New York Rural Water : News

May 26, 2015

Hinsdale Wins County Water Contest

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

The Town of Hinsdale won the 2015 Cattaraugus County Tap Water Taste Contest at the Greater Olean Home and Garden show.  Public Health Director Dr. Kevin Watkins and Director of Environmental Health Eric Wohlers congratulated the town on the win over five other communities.  The public attending the garden show stopped by the booth to sample and compare the five tap water samples and voted for their favorite.  Other municipalities competing were Allegany, Cattaruaugus, Delevan, Olean and Salamanca.

Hinsdale will now represent Cattaraugus County at this year’s Western New York regional competition.  The regional winners then advance to the state finals September 1, 2015, at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse.  “This annual event serves to highlight the fact that all of our trained and certified water operators work very hard to deliver water of the highest quality to their customers,” Wohlers said.  “We wish the town of Hinsdale success as they advance to the next round of competition”.

If you are interested in competing at your local level, check our website for a full schedule of contests taking place across the state.  Congratulations to Hinsdale and best of luck at the regionals.


May 22, 2015

NYRWA 36th Annual Technical Conference – Huge Success

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

To all that participated in our 36th Annual Technical Conference this week at the Turning Stone in Verona, we thank you for your support and hope to see you next year in Lake Placid, NY. We could not have had a successful conference without you. Our exhibitors were amazing this year and the presenters were excellent.  We hope that each of you took something away from this event that will help make your daily jobs a bit easier in providing Quality on Tap to the customers you serve.  May you all enjoy your holiday weekend, please remember those that served and continue to serve our Country, we are truly blessed.

May 14, 2015

You are All Keepers of the Spring and We Thank You For Your Dedication

Category: Achievements,General,Wastewater,Water — New York Rural Water @ 2:35 PM

This goes out to all the Water and Wastewater Professionals, you are all the Keepers of our most valuable asset.

Keeper of the Spring

The late Peter Marshall, an eloquent speaker and for several years the chaplain of the United States Senate, used to love to tell the story of “The keeper of the spring,” a quiet forest dweller who lived high above an Austrian village along the eastern slopes of the Alps.

The old gentleman had been hired many years ago by a young town council to clear away the debris from the pools of water up in the mountain crevices that fed the lovely spring flowing through their town. With faithful, silent regularity, he patrolled the hills, removed the leaves and branches, and wiped away the silt that would otherwise choke and contaminate the fresh flow of water.

By and by, the village became a popular attraction for vacationers. Graceful swans floated along the crystal clear spring, the millwheels of various businesses located near the water turned day and night, farmlands were naturally irrigated and the view from restaurants was picturesque beyond description.

Years passed.  One evening the town council met for its semi-annual meeting.  As they reviewed the budget, one man’s eye caught the salary figure being paid to the obscure keeper of the spring.  Said the keeper of the purse, “Who is the old man?  Why do we keep him on year after year?  No one ever sees him.  For all we know the strange ranger of the hills is doing us no good.  He isn’t necessary and longer!”  By a unanimous vote, they dispensed with the old man’s services.

For several weeks nothing changed. By early autumn the trees began to shed their leaves.  Small Branches snapped off and fell in to the pools, hindering the rushing flow of sparkling water.  One afternoon someone noticed a slight yellowish-brown tint in the spring.  A couple days later that water was much darker.  Within another week, a slimy film covered sections of the water along the banks and a foul odor was soon detected.  The mill wheels moved more slowly, some finally ground to a halt. Swans left, as did the tourists. Clammy fingers of disease and sickness reached deeply into the village.

Quickly, the embarrassed council called a special meeting. Realizing their gross error in judgment, they hired back the old keeper of the spring…and within a few weeks the veritable river of life began to clear up. The wheels started to turn, and new life returned to the hamlet in the Alps once again.


Public Comment Period on Draft Amendment to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund 2015 Intended Use Plan

Category: Events,Funding,General,Water — New York Rural Water @ 8:01 AM

Public Comment Period 

Draft Amendment No. 4 to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2015 Intended Use Plan (IUP)

FFY 2015 Intended Use Plan Amendments:

DWSRF#17645 Greenwich (V), Washington County – The project cost listed in the DWSRF Intended Use Plan (IUP) is increased by $200,000 to reflect the project’s additional required costs beyond what was provided in the short term market rate financing. In accordance with the Section 4.2.6 of the IUP, this project is also now eligible for a subsidized interest rate financing.

DWSRF#18153 Wallkill (T), Orange County – The IUP listed cost for this DWSRF Storm Mitigation Loan Program project is increased by an amount up to but not to exceed an additional $75,000 to more accurately reflect the anticipated project cost.

In addition to the project specific amendments cited above, the estimated federal capitalization grant for FFY 2015 is amended to $42,455,000 and the Set Aside amounts in Table 2 of the IUP will be adjusted to reflect this change. The percentage of the federal capitalization grant being made available for additional subsidy is also amended from twenty percent to “up to thirty percent”. Any increase in additional subsidy resulting from this change will be provided if needed to eligible projects that applied for hardship prior to the December 1, 2014 hardship application deadline.

The New York State Department of Health has determined that the amendments are necessary, reasonable, and in the interest of protecting public health. The amendments will not adversely affect any project on the IUP Project Annual List above the subsidized funding line. Except as noted above, there are no other changes to the IUP as a result of this Amendment No. 4 of the FFY 2015 IUP.

Public Review and Comment on Draft Amendment No. 4

The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) will accept comments on Amendment No. 4 to the FFY 2015 DWSRF IUP by mail, fax or email until 5:00 PM EST on Wednesday May 27, 2015.

Comments should be addressed to:

Michael Montysko
NYS DOH – Bureau of Water Supply Protection
Corning Tower Room 1135
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12237
Fax: (518) 402-7599
E-mail: (If sent by email please reference “IUP Amendment Comment” in the subject line)

May 11, 2015

EPA Issues First Health Advisory for Algal Toxins

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

The report will guide states and drinking water utilities in determining whether their water supplies are safe for consumption.  Microcystin can cause fever and vomiting, and longer-term exposure can lead to gastroenteritis and liver and kidney damage.  EPA recommended that children younger than school age avoid levels of microcystin higher than 0.3 micrograms per liter and that all other ages avoid levels exceeding 1.6 micrograms per liter.  The World Health Organization recommendation is 1 microgram per liter.  Harmful algae blooms are fed by fertilizers washing off farm fields and suburban lawns and are nurtured by warm water temperatures.  EPA estimates that between 30 million and 48 million people use drinking water from lakes and reservoirs that could be vulnerable to algal toxin contamination (EPA).

New York Times on Tiered Pricing for Water

Category: General,Water — New York Rural Water @ 8:13 AM

New York Times on Tiered Pricing for Water: “Because of the huge gap between tiers, the biggest consumers effectively subsidize everyone else, shielding poorer residents from feeling the full brunt of rate increases.”  To conserve water, many large cities in America now use a tiered-pricing system in which residents who use more water pay higher rates than those who use less, but some have been loath to raise rates much at all.  “I like fish, but I’m not giving up my lawn for some smelt,” says a consumer, only half-joking.  “Let those fish die up north. There’s a cycle of life” (NYTimes).



May 8, 2015

Climate Ready Water Utilities Training

Category: Events,General,Wastewater,Water — New York Rural Water @ 1:20 PM

EPA is hosting  free workshops for TA providers, drinking water, wastewater and stormwater utilities on Coastal Resilience Training.  This training is on two new EPA tools to assist drinking water, wastewater and stormwater utilities in understanding and adapting to impacts from coastal storm events and related threats.  To register go to

EPA is offering workshops for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities.  The workshops will feature hands-on training with EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) to enhance water sector resilience to extreme weather events and long-term climate change impacts.  Register here:

Any questions please contact

Latham wins Tap Water Taste Contest for Albany County

Category: Events,General,Water — New York Rural Water @ 8:36 AM

Latham Wins Again, takes title of county’s best tasting water for the the second consecutive year. The winner of the 2015 Albany County Tap Water Taste Contest is the Latham Water District with 105 points, with 42 first place votes and 21 second place votes. There was a tie for the runner up spot between the Town of Guilderland and the Town of Bethlehem, each of which had 64 total points.

The Latham Water District will now go on to compete in a regional contest later this year. We want to thank the NYS Department of Health Bureau of Water Supply Protection and the Water and Wastewater Education Outreach Committee for their assistance in this year’s event.

If you are interested in participating in your local/county water taste contest, we have a schedule of these events posted that provides you with the dates and locations across the state.

May 5, 2015

Lawmakers to Consider National Ban on Microbeads

Category: General,Legislative,Wastewater,Water — New York Rural Water @ 1:42 PM

Lawmakers to Consider National Ban on Microbeads: Illinois, Colorado and New Jersey have enacted laws to require companies to phase out the use of plastic particles called microbeads from personal care products, and at least a dozen other states are considering doing the same.  Now Congress will take its first whack at the issue, with lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health examining a bill that has the backing of high-profile lawmakers and would phase out the plastic substances by 2018 under H.R. 1321, or the “Microbead-Free Waters Act.”  Where is New York State in all of this?

Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant applications being accepted

Category: Funding,General,Wastewater — New York Rural Water @ 9:50 AM

Municipalities are encouraged to apply for funding under the Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grants program coordinated by DEC and the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation.  The grant is part of the NYS Regional Economic Development Councils Consolidated Funding Application (CFA).

Up to $2 million will be available for engineering reports for municipalities that need to construct or improve their municipal wastewater system.  Individual grants will be up to $100,000 and municipalities must provide a 20% match.

Download the Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant Request for Applications or the New York State Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) 2015 Regional Council Guidebook for program details.  CFA applications must be completed by July 31, 2015.

Older Posts »