Websites: Your Utilities Workhorse for Customer Communications: 2 p.m. CST May 26

Websites: Your Utilities Workhorse for Customer Communications is scheduled for 2 p.m. CST on May 26.  Click Here to Register

Your customers live in a Digital Age! Come join us and see how your website should enhance your utilities customer service through effective communication. Navigate and Explore useful features such as email & text, alerts, google analytics, social media and other website lingo. It’s easier than you think and your Utility and Customers will thank you! Walk away with a toolbox full of useful information that will help you run your utility more productively and efficiently – saving you time and money.

Presented by Shelly Howay,

WaterPro Community Launches New Interface, Offers 30 Day Free Trial

Home2DUNCAN, Okla. — The WaterPro Community launched a new, updated interface today, bringing a new look and new functionality to the online community of water professionals.

The WaterPro Online Community, launched in January of 2015, is designed for water and wastewater professionals to provide an exclusive opportunity to network, ask questions and share experiences about the water industry – the industry we all depend on.

Since that time, over 1300 individuals have added 884 posts, made 3,765 comments and replies, read 230 blogs as well as provided important answers to a multitude of questions.

phonesThe new WaterPro Community features a phone and tablet friendly design. All community pages will now adapt to the user’s device, changing size and layout to ensure fits the screen. This allows users to experience all the buzz of the community, no matter how they choose to connect.

More information is available inside the community Here.

New Users can Click Here to receive a 30-day free trial to the community. WaterPro Community memberships include membership to the National Rural Water Association and renew for $49 per year.

All Water U Webinar Recordings Available to WaterPro Community Members

DUNCAN, Okla. — WaterPro Community members now have access to Water University’s library of recorded webinars as part of their community membership. Water University webinars are free to watch live and the recordings are temporarily available after the presentation.

Water University currently has 66 webinars covering topics from Tank Mixing to Filtration Optimization to the Ground Water Rule. These recordings can be found in the Resources section of the WaterPro Community.

A WaterPro Community Tutorial details how members can access the recordings.

Florida Uses Ground Penetrating Radar to Locate Sewer Lines

NAVARRE BEACH, Fla. – It was a potential nightmare scenario: a punctured high-pressure wastewater line spraying raw sewage into the Gulf of Mexico. When the community of Navarre Beach needed to perform some horizontal drilling on a line within 100 feet of the Gulf, they contacted the Florida Rural Water Association to help stave off a potential disaster.

Wastewater Tech Scott Phillips arrived with a piece of advanced technology that allowed him to precisely locate several expensive utilities near the boring project.

“I used ground penetrating radar to locate and mark all the water, wastewater and fiber optic lines in the directional boring area,” Phillips explained.

Once the lines were located and marked, Phillips indicated the locations to Navarre Beach employees and advised them on ways to avoid hitting the lines. His assistance helped prevent damage to the expensive utilities and avoid a potential disaster for the environment and human health.

Georgia Rural Water Association Leak Detection featured in EPA Video

Hogansville, Ga. – The Georgia Rural Water Association is featured in an EPA video highlighting the drought response efforts of Hogansville, Ga.

Georgia Rural Water located five leaks, including a very large leak of roughly 55,000 gallons per day. Repairing the leaks reduced the town’s unaccounted water from 38% to 18%. Repairing those leaks helped the community ensure that its limited water resources weren’t wasted.

Introduction to Performing Energy Use Assessments at Water and Wastewater Systems: 2 p.m. CST April 14

Introduction to Performing Energy Use Assessments at Water and Wastewater Systems is scheduled for 2 p.m. central on April 14. Click Here to Register

The National Rural Water Association is operating a Water Efficiency program in conjunction with the US Department of Agriculture. The program assists rural and small communities in lowering their energy consumption at their drinking water and wastewater utilities. Energy Efficiency Circuit Riders conduct energy assessment as part of the programs, which include evaluations of current energy usage, plans to lower energy costs, and available funding to mark energy improvements.

Presented by Lonnie Russell. Russell was a Nuclear Electrician in the Submarine Navy and has held technical, maintenance management or energy management positions at both large and small manufacturing companies, including Alcoa, AKsteel, and Textron. He is currently specializing in auditing smaller water and wastewater plants for the South Carolina Rural Water Association. Russell is a Certified Energy Manager and has a Bachelor of Science degree from Excelsior College.

WaterPro Conference Registration Now Open

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DUNCAN, Okla. — Registration is now open for the 2016 WaterPro Conference, to be held Sept. 12-14 in Orlando, Florida. Attendees can register at Special discounts are available for NRWA members and attendees that register before Aug. 12.

The WaterPro Conference is the national conference of the National Rural Water Association. It features education sessions, exhibits and networking opportunities tailored to meet the needs of small water and wastewater utilities. Every year, thousands of water professionals across the United States attend to further their education, see new technology and hear from leading officials from the USDA and EPA.

Special hotel rates are also available to attendees planning their trip to the WaterPro Conference. The host venue for the 2016 WaterPro Conference is at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel.

To find more information or to ask a question about the WaterPro Conference please visit

USDA Rural Development Lowers Interest Rates

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced new, low rates for their Rural Utility Services loan programs.

The following rates will be effective on April 1:

  • Market: 2.875%
  • Intermediate: 2.25%
  • Poverty: 1.75%

“These new low interest rates for the USDA Water and Waste Disposal Program are an opportunity for rural communities to upgrade, expand, or replace their infrastructure affordably and bring cleaner, more reliable service to rural residents,” said RUS Administrator Brandon McBride. “Funding is available and USDA is ready to work with rural water leaders now while this low rate window is open.”

USDA’s Rural Utilities Service administers programs that provide infrastructure and infrastructure improvements to rural communities.

“USDA plays a critical role in helping to expand economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for rural Americans,” said Sam Wade, CEO of the National Rural Water Association. “These rates are incredibly low, and systems would be wise to take advantage of this opportunity to make needed improvements.”

Project loans can have up to 40-year payback period, based on the useful life of the facilities financed. The interest rate is based on the need for the project and the median household income of the area to be served. Applications are accepted year round at local offices of USDA Rural Development, or online using RDApply:

Sustainable Utility Management for Rural and Small Systems: 2 p.m. CST April 7

Sustainable Utility Management for Rural and Small Systems is scheduled for 2 p.m. central on April 7. Click Here to Register

Sustainable Utility Management for Rural and Small Systems aim is to support rural and small water and wastewater systems in their common mission to become more successful and resilient service providers. The program is built around ten key management areas of sustainably managed utilities that can help rural and small water and wastewater system managers address many ongoing challenges and move toward sustainable management of both operations and infrastructure. In aiming to increase their long-term sustainability and effectiveness, the eventual goal for systems is high achievement, consistent with the needs and expectations of their communities.

This webinar will present an example of how NYRWA professionals were able to guide a small community through the Sustainable Management Program.

Presented by Steve Grimm and Molly Reed. Grimm is a Wastewater Technician for New York Rural Water Association. He has been with NYRWA for 15 years assisting small rural wastewater facilities with onsite technical assistance such as troubleshooting, I&I investigations and system sustainability. He is a stakeholder on DEC’s waste water infrastructure subcommittee representing the interests of the small rural systems NYRWA assists.

Reed is a Training Specialist with the New York Rural Water Association. She provides training and technical assistance for water and wastewater systems to achieve or maintain compliance with local and federal regulations. Ms. Reed has previous experience with a variety of environmental remediation, compliance, and mapping services. She has a B.S in Water Resources and a minor in Geographic Information Systems from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.

Rural Water Assists Flooded Communities

IMG_2065DUNCAN, Okla. –Responders from Louisiana Rural Water Association rush to build a berm of earth and plastic to protect a community’s wells from rising floodwater. It is only one example of Rural Water Associations in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas working to protect and restore water service for communities threatened by recent floods.

The flooding began after a slow-moving storm system dumped more than two feet of rain on the region. The huge influx of water caused numerous rivers to reach record heights, leaving nearly 6,000 homes damaged and five reported dead.

“I wish this 100-year flood would have waited another 100 years: It is total devastation for these small rural communities,” said LRWA Executive Director Patrick Credeur.

With rain totals rising, Rural Water immediately began contacting utilities to assess their situation. Response managers sorted systems experiencing flood damage or service interruptions according to severity and dispatched staff and equipment to provide assistance. In just two days, association staff in three states contacted over 100 systems.

The assistance provided by Rural Water ranged from planning flood response to supporting complicated repairs.

“Three water distribution systems had water mains blown out at creek crossings,” explained Mississippi Rural Water Association Executive Director Kirby Mayfield. “Those breaks were repaired with only minor disruptions in service.”

IMG_2070Mississippi Rural Water assisted in isolating and repairing water mains for the Lexie Water Association and McGee’s Creek Water Association in Tylertown and the M and M Water Association in Laurel. In Louisiana, Rural Water assisted the Town of Blanchard and the Hebert Water System by constructing berms. They assisted other communities by detecting leaks, repairing damaged water lines or decontaminating flooded water wells.

In many cases, though, all they could do was assist the utility in planning for their recovery once the flood waters recede, because the system is completely underwater and the entire community has been evacuated.

“The people in Louisiana continue to fight flood waters,” Credeur said. “Many have been displaced and will not be allowed into their homes for many days to come and possibly weeks.”