New York Rural Water : News

October 9, 2015

Webinar: Free Preparedness Resources for Water and Wastewater Utilities

Category: Events,General,Wastewater,Water — New York Rural Water @ 8:21 AM


Water and Wastewater Utilities: Learn how to use powerful resources that will support your utility through all types of emergencies during our November 10th Webinar.

Hear about new tools:


Water Quality Surveillance and Response System

This monitoring system can help detect contamination early and assist in routine distribution system management.


Water/Wastewater All-Hazards Boot Camp Training



Water system personnel will learn the basics of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery in this interactive computer-based training.


Power Resiliency for Water Utilities

Prepare for power outages using the new Power Resilience Guide.



Public Awareness Toolkit

This kit includes free resources – like brochures, mail inserts, and posters – that utilities can use for public outreach.



Register for the Webinar to Learn More!


To register for this webinar copy and paste this URL into your browser:

October 5, 2015

Facts from the Mayo Clinic about the Importance of Drinking Water

Category: Achievements,General,Water — New York Rural Water @ 8:48 AM

Good Thing to Know! From The Mayo Clinic.

How many folks do you know who say they don’t want to drink anything before going to bed because they’ll have to get up during the night!!

Heart Attack and Water – Drink 1 glass of water before going to bed avoids stroke or heart attack!  

Something else I didn’t know … I asked my Doctor why people need to ‘urinate’ so much at night time.

Answer from my Cardiac Doctor:
Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright (legs swell). When you lie down and the lower body (legs and etc) seeks level with the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys remove the water
because it is easier.  I knew you needed your minimum water to help flush the toxins out of your body, but this was news to me.

Correct time to drink water.  – – Very Important – – From a Cardiac Specialist!

Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body:

-2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate  internal organs
-1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion
-1 glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure
-1 glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack

You can also add to this… My Physician told me that water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps. Your leg muscles are seeking hydration when they cramp and wake you up with a Charlie Horse.

Imagine a Day Without Water – October 6-8, 2015

Category: Events,General,Wastewater,Water — New York Rural Water @ 8:32 AM

October 6-8, 2015 join together to raise awareness about the most essential resource we have – WATER.  Here is a link to the event and how you can participate:


October 2, 2015

USEPA Information of the RTCR and the Water Distribution System

Category: General,Legislative,Water — New York Rural Water @ 1:41 PM



The USEPA has released new documents and guidance on maintaining water quality in the distribution system in regards to implementation of the Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR).  There are many guidance documents and fact sheets geared to assist not only state primacy officials but also operators as we near the implementation of the RTCR.  More information may be found at the following link.

If you have any system specific questions please reach out to your local health department representative for further guidance.

Madison County Awarded CDC Grant for Private Wells

Category: Achievements,Events,Funding,General,Water — New York Rural Water @ 8:07 AM
The Madison County Health Department was one out of only 20 agencies throughout the nation that was recently awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This grant, in the amount of $104,700 annually for the next five years, will be used to enhance the Health Department’s capacity to assess and manage risks associated with private wells and other small drinking water systems that are not covered under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.  The grant will provide funding for water quality sampling of residential water systems and to provide technical assistance on measures that can help owners protect these water resources.

October 1, 2015


Category: Events,General,Wastewater,Water — New York Rural Water @ 3:01 PM

State Emergency Operations Center in Albany activated to monitor and coordinate emergency response efforts through this weekend

Personnel deployed from State DEC and New York National Guard to clear debris and other barriers in roads and waterways ahead of the storm

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Albany to monitor severe weather that is anticipated to impact southern parts of New York State beginning today and potentially lasting through this weekend. This weather is expected to include heavy rain, high winds and coastal flooding as Hurricane Joaquin makes it way up the east coast. Local power outages in hard-hit areas are also anticipated.

“As Hurricane Joaquin makes its way up the East Coast, New York is in a much better position today than we have ever been before – but when it comes to Mother Nature, you can never be too prepared,” Governor Cuomo said. “That is why we are activating the State’s Emergency Operations Center and positioning critical resources across the state as we learn more about this developing storm. I urge New Yorkers to exercise caution and stay informed in the coming days.”

According to the National Hurricane Center, as of 11:00 am Hurricane Joaquin is a strong Category 3 storm. Hurricane Joaquin now has maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and maintains movement of 6 mph to the Southwest, currently located near the Bahamas. Some forecast models show Joaquin tracking close to the eastern Atlantic coastline, which would bring additional heavy rain and high winds to New York State this weekend. In addition, water levels in coastal areas are expected to rise due to strong northeast winds preceding the storm, which increase the potential for widespread, moderate flooding on Friday in downstate New York.

In advance of the storms, the New York State Office of Emergency Management has conducted several conference calls with the National Weather Service, state agency partners and counties that could be impacted by the severe weather. New York City, and Nassau and Suffolk counties activated their severe weather and coastal flood plans, and anticipate activating their Emergency Operations Centers this weekend. State OEM personnel will deploy to these locations to support local emergency response efforts.

Stockpiled resources downstate include:

  • 200 generators available for deployment
    · 145,000 meals ready to eat
    · 212,000 bottles of water
    · 65 light towers
    · 209 water pumps
    · 221,000 sandbags

Additionally, there are 400 additional generators available for deployment from other stockpiles in the Upstate region.

Fuel Reserves and Gas Station Generators
The State maintains a downstate strategic fuel reserve in Suffolk County that holds 2.5 million gallons of fuel that can be provided to retail customers, emergency responders and critical government entities. The State also has 2.5 million gallons of gas and diesel fuel in upstate fuel reserve terminals across the Upstate region, available to first responders. The State has 488 gas stations in the downstate region that have backup generator hook ups and a contract with an outside vendor to deploy 250 generators to these stations in the event of a large-scale power outage. Additionally, there are 40 stations downstate with generators on site currently.

Department of Environmental Conservation
The Department of Environmental Conservation today will issue an Emergency Declaration to allow debris removal to be performed in streams to protect property and public safety. The Emergency Declaration will also allow DEC and the National Guard to immediately deploy staff to critical debris removal sites around the state. DEC is working with local officials to identify potential problem areas where debris removal could help prevent flooding in the event Joaquin hits New York. Any town officials who are aware of these situations should contact DEC regional offices immediately. Towns should not straighten or trench streams as this exacerbates upstream and downstream flooding.

DEC has 250 staff (Environmental Conservation Police, Forest Rangers and engineers) in alert in preparation for the storm. DEC will ready swift water rescue assets, assist municipalities to flooding preparation and work with 200 New York National Guard soldiers to perform debris removal.

The State is also closely monitoring storage capacity in the Great Sacandaga Reservoir to ensure it can withstand heavy rains. The reservoir is currently 2.5 feet below normal operating levels and 12.5 feet below the spillway. Even with the recent rain 3-4 inches of rain across the watershed, the Lake only rose 6 inches, meaning the ground absorbed roughly seventy percent of the rain. At current conditions, the Lake would likely be able to absorb 10 inches (maximum prediction) of rain without a release. During Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, no water was released despite higher pre-storm water levels. DEC is working with New York City Department of Environmental Protection to ensure reservoirs in the New York City watershed have adequate capacity to handle excessive rainfall and stormwater runoff.

Division of Military and Naval Affairs
The New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs is preparing for possible deployment of New York Army and Air National Guard forces in support of New York City and other local governments. In addition to mobilizing 200 troops to assist DEC today, the New York National Guard has plans in place calling for the deployment of as many as 3,000 Soldiers and Airmen depending on the scope of the storm response required. The New York National Guard can deploy 20 helicopters and 250 high-axle trucks and Humvees to assist with storm response as well as other specialized communications equipment if required. The New York National Guard also has standing agreements with New York City for response packages which reduce the time needed to mobilize and deploy necessary forces.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The subway system is preparing with filling sandbags, preparing and distributing generators, ensuring vehicles are fueled and ready, and preparing and scheduling staff. If the storm continues to track for New York City, the MTA can deploy covers for the 540 openings into the subway system in Lower Manhattan (vent shafts, stairs, manholes, etc.).

The MTA has also installed large sand bags at Coney Island Yard to effectively protect the yard. Short term mitigation efforts are taking place at South Ferry with the staircase closure and fiberglass vent covers, and covers are available to help protect other stations in lower Manhattan. Additionally, the seawall installed in Broad Channel will help protect the A train track to the Rockaways that washed away during Sandy.

The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad are monitoring the forecast of the storm carefully and making preparations throughout the regions they cover. The railroads are ensuring that employees are positioned to clear fallen trees, pump out water in areas known as prone to localized flooding, address conditions caused if any power outages should occur, and operate standby diesel locomotives that are prepared at key locations to tow trains should any become disabled. The railroads are monitoring the stability of their electrical grids and substations with heightened awareness, confirming that all fuel facilities are fully stocked for adequate supply for the duration of the storm.

It is too early to say whether the railroads would need to suspend service if a powerful storm strikes our region. The railroads always operate with an eye to ensuring the safety of customers and employees, and are prepared to suspend service in segments or in whole, if needed, in accordance with usual hurricane procedures. If flooding is predicted, the railroads would move trains away from low-lying storage areas.

Port Authority
The Port Authority has 170 generators available for deployment in the downstate region, and 4 miles of barrier protection equipment to keep water away from critical transportation assets, including:

  • Approximately 2550 feet of Bin Blocks
    · Approximately 6300 feet of Stop Logs
    · Approximately 3000 feet of Concrete Barriers
    · Approximately 8800 feet of Hesco sand-filled barriers

State Department of Transportation
The NYSDOT is allocating portable message boards for display Friday and through the weekend with advance storm preparation messaging. Specifically, 90 variable message boards are available in the downstate region to warn and notify drivers as needed, and 450 employees are ready to deploy as needed. Messages have been sent to secure work zones in the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island Regions. Crews in those regions are clearing drains, culverts and checking roadway conditions. Additional crews and emergency contractors are also on standby for response as needed.

Other resources assigned to the downstate region include:

  • 209 large dump plow trucks
    · 12 large chippers
    · 5 large 6-inch debris/water pumps
    · 1 excavator
    · 20 mobile generators
    · 1 road grader
    · 29 large bucket loaders
    · 21 non-plow medium duty dump trucks
    · 10 sweepers
    · 2 tree bucket trucks
    · 4 vac-ons (large sewer jets)
    · 98 mobile impact attenuators

Thruway Authority
All Thruway Divisions (New York, Albany, Syracuse, and Buffalo) are preparing for a potential mobilization on the Thruway, and all storm response equipment such as loaders, pumps, chippers, light plants, and portable VMS Boards are ready to deploy. Sites in the Hudson Valley that typically have debris issues have been checked and are clear. At the New NY Bridge, the Thruway Authority is working closely with Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC). TZC is following their adverse weather plan by securing all temporary or portable equipment, checking and adding mooring lines to marine resources, following wind protocol for cranes and other equipment using their wind meters.

Across the state, stockpiled Thruway resources include:

  • 28 backhoes
    · 86 portable VMS
    · 35 light towers
    · 55 front end loaders
    · 16 chippers
    · 161 chainsaws
    · 109 generators
    · 112 pumps

The Canal Corporation will continue to participate in all National Weather Service calls, monitor water levels and communicate canal operational updates through the established Notice to Mariners system. The Corporation is coordinating with hydro-electric operators, the New York Power Authority and other water management entities with respect to dams and related infrastructure to monitor current waterflows and predicted increases.

Department of Health
The State DOH will coordinate with the Greater New York Hospital Association and other health care providers to monitor their response to the storm. DOH is notifying all hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities to remind them to verify emergency plans and staffing plans, as well as check on stores of generators, food, and water and be prepared to implement evacuation plans for patients and staff.

National Weather Service Update
The National Weather Service is also tracking a strong area of high pressure from Canada moving southeast that could interact with Hurricane Joaquin and cause additional, severe weather this weekend.

The following advisories and watches have been issued by the National Weather Service in Upton:

  • A High Surf Advisory is in effect until 6 a.m. Friday for the south shore bays of western Long Island. A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.
    · A Coastal Flood Advisory is also in effect until 6 a.m. Friday for the south short bays of western Long Island. A Coastal Flood Advisory indicates that onshore winds and tides will combine to generate flooding of low areas along the shore.
    · A Coastal Flood Watch is in effect from Friday morning through Friday afternoon for western Long Island Sound, portions of New York City, and Long Island. A Coastal Flood Watch means that conditions favorable for flooding are expected to develop. Coastal residents should be alert for later statements or warnings and take action to protect property.

NWS predicts minor coastal flooding through Thursday night, and moderate coastal flooding possible Friday and beyond, along with beach erosion and wash-over as a result of 5-8 foot breaking waves.


September 29, 2015

Our Aging Water Infrastructure in New York State

Category: General,Water — New York Rural Water @ 1:47 PM

In a recently published article, New York State was identified as having some of the oldest infrastructure in the nation.  The pipes under New York’s towns, villages and cities are failing at an alarming rate, but then we are preaching to the choir, since the majority of readers, our members, are well aware of this fact.


The problems will only get worse and the cost of fixing them is beyond belief. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates New York state faces $22 billion in costs in the next 20 years, while a state projection puts the amount at $39 billion.


The EPA projects it will cost $384 billion over 20 years just to maintain the nation’s existing drinking water infrastructure. Replacing pipes, treatment plants and other infrastructure, as well as expanding drinking water systems to handle population growth, and meet all the standard regulations could cost as much as $1 trillion. Without that investment, industry groups warn of a future with more infrastructure failures that will disrupt service, transportation and commerce.


Old cast-iron pipes can last a century in the right conditions. But soil conditions and the freeze-and-thaw cycles, like what occurred last winter here in New York will break down metal much faster. Many pipes under New York’s villages, towns and cities are a century old or more and rapidly approaching their breaking points.


Congressman Paul Tonko, from the 20th District has been pushing for greater federal investment in water infrastructure. This past spring the Congressman conducted several talking tours with municipalities within his district and met with leaders from those towns and villages to discuss our aging infrastructure.  We need others in Congress to join Congressman Tonko to ensure our industry of water and wastewater providers have the means to repair, replace and maintain our assets to ensure these essential services to the public you serve.


The cracks are already obvious, each of you in the industry realize this. In western New York, the Erie County Water Authority had 1,453 water main breaks last year thanks to an unusually cold winter that froze the ground deeper than usual.  Our NYRWA Circuit Riders were constantly receiving calls from Operators with regard to freeze ups and it was all over the daily news of reports of homes struggling for weeks without running water.


The article I am referring to mentioned that big investments made in water projects during the Depression, the post-war years and again in the seventies fell beginning in the ’80s as other government costs — pensions, health care, education, social services and debt — went up. Raising taxes became increasingly unpalatable.


The state has stepped in with zero- and low-interest loans to help villages, towns and cities pay for water projects they can’t afford on their own. There are also USDA, Rural Development loans and grants available.  The state’s Environmental Facilities Corp. has approved more than $600 million in such loans so far this year. And lawmakers approved $200 million in new water funding earlier this year.  But the money is merely a down payment on the billions needed to address the problem.


As it stands now, fixing pipes will largely be a patch job, with villages, towns and cities scrambling to fix an increasing number of breaks and dreading the return of winter, when most breaks occur, which just around the corner.

September 21, 2015

Upgrades to Surface Waters Classifications in the Lake Champlain Drainage Basin to be Proposed

Category: Events,General,Wastewater,Water — New York Rural Water @ 8:26 AM

DEC is drafting a proposal to upgrade the classifications of certain surface waters in the Lake Champlain drainage basin (6NYCRR Part 830). These reclassifications are necessary to meet federal Clean Water Act (CWA) goals for water quality and will result in higher classifications (and thus more stringent water quality standards) for some waters.

All surface waters in New York are classified in Department regulations according to their “best uses” (e.g., fishing, swimming, source of drinking water).  In the forthcoming proposal, some Class D waterbodies, which are classified to provide protection for “fish survival,” will be upgraded to higher classifications that will add protection for  “fish propagation,” consistent with the “fishable” goal of the federal Clean Water Act.  Some waters would also receive protection for trout or trout spawning.

More about the reclassification

More information about the best use classification changes in the Lake Champlain basin is on the DEC Reclassification of Lake Champlain & St. Lawrence River Drainage Basins webpage. This page includes an approximate schedule for the reclassification process.


September 17, 2015

SepticSmart Week – An Educational Effort

Category: Events,General,Wastewater — New York Rural Water @ 1:04 PM

In an effort to promote homeowner education and awareness about septic systems, the Environmental Protection Agency has developed SepticSmart week.  This year SepticSmart week will take place September 21st-25th 2015.  This initiative is an educational effort with the intention to inform owners of septic systems about the importance of proper maintenance and also provide resources to help homeowners in regards to wastewater and the environment.

EPA’s Septic Smart Tools include understanding the basics of septic tanks, proper maintenance, and resources for homeowners including educational outreach materials.

National Rural Water has developed a mobile Septic Insight app that includes tools to develop a pumping schedule, size a septic system, and perform a septic tank assessment. Information about this application can be found here:

If you would like more information about SepticSmart Week or septic systems, please contact Molly Reed, Training Specialist with the New York Rural Water Association, (518) 828-3155 ext. 23 or email

Pressure Sewer Operations Webinar – Monday, September 21, 2015

Category: Events,General,Wastewater — New York Rural Water @ 8:53 AM

Pressure Sewer Operations:

Secrets to Upgrading the

Customer Experience

with E/One Sewer Systems, Town of Peru NY, and Waterworld


Monday, September 21

2:00 pm ET


If you’re considering pressure sewers for your community or already have them, this could be the most valuable webinar you see this year.


Join us Monday, September 21, at 2:00 pm ET to learn how to upgrade your pressure sewer system for maximum customer satisfaction. Greg Timmons, water and wastewater superintendent for Peru, New York, will share his experiences with pressure sewers and why he switched to E/One.


Grinder pump driven pressure sewers have been the alternative system of choice for several decades, offering superior life cycle cost to gravity sewers in a variety of challenging conditions. But now, owners and operators wanting to further lower O&M costs are discovering a system that can improve their repair and replacement schedules without any preventive maintenance. Find out the rest of the story from the owner’s perspective, as well as what’s new in pressure sewer technology.


If you are currently served by a pressure sewer system or are planning to install one, this is a must-see webinar!


Register for the webinar


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