Public Assistance- Rebuilding Communities After Disasters Part 1: 2 PM CST February 14

Public Assistance- Rebuilding Communities After Disasters Part 1: 2 PM CST February 14  Register Now

About the Series: The Public Assistance program is a federal disaster grant assistance program for state, tribal, territorial, and local governments, and certain types of Private Non-Profit organizations that provides assistance for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster damaged publicly-owned facilities, and facilities of certain PNP organizations. Additionally the PA program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process. This training series will provide an overview of the PA Program and eligibility for this type of financial assistance.

NRWA Opens Call for Abstracts for 2018 WaterPro Conference in Fort Worth, Texas

DUNCAN, Okla. – The National Rural Water Association has opened a call for abstracts for the 2018 WaterPro Conference, to be held Sept. 17-19 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Experts interested in presenting on topics related to water and wastewater operation, utility management, utility board management, financial management or source water protection can submit abstracts through the on-line form here.

All abstracts will be reviewed by Conference staff. Speakers may be contacted to ask for additional information on the presentations submitted. Speakers will be contacted about speaking opportunities if their presentation is selected.

Further details about the conference can be found at

Rural Water Assists City When Water Tanks Run Dry

WHITE BIRD, Idaho – When their water tanks suddenly went dry, the City of White Bird, Idaho called the Idaho Rural Water Association for assistance.

“They thought there must be a big leak somewhere,” said Kevin McLeod, an IRWA Circuit Rider. “They said the water just disappeared.”

McLeod gathered some tools and equipment, then drove to White Bird.

“I contacted Kevin that morning and explained to him our situation,” City Clerk Sandra Murphy explained in a letter. “He was here on the ground within hours, bringing with him specialized equipment and years of experience.”

McLeod spoke with the Mayor, Clerk and Water System Operations Specialists, and looked over the utility’s maps and documents. He examined the wells, which were working but produced very little water.

“We decided to close everything off, so the tanks would fill enough to conduct leak detection,” McLeod said.

They next day, McLeod and White Bird examined all the system’s valves and started searching for the leak. McLeod activated IdWARN, a mutual support network that allows rural water systems to aid each other. Volunteers from neighboring systems came to assist the effort and potable water trucks began hauling in water to help refill the White Bird tanks.

“I was impressed with the locals and their willingness to assist,” McLeod said. “Even a retired operations specialist who just happened to be in town that joined the effort for a few days.”

After a day of leak detection, they could not locate the leak and the tanks had run dry again. McLeod located an air compressor and started pressure testing the system to search for the leak. The next day, they finally located the leak in a fire hydrant. The leak was estimated to be at least 70 gallons per minute.

“The valves for that hydrant must have been closed, because I was connected to it before,” McLeod said.

Once the leak was repaired, they chlorinated and flushed the system. Tests revealed there was no contamination, and the city’s boil order could be lifted.

“I cannot express enough gratitude for Kevin’s over-the-top, quick response and his hard work in finding us a solution,” Murphy said. “I really believe that having IRWA and the IdWARN system was crucial to our success in restoring drinking water to our beloved town.”

Video: Top 8 Reasons to Attend the WaterPro Conference

Top 8 Reasons to Attend the WaterPro Conference

WVRWA leak detection saves community $3,000 per month

JUNIOR, W. Va. – When the Town of Junior, W. Va. noticed usage had increased by 35,000 gallons per day, they contacted the West Virginia Rural Water Association for assistance.

“We started isolating parts of the system,” said Bertis McCarty, a WVRWA Circuit Rider. Circuit Riders are roving water system experts that provide training and technical assistance to small utilities.

Isolating the system allowed McCarty and Mark Shiflett, Field Supervisor for the Town of Junior, to narrow the leak to a general area of town. They checked ever water meter in the area to isolate the leak’s specific location.

“Mark fixed the leak and asked that I return to locate more,” McCarty said.

McCarty returned a week later and assisted Shiflett in locating more leaks. They located another large leak at the end of a line. The leak was under a road and water was not rising to the surface.

The leak repairs prevented water losses as high as 24 gallons per minute, saving the community $3,000 per month.

Registration Open for NRWA’s 2018 Rural Water Rally

DUNCAN, Okla. – The National Rural Water Association opened registration, today, for the 2018 Rural Water Rally, which will be held Feb. 5-7 in Washington, D.C . Registration, housing and other rally information is available at
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.

An early registration discount will be available until Jan. 18, though registration will be available on-site and online.

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.

Rural Water Helps Bring System into Compliance After Valve Problem Leads to Contamination

PAISLEY, Ore. – When a problem with a valve in Paisley, Oregon’s new treatment plant lead to high levels of arsenic, experts from the Oregon Association of Water Utilities helped locate the problem and bring the drinking water back into compliance.

Paisley had a history of arsenic levels that exceeded the regulated Maximum Contaminant Levels. To bring the arsenic levels within the MCL, the utility had installed an arsenic treatment facility, but it wasn’t performing as expected.

“They put the plant on-line and met the MCL for a couple of weeks, but it never got it low enough again,” explained Heath Cokeley, an OAWU Circuit Rider.

The new pressure vessel filtration system adds iron to the water and then runs water through a system of pressurized metal containers lined with layers of filtration media.

“Arsenic is extremely small, it’s very difficult to filter out,” Cokeley said. “So, we like to attach it to something to like iron and filter the larger molecule.”

Cokeley examined the plant and relevant design and specification documents. He compared those to plant logs and information from Duane Young, the Paisley System Operations Specialist. He determined an improper valve was creating problems later in the process.

“The levels were very inconsistent and they were losing filter media, which was a strong indication it was a valve,” Cokeley said.

The issues occurred during the plant’s backwash cycle. All filtration systems have a backwash cycle that flushes the filters and prevents them from becoming saturated. Too much flow during this cycle would wash out filter material and degrade its quality, while too little would allow the filter to become saturated and unable to remove further contaminates. This series of flow problems was traced to a single valve.

“A lower quality valve, something more suited to irrigation, was installed and it was a gate-style valve,” Cokeley said. “The problem is that gate valves can open and close under pressure.”

Cokeley suspected that the inconsistencies were caused by the gate valve opening too much or too little during operation. The Circuit Rider assisted in replacing the valve with a higher-quality, butterfly valve. Cokeley and OAWU Training Specialist Scott Berry helped train the staff on the plant operations with the new, appropriate valve.

“We had to go back to the drawing board and do the math on the appropriate chemical dosing,” Cokeley said.

The plant has been performing well since the assistance, with the drinking water testing below the MCL and, at times, well below the required limits.

The Treatment of Disinfection By-products with Granular Activated Carbon: 2 PM CST Dec. 7

The Treatment of Disinfection By-products with Granular Activated Carbon: 2 PM CST Dec. 7 Register Now

This webinar will discuss the use of granular activated carbon to help manage disinfection by-products in your system.

The webinar will also provide an introduction to activated carbon, and will include information about:
• Disinfection By-products
• What they are, how they are formed, and why they occur;
• Removal technologies;
• Removal via GAC; and
• Precursor removal as well as removal of formed DBPs.
• Emerging Disinfection By-products and their impact on water quality
• EPA’s comments from the third 6 year review regarding potential future regulation and areas of concern.

Rural Water Assists Community after Water Tank Freezes, Saves $30,000

RAMSEY, Mont. – When sub-zero temperatures froze a riser pipe, the Ramsey County Water and Sewer District contacted Montana Rural Water Systems for assistance.

“We were working in 35-below weather and trying to find people to help in this emergency,” Ramsay Secretary Gayle Hunt said in a letter. “Although the people of Ramsay had sufficient water, we did not have a reserve in case of a fire.”

Nick Clos, a MRWS Circuit Rider, arrived the same day and began evaluating the situation. Circuit Riders are roving water system experts that provide training and technical assistance to the water systems in their area.

“The way the pumps were running, it showed the elevated tank had been frozen for two or three weeks,” Clos said.

The Circuit Rider used a pair of fire hydrant relief valves to bypass the frozen tank, allowing the system to supply water until the line thawed and could be repaired. He also adjusted the pumps to fit the new conditions.

“Nick demonstrated his work ethic and professionalism,” Hunt said. “He brought equipment and helped set it up. He made suggestions of where we could go for possible emergency funding, which proved to be extremely important.”

The assistance is estimated to have saved the community $30,000.
“We can’t tell you how much we appreciated Nick’s help,” Hunt said. “The District has learned many lessons and without Nick’s help we would never have known how to proceed.”