Newsletter #171 for September 6, 2016
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Wastewater Operators to Seattle-Area Public: Don’t Go After That Stinky Spearow

Washington's King County Wastewater Treatment Division addressed concerns over residents searching for water Pokemon onsite last month with a "side-achingly funny" statement. From the letter: 

"More importantly, you and your friends could get seriously hurt and reduce your human hit points if you venture into one of our facilities. You know that terrible feeling you get when you accidentally drop your phone in the toilet? Imagine if you fell into a wastewater tank! Like one unfortunate trespasser learned, you certainly won’t come out smelling like perfume, and you might catch more than Dragonite or Mewtwo.

So whether you’re new to the game or have a lot of experience points, obey warning signs at our facilities, don’t venture into places you’re not supposed to go, and listen to our employees. You may know more about battling, but they know more about keeping you safe.

So, #GoCatchEmAll! – just not here at King County’s wastewater facilities and construction sites.

And while we’re having this little chat, please don’t flush Poké balls."

Click here to read the full letter

SepticSmart Week Returns September 19-23

Join the U.S. EPA and others this month as they seek to inform homeowners on proper septic system care and educate local leaders on wastewater infrastructure. Partners and stakeholders are invited to share SepticSmart materials and hold events to raise awareness during SepticSmart Week.  

But don't wait till September 19 to plan your efforts. Register for the SepticSmart Tools and Outreach Webinar hosted by U.S. EPA on Thursday, September 8 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern to get an overview of available materials and ideas for events. 

Click here to register. For more information on SepticSmart Week, visit 

Recently at

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. 

Developing a Better Understanding of Drinking Water Technology Approval: WINSSS Center Project B1
When EPA in 2014 chose to fund the National Centers for Innovation in Small Drinking Water Systems, their vision for the Centers was much more than developing new drinking water technologies. This post walks through the non-treatment pieces of the vision. 

Free Webinar

Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) Train-the-Trainer Session 1
Thursday, September 15 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

This is the first in a three-part training series offered by EPA’s Sustainable Systems Team. Each of the three 2-hour sessions will contain an overview of a CUPSS module supported by live demonstrations. Participants who complete the assignments after each session will receive a CUPSS Trainers Certificate and will be included in the CUPSS Trainers Directory

Click here for more information.
54th Annual Yankee Conference on Environmental Health
To all New England operators attending the 54th Annual Yankee Conference on Environmental Health on September 21 and 22—watch for us on Thursday to learn about available resources for water emergencies. And be sure to stop by our booth for more information and resources. The full event schedule and information on registration is available at
Want to find additional training opportunities for operators,
including events in your area?
Search the Training Calendar

Free Resource

Five Things You Can Do to Save on Energy in Your Utility
Rural Community Assistance Partnership

This 2012 article from the Drop of Knowledge newsletter discusses five suggestions for improving utility energy efficiency. 

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

Featured Video: Energy Efficiency at Wastewater Treatment Facilities

This video from the Rural Community Assistance Partnership presents opportunities for saving on energy costs to those in small, rural communities responsible for managing and overseeing wastewater treatment systems—boards or other governing bodies, staff and decision-makers. The video helps these leaders find and start implementing ways to make energy use at their facilities more efficient. Many of the opportunities discussed also apply to drinking water facilities. 

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

DYK municipalities and utilities can save thousands of dollars by incorporating energy efficiency practices into their water and wastewater plants?


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

Reading Selections

Photo of Rural Utility Worker Goes Viral
A photo of a Texas rural utility work submerged upside-down in a puddle trying to clamp a break in a pipe has gone viral. 

EPA Watchdog to 'Evaluate' Drinking Water Monitoring
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog has begun "preliminary research" to "determine whether the EPA can improve its oversight of state drinking water sampling programs."

A Rural Alaskan Native Village's Journey for Safe Drinking Water
After years of studying, planning, and hard work, more than 150 Kwethluk families in one of Alaska's oldest and most remote villages are able to take hot showers, flush toilets, and drink water form their faucets for the first time. 

Local Youths Graduate with Environmental Skills at Lowell, Mass. Water Treatment Plant
Four Massachusetts high school students were taught professional environmental protection techniques with hep from a U.S. EPA grant to the New England Insterstate Water Pollution Control Commission. 

The Flint Effect: More Worried People Are Drinking Bottled Water. They Should Stick to Tap
So many Americans turned to bottled water in 2015 that the product is poised to overtake soda consumption. 
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