Newsletter #172 for September 20, 2016
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EPA Releases Hazard Mitigation Starter Guide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month released an interactive, user-friendly guide to help utilities mitigate the impacts of floods, earthquakes, droughts, wildfires, and other natural disasters. Hazard Mitigation for Natural Disasters: A Starter Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities provides information on integrating utility projects into broader community hazard mitigation plans, offers resources for developing a plan, and highlights state and federal funding programs available to support mitigation projects.

The release comes during National Prepardness Month, which is designed to remind communities, businesses, and individuals to "Don't wait, communicate. Make your emergency plan today." 

Click here to download the starter guide. And for more risk and response resources tailored to the water and wastewater industry, visit

Happy SepticSmart Week!

There's still time to join U.S. EPA and others to educate local leaders on wastewater infrastructure and inform homeowners on proper septic system care. Partners and stakeholders are invited to share SepticSmart materials and hold events to raise awareness all this week.  

For more information and to download available resources, visit

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

Navigating the Revised Total Coliform Rule
Wednesday, September 28 at 2:00 p.m. Central
Hosted by the National Rural Water Association

This webinar will focus on field scenarios to better understand primacy agency implementation discretion and public water systems compliance with: Multiple level 1 and level 2 treatment technique triggers in a month; Resetting the second level 1 treatment technique trigger to a level 1 assessment; and “Expedited” actions as applied to E. coli events vs. non-E. coli events. The presenter will also address other areas of RTCR implementation discretion and PWS requirements. 

Click here for more information.
Want to find additional training opportunities for operators,
including events in your area?
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Free Resource

Emergency Response Planning Guide for Public Drinking water Systems
Rural Community Assistance Partnership

Most public water systems have had routine operating emergencies such as pipe breaks, pump malfunctions, coliform contamination, and power outages. These are manageable if the water system has an emergency response plan (ERP) that can be put into action quickly. This 29-page guide from the Rural Community Assistance Partnership helps public water systems serving 3,300 population or fewer to develop an ERP.

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

Featured Video: Rethink Your Plan

This week in National Preparedness Month is all about individual preparedness. Join the effort to educate the public with this video from the Ad Council highlighting the importance of creating a family emergency response plan. 

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

Water and Wastewater Agency Response Networks (aka WARNs) allow utilities to work together to respond to and recover from emergencies. 


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

Reading Selections

U.S. Senate Bill Tackles Lead in Drinking Water
Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would provide funds to remove lead water pipes and test for contamination. 

Onion Creek Wastewater Discharge Plan Sparks Drinking Water Worries
The small town of Dripping Springs, Texas has proposed a plan to drain treated sewage into a nearby creek, but some have concerns about the potential impact to aquifers that supply water to locals. 

Nearly 56,000 Californians Exposed to Arsenic in Drinking Water, Study Says
A report from the Environmental Integrity Project says that 55,985 California residents are exposed to drinking water that exceeds the federal safety standards for arsenic. 

Sanitation District Boss and Guests Gulp Glasses Filled With a Liquid Formerly Known as Sewage
In Virginian Beach, Virginia, a wastewater plant general manager led employees and invited guests in a refreshing drink of effluent to demonstrate the potential of an initiative to turn sewage into something clean enough to inject into the Potomac aquifer. 

In Michigan, Dogs Used to Locate Aging Sewer Lines
The company Environmental Canine Services says they have used waste-sniffing dogs to locate aged septic systems and whole sewer lines dissolved by sewer gas. 
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