Newsletter #174 for October 18, 2016
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USDA Investis in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

Small communities across the country and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are getting help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on their efforts to improve water and wastewater infrastructure. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last month that the agency will invest a total of $283 million on 168 projects. 

Funding is provided through USDA Rural Development's Water and Wastewater Disposal Loan and Grant Program, which is dedicated to supporting applicants who struggle to obtain commercial credit. The program provides long-term, low-interest loans to rural towns with fewer than 10,000 people and tribal lands in rural areas, among others. Chosen applicants can use the money to finance the acquisition, construction, or improvement of everything from drinking water sourcing to wastewater treatment to stormwater collection. 

If your community has a project in need of support, contact your local USDA Rural Development office. And click here to learn more about this loan and grant program. 

Is Your System Hazard Ready? 

Water systems in eastern North Carolina are experiencing drowned generators, damaged pipes, and contamination warranting boil-water advisories in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. For the public, these events are a good reminder that reliable drinking water can't be taken for granted. For operators and community leaders, they offer a chance to evaluate and improve emergency response plans. 

Click here for tips and resources to help you do just that. 

Recently at

Creating O&M Manuals that Actually Get Used
RCAC specialist Angela Hengel walks through the development of individualized O&M manuals that provide not only written information, but detailed yet easy to follow video instructions on plant operations and maintenance in this guest post. 

Developing and Implementing Tools for Small Systems to Evaluate and Select Appropriate Treatment Technologies
This post is a project update originally shared in our Technology News newsletter. 

Common Distribution System Deficiencies
This article from Spigot News covers different aspects of the distribution system, including cross-connection, backflow, depressurization events, water age and infrastructure deterioration. 

Tribal Utility News Subscribers Give Us Insight into Tribal System Needs
Our Tribal Utility News subscriber survey gives insights into the unique challenges and needs facing tribal utilities.

Common Treatment Deficiencies
This article from Spigot News is the second installment in a series of articles to help small water systems identify the most common problems found during a sanitary survey or other investigatory site visit conducted by Ohio EPA staff. 

Free Webinar

Water and Wastewater Utilities: Emergency Preparedness
 Wednesday, November 9 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Water Security Division of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water is hosting a webinar on free preparedness tools and resources for drinking water and wastewater utilities. Drinking water and wastewater operators in certain states may earn continuing education credit for attending, pending approval from state operator certification programs. 

Click here for more information.
Want to find additional training opportunities for operators,
including events in your area?
Search the Training Calendar

Free Resource

Crisis Communication Lifecycle
Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association

This 2-page factsheet includes a crisis communication lifecycle, which shows the different phases of an emergency and what kind of communication should be used during each phase. It also includes a chart that gives definitions and examples of communication goals, objectives, outcome objectives, process objectives, strategies, and tactics. 

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

Featured Video: How Did Early Civilizations Supply All Their Drinking Water

This nearly 12-minute video is the first of four taking a comprehensive look at drinking water. In this episode, DNews Plus host Trace Dominguez talks about historical drinking water delivery systems and the role they played in allowing cities to develop and flourish. Consider sharing this video with your customers to drive home the importance of water delivery systems. 

Click here to watch the video
Have a great video? We're dedicated to bringing you helpful, entertaining, or inspiring videos to you. If your organization has a relevant video to share, let us know!

Share This

Life on Earth survives on essentially a drop in the bucket of the planet's total water supply. That's why protection and conservation are key!


Share This offers useful of interesting information that can be shared with the public and other stakeholders.

Reading Selections

State Department Awards 119 WWTPs
One-third of Washington state's wastewater treatment plants have been recognized by the Washington Department of Ecology for being in full compliance with their water quality permits. 

Write-Patterson to Drill New Wells to Protect Drinking Water
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio plans to drill seven new test wells to better track contaminated groundwater and act as a warning to protect wells that supply the base. 

Feds Decline to Prosecute EPA Worker Over Mine Wastewater Spill
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado will not prosecute a U.S. Environmental Protection employee who the agency says may have violated the Clean Water Act and given false statements. 

Are California's Utilities Their Own Worst Drought Enemies?
A bill introduced in the California legislature in August would require the state Environmental Protection Agency to develop a registry for greenhouse gas emissions from water suppliers and water and wastewater treatment plants. 

Lawsuits Take Aim at Chemical Giants Over Poisoned Drinking Water
Residents of Fountain, Security, and Widefield, Colorado have filed three class action lawsuits after learning earlier this year that PFAs have been entering their drinking water for decades.  
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