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Current News/Information

New York Rural Water Association (NYRWA) is committed to keeping its members informed on important news and information regarding the rural water, wastewater, and solid waste industries. In addition, we are determined to promote the effective exchange of knowledge between systems. If you have any news or information you would like to share with your fellow systems, please e-mail us: nyrwa@nyruralwater.org and we will post it on this page.

 

Revised May 14, 2010

 

Village of Canajoharie Voted Best Drinking Water in New York State
State winner moves on to national competition

Posted 5/14/2010

Drinking water from the Village of Canajoharie, NY beat out five challengers from throughout New York State in categories of taste, clarity, odor, and aftertaste to be named the “Best Drinking Water in New York State” by judges at an annual gathering of drinking water professionals in Saratoga Springs on April 21.

The sample from Canajoharie earned 107 points out of a possible 130 points from judges at the New York Section American Water Works Association’s annual conference. Bethpage Water District on Long Island, New York City, and Greenlawn Water District in Suffolk County tied for second through fourth place at 102 points each, the Village of Monroe (Orange County) earned 95 points, and Monroe County’s water came in sixth with 91 points.

All samples were scored on a scale of one to five in the areas of taste, odor, clarity, color, mouth feel, and aftertaste. Contestants were required to be AWWA utility members clear of state or federal drinking water violations during the calendar year prior to the competition. NYSAWWA judges included Joseph Mantua, incoming president of the national American Water Works Association; Dr. Connie Schreppel, NYSAWWA out-going chair; Manoj Ajmera, a consulting water engineer from New York’s Capital Region; and William Dowd, former restaurant critic for the Albany Times Union newspaper, blogger, and an expert in tasting wines and spirits.


TheVillage of Canajoharie Watershed, located in the Town of Ephratah in Fulton County, consists of a series of natural underground springs that flow into a containment area where it is then piped approximately 12 miles to the Filtration Plant.  The Slow Sand Filtration Plant was built in 2000 and has a capacity of filtering 1.5 million gallons per day.


Canajoharie now joins other state winners in Chicago in June at the American Water Works Association’s ACE10 annual conference and expo to compete in the “Best of the Best” drinking water contest.

 

Update on Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing

Posted 5/7/2010

NYSDEC Commissioner Grannis recently indicated that the NYSDEC anticipates finalizing its Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) for potential natural gas drilling activities in the Marcellus Shale formation and similar formations by fall 2010.  After the SGEIS is completed, Commissioner Grannis predicted that drilling could begin by spring or summer 2011.

 

Wastewater Energy Meeting Series

Posted 5/7/2010

The Environmental Facilities Corporation will join NYSERDA, NYPA, NYWEA, LIPA, and EPA to present the Wastewater/Energy Meeting Series. Presentations will address ways to reduce energy consumption at drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities. The Corporation will also highlight funding resources and opportunities for eco-friendly and energy-saving solutions at these facilities.

Scheduled Conference Dates:  May 11th: 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM  NYPA Headquarters, 123 Main Street, White Plains, NY
May 21st: 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM Farmingdale State University, Roosevelt Hall Little Theatre, 2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, NY 11735-1021
For more info and registration, go to http://www.nypa.gov/Waterconf/SavetheDate.html

 

 

Gas drilling made tougher around NYC, Syracuse water supplies

Posted: 4/23/2010

Taken from the Albany Times Union
Written by BRIAN NEARING, Staff writer


The likelihood of natural gas drilling within the New York City and Syracuse drinking water reservoir systems diminished when the state announced today it will require environmental reviews in those areas on a well-by-well basis, rather than rely on one-size-fits-all rules being created for the rest of the state.

Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis announced that the state will require environmental impact statements for every well drilling application received in the areas of the two cities' reservoir systems, which rely on unfiltered surface water for drinking.

Both systems currently are not required to have expensive filtering treatment plants for their water, something that Grannis said was too important to risk with a less-stringent environmental review.

DEC is considering new rules for gas drilling to handle the looming natural gas boom in the Marcellus Shale, an ancient underground rock formation that stretches from the Catskills through the Southern Tier and into the Allegheny Region and continues into Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

New York City officials, who had been pushing for an outright drilling ban around its Catskill reservoir system, welcomed the DEC decision.

"This recognizes that protecting New York's water supplies must be our top priority," said Michael Saucier, a spokesman for the city Department of Environmental Protection.

"Case-by-case environmental reviews must now be conducted as part of any plan to explore natural gas drilling in these watersheds, a requirement that recognizes the unique characteristics of the 2,000 square miles that support and protect our unfiltered water supply, and the potential danger posed to the watershed by high-volume hydrofracking and horizontal drilling," he said.

DEC's proposed rules, which have been under development for more than a year and are expected to be done by the end of the year, would allow drilling companies to meet general rules for their projects, without the requirement to file environmental reviews for every well.

Grannis said that New York City and Syracuse were not "getting special treatment" on gas drilling rules, but warranted stricter reviews because of their unique reliance on unfiltered surface water.

Deputy Commissioner Stuart Gruskin was careful to say that the measure was not the outright drilling ban, "clearly there are extra hurdles that a (drilling permit) applicant would have to overcome.

Drillers have filed 58 permit applications so far to use a new drilling technique, called hydrofracking, which relies on a mix of chemicals, sand and water to break apart gas-bearing rock formations deep underground. None of the applications are for the New York or Syracuse watersheds.

Energy companies are arguing that hydrofracking is safe, but drilling opponents point to water pollution problems in other states that allow hydrofracking, including Pennsylvania, Texas, Wyoming and Colorado.

 

Website champions NYC tap water

Posted: 4/23/2010

Next time you are surfing the web checkout this website www.tapdny.com . One enterprising New Yorker is giving the world’s best-known bottled water importers a run for their money. Craig Zucker filters, then bottles NYC tap water (Tap'd) right out of a city water main in Brooklyn and then sells the product for about $1.50 throughout the city. Why pay more for the likes of Perrier, Fiji, or Poland Spring when Tap’d is right, well, at the tap!

Best Wishes to Ron Trezpacz

Posted 4/16/2010

We would like to extend our best wishes to Ron Trezpacz, Superintendent with the Village of Franklinville.  Ron has decided to leave his position to move to Pennsylvania in order to be closer to his wife’s family, especially his mother in law who is experiencing some health related concerns.
Ron has been a true leader in Franklinville, and has done a remarkable job in upgrading both the water and wastewater systems in that village.  Ron will be missed by the employees and citizens alike.
Once again, we extend our appreciation for your efforts and wish you all the best as your life leads you in a new direction.  Best wishes!

Update on the 2010 CWSRF Intended Use Plan

Posted 4/2/2010

Amendment No. 1 to the FFY 2010 CWSRF Intended Use Plan is now available at http://www.nysefc.org.
Amendment No. 1 details the additional subsidization (grants) available via the FFY 2010 CWSRF appropriation, and the selection criteria to determine projects that will receive these funds. The amendment also reflects:

  • An additional $15 million in resources from the FFY 2009 IUP
  • $25 million in capital released (from long-term investments) into the CWSRF program.

These funds will be available to finance projects during the FFY 2010 IUP financing period. To download the amendment, click here.

Written comments regarding Amendment No. 1 will be accepted by mail, e-mail, or fax until the close of business, Friday, April 9, 2010.

Comments should be addressed to:

David Morseman
Environmental Facilities Corp.
Division of Engineering and Program Management
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 12207-2997
Fax: (518) 402-7456
E-mail: iupcomments@nysefc.org

 

 

Congratulations to Don Booth from the Village of Wappingers

Posted: 4/2/2010
 
 After 35 years of service to the Village Mr. Booth has decided to move into the next phase of his life and leave behind the stress we all know to well that comes with being a Water Operator/Superintendent. Don worked in the Sewer department for the first 13 years with the Village and in 1987 transferred to the Water department and worked his way up to become their Superintendent. When I asked him what he felt were his most significant accomplishments throughout his career, I was not surprised to hear his modest answers. Although he was there when new wells and upgrades to the filter plant were done, he thought his work in bringing the Village's Water Distribution System up to par and installing a new 12" water main under Route 9 were among his best accomplishments. I have had the pleasure of working with Don for the seemingly short time that I have been with our Association and found him to both be a professional in his field and a gentleman. He has been a long time supporter of our Association. I'm sure the loss of his knowledge will be felt by the Village in the years to come as he joins the ranks of our many other retiring Operators across our state. Here's wishing you all the best in whatever life has to offer you in your future. 

Submitted by: Rich Winters

 

Clean Water & Drinking Water SRF Update

Posted: 3/26/2010

The Environmental Facilities Corporation is launching the State Revolving Fund (SRF) Sustainability Initiative- a new strategic planning effort that will enhance the Corporation’s ability to use the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRFs to promote smart growth, reduce energy use, and improve asset management.

For more information on the SRF Sustainability Initiative, please visit EFC’s website at www.nysefc.org/SRFSustainability.

 

 

 

Bottle Law Expansion

Posted 3/19/2010

Did you know that New York State's Bottle law, originally enacted in 1982, was expanded as part of the 2009-2010 State Budget to include a refundable five-cent deposit on bottled water.  Over the past two decades, single-serving bottled water has become increasingly popular.  Although water bottle containers are generally recyclable, only a small portion of them actually are recycled, with the substantial majority using up disposal capacity or littering our communities.  Studies have shown that because of the enhanced incentive to return them, deposit containers are recycled at a much higher rate than non-deposit containers.  A study by the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, found that the recycling rate for plastic bottles with a deposit was 77 percent versus 16 percent for those without a deposit.  The county had similar findings for aluminum cans (83 percent deposit vs. 13 percent non-deposit) and glass bottles (95 percent vs. 32 percent).  Furthermore, a 207 New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) survey found that non-deposit containers made up 61 percent of beverage container litter volume although they only represent about 30 percent of beverage containers by market share. 

Bottled water costs up to $6 per gallon, but tap water generally costs no more than a half-cent per gallon and meets equally, if not more, rigorous testing requirements.  In addition, bottled water has other costs including substantially greater use of energy and other natural resources.

 

Happy Retirement to Norman Moon

Posted 2/26/2010

Many of us folks around New York State know of an outstanding individual from Randolph and East Randolph down in Cattaraugus County by the name of Norman (Norm) Moon. Well, after many years of dedicated, selfless service to the water and wastewater industry Norm has decided to turn in his curb stop key and meter book! He was the safety officer and drove school bus as well as other community service endeavors. We have enjoyed his warm friendship for some time now and will indeed miss his bright smile. Give him a quick buzz at 716-490-0065 and wish him well if you would. Norm, a tip of the New York Rural Water Association hat to you sir with a big Thank You for your years of service! Here’s wishing you sunshine, happiness, good health, and most of all my friend: God Speed!  Dan, Circuit Rider.

P.S. Who’s gonna keep those old piston pumps running?

 

 

Happy Retirement to Cliff and Valerie Feldman

Posted 2/24/2010

After owning and operating the Crystal Water Co. in West Valley for 48 years,  Cliff and Valerie Feldman have decided to retire, well, sort of.  They will still stay on to assist the new owners with the transition, and will still be operating their excavation business as well.

The Feldman’s plan to travel and visit their children and grandchildren who are scattered across the country.

From all of us here at New York Rural Water, we wish you both a very happy and healthy retirement, and thank you for your many years of dedicated service.

 

 

EFC Allocates the Entire ARRA Funding

Posted 2/23/2010

NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) President and C.E.O. Matthew J. Driscoll joined EPA Deputy Regional Administrator George Pavlou to mark the one year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) at the Westcott Reservoir in Syracuse, New York.

Over the past year, EFC has selected and contracted 80 clean and 30 drinking water quality projects, successfully allocating the Corporation’s entire $519 million in ARRA funding by the February 17th deadline.

 

 

New treatment system means cleaner water from Skaneateles Lake

Posted 2/12/2010

The villages of Jordan and Elbridge and town of Elbridge expect to have a shared ultraviolet system in operation this summer to treat the drinking water they receive from Skaneateles Lake.

The system will bring the municipalities into compliance with an Environmental Protection Agency rule intended to control cryptosporidium, giardia lamblia and other parasites and viruses that can cause severe intestinal problems and, in some cases, death.

The ultraviolet treatment system will kill any parasites and viruses in the water.
Syracuse, the villages of Jordan, Elbridge and Skaneateles, and the town of Elbridge all face the mandate to treat water drawn from the lake even though federal regulators say the water is so pure it does not need to be filtered.

The EPA is requiring all large water systems across the country that have been granted waivers from filtering their water to meet the guidelines.
The lake supplies drinking water to more than 200,000 water users, including 160,000 in Syracuse. Each public water system must treat the water entering its own system by March 31, 2012.

The villages of Jordan and Elbridge and the town of Elbridge share a water pipeline, so the three communities are building a shared treatment facility on Kingston Road just north of Route 321.

The project is expected to cost about $922,000 to build and $7,000 to $8,000 annually to operate, Elbridge Mayor Henry A. Doerr said.

The two villages and the town have received $600,000 from the state – $200,000 to each village and the town – to pay for the treatment plant to serve all three communities, Doerr said. The villages also received $90,000 each through Onondaga County’s Community Development Program for the project. He said construction should be completed by the end of June and the system in operation within weeks after that.
The villages of Jordan, Elbridge and Skaneateles have applied for federal stimulus money to help pay for the project, but none has heard whether they will received any aid from Washington.

 

 

Water System Improvements Begin at Chaffee Water Works

Posted 2/12/2010

Construction has begun in Chaffee to replace the entire water distribution system.  By spring of 2010, a new well and treatment/pressure facility will also be constructed, completing the renovation of the aging water system.  The cost of the project is $797,000.00, with $400K from 0% financing and $397K coming from stimulus grant monies.

Chaffee Water Works is located in southern Erie County and supplies water through roughly 100 service connections.  The funding and approval process for this work has been in the works for the past 5 years.

Congratulations to all in Chaffee.

 

 

Upcoming EFC Training Opportunities.

Posted 2/5/2010

The Environmental Finance Center of Syracuse University has several training upcoming seminars that every elected official should consider attending. More information can be found at www.syracusecoe.org.
 
Technical Assistance Partnership Forum: Green Building Innovations
February 25, 2010; 10am-2pm
Syracuse Center of Excellence, 727 E. Washington St., Syracuse NY.
This program will include a tour of the new Syracuse Center of Excellence building and its green innovations. The program will also include funding and policy updates from the USDA RD, and NYS EFC. New NYS EFC President Matt Driscoll invited to attend.
 
Smart Management for Small Communities:
Practical Resources for Governance
April 20-22, 2010
;
Minnowbrook Conference Center, Blue Mountain Lake,NY.

Continuing in the EFC tradition, our annual two-day conference at Minnowbrook Conference Center in Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondacks will be focused on the needs of municipal leaders and will provide technical assistance, funding updates and practical skill-building sessions.
Pricing for the conference is all inclusive (3 meals a day, lodging, programming). Rates are $250 for municipal leaders and community representatives and $495 for Technical Assistants, agency representatives, engineers and consultants. All lodging will be double occupancy; if you have particular needs or a roommate request, please let us know via the registration form.

 

Free Access to WaterISAC Pro

Posted 1/28/2010

Current WaterISAC Pro subscribers are encouraged to tell colleagues in
their organizations about this offer of 12 months of free access.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is sponsoring free 12-month
subscriptions to WaterISAC Pro for:
  

U.S. drinking water and wastewater utilities; U.S. state and federal government departments/agencies with jurisdiction over drinking water or wastewater, water resources, homeland security, and emergency management and response; and
U.S. water and wastewater utility industry associations.


To read more and subscribe go to http://www.waterisac.org

 

 

 

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces $116 Millon For Rrural Water Projects

Posted 1/22/2010

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of $116.9 million in water and environmental project loans and grants that are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. To Read the rest of the article please click here.

 

Flushing Hydrants

Posted 1/15/2010


A Flushing hydrant is a hydrant that is used for flushing a water line of silt, rust, debris, or stagnant water. Many water utilities use standard fire hydrants for flushing their lines. Specialized flushing hydrants are often smaller and less expensive than a fire hydrant to reduce cost where fire fighting use is not needed or practical. Flushing hydrants typically only have one outlet in contrast to fire hydrants which normally have two or three. Flushing hydrants are commonly installed at the end of dead end water lines.
They come in many shapes and forms from several different manufacturers. You must be sure to ask for a model that will function in the environment you plan to install it in. For some applications you can save money by installing a manually operated unit, but for year round flushing requirements an automatic model would be your best choice.
All automatic models are programmable to attain your desired flushing needs and have either an atmospheric or direct-discharge outlet. The atmospheric discharge units flush water onto a built-in splash pad where it is diffused. These models employ an air gap to prevent backflow. The directed-discharge style units route the flushed water into a sanitary sewer, storm drain, or retention pond, through a discharge line. Depending on the model selected, the directed-discharge models offer either an air gap, an RPZ backflow preventer or a pressure vacuum breaker for backflow prevention. 

 

NY Water, Sewer Upgrades will Cost Billions

Posted 1/8/2009

Tens of thousands of miles of aging sewer and water treatment systems need extensive repairs and upgrades that could cost New York billions in the next two decades, an expensive undertaking even with the help of federal stimulus funding, according to state officials. To read the rest of this article, please click here.

 

Your Stimulus Dollars Working Across New York State

Posted 12/18/2009

EFC Acting President Matthew Millea today presented a ceremonial check for $4.6 million in Federal Stimulus funds to the City of Plattsburgh in Clinton County to mark the start of construction on the City’s clean water project. The City will close the Akey Road Municipal Landfill in a safe, environmentally-sensitive way by constructing an impermeable landfill membrane liner and a groundwater interceptor trench. This project will protect local groundwater resources and save City taxpayers and estimated $2.9 million.

 

 

Condolenses to the Lane Family

Posted 12/10/2009

On November 4, 2009, Trooper David Lane was killed in an automobile accident while on patrol in the Town of Catskill.  Trooper Lane had served with the New York State Police for four years and was assigned to the Catskill Station.  He had previously served with the United States Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Trooper David Lane was originally from Dexter, NY where his parents reside.  David's father, Steve Lane, is a long time member of the New York Rural Water Association from the Village of Dexter. Steve Lane is the Water Operator and recently retired DPW Superintendent for the Village of Dexter, and now serves as the Village Administrator. Trooper Lane’s mother, Cheryl Lane, was recently elected as the Jefferson County Clerk. Our sincere sympathy goes out to the Lane family in their time of sorrow.  Please keep Steve and Cheryl in your thoughts and prayers.

 

 

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FROM NYRWA

Posted 12/7/2009

Do you have someone moving on to college?  Need Money?  How about our scholarship program to help with the cost.  All system member school district children are eligible to apply for the 5 regional scholarships that NYRWA distributes in the spring/summer for the Fall 2010 semester.  Each scholarship is worth $500.00 to help defray the cost of tuition, books, or room & board at an accredited institution of higher learning approved by the New York Rural Water Association.  We ask our system members to bring our scholarship application to their local school district guidance and let them know that students within their system are eligible for this scholarship, it's a member benefit.  Guidance can make copies of the application and distribute to the students. 

The scholarship can also be downloaded from this website at  http://www.nyruralwater.org/downloads/files/ScholarshipApp.pdf so anyone can apply by downloading, printing, and submitting.  We will verify that they are part of the member system (village, town, city). 

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 or 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, include their transcripts, and return it to the NYRWA by the entry postmark deadline, March 19, 2010.  For more information, please read the official rules posted on the Scholarship Application. 

 

 

Governor Paterson Announces Second Major Influx of Aid to Communities for Protecting Water Infrastructure

Posted 11/14/2009

Governor David A. Paterson today hailed the signing of an EPA appropriations bill that includes a dramatic increase in aid to local communities for water infrastructure projects. These projects will address looming infrastructure needs – reversing the trend of steep declines in federal aid that had jeopardized communities’ ability to protect public health, lakes, streams and rivers.

President Obama signed the appropriations bill on Friday, which approved $2.1 billion for Clean Water State Revolving Loan Funds (CWSRF) across the nation, along with another $1.38 billion for Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds (DWSRF). Based on the traditional federal funding formulas, New York will receive $228.9 million for clean water and $88.6 million for drinking water.

 

 

DEC COMMISSIONER ANNOUNCES INITIATIVE TO UPDATE CLEAN WATER FUNDING PROGRAMS

Posted 11/12/2009

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced that the Agency is working with the Environmental Facilities Corporation to update the scoring system used to select applications to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Communities across the State will benefit from new incentives, such as: Support smart growth and wise land use planning, ensuring that a proposed project maximizes existing infrastructure and is consistent with local land use plans; implement asset management planning that encourages ongoing maintenance; and utilize the most energy efficient technologies possible.

 

NYSERDA Opens Second Round of State Energy Plan Funding

Posted 11/6/2009

NYSERDA announces the availability of more than $49 million through the second round of RFP 1613 , Project Implementation funding from the State Energy Program.  RFP 1613 has a competitive application process and funds will be awarded based on the value of the project.  Eligible proposers include municipal governments, public K-12 schools, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), public universities or colleges, public and private hospitals, and non-profit organizations.  Each proposed project must fall into one of the following categories: energy efficiency; renewable energy; or alternative fuel vehicles. Each applicant will be eligible to receive funding up to 100% of the project cost with a limit of $1,000,000 per applicant.  Applications are due by 5pm on November 23, 2009.  Eligible proposers that applied to RFP 1613 in Round 1 and did not receive funding are encouraged to modify their application and re-apply through the second round.  Application support services are available - contact Amy Santos at santosa@pirnie.com for more information.

 

Chesapeake Energy Not to Drill for Natural Gas in the New York City Watershed

Posted 11/2/2009

On October 28, 2009, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, one of the largest natural gas producers in the country, confirmed that it has no intention of drilling natural gas wells within the New York City watershed.  Chesapeake’s CEO commented that “….. that the concern for drilling in the watershed has become a needless distraction from the larger issues of how we can safely and effectively develop the natural gas reserves that underlie various counties in the Southern Tier of New York and create high-quality green jobs in the Southern Tier and throughout the state. Our research has shown we are the only leasehold owner in the New York City watershed, and so Chesapeake is uniquely positioned to take this issue off the table and allow the discussion to proceed constructively on natural gas development in the Southern Tier.”

 

Going Green in Cooperstown

Posted 11/2/2009

EFC Acting President Matthew Millea today announced $245,000 in Green Innovation Grant funding to the Village of Cooperstown in Otsego County. The installation of new, energy-efficient equipment at their wastewater treatment plant will allow the Village to redirect the facility's effluent to reconstructed wetlands on the site, saving local taxpayers an estimated $30,000 in operational and maintenance costs and allowing for cleaner discharges into the Susquehanna River.

 

 

Richfield Springs Upgrades Wastewater Treatment Plant

Posted 10/28/2009

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that the Village of Richfield Springs in Otsego County will receive $5.4 million in clean water funding for energy-efficient and “green” upgrades to its wastewater treatment facility. The funding, which includes a $4 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will also pay for the Village to renovate sections of its outdated sewer system, saving local taxpayers an estimated $5 million in avoided interest and energy costs and improving the water quality of the Canadarago Lake.

 

 

More Stimulus Projects Being Funded

Posted 10/9/2009

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that the City of Middletown in Orange County will receive $17 million in grant funding from the Federal stimulus program for upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant. The $36.4 million project will modernize and expand the City’s 80 year-old treatment facility, reducing energy costs for local taxpayers and improving the water quality of the Wallkill River. 

 

NYSDEC Releases Environmental Impact Statement For Natural Gas Shale Drilling

Posted 10/2/2009

On September 30, 2009, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) released a draft of its Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) regarding natural gas drilling activities in the Marcellus Shale formation and other similar low permeability formations.

The SGEIS focuses on the potential impacts associated with developing natural gas out of shale using horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing.  It formulates pre-drilling, drilling, and post-drilling measures, standards, and strategies that gas operators would have to follow to in order to get permits.  These permits would specifically be to drill, deepen, plug back or convert wells for horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale and other similar geologic formations.

The SGEIS is available on the NYSDEC website.  Public comments will be accepted through e-mail, regular mail, direct online submissions, or at public-information sessions until November 30.  NYSDEC will soon announce the locations and times for public information sessions.

 

 

Controversial Gas Exploration Technique Could Be Contaminating Water Wells in Wyoming

Posted 9/21/2009

EPA sampling of Wyoming drinking water wells detected a chemical widely use in hydraulic fracturing -- a process of using fluids to break through rock to extract natural gas.  EPA released its results of water well sampling in WY showing drilling-related contaminants in 11 of 39 wells tested, including the chemical 2-butoxyethanol (2-BE), a known constituent in hydraulic fracturing fluids, in three of the 11 wells tested, as well as the presence of methane, diesel range organics and a type of hydrocarbon known as adamantanes.  Environmentalists say that the EPA results back their claims that fracking can lead to drinking water well contamination, while Region VIII says the results may help inform EPA headquarters as it determines how to move forward with their study review of the practice.  Gas industry officials counter that the Wyoming contamination could be caused by a host of other factors and question whether EPA will spend a lot of effort revisiting its 2005 study, which exonerated fracking and led to an exemption for the practice from SDWA rules. 

 

 

Pandemic Influenza Fact Sheet for the Water Sector

Posted 9/11/2009

EPA has published a “Pandemic Influenza Fact Sheet for the Water
Sector.”  Pandemic flu could affect the capability of water system
operators to operate and maintain their systems adequately due to
increased absenteeism at their systems and at other interdependent
sectors that provide essential materials and supplies.  The flu fact
sheet provides information to assist the water sector in
integrating pandemic planning into existing business continuity and
emergency response plans and reducing the risk to public health that
would be caused by disruption in operation of water systems.  In
addition to background information on pandemic flu, its potential
impacts, and possible interventions, the fact sheet provides references
to tools and guidance materials offered by EPA and
other organizations.

The fact sheet is available at:
http://cfpub.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/pandemicflu.cfm

 

 

Sackets Harbor Receives Clean Water Funding

Posted 9/11/2009

Governor Paterson and EFC are proud to announce $8 million in clean water funding for the Village of Sackets Harbor. The funding, which includes $2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will pay for the Village to construct a new energy-efficient wastewater treatment facility, reducing energy costs for local taxpayers and improving the water quality of Lake Ontario.

 

History Channel Special Raises Questions About Our Aging Infrastructure

Posted 9/4/2009

Do not miss the September showing of the History Channel special “The Crumbling of America”. The special airs on September 12th, 2009 at 5:00 pm and features startling footage of our decaying infrastructure. Massively leaking water and sewage systems are creating health hazards and contaminating our rivers and streams. The special also has some excellent footage of the NYC reservoir and aqueduct system.

 

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Over $175 Million for Rural Water Projects

Posted 8/28/2009

Recovery Act Funds Will Help Improve Infrastructure Across Rural America

WASHINGTON, August, 25, 2009 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of $175.8 million in water and environmental projects that are being funded immediately through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The projects will help provide safe drinking water and improved wastewater treatment for rural communities in 27 states. To date, USDA has announced $1.47 billion for water and environmental project loans and grants through ARRA, benefiting communities throughout the country.

“The Recovery Act water and wastewater projects we are announcing today support the Obama administration’s goal of rebuilding and revitalizing the nation’s rural infrastructure,” Vilsack said. “This funding will provide reliable drinking water and sanitary waste disposal while creating and saving jobs in rural America.”
The City of Granite Falls, Minn., for example, will receive an $8.1 million loan and a $6 million grant to replace their existing water treatment plant with a new, more efficient plant. The old plant was constructed in the 1920s and is situated on a floodplain. When flooding occurs, the citizens of Granite Falls are often without safe drinking water for weeks. The new plant will not only be built away from the floodplain, but will have the capacity to both accommodate the water usage of the current population and that of the future population, which is expected to increase. As a result of this project, local businesses and residents will be assured safe and reliable water every day and a healthier environment in which to live.

Meanwhile, the Village of Dryden, N.Y., will receive a $3.6 million loan and a $2.9 million grant to upgrade and rehabilitate their wastewater treatment plant, which has been overwhelmed due to heavy rains and has exceeded its discharge rate. The upgrades will protect local environmental resources such as Fall Creek and Virgil Creek from contamination. In addition, the installation of upgraded meters and other components will better serve Dryden’s residents well into the future, by improving operations and the long-term sustainability of the system.
The AARA funding announced today is being administered by USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program, which provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

More information about USDA Rural Development can be found at www.rurdev.usda.gov. Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.

Below is a complete list of award recipients for New York:

Village of Attica - $4,000,000 direct loan
Town of Byron (Cockram) - $121,000 direct loan and $32,300 grant
Town of Byron (Ivison) - $113,000 direct loan and $27,300 grant
Canastota Village - $100,000 direct loan and $2,900,000 grant
Cayuga County Water and Sewer Authority (Phase 2) - $1,019,000 direct loan and $2,570,600 grant
Cayuga County Water and Sewer Authority (Phase 4) - $1,549,000 direct loan and $3,107,000 grant
Village of Dryden - $3,636,000 direct loan and $2,972,000 grant
Town of Essex - $100,000 direct loan and $2,324,800 grant
Town of Fayette - $817,000 direct loan and $489,700 grant
Town of Marilla - $967,000 direct loan and $348,730 grant
Village of Newark Valley - $2,230,000 direct loan and $1,988,000 grant
Village of Sackets Harbor - $100,000 direct loan and $1,900,000 grant
Town of Varick - $597,000 direct loan and $357,300 grant

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation’s economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation’s infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

 

N.Y. Rural Water assists Forestville after floods

Posted 8/18/2009

Heavy rains filled the creeks around Forestville, N.Y. last week, flooding communities and knocking out water service. Technical experts from the New York Rural Water Association spent several days in the area, working to restore drinking water to the small community.

Forestville lost water when high water and debris jammed the drainage around the Cedar Street bridge.

“The floods washed trees, telephone poles and large rocks downstream,” said Jamie Herman, a training specialist with the New York Rural Water Association. “The flooding and debris broke a four-inch water main that passed under the creek bed, and erosion exposed another sizeable section of the main.”

A village press release reported that floods had washed out several roads and heavily damaged homes near the creek. Village officials placed strict restrictions on water use and issued a boil order until the system could be repaired. Leaks left the community’s water storage tanks half empty, and significant disinfection and testing would be required before the water was safe to drink.

“It's been devastating and tiring," said Forestville Mayor Richard Yeager. "We've been working and trying to help people." Herman and NYRWA Circuit Rider Dan Tousley began by trying to located and isolate the leaks to restore water pressure.
“The correlation efforts were difficult, due to the loss in water pressure,” Tousley explained. “It took several tempts, but we finally located the water main break under the creek, and a badly-damaged service line near the bridge.”

The rural water technicians worked with city crews to excavate the main near the bridge. After closing the service tap, the crews put valves into the main on both sides of the creek. Closing the valves restored water pressure to the village, and allowed utility staff to begin disinfecting the system. Those repairs immediately improved the water service to the community, and still left options for future repairs and expansion.
“We decided to use valves rather than mechanical joint caps to terminate the main to facilitate a future replacement of the creek crossing piping without service interruption,” Herman explained.

The team continued working on the service line. “We excavated and repaired the service line, bringing the system back to full capacity,” Tousley said.

The repairs were completed after two days of work, but the community would still be under a boil water order until the drinking water was tested for safety.

WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS PROGRAM

Posted 8/14/2009

Applications for the 2009 Water Quality Improvement Projects Program (Round 10) are now available. This year the application materials will not be mailed out. Visit the following website for the downloadable ‘Information for Applicants’ and the ‘Application for State Assistance Payments’: www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/56080.html New for this round include…Applicants can now apply for wastewater treatment improvement projects. Hardship funding is only available for wastewater treatment improvement projects. Smart Growth, Energy Efficiency, and Green Infrastructure may be eligible depending upon the type of project. If you need paper copies or have any questions, call (518) 402-8287.

 

 

The Truth About Bottled Water

Posted 8/10/2009

Taken from Men's Health
By David Zinczenko, with Matt Goulding

Imagine you’ve just been given a choice: You have to drink from one of two containers. One container is a cup from your own kitchen, and it contains a product that has passed strict state, federal and local guidelines for cleanliness and quality. Oh, and it’s free. The second container comes from a manufacturing plant somewhere, and its contents—while seemingly identical to your first choice—have not been subjected to the same strict national and local standards. It costs approximately four times more than gasoline. These products both look and taste nearly identical.

Which do you choose?

If you chose beverage A, congratulations: You just saved yourself a whole lot of money, and, perhaps, even contaminants, too. But if you picked beverage B, then you’ll be spending hundreds of unnecessary dollars on bottled water this year. Sure, bottled water is convenient, trendy, and may well be just as pure as what comes out of your tap. But it’s hardly a smart investment for your pocketbook, your body or our planet. Eat This, Not That! decided to take a closer look at what’s behind the pristine images and elegant-sounding names printed on those bottles.
 
You may actually be drinking tap water.
Case in point: Dasani, a Coca-Cola product. Despite its exotic-sounding name, Dasani is simply purified tap water that’s had minerals added back in. For example, if your Dasani water was bottled at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Philadelphia, you’re drinking Philly tap water. But it’s not the only brand of water that relies on city pipes to provide its product. About 25 percent of all bottled water is taken from municipal water sources, including Pepsi’s Aquafina.
 
Bottled water isn’t always pure.
Scan the labels of the leading brands and you see variations on the words “pure” and “natural” and “pristine” over and over again. And when a Cornell University marketing class studied consumer perceptions of bottled water, they found that people thought it was cleaner, with less bacteria. But that may not actually be true. For example, in a 4-year review that included the testing of 1,000 bottles of water, the Natural Resources Defense Council—one the country’s most ardent environmental crusaders—found that “about 22 percent of the brands we tested contained, in at least one sample, chemical contaminants at levels above strict state health limits.”
 
It’s not clear where the plastic container ends and the drink begins.
Turns out, when certain plastics are heated at a high temperature, chemicals from the plastics may leach into container’s contents. So there’s been a flurry of speculation recently as to whether the amounts of these chemicals are actually harmful, and whether this is even a concern when it comes to water bottles—which aren’t likely to be placed in boiling water or even a microwave. While the jury is still out on realistic health ramifications, it seems that, yes, small amounts of chemicals from PET water bottles such as antimony—a semi-metal that’s thought to be toxic in large doses—can accumulate the longer bottled water is stored in a hot environment. Which, of course, is probably a good reason to avoid storing bottled water in your garage for six months—or better yet, to just reach for tap instead.
 
Our country’s high demand for oil isn’t just due to long commutes.
Most water bottles are composed of a plastic called polyethylene terepthalate (PET). Now, to make PET, you need crude oil. Specifically, 17 million barrels of oil are used in the production of PET water bottles ever year, estimate University of Louisville scientists. No wonder the per ounce cost of bottled water rivals that of gasoline. What’s more, 86 percent of 30 billion PET water bottles sold annually are tossed in the trash, instead of being recycled, according to data from the Container Recycling Institute. That’s a lot of waste—waste that will outlive you, your children, and your children’s children. You see, PET bottles take 400 to 1000 years to degrade. Which begs the question: If our current rate of consumption continues, where will we put all of this discarded plastic?

 

 

EPA Report Available

Posted 7/31/2009

New York Rural Water Association recently completed a report for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entitled Digital Tax Maps and Real Property Data as a Source Protection Tool.  In this study, NYRWA developed a technical methodology to identify and assess potential risks to public water supplies utilizing real property data and associated digital tax parcel mapping.  NYRWA worked in two communities in order to demonstrate and evaluate the utility of digital tax mapping and real property data for source water assessment and protection.  These communities were the LeRay Water District #2 (Jefferson County) and the Village of Pulaski (Oswego County).  Maps of potential source water threats were developed based upon real property data and digital tax mapping.  If you are interested in learning more about this study, please contact Steve Winkley at 1-888-NYRURAL ext. 17 or Winkley@nyruralwater.org.

 

 

Obama Administration Names State Director for New York Rural Development

Posted 7/6/2009


On June 29, 2009, the Obama Administration asked Jill Harvey to serve as the New York State Director for Rural Development.  Jill Harvey will be an important advocate on behalf of ruralal communities and will help administer the valuable programs and services provided by the USDA that can enhance their economic success.

Harvey directed Senator Schumer's effort in the 10-county central region of New York for the last decade. She has experience coordinating FEMA and USDA relief for communities affected by summer droughts, ice storms, floods and snow storms. Harvey has 24 years of public service experience in community relations, public affairs, and legislative issues. While working as a Legislative Director for New York State Assembly member Alex Grannis for 9 years, she developed expertise on issues of statewide importance. Harvey holds a degree in social sciences and visual arts from SUNY College at Purchase. 

USDA Rural Development administers and manages over 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facility programs as laid out by Congress through a network of 6,100 employees located in 500 national, state and local offices.  These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.  Rural Development has an existing portfolio of over $114 billion in loans and loan guarantees.  The USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture and natural resources and touches the life of every American.  Reflecting President Obama's commitment to expanding economic opportunities in rural America, Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDA are working to enhance availability of broadband, promote the development of renewable energy, to conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment, and promote sustainable, safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply.

 

 

Village of Weedsport Awarded Grant

Posted 7/2/2009

The Village of Weedsport was recently awarded a $3.1 million grant and another $3.0 million zero interest loan for an upgrade to their wastewater facility. The major part of the upgrade will be a new SBR plant. Also facilities will be included to increase DO before discharge.

 

 

 

NYRWA is actively seeking vendors and attendees for our 2nd Annual NYRWA Equipment Expo!

If you are employed by or sell products to either Municipal or Non-Municipal Water Treatment Plants, Wastewater Treatment Plants, or DPW’s. We would like to encourage you to attend our 2nd Annual NYRWA Equipment Expo that will be held September 17th, 2009 at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY. Registration for vendors is currently available online at our website (www.nyruralwater.org ). Attendee registration will begin soon. Do not miss this opportunity to see the latest products, get valuable training credits, and participate in our operator challenges.

Remember the date, September 17th, 2009 at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck, NY.

 

 

SSO Abatement Guidelines

Posted 6/8/2009

The NYSDEC is preparing guidelines for sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) abatement. These guidelines will assist communities in the abatement of their SSO's. Part of an SSO abatement program will probably consist of a Capacity Management Operation and Maintenance (CMOM) plan. While not yet a Federal requirement, CMOM is a good idea. It ties into asset management, as well as routine operation and maintenance of your collection system. Don't wait for the consent order. Search "CMOM" on the internet or contact us at (518) 828-3155.

 

ARRA Circuit Riders to Assist Communities with Funding

Posted 6/4/2009

NYRWA has hired two American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Circuit Riders to provide assistance to communities in completing the application process for RUS Loan/Grants.  This is a great opportunity for communities with projects shovel ready and for those communities wishing to seek funding that have not already applied. These ARRA Circuit Riders will work along side of water and wastewater utility system personnel to move the process along and to see projects come to completion. 

They will begin work on June 12, 2009 and will be available through October 31, 2010.  It is our plan to have Liz Tedford cover the northern and eastern portion of the state and George Von Pless to cover the central to western part of New York.  If you are interested in assistance, please contact NYRWA on our toll free line at 1-888-697-8725 and ask for Liz Tedford at extension 19 or George Von Pless at extension 23.  Please consider taking advantage of this 17 month program, it may be your opportunity to get those long overdue infrastructure repairs, replacements, and special projects funded.

 

 

 

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES $615.8 MILLION FOR RURAL WATER PROJECTS
Recovery Act Funds Will Help Strengthen Rural Economies and Create Jobs

Posted 5/11/2009

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2009 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of more than $615.8 million in water and environmental projects that are being funded immediately with federal funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The projects will help provide safe drinking water and improved wastewater treatment systems for rural towns and communities in 34 states.
"Aging water and waste infrastructure systems threaten the ability of rural communities to provide clean, reliable drinking water to residents and protect precious environmental resources." said Vilsack. "These investments will help bring increased economic benefits to rural America by providing needed water, water systems and creating jobs."
The funding announced today will be allocated to 193 projects and create or save an estimated 12,385 jobs. They are the first of many projects that will receive Recovery Act funds to improve rural water and waste disposal systems.
USDA Rural Development's Water and Environmental Program provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas. More information about USDA rural Development can be found at www.rurdev.usda.gov. Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.
More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov.
Below is the only Village in NY to receive this first round of funding at this time.

Village of Cassadaga $5,000,000

 

 

WARN Poster

Posted 5/7/2009

The Water Security Division has recently published a new publication
entitled "Mutual Aid and Assistance in the Water Sector".  This Poster
describes mutual aid and assistance in the water sector, how and why it
works, who supports it, and where to find additional resources.  The
poster can also be printed for display (up to 4’ X 6’), or as a handout
(8.5 X 11), at conferences and other events.  The poster can be
downloaded here.

 

 

National Drinking Water Week

Posted 5/1/2009

Since 1988, the first full week of every May has been officially designated as National Drinking Water Week.  This year, National Drinking Water Week is from May 3 to May 9.  It is part of a campaign to increase the public’s awareness about the vital role water plays in our daily lives and to remind everyone of the importance of the work that their local water professionals perform.  During this week, water utilities are encouraged to communicate to their customers by holding open houses, hosting tours, organizing an adopt-a-hydrant program, doing school presentations, sponsoring coloring contests, or even organizing area clean-ups.

 

 

First Round Approved-SRF Economic Recovery Projects

Posted 4/24/2009


The NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation has approved the first Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) projects to release the American recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.  NYS will receive $432 million for the Clean Water SRF.  Green Innovation Grants are part of this economic stimulus funding.  Green infrastructure projects include water efficiency, reuse or conservation, energy efficiency, green wet weather infrastructure, and environmental innovation. For information and grant application documents, visit www.nysefc.org, then click on ‘SRF Economic Recovery Program’ or call 800-882-9721.       

 

Municipal Technology Fact Sheets

Posted 3/31/2009

These USEPA wastewater management technology fact sheets cover a variety of topics including CSO treatment, storm water, disinfection, biological treatment, water efficiency, decentralized systems, collection system O&M, bio solids, wastewater, and energy management.  The facts sheets typically include an introduction to the process, physical/chemical/biological reactions, design features, operational aspects, costs, and references.  Visit the following website for the complete list of downloadable fact sheets: http://www.epa.gov/owm/mtb/mtbfact.htm     

 

 

ASDWA Small Water System Tools Survey

Posted 3/2/2009

The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) is conducting a survey of small water system service providers, owners, and operators to assess the usefulness of selected guidance documents developed by EPA. The survey contains 13 questions and should take 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

For additional information or questions about this survey, please contact:

NHDES, Cynthia.Klevens@des.nh.gov or (603) 271-3108 or
NYDOH, Joseph Moloughney at (518) 402-7652, jmm29@health.state.ny.us

To take the survey, please click here.

 

NESC Develops Free PSAs
Public Service Announcements Aid Community Water Protection

Posted 2/24/2009

Morgantown, W.Va.— The National Environmental Services Center at WVU announces the availability of three video public service announcements (PSAs) about the importance of septic system maintenance to the homeowner, the environment and water quality. Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the PSAs reflect NESC’s ongoing commitment to effective wastewater treatment and source water
protection.

Presented in a humorous light, each brief video drives home the message that homeowners can safeguard our drinking water through proper septic tank operation and maintenance.

 “As many as one-fourth of all new houses in the U.S. have septic or other onsite systems to treat their wastewater,” says Gerald Iwan, Ph.D., NESC’s executive director. “Therefore, proper maintenance of
these systems to prevent costly failures makes particular economic sense today, as well as being an important component to protecting source water quality and the public health. Because we live in a visual age and many, many people get information from television and the Web, it just makes sense to help spread the message through these PSAs.”

NESC encourages communities to freely use these brief PSAs as part of a public awareness campaign to protect source water. View and download at:   http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/subpages/psa.cfm

 

Final Numbers are in on the Stimulus

Posted 2/16/2009

Clean Water Act State Revolving Funds in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are in and based on the information we have received the $4 B in federal funding to the Clean Water Act SRF will result in New York State receiving $440,398,343.00.

Here are the results from the Economic Recovery Legislation as of 2/13/09:
$1.38 billion for USDA grants and loans
$2.0 billion for SDWA SRF
$4.0 billion for CWA SRF

Key provisions for the SRF funding - no state match, 1% set-aside for EPA management, EPA to reallocate funds not under contract or construction within 12 months, 50% of funding to be used for grants, limitation on refinancing existing debt, etc.

 

 

WELLSVILLE AWARDED NYS ARCHIVES GRANT

Posted 2/5/2009

Village of Wellsville Dept. of Public Works Director William Whitfield announced last week that the village had received a $21,000 grant from the NYS Archives to be used for water meter upgrades.  The village currently employs generator type remote water meters and will use the funding to begin the conversion to radio read technology.  Mr. Whitfield stated he plans to use the funding to begin upgrading the meters installed in their Main St. business district because they are typically the hardest meters in which to gain access.

Congratulations to the Village of Wellsville and thanks to NYS Archives for their continued support of NYS municipalities.

 

NYPA Offers Energy Efficiency Program

Posted 1/30/2008

The NY Power Authority (NYPA) offers an energy efficiency program aimed at reducing energy costs and energy usage at wastewater treatment facilities across NYS. NYPA has had successful energy conservation projects at facilities in Oneida and Monroe Counties and the Town of Canajoharie. The program requires no out-of-pocket costs or expenses to participants, as the installation and construction costs are paid for using the savings generated from the upgrades in the energy efficient equipment. NYPA finances the projects, recovering its costs by sharing in the resulting electric bill savings. NYPA technicians have found some of the best measures for upgrade include installing premium efficiency motors, DO sensors, variable speed drives, boiler plant improvements, building automation and controls and high efficiency lighting. For more information, visit www.nypa.gov or call 518-433-6734.

 

Governor Patterson chooses Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton.

Posted 1/26/2009

In a surprise move Governor David Patterson has chosen a Congresswoman from Upstate, specifically the Upper Hudson Valley, to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as New York State Senator. Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand of the 20th Congressional District was surprised and delighted to become New York States latest junior Senator. Gillibrand was chosen over Andrew Cuomo after Caroline Kennedy withdrew from consideration. Senator Gillibrand’s pro-NRA views should delight upstate New York voters.

 

 

Think Spring

Posted 1/21/2009

Even though it's bitter cold outside right now, it is the time to start thinking about the warmer weather. And smoke testing. If you are thinking of smoke testing this year, please contact Steve Grimm at (518) 828-3155 soon so we can put you on the calendar. There are still prime spots available, but don't hesitate, they fill up fast. Call today!

 

 Check Out This New Water Conservation Technology:
 
Posted 1/14/2009
                     
 AMR/AMI & System leak Detection
Badger Meter has teamed up with a leader in the leak detection industry, Fluid Conservation Systems Inc. to make water main leak detection an integral part of everyday meter reading.
 
How It Works:
 
   - The loggers monitor the water mains during the night time hours when the system is in its most "Quiet" state.
   - If the sensor senses a nearby water leak (acoustic vibration) in the main, it sends this data to the connected Badger transmitter, which in turn broadcasts this leak data in its reading field.
   - Normally a leak is picked up between two loggers, which allows the utility to understand the general vicinity of the leak. (Leak Surveying)
 
General Deployment Info:
 
Suggested separation distances vary by pipe material -
 
   - Steel / Iron: 500 - 1,000 Feet
   - Asbestos Cement: 500 - 1,000 Feet
   - PVC / Plastic: 150 - 250 Feet
 
Contact your local Badger Sales Representative for more details and pricing. This product may also qualify for the Archives Grant funding program. 

 

Preparng for a Potential Federal Stimulus/Recovery Program - are you ready?

Posted 12/23/2008

Is your community on  the Intended Use Plan (IUP)?  If you are, that's great.  If you are not, you need to be.  This potential Federal Stimulus Program will help communities with new construction projects, hard construction projects, upgrades and replacements.  This does not include refinancing.  The intent is to invest in creating jobs and this is a once in a generation opportunity.  New York's share should be significant and we all need to be ready to move quickly. 

Anyone not on the Intended Use Plan will not be considered.  The 1st Round of funding will be existing communities on the IUP above the funding line.  If you are not one of those communities you need to contact either Dave Miller at the USDA, Rural Development Office at (315) 477-6427 or Dwight Brown at the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation at 518-402-7438.  They can answer your questions as to what you need to do to get on the Intended Use Plan before March 1, 2009.  Act Now!!

 

 

Congratulations

Posted 12/20/2008

Congratulations to Robert Holtz from the Village of Alden who retired after a long career on December 19, 2008. Enjoy your retirement Robert!

 

Bottled Water Blues

Posted 12/10/2008

Have you considered the cost for the convenience of bottled water?  According to Business Week (June 2008), bottled water is more than three times expensive as gasoline - $12 per gallon.  On the other hand, New York City tap water is estimated to cost approximately 49 cents per year for 8 glasses of tap water per day.  City officials estimate that an equivalent amount of bottled water would cost roughly $1400/year, an increase of 2,900 times.

Bottled water is expensive.  While the water contained in the water bottles does undergo testing for contaminants, such testing occurs less than most municipal water supplies.

The environmental impacts of bottled water include:  In New York only 20% of plastic bottles purchased are recycled; massive amounts of greenhouse gases are produced in the plastic bottle manufacturing process, further contributing to global warming; the energy required to make water bottles in the US is equivalent to 17 million barrels of oil annually.  In New York, that translates to 66 million gallons of gasoline, enough to power 120,000 automobiles for a year.  Also millions of gallons of fuel are used each day transporting bottled water long distances, sometimes around the world; and it requires 3 times as much water to make the bottle a it does to fill it.

Clean glass or stainless steel bottles that are filled at home are one alternative to individually packaged containers of water or other beverages.  An important step to eliminate much of the waste associated with bottled water will be to reduce the public perception of bottled water as "better" than tap water.  Municipalities and even the Federal government are moving to fill this information gap.  New York City has initiated an advertising campaign that stresses the safety and cost effectiveness of city tap water, and New York City officials have announced they will stop buying bottled water for City Council events and city functions. 

The NYS Assembly has moved to take the water bottles out of the waste stream by including them in the scope of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill.  This legislation (A.8044-A), would make water bottles and other non-carbonated beverage containers subject to bottle deposits and the recycling stream.  This bill passed the Assembly in 2008, but has not yet passed the Senate.

This information was provided from the Legislative Commission of Water Resource Needs of New York State and Long Island.

 

 

STATE CIRCUIT RIDER PROGRAM UP AND RUNNING AGAIN

Posted 12/3/2008

The NYRWA has once again received an award from the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Water Supply Protection to continue our services through our State Circuit Rider Program Contract.  Morris Coolidge and Mike Batz are once again providing on-site technical assistance and training to the small systems of New York State.  Some of the types of assistance available are asset management; compliance or violation issues; operational issues; maintenance issues; distribution system issues; line locating; leak detection; emergency response planning; operator training; reporting assistance; sampling assistance; flow testing; flushing plans; etc.  If you are in need, please call our toll free number at 1-888-697-8725 and ask for Mike or Morris. 

We wish to thank the NYSDOH for this great opportunity to help serve the communities of New York State.

 

 

 

MEETINGS ON NATURAL GAS DRILLING

Posted 11/10/2008

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has announced that it will be holding a series of public meetings throughout the Catskills and Southern Tier regions regarding the potential environmental impacts of horizontal well drilling for natural gas. During these meetings, the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on NYSDEC’s recently released draft scope of the potential environmental impacts of high-volume hydraulic fracturing of horizontal wells in New York's natural gas-bearing Marcellus and Utica shale formations. This document is available online at http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/47554.html.

The schedule for meetings is as follows: November 6: Allegany-Limestone High School, Allegany; November 12: Haverling High School Auditorium, Bath; November 13: Southside High School Auditorium, Elmira; November 17: Broome County Community College, West Gym, Binghamton; December 2: SUNY/Oneonta, Hunt Union Ballroom, Oneonta; and December 4: Sullivan County Community College, Fieldhouse, Loch Sheldrake. Each meeting location listed will open at 4:30 p.m., with the formal meeting beginning at 5:15 p.m. Brief remarks by NYSDEC staff will be followed by public comments starting at 6 p.m

DHCR Announces Availability of Community Planning Funds

Posted 10/29/2008

Deborah VanAmerongen, Commissioner of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), announced the availability of $500,000 in NYS Community Development Block Grant (NYS CDBG) funding to help municipalities with community planning.

Eligible non-entitlement cities, towns, villages, and counties in New York State can receive up to $25,000 to identify community development challenges and needs and establish a strategy to address them.

Funding is available through NYS CDBG Community Planning Program and is administered through DHCR's Office of Community Renewal (OCR). The application kit is available on the OCR web site, www.nysocr.org or at the Office of Community Renewal, Hampton Plaza, 38-40 State Street, 9th Floor, Albany, NY 12207. For questions regarding the Community Planning Program, please contact 518-474-2057.

Commissioner VanAmerongen said, "These grants can help municipalities take the all-important first step in prioritizing and addressing the most pressing needs in their communities."

Applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered no later than November 21, 2008. If hand-delivered, applications must be received by OCR no later than 4:00 p.m.

 

Red Flag Rule Compliance Date Extended 6 Months

Posted 10/29/2008

Given the confusion and uncertainty within major industries under the FTC’s jurisdiction about the applicability of the rule, and the fact that there is no longer sufficient time for members of those industries to develop their programs and meet the November 1 compliance date, the Commission believes that immediate enforcement of the rule on November 1 would be neither equitable for the covered entities nor beneficial to the public. Delaying Commission enforcement of the rule as to the entities under its jurisdiction by six months, until May 1, 2009, will allow these entities to take the appropriate care and consideration in developing and implementing their programs. It also will give the Commission time to conduct additional education and outreach regarding the rule.

For the news release and text of the enforcement policy, visit:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/10/redflags.shtm

 

Mercury Testing

Posted 10/28/2008

Please take note that when testing for low level mercury at the wastewater treatment facility you must use Method 1631 and no longer Method 245. Please check with your DEC region if you have any questions.

 

 

DHCR ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF COMMUNITY PLANNING FUNDS

Posted 10/22/2008

Deborah VanAmerongen, Commissioner of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), announced the availability of $500,000 in NYS Community Development Block Grant (NYS CDBG) funding to help municipalities with community planning.

Eligible non-entitlement cities, towns, villages, and counties in New York State can receive up to $25,000 to identify community development challenges and needs and establish a strategy to address them.

Funding is available through NYS CDBG Community Planning Program and is administered through DHCR's Office of Community Renewal (OCR). The application kit is available on the OCR website, www.nysocr.org or at the Office of Community Renewal, Hampton Plaza, 38-40 State Street, 9th Floor, Albany, NY 12207. For questions regarding the Community Planning Program, please contact 518-474-2057.

Commissioner VanAmerongen said, "These grants can help municipalities take the all-important first step in prioritizing and addressing the most pressing needs in their communities."

Applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered no later than November 21, 2008. If hand-delivered, applications must be received by OCR no later than 4:00 p.m.

 

 

NYRWA Receives National Recognition

Posted 10/21/2008

New York Rural Water Association proudly received national recognition at the National Rural Water Association’s Annual Conference this October in Reno, Nevada.  Awards received were Excellence in Website, for our efforts to maximize technological communication venues for improved information delivery to our membership.

Merit Award for Excellence in Public Relations, for our commitment and our members involvement in public relations, promoting the professionalism of this industry and commitment we have as water producers and the quality product we serve.

 

Merit Award for Excellence in State Legislation.  A National represented was quoted as saying “New York constantly works to maintain legislative liaisons and during sessions, works to keep their membership informed on bills that will impact their utilities.  Their legislative efforts have been a great benefit to their membership”.   

Finally, one of the most prestigious and most honored award, the State Association of the Year.  NYRWA received the Merit Award for its team effort in all areas of professional association operations and membership service.   We, at NYRWA, attribute this accomplishment to our teamwork, strong leadership, and member support.

Present to receive the awards were National Director for NYRWA John O’Connell, NYRWA Board of Director Jerry Barron, and Training Specialist Jamie Herman.

 

 

GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS FOR THE NEW YORK CITY WATERSHED PROTECTION PROGRAM

Posted 10/20/2008

Applications are now being accepted

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
(DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced that grant applications are now being accepted on a continuous basis for Water Quality Improvement Projects (WQIP) under the New York City Watershed Program.
 
The New York City Watershed Protection Program will be advanced through funding from the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Act Grant Program.  The Watershed program is offering $3 million in grant funds for polluted runoff abatement, which includes assessment, planning and research, and outreach and education projects in the New York City Watershed. 
 
Non-point source pollution, or polluted runoff, is one of the leading causes of water pollution and is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As it flows, stormwater runoff collects and transports soil, animal waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizers, oil, grease, debris and other potential pollutants.
 
“The availability of these funds will enable us to continue to build upon the success of programs within the historic and landmark New York City Watershed agreement in 2007,” said Commissioner Grannis, referring to a 10-year extension of the decision by the federal EPA that allows the City to use un-filtered drinking water known as the FAD - Filtration Avoidance Determination.  “The New York City Watershed is one of the most environmentally important regions in the northeast.  The critical work being done in the watershed is essential for the future health of the region, its communities, and the drinking water supply for one-half the population of New York State. This funding is instrumental in supporting projects that further protect and safeguard the largest unfiltered drinking water supply in the nation.”
 
Examples of projects previously funded under the New York City Watershed Program included the “Development of an Endocrine Disruption Study in streams, rivers, and lakes of the New York City Watershed in relation to New York State” and the “Pharmaceutical and Other Organics in Wastewater Sampling” which continues the study of pharmaceutical and other organic wastewater compounds at wastewater treatment plants and key points in the NYC Watershed. 
 
            
A new WQIP application form must be submitted to be considered for funding. Applications from previous years will not be carried over.

Application materials for WQIPs are available by calling DEC’s Division of Water at (518) 402-8164 or by visiting the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/25599.html     

 

 

Karl Vebber Retires

Posted 10/4/2008

Karl Vebber is retired now! Although Karl has actually been retired for a few weeks, it became official Wednesday night 10/1/08. That’s when a group of 90 or so friends, family, and co-workers got together and celebrated the conclusion of his working career at the Watertown Elks Club. A social hour starting at 6:00 pm followed by a delicious buffet dinner at 7:00 pm, and the night concluding with several tributes by co-workers, Village of Black River officials, and yes, Claude Curley of the New York State Department of Health/Watertown. A good time was had by all. The evening concluded with the presentation of a special gift by his good friend and co-worker Steve Lallie. Steve presented Karl with a 300 WIN Magnum Tikka T3 Hunter crafted by Beretta USA
.
Good Luck on your retirement Karl, you deserve it!

 

Water Sector Launches Metrics Reporting Tool

Posted 9/26/2008

The Water Sector Coordinating Council (WSCC) has developed a reporting tool to measure the progress of drinking water and wastewater utilities in improving their "all hazards" security posture. To ensure that the sector's data will be safeguarded, the WSCC has asked the WaterISAC to collect and secure all submitted responses.

All utilities are encouraged to take part in this voluntary initiative regardless of their size, type or WaterISAC affiliation.
The tool can be accessed at: http://www.water-sector-progress.org

 

National Rural Water Revolving Loan Fund

Posted 9/18/2008


National Rural Water has again received the award for their Revolving Loan Fund.  There is approximately $1M for Rural Water members for small projects.  It has a fast turn around and an interest rate of 3% for up to 10 years.  Maximum of $100,000 and 75% of the project can be funded through this program.  It can be used for equipment, small projects or pre-engineering.  If you are interested go to nrwa.org

 

 

 

In Memory of a Dear Friend

Posted 9/11/2008

James A. "Bugsy" Porreca 51, of Greenport, died Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at home surrounded by his family and friends. He was employed for over 30 years at Brookwood Center for Youth in Claverack, NY, in the water industry, and also worked part time for the Greenport Town Park. He was captain of the Greenport Fire Police and a member of the Federation of Polish Sportsmen, the NY State Sheriff's Association, the Elks Club, the Columbia County Fire Police Association, the Columbia County Volunteer Firefighters Association, a life member of the Greenport Pumper Co. No. 1, and a bingo inspector.

Bugsy was one of the best people you could have ever met. He will be truly missed. Bugsy has touched many lives and he will forever be in our hearts. 
Rest In Peace, Dear Friend!

James A. “Bugsy” Porreca
January 9, 1957 – September 2, 2008

 

 

GOVERNOR PATERSON CALLS ON FEDS TO ASSIST NEW YORK'S MUNICIPALITIES IN MAINTAINING THE STATE'S WATER INFRASTRUCTURE CRISIS

Posted 8/19/2008

Gov. David Paterson announced the formation of an environmental and government collaborative to help tackle a looming water infrastructure crisis facing NYS.  Water Collaborative will focus on funding solutions for the state's mounting wastewater and drinking water infrastructure needs.  Due to decreasing federal aid, NY communities will have to spend in excess of $50 billion over the next 20 yrs. to make required upgrades to meet federal requirements.

The NYSDEC estimates that repairs for municipal wastewater treatment systems statewide will be $36.2 billion over the next 20 yrs, while repairs for drinking water infrastructure could exceed $20 billion over the same period.  Additionally, federal support for water infrastructure has plummeted roughly 70% over the last two decades, delaying critical maintenance and contributing to Clean Water Act violations.  Hundreds of sewage and wastewater treatment facilities have deteriorated.

The Clean Water Collaborative panel will be co-chaired by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., known for his work on environmental issues, particularly those dealing with clean water and Ross Pepe, Exec. Director of the Construction Industry Council and Building Contractors Assoc.

Aging wastewater infrastructure is tied directly to the quality of NYS's waters.  A DEC study documented the correlation between wastewater infrastructure and water quality, finding that water quality declines when infrastructure is kept in place beyond its design life or is inadequately maintained.  Many of NY's sewage and wastewater facilities are past their design lives; 30 percent of the sewer pipes across the state were installed just after World War II and a quarter of wastewater treatment plants are more than 30 years old.  More than 200 state municipalities are facing Clean Water Act violations because of sewage overflows and other problems often related to aging infrastructure.

DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis said: "We've come a long way from the days when the Hudson River was referred to as an open sewer.  The last thing we want to do is turn the clock back to those days.  That's why we have to take action.  This is a statewide issue, impacting municipalities and water bodies in every corner of New York.  And we need a statewide effort, spearheaded by this collaborative, to raise awareness about the need for action and the costs of inaction."

Additional information can be found in the March 2009 DEC report entitled "Wastewater Infrastructure Needs of New York State."  The report can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/42383.html

 

 

Save This Date

Posted 8/13/2008

 The Managing Local Government Conference will be held on October 14th, 2008 at Kellas Hall, SUNY Potsdam. There will be workshops for Assessors, Board Members, Budget and Finance, Community development, Code Enforcement, Clkrks, Planning and Zoning and Public Works employees. For more information, go to www.potsdam.edu/localgovernment or call (315) 267-2538/2168.

 

 

ENERGY COST - ARE YOU PAYING TO MUCH FOR YOUR ELECTRICITY?

Posted 8/7/2008

By using the spreadsheet provided here, you will be able to answer this all important question. Just plug in your information found on your electric bill and find out how much it costs you in electrical dollars to produce a 1,000 gallons of water. Also find out how many 1,000's of gallons you are able to produce per Kilo-watt hours used. If you look at the samples provided you may be able to maximize your production and minimize your cost.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the information needed, as each utility bill varies somewhat. Either contact your provider or give us a call if you need assistance with any of this. New York Rural Water Association:  (518)-828-3155

 

 

Two Communities Working With NYRWA Are Awarded Grants

 

The New York Department of State has announced the recipients of grants to communities in the New York City Watershed for land use plans that protect water quality. Two of these grants are for communities that will be working with the New York Rural Water Association: the Town of Hurley (Ulster County) and the Town of Jefferson (Schoharie County). Steven Winkley of NYRWA worked with these communities on grant applications. With NYRWA's help, Hurley will conduct a study to safeguard groundwater resources and encourage compatible future development in the hamlets of West Hurley and Glenford. This grant is for $9,770. The Town of Jefferson will receive a grant of $4,800 for NYRWA to develop a source water protection plan for the Jefferson Water District.

 

 

Village of Speculator wins award

Congratulations to the Village of Speculator for receiving the Andrew M. Weist award for Operation and Maintenance from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Clow Valve Hyrdant Safety Notice

Posted 7/21/2008

Clow Valve is concerned about a possible safety issue concerning Medallion and F2500 model fire hydrants with cast years of 2002 to mid 2004 which may require replacement of the upper stem due to a faulty lubricant. To read more about the safety notice please click here . Get Adobe Reader

 

 

Pandemic Influenza Planning Webinar for the Water and Wastewater Sector

Poasted 7/11/2008

The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Water Sector and WaterISAC are hosting the Pandemic Influenza Planning Webinar for the Water and Wastewater Sector on Thursday, July 17, 2008 from 2 pm to 3:30 pm EDT.

The Webinar will bring hundreds of utility owners and operators from across the sector together live online to discuss Sector-Specific issues regarding preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a global pandemic influenza outbreak. This web-based workshop is designed to help your utility prepare for a catastrophic pandemic. This activity will engage sector stakeholders in pandemic planning; promote the new water sector-specific pandemic guideline and CIKR Pandemic Influenza Guide; explore issues psecific to the water and wastewater sector; and highlight the sector's existing pandemic preparedness efforts.

To register go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/976210655

Go to the webpage http://www.gotomeeting.com/wizard at least 24 hours prior to the event to verify that your internet connection is adequate.

System Requirements are Windows 2000 XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista Mac OS X 10.3.9 (Panther) or newer If you have any problems connecting your computer to this webinar on the day of the event, please call the following toll free number for assistance: 1-888-259-8414

Belfast NY to receive interest free loan for water system improvements

Posted 6/30/2008

Residents of Belfast have complained for years that the drinking and bathing water in their town is unsafe and thanks to a loan from the state, Belfast will have tow new groundwater sources and an upgraded water treatment facility.
New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) Acting President Matthew J. Millea announced a $1.65 million interest-free loan for the Town of Belfast.
Millea said the financing will save the town an estimated $1.3 million in interest expense over the term of the financing.  If you would like to read the entire story please click here.

Recommended Standards for Waterworks now available for free online

Posted 6/6/2008

Recommended Standards for Waterworks, also known to many operators’ as 10 State Standards, is now available for free online.  This manual is invaluable to all water system personnel, and serves as a guide for plans and specifications for both treatment facilities and distribution systems.  It was revised in 2007 to meet current regulations and specifications.

Recommended Standards for Waterworks is also an appendix to Subpart 5-1 of the NYS Sanitary Code.  It is written in a manner which is understandable to operators’ of all skill and experience levels.  The link to download the free version is www.10statesstandards.com.  It is also available in manual form for $15.00/copy from the Health Education Services at (518) 439-7286.

 

 

Collection System Evaluation

Posted 6/2/2008

Thank you to all who attended our conference this year and helped make it a success. The four training sessions on I&I prove there are issues with our collection systems, and we need to begin to address them. Don't wait for the consent order. Please contact us if you are interested in smoke testing or televising. Now is the time to begin your investigations. Contact Steve Grimm at (518) 828-3155 or 888-nyrural with any questions or to schedule smoke testing/televising.

 

WATER, SEWER FUNDING WORKSHOPS ANNOUNCED

Posted 5/16/2008

The NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) has scheduled three workshops for 2008 New York State Water & Sewer Infrastructure Co-funding plus Individual Project Consultations.  These workshops will take place October 7th at the Holiday Inn Downtown Buffalo, October 16th at the Holiday Inn Utica Business Park (New Hartford), and October 29th at the Queensbury Hotel Glens Falls.

The morning program includes an overview of the funding programs and highlights new funding options and a discussion of sound energy management practices.  The afternoon program offers a choice of two tracks, one presentation on project development, User Rates and Asset Management.  The second presentation is on Sustainable Economic Development, Water/Sewer Infrastructure Consolidation, and Water/Sewer Infrastructure and Mainstreet Revitalization.  Individual Project Consultations with funding program experts will be held concurrently with the workshop.

Registration is required for both the workshops and consultations.  To register online visit www.nycofunding.org, or register by phone at 1-800-882-9721.

 

 

New York State Revolving Fund Newsletter

Posted 4/30/2008

New York State Revolving Fund News, published by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation. This new quarterly newsletter contains information about funding for water and sewer projects, and is part of EFC's ongoing efforts to enhance client services. To view the news letter, please click here. Get Adobe Reader

 

NYWARN Is up and Running

Posted 4/11/2008

A group of dedicated individuals, organizations, municipalities, and agency folks have developed the NYWARN for water and wastewater utilities. WARN stands for Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network and it's purpose is "utilities helping other utilities to respond to and recover from emergencies".

We, at New York Rural Water Association, encourage all utilities to consider joining this network. To learn more about this, please go to www.nywarn.org and consider including your utility to this network.

Digital TV Conversion

Posted 3/19/2008

On February 17, 2009 all full powered Television stations will begin broadcasting only in digital, as required by law. To assist US households with this transition, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, part of the US Department of Commerce, created the TV Converter Box Coupon Program to help Americans continue receiving over-the-air television after February 17, 2009.

If households receive television programs over-the-air using rabbit ears or rooftop antennas, they must take action to continue using their analog TV's after 2/17/09. There are three options: 1) buy a converter box that plugs into their current analog television; 2) buy a television with digital tuner; or 3) connect their analog television to cable, satellite or other pay services.

This change stands to affect rural residents more than urban residents and we are asking for your help in informing the public of the need to get converters. A limited number of coupons are available to help with the cost and the sooner TV viewers obtain them, the better. A very informational website has been setup www.dtv2009.gov to assist in the effort. Up to two coupons are available to receive a converter box, find out more at the website provided.

We are asking all that read this, to please help in getting the word out on this important event to our rural residents.

 

NYS Wastewater Needs Report Available

Posted 3/11/2008  

The New York State Wastewater Infrastructure Needs report is now available at www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/42383.html. Thanks to all that supplied information for this report.  

 

Informational Resource

Posted 3/5/2008

The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) - www.nesc.wvu.edu.  A great place to get water, wastewater,and environmental training information. You can visit their web-site or call (800)-624-8301 to get information on the many documents they have available on their Drinking Water Products List. Some of the products come with a minimal fee but allot of them are still FREE. You can also sign up to receive their On Tap Magazine - Drinking Water News for America's Small Communities. Every issue comes with a specific Tech Brief that contains very use full information. You can access Tech Briefs from previous editions on-line at: www.nesc.wvu.edu/ndwc_tb_available.htm 

 

Attention Wastewater Plants with a ROEDIGER Belt Press

Posted 2/7/2008

Roediger Belt Press is no longer located in Pittsburgh, PA, they have been bought out by the Charter Machine Company of New Jersey. 

for parts and service the new company is:

Charter Machine Co.
Metuchen, NJ     
phone # 732 494-5350

website: http://www.roedigernj.com

 

 

Huge Increases in Water and Sewer Bills

Posted 2/4/2008

Reported in a USA Today article by Dennis Cauchon, it stated huge increases in water and sewer bills are on the way in many places as cities and towns try to repair aging pipes and correct artificially low prices.  Does this sound familiar; are you considering raising your rates?

The article states that New York, Detroit, Tampa and Atlanta are among the cities facing large rate increases and that many of the nation’s 70,000 smaller systems are imposing major price hikes, too.

EPA estimates that the nation’s water and wastewater systems need an investment of up to $1.2 trillion over 20 years.

It was reported that the median rate increase was about 5% and that average rate increases of that amount are enough to finance the industry’s capital needs.  Stated in the article they identify the problem, as many municipal owned systems have treated rate hikes like “tax increases” and avoided them for years.  It was estimated that 29% of water systems and 41% of sewer systems charge customers less than the cost of the service.  When this occurs those systems have no way to finance expensive repairs without delivering a rate shock to customers.  Does this ring true of your system?  Should you be considering a hike in rates to cover the cost of repairs? 

Nationwide there are approximately 54,000 community water supplies and 16,000 wastewater systems.

Here is a nationwide snapshot of the water and sewer rate increases over a decade.

Water Rates from 1996–1998 12.3%; from 1998–2000 6.5%; from 2000–2002 8.8%; from 2002-2004 7.2%; from 2004-2006 7.1%

Now Sewer Rates from 1996-1998 3.5%; from 1998-2000 10.1%; from 2000-2002 7.9%; 2002-2004 12.1%; and 2004-2006 7.8%.

 

Happy Retirement!

Posted 1/31/2008

Well, He went and did it! Richard (Dick) Smith (Smitty) has hung up his moldboard plow shoes and turned in his chlorine test kit! Long time Public Works Superintendent of The Village of Sinclairville over there in Chautauqua County, Smitty has taken his retirement and decided to keep his golf clubs permanently shined up.

We ‘workin’ folk are going to miss that big, quick smile Smitty always had at the ready. We wish you a long, enjoyable retirement from New York Rural Water Association Mr. Smith. And we thank you for your years of dedication to the water system serving those friendly folks in Sinclairville and the surrounding communities.

As Dick takes his leave, we would like to welcome Mr. Jack Abbey to the helm and wish him well in his new position. We look forward to working with Jack as we did with Dick.

 

 

New Procedures for Wastewater Certification

Posted 1/2/2008

For any new operators applying for wastewater certification in 2008, there are new procedures in place. To see the the instructions and changes please click here. Also you can down load the New Application form here, and the Statement of Experience form here.

 

 

EPA Honors New York for Sustainable Public Health Protection

New York’s program receives award for innovation and performance.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has honored New York’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) for its effectiveness and innovation in achieving sustainable public health protection, New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation President David Sterman and State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., announced today.  New York’s Drinking Water SRF program is administered by EFC and the New York State Department of Health (DOH).

Providing adequate funding for New York’s urgent drinking water projects is one of Governor Spitzer’s top environmental priorities,” said Mr. Sterman.  “To help advance the Governor’s goals, we are continuously looking for new ways to optimize Drinking Water SRF Program funding to finance as many projects as possible in communities throughout the State.  I’m delighted that EPA recognizes our success in our effective administration of the Program.”

Dr. Daines said: “The New York Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is a vital tool in helping communities throughout our State make needed improvements to their drinking water systems.  We have worked very hard to effectively fund as many projects as possible and I appreciate EPA’s recognition of our efforts by giving us this award.”

EPA’s 2007 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Award recognizes New York State’s use of interest-free short-term financing and its new loan guarantees.  With interest-free short-term financing, borrowers are able to access money more quickly, and long-term projects are budgeted for and more accurately planned.  Short-term financing is typically used for planning and design, and is frequently rolled into long-term low-interest SRF financing.  New York’s Drinking Water SRF Program also offers credit enhancements in the form of guarantees for applicants whose projects score below the funding levels established for the program, and, thus, would most likely be unable to receive financial assistance from the State.  Guarantees also offer an extended financing term benefit of up to 30-years.

Since 1997, the Drinking Water SRF program has provided more than $2 billion in low-cost financing and grants and $135.3 million in direct interest subsidies for 541 drinking water improvement projects throughout New York State.  For additional information on the Drinking Water and Clean Water SRF programs, please visit www.nysefc.org.

 

 

Mapping Services from NYRWA

Posted 12/4/2007

WOW, what an excellent response to our recent newsletter announcement about the new mapping services we are offering to our small rural water and wastewater facility members.  We are excited about the support and interest shown.  NYRWA is pleased to be able to offer these reduced rate mapping services to our members.  If you wish to receive a quote for your system, contact us on our toll free line at 1-888-NYRURAL (697-8725), one of our staff will be happy to work with you.

 

Happy Retirement

Posted 11/16/2007

Anyone familiar with the Watertown Branch Office of Blair Supply Corp, will likely find a friendly face missing upon your next visit to the Bradley Street establishment. Mr. David Renzi has decided to take his leave and retire from the business after many years of service in the North Country. Dave, as we are sure you know, has endured some health issues and decided enough is enough! Well, Mr. Renzi, we at New York Rural Water Association wish you improved health and a long enjoyable retirement! Thank you for your service to the water industry!

NYRWA To Offer Backflow Device Testing Services

Posted 11/5/2007

NYRWA will soon be offering backflow device testing services throughout New York State. In an attempt to better serve our members, the NYRWA will be available to test devices for new installations and annual inspections. We will charge $100.00 plus tax for each device tested, which is below the State average. This service is being provided following requests from many members and local health departments, and will hopefully help sections of the State with limited testing service providers. If you have any questions regarding this service please feel free to contact Jamie Herman, Training & TA Specialist by calling 1-888-697-8725 Ext 13, or email Herman@nyruralwater.org

 

Needs Survey

Posted 10/30/2007

By now, all municipalities with permitted wastewater plants should have received the Needs Survey from EFC. This survey is important in determining the amount of money New York will receive to fund wastewater projects. Please take a few minutes and respond to the survey. If you have any questions, please call Steve Grimm at (518) 828-3155 x18 or Jason Denno of EFC at (518) 623-1244.

 

Raquette Lake Water Project On November Ballot

Posted 10/22/2007

The Town of Long Lake and the residents of Raqutte Lake are hoping voters statewide will support the proposition to use forest preserve lands for drinking water wells in the hamlet of Raquette Lake in Hamilton County.

The proposed amendment would allow the state to convey 1 acre of land to the town of long lake to use as a site for their drinking water supply wells. In exchange the State would receive 12 acres of land that is equal in value to the land conveyed to long lake. The land the State receives would be included in the State preserve. Also the Raquette lake reservoir would be abandoned as a water supply use.

 

 

Interstate Mutual Aid and Assistance

Posted 10/10/2007

The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) provides a mechanism whereby drinking water and wastewater utilities can provide interstate (between states) mutual aid and assistance during times of emergency. EMAC has demonstrated its value in providing interstate mutual aid and assistance for multiple sectors and disciplines and can be used to share water sector resources such as equipment and personnel across state lines. To read more please click here

NYRWA Fleet Vehicle Purchase Program

Posted 9/20/2007

The 2008 NEW VIP Fleet price for NYRWA members can be found here. For some models the discount has increased to $6000.00. Also the VIP Fleet quote is eligible for in-stock units. In addition to being able to order from local dealers, there is a central fleet dealer for no hassle ordering. If this option is used, your vehicle will be delivered through the local dealer at no charge to the you.

 

 

Procurement Website for the Water and Wastewater Insustries

Posted 9/12/2007

Much of the world's water systems are inadequate or crumbling from age. Around the world, billions are spent each year to build or repair water and wastewater systems. Yet, there has been no place where utilities could announce their contract opportunities and be assured that interested vendors could find them. Until now. H2bid.com is a recently-launched international procurement website for the water and wastewater industries. H2bid.com is a global procurement portal exclusively dedicated to the water and wastewater industries. The site is for water and wastewater utilities and their vendors. H2bid allows utilities to post contract opportunities, and allows vendors to search and download the contract opportunities. Posting and searching is free, but there is a small fee ($7.95) to download the full details of a contract opportunity. Contract opportunities can be searched by categories (which are further divided into subcategories): Country, UNSPSC Code (United Nations Standard Products and Services Code), Document ID, or Keyword.

H2bid enables water and wastewater utilities and their potential suppliers to find each other at a rate of speed that has never existed. In doing so, it enables utilities to fulfill their fiduciary obligation of getting the best product or service for the best price. Conversely, vendors now have a one-stop-shop to access water and wastewater contract opportunities all over the world.

For more information, go to www.h2bid.com, or contact Glenn D. Oliver at gdo@h2bid.com. Phone: 01-313-598-5659, Fax: 01-313- 833-9942. The company’s address: 453 Martin L. King, Jr. Blvd., Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

 

Rural communities can get USDA help in reducing high energy costs

Posted 8/31/2007

Rural communities nationwide will have access to $21.9 million to help cope with high energy costs.

Communities must apply before Oct. 1 for the grants, which are administered by the United States Department of Agriculture.

"These grants will help rural residents and businesses upgrade energy infrastructure and make other energy eff i ciency improvements," said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. "The rising cost of energy can challenge ec onomic growth and opportunity. These grants are another example of how USDA works to help rural communities over come economic obstacles and create opportunity."

The funds can be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission or distribution facilities serving communities in which the average residential cost for home energy exceeds 275 percent of the national average.

Grants are available to individuals, businesses, non-profit organization, states, local governments and federally recognized Indian tribes. Grants may not be used to pay utility bills or purchase fuel and may not be used for the sole bene fit of the applicant.

The application guide for this grant can be found at www.usda.gov/rus/electric or at Grants.gov under the Code of Domestic Federal Assistance Number 10.859

The following link is to another USDA grant program (through the Rural Housing Service) for communities and small businesses in rural areas to implement or promote energyefficiency open for applications through Sept. 6. One of the criteria, worth 20 of the 100 total points, is:

Technical assistance for the development of Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements--20 Points. The applicant must demonstrate how they will improve the recipients' capacity to carry out activities related to the development of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements for housing, community facilities, or community and economic development."

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rd/nofas/2007/RCDI-07-NOFA.html

 

Congratulations

Posted 8/14/2007

Congratulations to Louis Langone and the Village of Waterville for being awarded the DEC's Operation and Maintenance Excellence Award. The Village is now automatically entered into the national award competition. Good luck and a job well done. Thank you for "Protecting Our Environment".

 

National Rural Water Association Conference

Posted 8/9/2007

The National Rural Water Association is holding their Annual Conference in Philadelphia this year from September 23-26, 2007. Systems with 400 connections or less can attend the NRWA Conference for free! To take advantage of this great offer go to National's website at www.nrwa.org and to the right of the opening page you will see 2007 Conference, below that you will see all the information on the conference including agenda and on-line registration. Come join us in Philadelphia, PA this September.

 

Annual Water Quality Report Certification

Posted 7/20/2007

Just a quick reminder that your 2006 Annual Water Quality Report Certification form must be mailed and postmarked before September 1st, 2007. Blank copies of the certification form may be obtained from NYRWA Circuit Riders or the New York State Department of Health Website. The certification form details how the report was delivered and copies must be sent to both your local NYSDOH office and the Bureau of Water Supply Protection, Flanigan Square, 547 River St., Troy, NY 12180-2216

Emergency Funding in Response to Groundwater Contamination

Posted 6/14/2007

NY Congressman Thomas Reynolds (R- Clarence) announced on June 11, 2007 that the USDA has approved $300,000 in emergency funding to assist residents in Genesee County that had their wells contaminated in early April 2007 likely due to the spreading of manure. The funding comes from the USDA’s Rural Development Emergency and Imminent Community Water Assistance Grant Program (ECWAG). Local media accounts indicate that water lines will be extended to the affected area. In April, 56 residents submitted a petition to the Batavia Town Board requesting public water. Wells at some 60 residences in the Towns of Batavia and Stafford have tested positive for E. coli or coliform bacteria. Ultraviolet disinfection equipment was installed at the costs of dairy farmer Hans Boxler Jr. and the Towns of Batavia and Stafford. Preliminary findings from the state allege that Mr. Boxler violated state conservation law and a state permit when he spread manure on approximately 274 acres. Reportedly, Boxler spread too much cow manure on several different dates in January and February. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation is also alleging that he violated state Environmental Conservation Law and the conditions of his Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) permit by polluting several local streams with wastewater from bunk silos on his farm.

 

MORE MONEY AVAILABLE FOR SUBSIDIZED LOANS

Posted 6/9/2007

Recently NY Rural Water Association supported S. 3973 / A. 8016 legislation, which is a Governor's program bill which would change a definition in the Clean Water SRF and the Drinking Water SRF to make more capital available to both programs. By changing the term "corpus allocation" in the existing statutes to "allocation" more money can be made available. We are reporting that this EFC allocation legislation passed both houses this week. More money available for subsidized loans is always good.

 

Senate Passes Federal Water Project Bill

Posted 5/29/2007

Last week, A $14 billion bill was passed by the Senate that would help improve navigation on the upper Mississippi, help restore the Louisiana coast and authorize hundreds of projects that senators sought for their states. The Water Resources Development Act, approved 91-4, also take steps to assure that the Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for federal water projects, bases its work on sound economics and science. Corps projects have a history of being tainted by waste and abuse. U.S.

The bill is "about making sure that the water infrastructure in this country is up to the task that it faces," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who leads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. To read more please click here.

 

Treatment Plant Maintenance Certification

The Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) is developing a standardized Plant Maintenance Technologist certification program for drinking water and wastewater plant maintenance personnel. The program will cover all facets of treatment plant maintenance. Effective plant maintenance is a key component to every treatment facility. For more information, go to http://www.abccert.org/

State Offers Free Funding Workshops 

Posted 4/25/2007

Fall workshops to cover ins and outs of obtaining funding for water and sewer projects.

 The New York State Water & Sewer Infrastructure Co-funding Initiative will be holding  its 2007 Co-funding Workshop and Individual Project Consultations in four locations this fall.  The schedule includes:

Rochester: Tuesday, September 11, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 70 State St.

Painted Post: Wednesday, September 26, Corning/Painted Post Holiday Inn, 304 So.                             Hamilton St.

Watertown: Tuesday, October 2, Ramada Inn, 6800 Arsenal St.

Kingston: Tuesday, October 16, Quality Inn, Rt. 28

The free full-day workshop includes information on various public funding programs, application processes and procedures, project planning and development, plus much more.  Presenters include representatives from New York State’s Environmental Facilities Corporation, Office for Small Cities, Department of Health, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of State, and USDA Rural Development. Individual Project Consultations will be arranged by appointment and held concurrently with the workshops.  The consultations give communities an opportunity to discuss their particular water or sewer project with agency funding experts. 

The program is specifically developed for local officials, county planners, economic developers, consulting engineers and fiscal advisors. Approval is pending for training contact hours for Drinking Water and Wastewater Operators.

For additional information visit the Environmental Facilities Corporation website at www.nysefc.org or call 1-800-882-9721.

 

Congresswoman Gillibrand signs on to the Pomeroy letter

Posted 4/24/2007

Thanks to all the NYRWA members in Congresswoman Gillibrands district that wrote to her to tell her the importance of our programs to your community systems. We are hopeful that many others will sign on. The deadline is quickly approaching. Thank you Congresswoman Gillibrand for standing up for the rural communities of New York State.

 

Letter Campaign

Posted 4/9/2007

The New York Rural Water Association wishes to thank all it’s members that took the time to write their representatives asking for support of our programs. We realize the deadline is April 27th for the congressional leaders to sign on to the Dear Colleague and that there may be many more NYRWA members that will help us in this letter campaign to gain the necessary support to continue to provide you with training and on-site technical assistance. If you have any questions regarding this issue, please contact Pat Scalera, CEO for the NYRWA and she will be happy to assist you in any way. We were pleased to hear that Congressman Hinchey, Congressman Walsh, Congressman Kuhl, and Congressman Hall have signed on to support Rural Water. Also, Senator Clinton and Senator Schumer is supporting Rural Water. If these congressional representatives are from your district, be proud that your message was carried to them and that your representative is supportive of safe drinking water and this industry.

Protecting the Genesee River

Posted 3/31/2007

A movement has begun to further protect the Genesee River.  A group of stakeholders, spearheaded by Genesee Finger Lakes Regional Planning, NYSDEC, and Monroe County Department of Environmental Services, have been meeting monthly to discuss what has been done to protect this important waterway as well as what are the next step(s).  The stakeholders are in the process of planning an all day conference to be held within the Genesee River’s Drainage Basin.  The conference (to be held during the summer of 2007) will have a number of prominent speakers discussing a variety of topics which will include the current health of the river, biodiversity, recreational and economic issues, and general information on the state of the basin.  Be sure to look for informational mailings (going out this spring) as well as updates regarding the conference on the Genesee Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council’s website- www.gflrpc.org.  Feel free to contact Josh Bossard (518) 828-3155 Ext 23 if you have any questions regarding the Genesee River protection effort. 

 

Mandatory Well Testing Law Vetoed

Posted 3/24/2007

On February 22, 2007, Dutchess County Executive William Steinhaus vetoed a proposed law passed by the Dutchess County Legislature that would require water quality testing of all new private wells as well as existing private residential wells at the time of sale of the property.  Testing of wells for all commercial and commercial rental property would eventually be mandated, and any necessary corrective actions required.  In vetoing the bill, the County Executive referred to the proposed local law as “ill-advised, misguided, mandated, intrusive legislation” and an “expensive government mandate”.  Dutchess County Health Commissioner, Dr. Michael Caldwell, also did not support the proposed law.  He was reportedly concerned about the impact it would have on his department since it would be administering the well testing program.

In March, Dutchess County legislators subsequently failed to override Steinhaus' veto of the well testing law.  Twelve Democrats and one Republican voted to override the veto, but this was insufficient in the 25-member Legislature.  In 2005, Rockland County, NY passed a private well testing law.  In 2002, the Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) was implemented in New Jersey.  It requires that potable water wells be tested as a condition of each contract for sale or lease of real property in the state. The Act also requires landlords of certain properties to test potable wells and to provide a written copy of the results to tenants.

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that some towns in Dutchess County may now move forward with their own town-level well testing laws.

 

 

House Passes Clean Water Bill

Posted 3/9/2007  

Washington, DC March 8, 2007

The House of Representatives Wednesday approved legislation that would authorize a $1.5 billion program for cities and towns to repair and upgrade aging and outdated sewage systems that often overflow during wet weather conditions.

H.R. 569 provides $1.5 billion over five years for EPA sewer overflow control grant to states and municipalities.   Cities and towns across the nation are faced with making massive repairs to infrastructure that is often more than 100 years old.

This bill will help provide cleaner water in communities, and will require EPA to distribute grant money to those communities most in need of assistance.

 A companion clean water bill, The Water Quality Act of 2007 (H.R. 720), will provide $14 billion in federal loan guarantees to help cities and towns finance water and sewer improvements.  The measure would reauthorize the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to provide low interest loans to government entities for clean water and nonpoint source pollution control projects.

Federal dollars in the form of loans and grants are only way America can address clean water infrastructure funding gap estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at between $300 and $500 billion dollars

 

The Future of Water Filtration

Posted 2/2/2007

The current major concerns in regard to water quality are lead and disinfection byproducts (Binnie et al, 2002). Lead is a key operational and treatment concern for municipal water treatment plants. It cannot be considered independently of other water quality and treatment issues. In fact, it seems that water disinfection and protection from lead infiltration are at odds with each other. The pH level required for disinfection must be below 8.0, but the pH level required to minimize lead solvency in plumbing systems is often 8.0 or higher. Water treatment plants provide clean, disinfected water to home plumbing systems, but this water is immediately contaminated from lead as it passes through the plumbing system. The solution to this problem may be the removal of lead from plumbing systems, a factor that would completely revolutionize the plumbing industry.

The rising concern over chlorine byproducts is also likely to affect the future of water filtration. It has long been recognized that chlorination of water results in the formation of THMs. THMs are harmful chemicals that form as a reaction between chlorine and natural, organic materials in water. The most well-known of the THMs is the poison chloroform. This poisonous gas, detrimental to the respiratory system when inhaled, is one of the most important reasons for the installation of shower filters or whole house water filters. It is likely that future research will find other byproducts of chlorination, and the use of chlorine for disinfection could be restricted.

Though these are all speculations, water filtration and treatment will, doubtlessly, continue to evolve in the future. The most important future development may well be the complete transformation of water filtration technology from municipal water treatment plants to whole house water filters, or a combination of the two systems.

 

Publis Works TV - Asset Management Source for North America

Posted 1/14/2007

You can watch the AMSNA Public Works on Air channel via Video Broadcast from their multi-homed Tier-1 redundant BGP network located on the North American Internet.   AMSNA is dedicated to information sharing among public agencies and utilities.   Included in their January programming schedule is a presentation on how a small city runs a high-tech and efficient water system that delivers better value than most.  Steve Kimbrough, City Manager of Corning, CA demonstrates a “marvel of a water system”. 

 Visit http://amsna.org their home page for more information

Visit http://amsna.org/mres.html to find out about the PWA channel

Visit http://apwa.tv to go straight to the program guide

 

 

Source Water Collaborative Established

Posted 1/5/2007

A number of federal agencies and prominent national organizations have committed to work together to promote the protection of our nation’s drinking water sources. This group of stakeholders, the Source Water Collaborative, has agreed to share, develop, package, and disseminate information related to source water protection. What makes the collaborative significant, is it is the first group of its kind that has nationally brought resources from the number of agencies and organizations together and put a spotlight on the topic of source water protection. The collaborative has a website that lists the stakeholders involved as well as, going into more detail regarding the mission of the collaborative. We at NYRWA encourage you to investigate the website. The website location for the source water collaborative is as follows- www.protectdrinkingwater.org

 

 

Blue Ribbon Water Quality Trading Awards Program

Posted 12/8/2006

EPA is seeking nominations for the Blue Ribbon Water Quality Trading Awards Program, a new awards program, to recognize outstanding leadership in designing or implementing water quality trading programs and policies that have achieved or will achieve environmental and economic benefits. EPA’s Water Quality Trading Policy offers participants a tool to help foster accelerated restoration of our nation’s watersheds. Trading programs allow facilities facing higher pollutant control costs to meet their regulatory obligations by purchasing environmentally equivalent (or superior) pollutant reductions from another source at lower cost, thus achieving the same water quality improvement at lower overall cost. Water quality trading is gaining increased acceptance as a cost-effective method of meeting new challenges. The deadline for applications is January 16. For more information about Water Quality Trading, please visit here. For more information about the Blue Ribbon Water Quality Trading Awards Program including the Federal Register notice on the program, please visit here.

 

 

EPA Expands Water Contaminant Information Tool

Posted 12/6/2006

EPA has expanded the Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) to assist water utilities, public health officials and federal, state and local agencies to better plan for and respond to intentional or accidental contamination events. Launched in November 2005, WCIT is a secure, on-line database profiling chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants of concern for drinking water and wastewater utilities.

WCIT includes both regulated and non-regulated contaminants and provides current, reliable data from peer-reviewed reports and research. The system includes general information for 93 contaminants and now includes additional information in four new data categories: drinking water treatment; wastewater treatment; environmental impacts; and infrastructure decontamination.

Access to WCIT data is password protected and qualified individuals must apply to EPA and undergo screening before being granted access. Currently, drinking water and wastewater utilities, State drinking water primacy agencies and laboratories, drinking water and wastewater associations partnering with EPA, state and local public health officials, and federal officials (including government laboratory personnel) are eligible for access.

To apply for access to WCIT visit http://www.epa.gov/wcit

 

Today’s Look at Tomorrow’s Technology

Posted 11/20/2006

According to a recent report, the World Bank said that today, 300 million people live in areas of serious to severe water shortage and 25 years from now, that number could reach upwards of three billion. Furthermore, as the demand for water supply increases and the available unpolluted water resources are depleted, the option of tapping into what may be considered less-than-desirable water resources continues to be explored.

Over the past few years, an ever-increasing number of water and wastewater treatment facility managers have decided to incorporate membrane-related filtration technology as part of their treatment systems. As evidence, the value of the membrane market in the U.S. was around $2 billion last year. Average annual growth has been estimated just above 8% in the U.S., which would put the value of the market in the neighborhood of $3 billion by 2008.

As quickly as the need for onsite membrane-related technology has become a preferred method for meeting stringent water and wastewater treatment requirements, the need for more information, both from a technical and application-based standpoint has become necessary, as well. Water & Wastes Digest has designed this exclusive Membrane Zone in order to address questions you, the Water & Waste Digest reader, may have in regards to membrane-related issues.

 

 

 

NEW SOLE SOURCE AQUIFER DESIGNATED IN NEW YORK

Posted 11/6/2006

On November 2, 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has designated the Northern Tug Hill Glacial Aquifer as a Sole Source Aquifer.  The Northern Tug Hill Glacial Aquifer and its watershed includes portions of eight towns in Jefferson County (Adams, Champion, Ellisburg, Lorraine, Rodman, Rutland, Watertown, and Worth), portions of three towns in Lewis County (Denmark, Montague, and Pinckney), and portions of four towns in Oswego County (Boylston, Redfield, Richland, and Sandy Creek).  The 21-mile long aquifer is the sole or principal source of drinking water for the Hamlet of Adams Center, Hamlet of Pierrepont Manor, Village of Adams, Village of Lacona, Village of Mannsville, and the Village of Sandy Creek.

The significance of the designation is that all Federal financially assisted projects constructed in the Northern Tug Hill Glacial Aquifer Area and its stream flow source zone (upstream portions of the drainage basin) will be subject to EPA review to ensure that these projects are designed and constructed so they do not create a significant hazard to public health.  The Sole Source Aquifer designation was initiated by a 2003 petition from the Village of Lacona.  New York Rural Water Association’s Groundwater Specialist, Steven Winkley, worked with the Village of Lacona to prepare this lengthy document.  The Northern Tug Hill Glacial Aquifer becomes the 14th aquifer in New York to be granted Sole Source Aquifer designation by EPA.  It is the first to be designated in the state since 1992.

Sole Source Aquifer designation is an important step to increase public awareness on the nature and value of local ground water resources in the region.  Not only does it ensure that federally funded projects do not contaminate the aquifer, but it also raises the consciousness of other agencies when reviewing projects.  In addition to the protection benefits, water supply improvement projects in Sole Source Aquifers receive additional priority for funding (25 scoring points) through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

 

 

Village of Wellsville Recognized for Environmental Stewardship

Posted 10/20/2006

The Village of Wellsville Water Department has been recognized by the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) for its environmental stewardship by becoming the second recipient of NRWA’s Excellence in Environmental Achievement. NRWA’s Excellence in Environmental Achievement Award is presented to an individual, a water or 1wastewater utility that has gone above and beyond normal job duties by performing actions that better protect the environment. The Village of Wellsville Water Department has received this award for its Genesee River Clean-Up Project.

The project, identified by the Village’s Source Water Protection Program, was put together and carried out in large part due to water department staff. Collaborating with the New York Rural Water Association, local boyscout troops, and community volunteers, the Village effectively removed more than 80 cubic feet of debris, automobile parts, tires, and white goods upstream of the Village’s intake. The Village of Wellsville Water Department has set a standard for all of New York’s public water suppliers for assisting with community projects that benefit water quality. The New York Rural Water Association congratulates the Village of Wellsville Water Department for their environmental stewardship.

Picture above is (Left) Josh Bossard Source Water Protection Specialist for NYRWA and Dana Harris Village of Wellsville.

 

 

The Cost of Clean and Safe Water

Posted 10/20/2006

Without doubt, the costs of maintaining, repairing, and replacing aging infrastructure and meeting increasingly protective environmental regulations are of growing concern to Northeast communities. Many struggle to balance the high costs of improving wastewater and drinking water systems with the numerous other public services they provide. Like these communities, state and federal agencies are struggling to identify innovative methods for sustaining our nation’s water infrastructure. The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission has published a report on this issue, if you would like to read the report please click here.

Congressman McHugh Lauded for Standing up for Small and Rural Communities, Advancing Clean and Safe Water

Posted 10/13/2006

The New York Rural Water Association (NYRWA), the state’s largest small community water organization with over 1,400 small and rural community members, thanks Congressman McHugh for his efforts in leading the New York Congressional delegation in the effort help small communities provide safe drinking water and comply with federal water regulations. During the House of Representatives deliberations on environmental spending for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Congressman McHugh led the effort to make sure this year’s environmental budget helped out rural and small communities. He sponsored the state’s delegation letter on behalf of rural and small communities (http://www.ruralwater.org/nydele.pdf).

NYRWA Executive Director, Pat Scalera said, “The Congressman’s leadership resulted in New York having the most Congressional support for small communities of any of the states – we had the most cosigners on letter. Thanks to this help, both the federal funding bills for EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture increased the amount of funding for small community technical assistance and small community grants for water treatment. Small communities typically have a much harder time complying with federal mandates because they have fewer consumers to absorb the costs (so called limited economies of scale) – the Congressman help ensures that small communities are treated more fairly by federal policies and received very needed funding assistance. He led the effort in the House of Representatives and all our small and rural communities are grateful.”

New Rule Boosts Protection of Underground Drinking Water

Posted 10/13/2006

(Washington, D.C. - Oct. 12, 2006) More than 100 million Americans will enjoy greater protection of their drinking water under a new rule issued today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The rule targets utilities that provide water from underground sources and requires greater vigilance for potential contamination by disease-causing microorganisms.

"The Bush Administration's Ground Water Rule boosts drinking water purity and public health security," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for Water. "These first-ever standards will help communities prevent, detect and correct tainted ground water problems so citizens continue to have clean and affordable drinking water."

The risk-targeting strategy incorporated in the rule provides for: regular sanitary surveys of public water systems to look for significant deficiencies in key operational areas triggered source-water monitoring when a system that does not sufficiently disinfect drinking water identifies a positive sample during its regular monitoring to comply with existing rules. implementation of corrective actions by ground water systems with a significant deficiency or evidence of source water fecal contamination compliance monitoring for systems that are sufficiently treating drinking water to ensure effective removal of pathogens.

A ground water system is subject to triggered source-water monitoring if its treatment methods don't already remove 99.99 percent of viruses. Systems must begin to comply with the new requirements by Dec. 1, 2009.

Contaminants in question are pathogenic viruses — such as rotavirus, echoviruses, noroviruses — and pathogenic bacteria, including E. coli, salmonella, and shigella. Utilities will be required to look for and correct deficiencies in their operations to prevent contamination from these pathogens.

Microbial contaminants can cause gastroenteritis or, in rare cases, serious illnesses such as meningitis, hepatitis, or myocarditis. The symptoms can range from mild to moderate cases lasting only a few days to more severe infections that can last several weeks and may result in death for those with weakened immune systems. The new ground water rule will reduce the risk of these illnesses.

Fecal contamination can reach ground water sources, including drinking water wells, from failed septic systems, leaking sewer lines, and by passing through the soil and large cracks in the ground. Fecal contamination from the surface may also get into a drinking-water well along its casing or through cracks if the well is not properly constructed, protected, or maintained. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, between 1991 and 2000, ground water systems were associated with 68 outbreaks that caused 10,926 illnesses. Contaminated source water was the cause of 79 percent of the outbreaks in ground water systems. Ground Water Rule and more information about drinking water: epa.gov/safewater/disinfection/gwr

 

Research on the Restoration of Wastewater-Contaminated Ground Water

Posted 8/15/2006

Can an aquifer naturally clean itself of sewage contamination from on-site disposal? In recently released results, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) says probably yes, but it can take much longer than originally thought. Studies at an abandoned land disposal facility at the Massachusetts Military Reservation on Cape Cod indicate that it may take decades before natural processes return the ground water back to clean levels. After disposal of wastewater was discontinued in 1995, USGS scientists now predict a return to oxygen levels characteristic of pristine aquifers by 2021 to 2028. It appears that the aquifer's sediments have adsorbed a large amount of material from the wastewater over time. These sediments serve as a continuing source of dissolved constituents (such as nitrogen) that contributes to the long-term persistence of the overall plume. In addition, monitoring data now indicates that phosphorus does migrate in ground water, in contrast to previous thinking that phosphorus in ground water migrated little. As a consequence, the land disposal of wastewater must be more carefully located in order to avoid phosphate-enrichment of sensitive lakes and streams through groundwater discharge. More information on this study can be found at: http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/natural_restoration.html.

 

 

SEMO Stockpile

Posted 7/21/2006

Given the recent flooding that tragically devastated much of the Central Southern Tier of New York State we decided a reminder of the State Emergency Management Office stockpiled equipment was in order.

SEMO handles a vast array of emergency equipment for use during these situations. They stockpile equipment such as chainsaws, generators from 4400watts to 100Kw, pumps from 2” to 6”, light plants, quick connect pipe and even DE filters capable of filtering .5MGD.

To get this equipment you must request the assistance from your county emergency manager, who in turn requests the equipment from SEMO. It is important to remember that SEMO provides the equipment and any instruction needed to operate, but does not transport. Therefore, any system requesting the use of stockpiled equipment must make arrangements to transport the equipment to the affected area. You are also responsible to return the equipment when you are finished using it.

The equipment is kept in fine working order by a small but dedicated and capable staff that take great pride in their work. They will make arrangements to make the equipment available upon request.

SEMO has 2 warehouses in the state to make transportation and the time involved less rigorous. Please keep this equipment in mind if you are ever in need of assistance and need more equipment then your local or county government can provide.

 

New Water Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness Website

Posted 7/14/2006

You are encouraged to access the WaterHealthConnection web site www.waterhealthconnection.org and review the NEW water terrorism and disaster preparedness resources. Although it is not realistic to believe that we can prevent the first cases of illness resulting from natural or intentional contamination of water, we could play a critical role in minimizing the impact of such an event by using disaster preparedness resources to help us recognize and manage an event in our community. Preparation and access to the ready made tools available at the Water Health Connection website may make the difference between a controlled response to a water contamination event versus a public health crisis.

 

 

USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR FLOOD REPAIRS

Posted 7/13/2006

Businesses, municipalities and low-income homeowners affected by recent flooding are urged to contact their local USDA Rural Development office to determine their eligibility for home repair, business and water system loans and grants.

“Rural Development offers several types of loans and grants that individuals, businesses and local governments can use to repair flood damage,” said Scott Collins, Acting State Director for Rural Development in New York. “We urge residents, business owners and government officials in flood-damaged areas, even if they are outside declared disaster areas, to contact their local Rural Development offices to find out if one of our programs can help them.”

Rural Development programs that may assist flood victims are the Single Family Housing (SFH) Home Repair Loan and Grant Program, the Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program, and the Water and Environmental Program, which provides loans, grants and loan guarantees to municipalities for water and waste treatment systems. 

The SFH Section 504 Home Repair Program is tailored to very-low income individuals. Qualified homeowners can obtain 1 percent interest loans to make general home repairs, such as replacing roofs, siding and windows, repairing foundations and walls, and making septic system improvements. 

Homeowners may obtain multiple Section 504 loans, but $20,000 is the maximum an individual may borrow at any given time and 20 years is the maximum repayment term. To be eligible for a 504 home repair loan, an applicant must live in a rural area, have the ability to repay the loan, have an acceptable credit history and an income falling within the very-low income category of the county inhabited. The local USDA Rural Development office can determine eligibility. Persons with Internet access can also find income limits and eligibility requirements at http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility.

Businesses with flood damage should ask their local Rural Development office about the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program. Most businesses in rural areas with populations under 50,000 are eligible. Charitable, educational and religious organizations are not eligible. Interested parties can review eligibility requirements at http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/loanlookup.

B&I loans may be used for working capital, machinery and equipment, buildings, real estate and debt re-financing. Eligible lenders include all state or federally chartered banks, savings banks, saving and loans institutions, credit unions and farm credit unions.

There is no minimum for B&I loans and the maximum is generally $10 million. Terms and interest rates for the loans are determined by the lender. Loan guarantees of up to 80 percent are available on loans up to $5 million. Loans of $5 to $10 million receive up to 70 percent guarantees.

There are equity requirements for B&I loans. Local Rural Development offices can provide these requirements to interested parties. 

Villages and municipalities with damaged water and sewage systems should inquire about the Water and Environmental Program, which makes direct loans, loan guarantees and grants to local governments in rural areas of up 10,000 people. Loan applicants must be unable to obtain funds from other sources at reasonable rates and terms and the money must be used to build, repair or improve water and waste collection systems.

Low-income communities can obtain pre-development planning grants to help fund planning and initial engineering work. Technical assistance to help with the application process and assess damage is also available. Interested groups should contact their local Rural Development office for more details on eligibility requirements. 

USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs, contact the New York State Rural Development office at (315) 477-6400 or visit USDA's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov

 

USEPA Launches Water Efficiency Partnership

Posted 6/30/2006

EPA is supporting a national organization (The Alliance for Water Efficiency) to promote water conservation using water-saving products, services and practices. The organization will take the lead in developing labels for consumer products and services certified to achieve at least 20 percent greater water efficiency. The products will be labeled with a "WaterSense" The WaterSense site calls on water utilities to help promote the program "through public awareness campaigns to attain local water conservation goals" and to "become a leader in water efficiency" by developing water conservation plans, reducing water loss and developing sustainable infrastructure programs".

 

JOSH BOSSARD RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD

Posted 6/16/2006

At the National Rural Water Association In-Service Training event on June 14th in Milwaukee, New York's Sourcewater Protection Specialist Josh Bossard won the1 prestigious National Sourwater Protection Specialist Award for 2006. Selected by his peers from across the country, Josh was honored at a special award luncheon. We at NYRWA, are proud to have Josh's professionalism and dedication acknowledged nationwide.

 

 

 

 

Drinking Water Rules and Regulations Made Easy

Posted 6/13/2006

Have you ever found yourself confused about testing requirements for your system? You’re not alone, with the rapid pace at which rules and regulations are changing, it is difficult to stay on top of what is, and isn’t needed. In an effort to help overcome this problem, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has developed a new interactive web based tool, know as the Rule Wizard to help you sort through this information and gain insight to the “Federal Requirements” of your particular drinking water system. This tool will ask a few simple questions about your system, and then walk you through the various portions of your system, from source water all the way to the tap. It must be stressed however that these are only the U.S.E.P.A.’s requirements and that your system may have other requirements established by the New York State Department of Health, so always follow up with your Local Health Department Office. If you would like to access this new tool you can do so from our “links page” or directly, at the following address www.rulewizard.org

 

 

Volatile Organics in Ground Water

Posted 6/5/2006

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently published a study entitled “Volatile Organic Compounds in the Nation’s Ground Water and Drinking-Water Supply Wells”.  This assessment of ground water included analyses collected during 1985–2001 from various types of wells, representing nearly 100 different aquifer studies.   This report is available for download at http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/circ1292/

The study included results from over 100 water wells in New York located in five regions: the Allegheny River Basin, Delaware River Basin, Hudson River Basin, Long Island, and New Jersey Coastal Drainages (i.e. Rockland County).  The results in New York were generally typical of national findings which were that VOC's were detected in most aquifers and were not limited to a few specific aquifers or regions. The most frequently detected VOC's were chloroform, the solvents PCE and TCE, and the gasoline oxygenate MTBE.  Approximately one-half of the tested wells in New York were public wells.  The rest were private domestic wells.  Interestingly, chloroform and other trihalomethanes (THM's) were found in many untreated domestic wells.  The USGS theorizes that the recharge of chlorinated water as well as the presence of these compounds in the effluent of domestic septic systems has resulted in these compounds being present in ground water.  The levels of THM's are quite low, well far below the MCL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
     
New York Rural Water Association