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Newsletter #37 for February 2017
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RCAC Tribal Programs in the Rural West

The Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) has several programs to assist tribal communities in the rural West. In Arizona, an EPA-funded Tribal Circuit Rider Program provides technical assistance and training for those operating, maintaining and managing tribal drinking water and wastewater systems. Interested in learning more? Click here

In addition, RCAC, working with ITCA (Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona), helps facilitate the Native American Water Masters, an association that, according to RCAC Director Michael Carroll, "offers a peer-to-peer networking and learning exchange." More information about that here.

RCAC also offers the Environmental Infrastructure Loan Program to help create, improve or expand safe drinking water supply, waste disposal systems and other facilities that serve communities in the rural West, including Indian Country. RCAC’s loan programs are different because they can provide the early funds small rural communities need to determine feasibility and pay pre-development costs prior to receiving state and federal program funding. Click here for more information or to begin the application process.

Emergency Management Tool for Small Alaskan Communities
One key to community preparedness is a tool that can quickly and efficiently guide a community's response to disasters. The Small Community Emergency Response Plan (SCERP) from the State of Alaska is an exciting and FREE tool for emergency management in small communities.

The SCERP is a customized flipbook with essential, community-specific, information to assist the community’s response to a disaster. It differs from an Emergency Operation Plan (EOP) and does not replace it. Instead, the SCERP supports an EOP by providing an immediate reference tool to assist communities with limited response capabilities through the crucial first 72 hours of an event.

For more information, please click here
USDA Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants
This program can help federally recognized tribes prepare for, or recover from, emergencies such as droughts, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, disease, chemical spills & leaks, or other disasters that threaten the availability of safe, reliable drinking water for tribal households and businesses. A federal disaster declaration is not required. Eligible areas include rural areas and towns with 10,000 or fewer people and tribal lands in rural areas.

Funds can be used to construct waterline extensions, repairs breaks or leaks in existing water distribution lines, and related maintenance necessary to replenish water supply. Funds can also be used to construct a new water source, intake and/or treatment facility. Applications for this program are accepted through your local RD office year-round. Click here for more information.

Events for Tribal Water Systems

NAWMA Training
Tuesday, February 28 | Parker, Arizona
Hosted by Rural Community Assistance Corporation and U.S. EPA Region 9

Topics will include: Lab Results Demystified, Disinfection Math, Tank and Well disinfection, rTCR Review, Lead and Copper Review, EPA Update and Tribal Roundtable. Click here for more information.

Chlorination and Fluoridation
Tuesday, February 28 | Temecula, California
Hosted by Indian Health Service

This training course provides maintenance personnel with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively disinfect and fluoridate small community water supplies. | Click here for more information.

Introduction to Small Water Systems
March 6-9 | Barrow, Alaska
Hosted by Ilisagvik College

This is the ADEC-approved introductory class for water treatment and distribution system operators in Alaska. The course includes an introduction to water chemistry, microbiology, hydraulics, math, electrical principals and pumping systems. Ground and surface water source treatment technologies and basic operational practices used in Alaska are presented, along with a description of storage and distribution system equipment and O&M procedures. Sampling, monitoring and other regulatory requirements are presented. Students who complete the course can take the ADEC Provisional Level 1 Water Treatment and Water Distribution System Operator certification exams at the end of the course. | Click here for more information.

Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Planning
March 14-16 | Spokane, Washington
Hosted by Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals

This course provides an introduction to planning for climate change impacts, with examples of tribes that have been going through the adaptation planning process. The course is intended for tribal environmental and natural resource professionals who expect to be involved in climate change adaptation planning. | Click here for more information.

Lift Station Operations
March 21-23  | Duluth, Minnesota
Hosted by Indian Health Service

This interactive and hands-on training course is for operators, wastewater managers, and engineering staff interested in an overview of lift station operations and troubleshooting. Course will review pumps, piping, mechanical equipment, and electrical components commonly used in lift stations and provide an opportunity for attendees to work with this equipment during classroom exercises. Common hydraulic problems are discussed and demonstrated including the effects of velocity, water hammer, and entrapped air. Operating problems related to debris, grease, and odor control are examined. | Click here for more information.
Want to find additional training opportunities for operators,
including events in your area?
Search the Training Calendar

Featured Resources

Emergency Planning Resources for Tribes
From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Have a different question?
You can find thousands of helpful resources in our database.
Search the Document Database

In the News

Judge Deals Blow to Sioux in Dakota Access Pipeline Case
A federal judge refused to issue a restraining order Monday now that Dakota Access has the last permit it needs to finish building much-protested oil pipeline.

Pueblo of Laguna Granted Federal Authority to Protect Water Quality
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is granting the Pueblo of Laguna N.M. authority to administer its own water quality standards and certification programs under the Clean Water Act. Laguna is the 54th tribe of 567 federally recognized tribes nationwide to receive authority over the water quality standards and certification programs.

Cherokee Nation Welcomes Star Pipe Foundry, Maker of Iron Products for the Water/Wastewater Industry
“Star Pipe will infuse critical payroll and infrastructure dollars into the South Coffeyville [Oklahoma] area, improving many lives for years to come, and the Cherokee Nation wanted to celebrate that milestone,” Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Vazquez said.

Tribes in Chalkyitsik and Fort Yukon Celebrate Land-Use Plan
Two tribes in Alaska reached an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) after years of hard work to conserve the land and protect the rivers and resources located in the Fortymile area. The BLM land-use plan will cover approximately 6.5 million acres of that land including areas around the White Mountains National Recreation Area, and the Draanjik watershed.

First Vacuum Sewer System for Navajo Nation Improves Public Health and Environment
The $2.8 million dollar project successfully eliminated 83 septic tank and drain field systems in the Mesa Farm area. This successful project will serve as a case study for other communities on the Navajo Nation seeking to extend community sewer services into areas where gravity sewer systems may not be feasible.

RCAC Seeks Circuit Rider for Arizona Tribal Lands
Work on Native American reservations and other trust lands providing technical, managerial and financial assistance to tribal water and wastewater systems to build capacity to deliver safe water and properly dispose of wastewater. 

Scientists Now Know Exactly How Lead Got Into Flint's Water
A summary from the Smithsonian explains the corrosion problems leading to Flint's drinking water crisis and how widespread the problem really is.
WaterOperator.org—formerly SmallWaterSupply.org—is a free, grant-funded service to support small community water and wastewater operators with comprehensive resources and information in one easy-to-use place. We also serve the 800+ training, primacy, and technical service organizations, by helping operators get to their information. We aren't buying, selling, or advertising anything. You can call us at 1-866-522-2681 if you need assistance.

Recently at WaterOperator.org

Math Help Featured Video: Use of Davidson Pie
The Davidson Pie might not be very tasty, but it can help you work math problems assisting with chemical addition and process control at both water and wastewater utilities. This 3-minute video explains the construction of the pie and works an example problem using it.

Featured Video: Water Quality in Storage Facilities
Water operators play an essential role in protecting the public health of their communities by ensuring that drinking water is clean and safe to drink. Understanding the possible contamination or degradation factors in your storage facility can help you ensure that your treated water is still clean and drinkable when it reaches your customers' taps.
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