opened the 2015 WaterPro Conference in Oklahoma City with a ceremony on Sept. 28, 2015.

The ceremony included speeches from USDA Rural Utility Service Administrator Brandon McBride, NRWA President Charles Hilton, NRWA’s Oklahoma Director Jimmy Seago, and NRWA CEO Sam Wade.

President Hilton presented awards to NRWA’s sponsors: Ford Meter Box, AquaStore, HD Supply Waterworks, USA Bluebook and CoBank.

After the speeches, a group of Native American dancers from the Cherokee Tribe of Tahlequah led a procession to the exhibit hall.

Mississippi Rural Water assists after Tornado


COLUMBIA, Miss. – A damaging tornado swept through the City of Columbia, Miss. On Dec. 23, 2014. Without power, the city was able to operate with an auxiliary generator for a short time. The storm damaged the city’s sewage lagoons and created a large leak in the drinking water system. Around 2:45 on the morning of Christmas Eve the generator failed, leaving the system with about two hours of water.

Michael McDaniel quickly called for the assistance of the Mississippi Rural Water Association. It was critical that the system not lose pressure, since the system supported a hospital and a nursing home. If the utility lost pressure, the entire system would have to be disinfected.

MsRWA Executive Director Kirby Mayfield, Circuit Rider Charles Odom and Wastewater Technician James Benefield delivered a 150 Kw generator to the treatment plant. They had the generator on-site by 4:40 and the utility resumed pumping before the water supply was exhausted.

With power restored, the rural water staff began assisting McDaniel with repair the storm damage. Odom helped the city locate and isolate two major water leaks in the distribution, improving pressure. Benefield worked to bring the lagoons back on-line.

By Dec. 24 the power was restored and the generator was being relocated.

WaterPro Conference Offers Unique Co-Location


DUNCAN, Okla. – The 2015 WaterPro Conference will be a unique opportunity for water and wastewater professionals. This year NRWA’s WaterPro Conference will be co-located with the annual meetings of the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). The conference will be held Sept. 28-30 in Oklahoma City, and brings new opportunities for education and networking.

This unique co-location brings together three national organizations that impact and influence the water industry in different ways. NRWA, GWPC and IOGCC are all leading membership organizations, each headquartered in Oklahoma.  The set of circumstances allowing for the three conferences and annual meetings to coincide in Oklahoma City is unlikely to be repeated.

Educational sessions will include timely information on topics at the intersection of these three organizations, including: hydraulic fracturing, the slowdown of the oil boom on rural economies, source water protection, energy efficiency, sustainable management, water reuse, drought issues and more.

The events will create a diverse mix of attendees and many networking opportunities. The organizations will bring together water professionals, regulators, funding agencies, equipment manufacturers, academics, energy companies and even state governors from across the United States.

More information about the 2015 WaterPro Conference is available at www.waterproconference.org, including the Agenda of Events.  The interactive WaterPro Conference mobile app is available at the App Store (search for WaterPro) and on Google Play.

McBride Appointed as RUS Administrator


WASHINGTON D.C. — Brandon McBride has been named as the new Administrator of USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. McBride had served as a Senior Professional Staff on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, a position he has held since 2009.  Prior to this, he served as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Blanche Lincoln from 2003 to 2009.  From 2001 to 2003, Mr. McBride was the Grants Specialist for Senator Lincoln. Mr. McBride received a B.A., B.S., and M.P.A. from Arkansas State University.

USDA’s Rural Utilities Service administers programs that provide infrastructure and/or infrastructure improvements to rural communities. These improvements include water and waste treatment, electric power and telecommunications services.  Administrator McBride realizes that these services play a critical role in helping to expand economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for rural Americans.

Click Here for the White House Press Release.