West Virginia Rural Water Deploys Mobile Treatment Plant to Assist Community Without Water

GREEN SPRINGS, W.V – When the Central Hampshire County Public Service District was having problems filling the water tanks that serviced the town of Green Springs, they contacted the West Virginia Rural Water Association for assistance. Rural Water quickly discovered the utility was facing a more serious problem, and provided the assistance to restore the system to normal functioning.

“I was originally called in for leak detection,” explained Bertis McCarty, a circuit rider for WVRWA.

The Service District was having trouble gaining water in Green Spring tanks and it was assumed the water was lost to leaks. The utility had attempted several measures to fill the tanks, including attaching additional pumps.

“They tried a lot of makeshift solutions,” McCarty said. “They even had the fire department haul water from a neighboring community and pump it into the system.”
After two days of leak detection, McCarty and Ernie Crouse, a district operations specialist, only found a single small leak. McCarty met with Crouse and General Manager James Hoffman to discuss the system’s operations.

“They started throwing out some numbers and I was taking notes,” McCarty said. “I did some figures and a lot of the numbers just didn’t add up. I realized pretty quickly there was something else wrong.”
The Green Springs system relied on a membrane filtration plant to supply water for a population 1,100, including an elementary school. The membranes failed and the plant had shut down.
“It was actually water production,” McCarty said.

With the problem identified, the utility ordered replacement membranes. The system still needed a solution until the membrane plant could be returned to service. The WVRWA dispatched its mobile treatment plant to supply the town with water until regular service was restored. They also sent Circuit Rider Mike Hersman to help set-up and operate the mobile plant. The mobile treatment plant puts the same equipment often found in a permanent facility – pumps, filters, chlorination – onto a trailer. The mobile plant can assist when communities lose water, but it is not a long-term replacement.

“Using a mobile treatment plant, the community still had to be on a boil water order,” McCarty said.

The mobile treatment plant filled the utilities tanks and provided service until the replacement membranes were put into place. The situation also provided an opportunity to create a backup and make the system more resilient in the future.

“Green Springs and the neighboring Silver Springs are connected by a valve,” McCarty said.

With the membranes replaced, the Green Springs system was capable of supplying both communities with water. McCarty also advised that, with a pump upgrade, the Silver Springs utility could also supply both communities.

“It gives them some backup if something happens in the future,” McCarty said.

National Rural Water Association Opens Registration for District Forum

DUNCAN, Okla. – The National Rural Water Association has opened registration for the 2017 Regional/Water District Issues Forum, which will be held April 11-12 in Washington D.C. Registration information is available Here.

The District Forum was designed to address the unique needs of Utility Districts and Regional Water Systems. These utilities face unique challenges due to large service areas, miles of pipe that cross various jurisdictional boundaries and unique governmental structures. The Forum has evolved into a unique opportunity for all system leaders to get personal briefings on the latest issues and network with utility and agency leaders shaping the water industry.

The full agenda will not be finalized until political appointees are in position later this year. Previous forums have included presentations by Patrick Carroll, Chris Tomassi and Melissa Zimmerman, appropriators from the Interior and Agriculture Appropriations Committees; Rural Utility Service Administrator Brandon McBride; Jim Gebhardt and Ron Bergman of the EPA; Jeanette Manfra, Council to the DHS Secretary; Adam Sedgewick, Analyst at the National Institute for Standards and Technology; and Steve Mustard and Michael Marlow of the Automation Federation.

Early Registration Discount for the 2017 Rural Water Rally expires Jan. 17

DUNCAN, Okla. – The early registration discount for the 2017 Rural Water Rally will expire on Jan. 17. Rally participants that register early can save $25. Registration and rally information is available at https://nrwa.org/rally/.

The Rural Water Rally brings utility system representatives to Capitol Hill to support funding for infrastructure, training and technical assistance. The Rural Water Rally includes the Great American Water Taste Test, where drinking water from around the country is judged to determine the year’s best. All events are held at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

NRWA is also organizing letter-writing and social media campaigns for rural water supporters that cannot attend the rally in person. Utilities that have received assistance from rural water are encouraged to write a letter to their State Association detailing how the association has helped and the value they provide.

Rural water supporters can also participate in the social media campaign by posting their support for rural water on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #NRWArepresents during the rally.

Mississippi Rural Water Assists Utility After Staff Turnover

WAYNESBORO, Miss. – After two years of staff turnover and political changes, the City of Waynesboro, Miss. contacted the Mississippi Rural Water Association for assistance with training new employees.

Robby Mayfield, a MRWA training specialist, visited the utility to provide on-site training for Joe Zaydel, the Public Works Director and Josh West, a certified system operations specialist.

“All the changes have created a difficult situation for Waynesboro,” Mayfield explained.

Mayfield began with on-site training for the Revised Total Coli-form Rule and the Ground Water Rule. He also provided training on proper sampling and testing techniques, including new rules from the Mississippi State Department of Health regarding sample collection. Mayfield gave training on chlorine testing and how to properly maintain a chlorine residual through the distribution system.

“I also offered them on-site training on GPS and GIS systems,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield completed the assistance by informing Zaydel and West about other training opportunities in their area.

Tactics of Physical Intrusion: 2 p.m. CST Jan. 26

Tactics of Physical Intrusion: 2 p.m. CST Jan. 26 Register Now

Critical infrastructure is susceptible to a wide range of risks: from cyber attacks to service outages, but perhaps the most unnerving is the notion of a physical break-in. Attackers who can lay hands on technology and equipment are capable of stealing data, compromising operations, absconding with valuable supplies, or simply wreaking havoc.

As head of a Physical Penetration team, my crew has a very rewarding job. We are tasked with simulating attackers and breaking into facilities of all types, across the country. Then with faces agog, executives routinely watch me describe (or show video) of their doors and cabinets popping open in seconds.

This presentation will highlight some of the most exciting and shocking methods by which my team and I routinely gain entry in on physical jobs.

About the Presenter:
While paying the bills as a security auditor and penetration testing consultant with The CORE Group, Deviant Ollam is also a member of the Board of Directors of the US division of TOOOL, The Open Organisation Of Lockpickers. His books Practical Lock Picking and Keys to the Kingdom are among Syngress Publishing’s best-selling pen testing titles. In addition to being a lockpicker, Deviant is also a GSA certified safe and vault technician and inspector. At multiple annual security conferences Deviant runs the Lockpick Village workshop area, and he has conducted physical security training sessions for Black Hat, DeepSec, ToorCon, HackCon, ShakaCon, HackInTheBox, ekoparty, AusCERT, GovCERT, CONFidence, the FBI, the NSA, DARPA, the National Defense University, the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, and the United States Military Academy at West Point. His favorite Amendments to the US Constitution are, in no particular order, the 1st, 2nd, 9th, & 10th.

South Dakota Assists Utility After Faulty Sensor Causes Problems

DELL RAPIDS, S.D. – When the town of Colton started testing positive for trihalomethanes the utility called the South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems for assistance.

“The water has shown the potential to produce DBPs because it contains a significant amount of organic carbon,” explained SDARWS Training Specialist James Zeck. “Since they started using chloramination several years ago, they haven’t reported any problems with DBPs.”

Disinfection By-Products are the result of disinfecting agents like chlorine and ozone with material in the water. These byproducts are regulated and have maximum levels that can be present in drinking water.

Zeck worked with the systems bulk water supplier to possibly identify problems that could lead to high DBP levels. During the inspection Zeck noticed the in-line chlorine monitor responsible for dosing the ammonia for chloramination did not match the measured chlorine residuals leaving the plant or in the distribution system.

“Because the system was registering a lower chlorine residual, not enough ammonia was being fed and breakpoint chlorination was occurring in the clearwell leaving them with a free chlorine residual,” Zeck explained.

The utility replaced the chlorine monitor and recalibrated the system to accommodate the new chemical levels. The changes reduced the THMs. During a later follow-up visit, the system was operating properly and the town should show a significant decrease in the THM levels on their next round of quarterly sampling.

Nevada Rural Water Assists Utility with Decontamination

MIDAS, Nev. – When the Midas Water Cooperative in rural Elko County, Nev. tested positive for total coliform in repeated samples, they contacted the Nevada Rural Water Association for assistance.

Aaron Hughes, a training specialist with the Nevada Rural Water Association, visited Midas to help inspect and disinfect the system.

“I started by conducting a survey of the #1 wellhead, tank, the chlorination system and the sanitary condition of the well house,” Hughes said.

The well and tanks showed no signs of breaches or leaks. The ladder was locked, hatches sealed, concrete pad for the tank had no visible cracks, the overflow was properly protected, the water level target in working order and sample cabinet locked. However, when water from the tank was tested, there was no chlorine residual.

“We determined the chlorination system was broken, but Well #2 could supply chlorination for the system,” Hughes said.

Hughes and Midas General Manager Gene Casci isolated the well from the rest of the system and began to shock chlorinate the well. Since the process required four to six hours of contact time, Hughes and Casci began working on Well #2.

“The chlorinator hadn’t been in operation,” Hughes said. “It was working, but needed fine tuning for the system.”

Hughes provided training on dosage and how to use the utility’s testing equipment to determine and maintain the appropriate dosage. Water treatment equipment must be controlled so the amount and the timing of chlorine added, ensures the chemical reaches an appropriate level for a long enough time to be effective.

After the appropriate contact time, and with the chlorine feeder operating correctly, they began flushing the wells and testing the chlorine residuals. When the water tested at the required levels, the disinfection was complete and testing showed “coliform absent” results. Assistance from the Nevada Rural Water Association helped return the water utility to routine monitoring and provided the operations specialists with better training to understand and control their system.

Vermont Rural Water Spends a Decade Bringing System into Long-Term Sustainability

GILMAN, Vt. – When the paper mill in Gilman, Vt. closed, the wastewater plant took a double hit – first from lost revenue of such a large wastewater customer and then from the economic downturn of hundreds of lost jobs. A decade of assistance from the Vermont Rural Water Association has saved the utility over $125,000 and helped them achieve long-term sustainability.

Lunenburg Fire District 2 manages and operates the water and wastewater systems in Gilman. The improvement involved substantial effort from both the VRWA and Lunenburg 2.

“Truly a team effort with Vermont Rural Water Association and the Lunenburg Fire District # 2,” said Wayne Graham, VRWA Wastewater Specialist. “It stretched the limits of both organizations but the outcome was well worth it.”

One of the first services VRWA provided was leak detection and wastewater infiltration. Graham and Circuit Rider Brent Desranleau regularly provide these services to utilities trying to achieve stability because it reduces the amount of money spent treating water wasted in leaks.

Lunenburg 2 had a 38-year-old wastewater facility that was beginning to show its age. Aerators for the treatment lagoons were beginning to fail. Cold weather led to four breaks in the force main that pumped all the wastewater into the treatment plant.

“The unexpected force main breaks forced the district to move ahead with the upgrade and replacement project,” Graham explained.

The utility received a 75% grant from Vermont USDA to help offset the cost of the replacement.

The replacement of the lagoon aeration systems was a long-term project that required hard-work, ingenuity and support from other utilities. Graham found a wastewater system that had upgraded their lagoons and had aeration equipment they no longer needed. That system donated 40 aerators, hundreds of feet of high density polyethylene piping and dozens of standpipe assemblies to Lunenburg 2. Graham and Lunenburg 2 Superintendent Buddy Ball designed the system based on the donated material. Then Graham, Ball and System Operations Specialist Richard Dresser began installing the system. They installed everything for only $1,000, largely because of Ball’s efforts.

“He mixed a lot of concrete by hand, attained hundreds of feet of galvanized pipe for free and provided lots of labor at no cost to the district,” Graham explained.

The new equipment provided a substantial upgrade to the wastewater treatment operations.  The upgraded aeration system is also more energy efficient, providing electrical savings for the utility.

VRWA also provided support for organizational and managerial improvements to assist Luneburg 2. Graham and Circuit Rider Brent Desranleau helped create an appropriate budget and set sustainable rates for the utility. The donated equipment and work is estimated to have saved the utility over $125,000.

“The lesson in this system achieving long term sustainability is that it takes a team and can be a long process,” Graham said. “But the water and wastewater departments will be enjoying the benefits for years to come, as will the residents of this small community.”

Oklahoma AG Pruitt Said To Be Trump’s Choice For EPA Administrator


December 07, 2016 (Inside EPA)

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R), who has brought a host of legal challenges to EPA climate, water and other rules, is said to be President-elect Trump’s choice to head EPA, multiple sources say.
Pruitt was seen entering Trump Tower in New York today, Dec. 7, for a second meeting with the president-elect, and an announcement is said to be imminent. But it is unclear whether Trump will announce his EPA administrator pick as a stand alone, or name his choices to lead the Department of Energy and the Department of Interior alongside his environment chief as has been expected and “would make sense,” one source notes.

However, two sources say that Trump gave Pruitt the nod for EPA chief on Dec. 4, and are unclear why an announcement has not already been made. One source says Pruitt was to be announced Dec. 6. “And yet, it’s now mid-day Wednesday [Dec. 7]. I think this is what the next four years are going to look like.”

Another cites the meeting with Trump today to note, “I assume the announcement will come shortly.”

Neither Trump’s transition team nor Pruitt’s spokesman could be reached for comment.

The Oklahoma attorney general was first publicly named as a possible contender Nov. 28, along with former Texas environment department chief Kathleen Hartnett White, who both met with Trump that day in New York. Local press reports noted that Pruitt is term limited as the top lawyer in the state.
Pruitt has long been a major thorn in the Obama EPA’s side, bringing or leading state challenges to a host of agency rules, including the power plant greenhouse gas rules, mercury air toxics rule, haze requirements, waters of the U.S. rule and others.

For example, he brought an unsuccessful suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit that sought to block EPA from finalizing its GHG rule for existing power plants, though he was among a number of state attorneys general who succeeded in winning a high court stay of the rule.

He has also been among a group of state attorneys general criticizing EPA efforts to craft a new facility safety rule.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), one of Pruitt’s home state senators and a long-time EPA critic, strongly endorsed the attorney general. “Every time we had a problem, you had our attorney general coming filing lawsuits, getting involved. He’s fought all the EPA stuff. He’d be great,” Inhofe told Politico this week, adding that he has spoken to people in the Trump transition about Pruitt.
But environmentalists and Senate Democrats would be expected to oppose his nomination. Environmental Defense Fund noted in a recent statement that “since becoming Oklahoma’s top legal officer in 2011, Pruitt has sued the EPA to stop vital protections for public health — including standards for reducing soot and smog pollution that crosses interstate lines; protections against emissions of mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxic pollutants from power plants; and standards to improve air quality in national parks and wilderness areas. Each time he failed.”
“These common-sense efforts to cut pollution will save lives, prevent dangerous brain-development issues in children, reduce asthma attacks and increase productivity. Yet, Attorney General Pruitt has apparently never seen an EPA rule that didn’t prompt him to run to court to have it blocked,” the group said.

Hawaii Rural Water Holds First Annual Conference

1nrwa_2016_sm_page_11KAMUELA, Hawaii – The Hawaii Rural Water Association held its first annual conference Nov. 2-4 at Wailea Beach, Maui. The conference is a major milestone for the association, which was incorporated on December 2, 2010.

“It was amazing for our first year,” said Mahana Gomes, HRWA Executive Director.

HRWA partnered with the Hawaii Water Works Association for the conference. Over 200 water professionals attended, including 24 vendors.

The conference also featured the first Hawaii Water Taste Test. Consolidated Base Yard of Maui was named Hawaii’s best Tasting Water, and will be the first Hawaii utility to compete in the Great American Water Taste Test.

“We’re very excited,” Gomes said. “They will be joining us at the Rally in Washington.”

The Great American Water Taste Test will be held on Feb. 8, 2017 in Washington, D.C. as part of the annual Rural Water Rally.

Presentations at the conference included keynotes from Dr. Ka’eo Duarte and Josh Stanbro, who have been working on a large collaborative project called A Blueprint for Hawaii’s Future. Technical presentations included Dan Cortinovis Wastewater expert, Neal Fujii and Reinhard Sturm, Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management, Dr. Duranceau, University of Central Florida and Erica Perez, Coral Reef Alliance. The program also included opportunities for water and wastewater professionals to share stories and collaborate on ways to move forward in a more united and community based method.

“We really tried to create a feel of community and validation of the importance of all the work we do,” Gomes explained. “The water and wastewater communities have a lot of responsibility and a lot of authority when it comes to our water resource.”

Response to the first conference has been very positive.

“Everyone that came up to us said that it was a great event,” Gomes said. “The feeling was very uplifting.”

Several special guests attended the Hawaii conference including Mayor of Maui Alan Arakawa, National Rural Water Association President Steve Fletcher, NRWA Chief Financial Officer Claudette Atwood and Executive Director of the California Rural Water Association Dan DeMoss.

“A big Mahalo to everyone that supported us for this first annual conference,” Gomes said, using the Hawaiian word for thanks. “There was a lot of support and a lot of sacrifice made in order to make this first conference successful.”

Hawaii Rural Water is already making plans for their second conference, which will be Nov. 1-3, 2017 on the Big Island.

“Everyone is joking around the office that we can’t believe our first annual is just barely over and we’re already into the next one,” Gomes said. “We’re very excited for the second annual conference.”