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


Opening Session

App Photos


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


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, 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.


Atlantic States assists Plainfield with Sustainability

Plainfield, Conn. – By chance another employee was on vacation, and Harrold Clarke had the opportunity to attend a sustainability workshop presented by the Atlantic States Rural Water Association. This training presented new ideas and provided motivation for Clarke and his utility, the Town of Plainfield.

“Plainfield is an old township in rural Connecticut,” explained Brad Steere, an ASRWWA Water Quality Specialist.

The water plant that serves the town was well-built, but it is old. Parts of the ageing utility need to be replaced or upgraded, but finding the necessary funding is always difficult.

“The biggest concern is that they operate on a shoestring budget,” Steere said. “Not a lot of people understand the lifecycle of utility equipment.”

“Pumps have a life expectancy.”

One of the benefits of attending the sustainability training was finding way to overcome these obstacles.

“He liked the training,” Steere said of Clarke. “Most of the guys in the field like to attend this training.”

Most of the systems attending the training suffer from the same problems. Many of them are already looking at sustainability and effective management, but the workshops help crystallize the concepts and provide direction.

One of Plainfield’s first steps is to get more of its citizens involved, and help educate them on the systems functions and needs.

“They really want to be more visible,” Steere explained. “They want to get the town involved and help them understand where their tax dollars go.”

The visibility program is part of a long-term effort to improve the utility and the service it provides. Plainfield is also beginning an asset management program and has started exploring the necessary upgrades for the utility.

McBride, New Rural Utilities Service Administrator, to Speak at Forum (updated)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Brandon McBride, the recently appointed Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service has confirmed his participation in the District/Regional System Financing and Regulatory Forum that will take place June 2-3 in Washington D.C.

“This will offer attendees with the unique opportunity to meet directly with the Administrator and the RUS staff that manages and sets policy for loans and grants,” said NRWA CEO Sam Wade.

The forum will also include Directors from the EPA Drinking Water Office and the Waste Management Office.

Formed in the early 60s, Rural Water Districts, have grown to become major participants in the protection of public health and of drinking water sources. They are a foundation of the rural economy. When many RWD were formed the sparsely populated sections of the nation were their primary service areas. Today, in many locations, these once rural areas are now urbanized and/or have merged smaller systems into their operations to provide sustainability of service to rural citizens. The make-up of large service areas, miles of pipe that transcends multiple counties, and the funding and regulatory structures designed primarily for municipal operations, now present unique funding and regulatory challenges for rural districts.

More information is available at