New York Rural Water : News

March 24, 2015

Shared Services Working for Small Town/Village

Category: Achievements,Events,Funding,General,Wastewater,Water — New York Rural Water @ 1:40 PM

Due to Governor Cuomo’s call for increased statewide consolidation and shared services between municipalities, a small town and village in upstate New York have worked out a shared service agreement and is saving their community budget significantly by streamlining their operations.  Both the town and village report they are satisfied with the arrangement.  The village did a good deal of work for the town with maintenance issues with their sewer line, and at times one municipality may benefit from the equipment the other owns, or it might be a question of sharing the cost of man hours in the future.  They are doing a lot of things together, the scope of shared services is wide, ranging from fire protection provided by the village department, manned by a separate entity of volunteer force, to more recent consolidations.

In comparisons, this town saved over $400K and this village saved over $600K as a result of these shared services.  The village has a year round population of less than 1,000, while the town’s year round residence are approximately 3,500.  Examples of this trading between the entities is the town traded maintenance on its sewer and water district for absorbing some of the village’s parks and recreation functions, which is saving the town on paying overtime and the village picked up cost of sewer and water inspections.   The most significant savings is through man hours, maintenance on properties and assets, and equipment use.  Another savings is through billing, audit cost, and office staff.  In the past, they have even swapped land.

So this is something you all can think about that could benefit your communities and your budgets in the long run.


March 16, 2015

EPA On-Line Training Available on the RTCR

Category: Events,General,Water — New York Rural Water @ 8:23 AM

Here is the site for this training.  Please read below.

EL219 – Maintaining and Achieving RTCR Compliance for Small Systems

This free eLearning course was funded by the EPA and is available to anyone, including operators, State drinking water agency staff, and technical assistance providers.  The course will focus on information relevant for small water systems that serve under 10,000 people.

 Course Length: 3 Hours / 0.3 CEUs*

 Course Description:

This eLearning course focuses on 4 major areas needed by small systems to maintain and achieve compliance with the Revised Total Coliform Rule; including when and how to conduct the RTCR assessment, evaluation of sampling procedures, source water treatment assessments and evaluation of distribution system operations and maintenance practices on coliform occurrence.

The course is divided into four modules. The first module introduces the RTCR by describing the latest changes and impact to operators and their water systems. It demonstrates when and how to perform level 1 and level 2 assessments and provides examples and opportunities to apply the new learning.

The second module covers sample site assessment which includes determining if deficiencies exist in distribution system practices that may lead to inaccuracies in sample collection, possible microbial contamination, and data management procedures.

The third module illustrates the major elements of an assessment of sources of supply and treatment in the context of the RTCR.

The fourth and final module illustrates the major elements of an assessment of distribution system operations and maintenance practices in the context of the RTCR.

Learning Objectives:

·         How to Perform an Assessment Under the RTCR

o   What triggers an assessment

o   Who conducts the assessment

o   What an assessment entails

o   How to conduct an assessment

o   How and when to conclude the assessment

o   What you can do now to begin to prepare for assessments

·         Sample Site Evaluation

o   Determine what a sample site evaluation is and how it is triggered.

o   Identify types of data to be gathered during a sample site evaluation.

o   Interpretation of gathered data in the context of the RTCR.

o   General reporting requirements and example form used.

·         Source and Treatment Assessment

o   Understand the process for assessment of source waters and treatment facilities.

o   Identify the data to be gathered during the assessment.

o   Interpret gathered data in the context of the RTCR.

o   Determine appropriate corrective measures.

o   Learn general reporting requirements and typical forms used.

·         Distribution System Operations and Maintenance Practices Assessment

o   Determine the components of a DSO&M assessment.

o   Identify the data to be gathered during the assessment.

o   Interpret gathered data in the context of the RTCR and potential corrective actions.


Upon finishing the course and quizzes, the participant receives a certificate of completion which can be submitted to the state for CEU credit.  Each state has already been contacted by AWWA about CEUs for the course, and AWWA has submitted the required paperwork.

*You may be awarded CEUs/PDHs for AWWA education programs by your licensing agency. AWWA grants Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for this course at a rate of 1 CEU for 10 contact hours. It is the individual’s responsibility, before registering for any education program, to contact his/her licensing agency: 1. To confirm that the education program is acceptable for continuing education credit towards your particular license; 2. To confirm what you need to submit for credit approval.

March 12, 2015

Activated Sludge Pre-Certification Course Coming Up

Category: Events,General,Wastewater — New York Rural Water @ 2:48 PM

Activated Sludge Pre-certification Course Offering – BOCES 2-CWD, in cooperation with Monroe County Dept of Environmental Services will be offering the Activated Sludge Pre-certification Course on April 7,8, 21, and 22, 2015. The course will b held at the Van Lare WWTP in Rochester, NY. Class hours are 8 a.m. to 3:30 pm.
The registration cost for the course is $525. Registration, invoicing and payment will be handled by BOCES 2-CWD. Attendance is limited. Operators can call the BOCES 2-CWD main office at (585) 349-9100 or email Jim Slocum at The course is also open to operators looking for renewal training credit or as a certification exam refresher on activated sludge topics.

March 10, 2015

Here, There, Everywhere a Water Main Break

Category: Events,Funding,General,Legislative,Wastewater,Water — New York Rural Water @ 10:10 AM

Everywhere across our state you are hearing about water main breaks, everyday on the news this is the top story. Just this past Sunday a 20-inch pipe burst in Albany on Central Avenue, which is a very busy roadway in the capital district and it caused major traffic issues due to the reduction to a single lane in each direction. I am certain this is happening in many of our major cities, towns and villages.

In our industry we all realize that these breaks are costing our local municipalities significantly.

Many of our water lines were build in the 1800’s, the valves typically do not get operated enough and this causes problems in shutting them off.

There are numerous State Senators, organizations including NYRWA, and even the Riverkeepers, that are asking Governor Cuomo to use a portion of the settlement funds for our aging infrastructure of our drinking water and wastewater systems. So far, the Governor is not interested unless it creates jobs. The public needs to take a message to the Governor stating that their towns, villages, cities cannot afford to replace these lines on the tax base and that these available funds should be invested in our aging infrastructure.

So many of these water main pipes that are breaking is due to the cold winter we are experiencing with the frost being deeper, but many will confirm that it is also due to the aging infrastructure.

One city reported that the average cost to repair a water main break is 5,000-$6,000. Now, factor in overtime, road repair, etc.

A small town in Saratoga County has had eight breaks since January, with nearly 30 pipes that burst. I am sure our membership can relate to this story and they should contact their State Senators and tell their stories to gain support of these settlement dollars.

March 9, 2015

Happy Retirement Dan Tousley and Welcome Fred Holley

Category: Achievements,General,Water — New York Rural Water @ 8:14 AM

All of us here at the NYRWA want to wish Dan Tousley all the best in life as he enters retirement.  After 12+ years of dedicated service to the water systems of New York State, and in particular the western region, Dan has officially retired effective February 28, 2015.  Dan has been an excellent resource, friend, and co-worker, and will be greatly missed.  We wish Dan all the best for a long, healthy, and prosperous retirement!

Effective March 1, 2015, Fred Holley will become the NYRWA Circuit Rider III, primarily covering the western region.  Fred comes to us with over 27 years experience in the water industry, including treatment and distribution system knowledge.  We welcome Fred to our staff and look forward to his involvement working with our wonderful member systems.  Fred may be reached at or call 1-888-697-8725 and our office staff will direct your call.

Please join us in wishing Dan a Happy Retirement, and welcoming Fred Holley to our association.

March 2, 2015

Mayor Joe Keegan from Castleton-on-Hudson Testifies before Congress

Category: Events,General,Legislative,Water — New York Rural Water @ 9:42 AM

On Friday, February 27, 2015, Congress held a hearing on “Drinking Water Challenges Facing Small and Rural Communities (link).”  Four rural water members, Mayor Everette Hill (MS), Mayor Joe Keegan (NY), KT Newman (MS), and Bobby Selman (MS), represented all small communities before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.  The rural water representatives told the well-attended committee hearing that all small and rural communities depend on the on-site technical assistance provided by state rural water associations for compliance, training and operations & maintenance.  The committee initially convened the hearing to review the Grassroots Rural Water and Small Community Drinking Water Assistance Act, but expanded the hearing’s scope to cover drinking water related issues including the state revolving funds, USDA grants & loans, and EPA regulations.  We are grateful for excellent representation provided by all the rural water witnesses (video of the hearingtestimonyphotos of the hearing).

The New York Rural Water Association thanks Mayor Joe Keegan for his participation in the hearing and for standing up for all small and rural drinking water systems.

February 26, 2015

Great Water Story – Study conducted by Students

Category: Achievements,Events,General,Wastewater — New York Rural Water @ 4:20 PM

Schalmont students share plan for Rotterdam water system
February 25, 2015

By Ned Campbell
Gazette Reporter

High school students who studied the town of Rotterdam’s water system found vast improvements to the 60-year-old infrastructure of pipes are needed — and two separate ways to approach the problem.

Full Article…

February 23, 2015

Regulatory Advisory – Need Small System Input

Category: Events,General,Water — New York Rural Water @ 3:30 PM

Regulatory Advisory

Who: AWWA and NRWA
What: LCR revisions survey
When: Available now to complete

AWWA and the National Rural Water Association are asking drinking water utilities to complete a brief survey related to proposed revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule.

April 2 is the deadline to complete this survey. It should take approximately 10 minutes.

The survey will inform recommendations put forth by the National Drinking Water Advisory Council Work Group, which is organized by EPA. The NDWAC Work Group is considering recommending an alternative rule structure that relies more on water quality parameters (i.e., pH, alkalinity, etc.) than on current in-home lead and copper compliance monitoring.  Data collected through the survey will be provided to the NDWAC Work Group process.

The survey requests information that water systems should have readily available. A PDF version of the survey is available for utility members for reference when completing the survey.

Information about the NDWAC Work Group is available on EPA’s website. Information about the LCR is available on AWWA’s Legislation & Regulation page.

Questions regarding this survey and EPA’s work to revise the LCR can be directed to Steve Via in AWWA’s Government Affairs Office, at202.326.6130.

February 17, 2015

Federal Agencies Open Manufacturing Community Investment Competition

Category: Events,Funding,General — New York Rural Water @ 2:50 PM

Last week, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced the opening of the round two designation competition of the  Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). The competition is an Administration-wide initiative coordinated by the U.S. Commerce Department that rewards communities that demonstrate best practices in attracting and expanding manufacturing by bringing together key local stakeholders and using long-term planning that integrates targeted public and private investments. The initiative is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities nationwide. The IMCP designation elevates communities in consideration for $1.3 billion in federal dollars and assistance from 10 federal departments and agencies. In addition, each designated community will receive a federal liaison and branding and promotion as a designated Manufacturing Community to help attract additional private investment and partnerships. The Secretary of Commerce announced the  first 12 communities to receive a designation under IMCP in May 2014. The deadline for receipt of the latest round of applications is April 1, 2015. More information is available in the federal register here.

January 30, 2015

NYRWA Founder’s Scholarship Application Deadline Quickly Approaching

Category: Achievements,Events,Funding,General,Wastewater,Water — New York Rural Water @ 11:45 AM

To all NYRWA Members – Scholarship applications are due February 12, 2015.  If your child wishes to participate, go under Resources on the toolbar here on our website, then Downloads, you will find the application  on the right side.  Please print and have them submit before the deadline.  Be sure to include their transcripts.  This is open to all children in your water/wastewater district.  If you could provide this application to your local high school guidance office, they could copy and distribute it to their students.  Be sure to fill in the system member, which would be “the village of……” or town, city of.

As you know, this is a member benefit.  Our one time grant of $500 will be made to one student from each region (Capital, Northeast Central, Finger Lakes, Buffalo and White Plains Region) in New York State to help defray the cost of tuition, books, or room and board at an accredited institution of higher learning approved by the New York Rural Water Association.  Disbursement of the money will be made upon presentation of winner’s college invoice as proof of enrollment.  Applicants must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States, a resident of the State of New York and reside on a water/wastewater system that is a member of the NYRWA.  In order to be eligible for a scholarship, applicants must complete the application form in its entirety and return it to the NYRWA by the entry postmark deadline, February 12, 2015.  Please read the offiicial rules on the back of the application.

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